A Country Music Fest in Negaunee? Hell yeah!

A legitimate music legend is coming to Negaunee this Saturday. Yes, I said NEGAUNEE.

Saturday the inaugural “Country Music Fest” is being produced in downtown Negaunee by, a new entity for some familiar players in the local music scene, Thunder on the Iron Range. It’s going to be a solid day of Country & Americana music from regional and national artists alike capping the night off with an appearance from, as he’s rightfully marketing himself, “The Legendary” David Allen Coe.

Oh yeah, it’s also only $10 (Get Tix Here).

The Iron St. Venue stage, and I literally mean Iron St IS the venue, will be graced in the early part of the show by the Keweenaw’s Tom Katalin and Highway 41. I have to be honest here and say that I haven’t had the chance to see the band or Tom solo yet. However, I do know they play a solid mix of “country hits” from the 50’s through today, and have been making a solid name for themselves over the last couple years. I also know that Tom was tapped to open for the legendary Rodney Crowell last month at the Calumet Theatre, and it’s not like there is a shortage of options in the region.

Chad Borgen and the Collective formed last year after Borgen split with local outlaw country rockers Outlaw’d. They wasted no time in getting out to make a name for themselves as one of the most versatile country/rock bands in the U.P. Most nights when you see The Collective you’re gonna get their trademark “High-Octane Rockabilly Cosmic Country Music” sound in Country and old school Rockabilly hits; there’s also a good chance you’ll hear some original music as well. This is a highly talented, versatile trio who tend to bring it every night, and can really make themselves fit into almost any show/festival that is going to be held in the region.  Whether it’s Tom or Chad opening the show, Thunder on the Iron Range’s Country Fest is going to get a most proper kick-off.

Now we get into the “meat” of the festival, and trust me that is in no way meant to slag the aforementioned acts. Chasin’ Steel formed in 2002 and it really didn’t take them that long to become a near household name in U.P. music. No strangers to the “big stage,” CS has played with the likes of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Jamey Johnson, and Trace Adkins, so David Allen Coe is just being added to an already impressive list of credentials. Comprised as a more traditional style bluegrass band Carpenter, Kuhlman, Kuhlman & Simula bring tradition, but with a sheer rock attitude. A Chasing Steel show is going to be a high energy, audience involved, harmony laden rockin’ bluegrass extravaganza. I don’t have the full line-up for the festival, but I believe they’ll be the cats leading into Mr. Coe, and as far as I’m concerned there isn’t a better U.P. act for the job.

Cecil & his wife Nikki rockin’ out…

A couple years ago, I had to laugh as an outlaw country cat on my Facebook friends list went on a bit of a rant that Facebook wasn’t letting him use his onstage moniker on his personal page. Well, being a true outlaw “Peewee” decided that there was no need to “hide” behind that name, especially when his given name pretty much SCREAMS country music singer: Cecil Allan Moore. If you are one of those people who let the words “There’s no good new country” escape your mouth Cecil is one of the MANY amazing great acts out there looking to prove you wrong. From old school country ballads to driving country rock Cecil brings it hard, raw, whiskey-laden and 100% from the heart; the way outlaw music is supposed to be. Like the old “famous” outlaws? You’re gonna like Cecil Allen Moore. Yeah, it’s true you aren’t hearing guys like Cecil on the radio, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t.

Check out Cecil’s music on his Bandcamp and Youtube. He’s not on Spotify.

This brings us to the LEGENDARY David Allan Coe. Honestly, there’s not much I can say about the music that I would think readers don’t already know. Many of his hits are sang regularly in our bars both by cover bands and karaoke crooners. He’s the “original rhinestone cowboy” turned outlaw and is probably the “most outlaw” of the outlaws. Been to prison, hell, even death row, and stood on the stage in front of hundreds of thousands of people. So what are we gonna get on Saturday?

I don’t know.

Over the years Coe has been unpredictable.Not quite to the point of getting a nickname “No Show” on top of already being nicked “The Possum,”but there have been no-shows, shows where he was so drunk it may as well have been a no-show, and other bumbling performances. There is absolutely no guarantee that isn’t what we get. “Oh Bear, why are you being so negative?”  I’m not, I just want to get that out there because it’s reality, its “outlaw.” So far on this tour I’ve heard he’s absolutely been on the ball, and I’m not referring to his new artificial hip. Some of my industry friends said he’s been as tight as Willie in his older age. I’d say that’s a pretty damn positive review.  Honestly, though in the end, I don’t care what version of Coe we get. Yeah, I hope he goes up there, kills and and burns his performance into my brain forever.  However, if he doesn’t, well, we’re getting the chance to see an absolute legend a couple weeks before his 80th birthday. If you would have told Coe that he’d still be touring at 80 anytime in his heyday he’d tell ya he was dead. I’d say we’re pretty blessed.

Oh yeah, did you see me mention earlier that it’s only $10 (Get Tix Here). Tickets will be $15 at the door.

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