Music News & Reviews

Red, White & Boom artists flex hit-making muscle this summer

Luke Bryan performed in July at the Faster Horses Music Festival at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich. He’ll headline Lexington’s Red, White & Boom on Friday, the opening day.
Luke Bryan performed in July at the Faster Horses Music Festival at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich. He’ll headline Lexington’s Red, White & Boom on Friday, the opening day. Invision/AP

Just how hot are the artists at this year’s Red, White and Boom? To find out, we took a look at the current country music charts from Billboard magazine and discovered a plentiful number of Boom-ers have been faring quite nicely over the summer.

Here is a look at who will be playing the festival and the traffic bottleneck that many have created at the top of the charts.

Friday

Luke Bryan — Few perfomers sell out shows and tie up traffic in Lexington the way Bryan does. Arguably country’s biggest arena draw outside of Garth Brooks, the singer is at work on the follow-up to his multi-platinum 2015 album, “Kill the Lights.”

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Brett Eldredge performed Aug. 7 on NBC’s “Today” show at Rockefeller Plaza in New York. He comes to Red, White & Boom on Friday. Charles Sykes Invision/AP

Brett Eldredge — His current self-titled album (his fourth to date) is outdistanced only by Luke Combs’ “This One’s For You” and Chris Stapleton’s unsurpassable “Traveller” at the top of the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. The record’s newest single, “The Long Way,” was released last week.

Luke Combs — Did somebody say Luke Combs? The North Carolina-born singer is not only king of the album charts. His current single, “Hurricane,” sits comfortably in the Top 10 of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs.

Kane Brown — Having played Lexington as recently as last winter (at Manchester Music Hall), Brown is all over country radio with “What Ifs,” a hit duet single with Lauren Alaina. It’s in the Billboard Top 5.

Saturday

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Sam Hunt performed in June at the 2017 CMA Music Festival in Nashville. Laura Roberts Invision/AP

Sam Hunt — The Georgia native hasn’t released a new album since his 2014 debut album, “Montevallo.” Why should he? It’s still a top-five hit on Billboard. But his No. 1 single, “Body Like a Back a Road,” offers our first preview of album No. 2.

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Maren Morris perform in June at the 2017 CMA Music Festival She returns to Red, White & Boom on Saturday. Laura Roberts Invision/AP

Maren Morris — The only returnee from last year’s Red, White & Boom, Morris is now a bona fide star, with a gold selling album (“Hero”), a Grammy win (for the single “My Church”), and a performance on “Saturday Night Live.”

Chris Janson — Having earned a top-five hit with the title tune to his 2015 album, “Buy Me a Boat,” Janson is awaiting the release his sophomore album, “Everybody,” on Sept. 22. His newest single, “Fix a Drink,” is poised to enter the Billboard Top 20.

Ryan Follese — The former lead singer for the Nashville pop-rock troupe Hot Chelle Rae has spent the summer touring with Hunt in support of a debut solo album that was released in August.

Sunday

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Blake Shelton performed in June at the 2017 CMA Music Festival in Nashville. He’ll headline the final day of Lexington’s Red, White & Boom, Sunday. Laura Roberts Invision/AP

Blake Shelton — A multiple Grammy winner known for his television visibility as a judge on “The Voice,” Shelton remains a largely unstoppable force on country radio. His newest single is “Every Time I Hear That Song.”

Dustin Lynch — See story, Page 10.

William Michael Morgan — A native of Vicksburg, Miss., Morgan last issued one of the more coyly titled albums from any genre as his debut: “Vinyl.” It has yielded the singles “I Met a Girl” (a Top 10 hit) and “Missing.”

Carly Pearce — See story, Page 9.

Read Walter Tunis’ blog, The Musical Box, at LexGo.com.

If you go

Red, White & Boom

When: 5:30 p.m. Sept. 1-3

Where: Whitaker Bank Ballpark, 207 Legends Lane

Tickets: $69.50-$899

Call: 859-422-7867

Online: Bit.ly/2xGQgzS

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