Entertainment

Carolina Country Music Fest to kick off next Thursday

Corey Smith, an Athens, Ga.-area native known for his frequency of Grand Strand concerts, including several New Year’s Eves at House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach, will play June 7 during the Carolina Country Music Festival in Myrtle Beach. His 10th CD, “While the Gettin’ Is Good, ” also is slated for release this summer on Sugar Hill Records.
Corey Smith, an Athens, Ga.-area native known for his frequency of Grand Strand concerts, including several New Year’s Eves at House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach, will play June 7 during the Carolina Country Music Festival in Myrtle Beach. His 10th CD, “While the Gettin’ Is Good, ” also is slated for release this summer on Sugar Hill Records. Courtesy photo

Making Myrtle Beach’s dot on the map bigger and brighter, the Carolina Country Music Fest will draw some of the biggest touring acts, including Rascal Flatts, Lady Antebellum and Eric Church — the respective closing performers for 10 p.m. June 5, 6 and 7.

This festival has remained the talk locally and across the Carolinas all spring, with repeated touts on radio stations with strong signals reaching into the Grand Strand, such as WEGX-FM “Eagle” 92.9 from Florence and WKML-FM “The Big” 95.7 from Fayetteville, N.C.

A kickoff party on the night of June 4 will wind up with Sam Hunt, a former college quarterback who has scored two No. 1 hits since autumn: “Leave the Night On” and, just last month, “Take Your Time.” He’s new as a recording artist, but many listeners already know his music, for he lent a hand in helping compose other hit records of late: Kenny Chesney’s “Come Over,” Keith Urban’s “Cop Car” and Savannah, Ga., native Billy Currington’s “We Are Tonight.”

All the performances will be on Myrtle Beach’s Ocean Boulevard, between Eighth and Ninth avenues North, at the site of the former Myrtle Beach Pavilion, with artists alternating between two stages. The options for tickets vary, too, for the opening night party, as well as two- and three-day passes for the full-day concert rosters.

Besides the variety of established artists on the music scene, including the Georgia Satellites (playing June 5), Marshall Tucker Band (June 6) and Big (Kenny Alphin) & John Rich (June 7), this festival will shine the light on many musicians making a name for themselves as rising stars.

They include Carolina Country Music Fest and ReverbNation.com “Battle of the Bands” national winners and three regional honorees: Dirty Grass Soul (regional winner, from the Charlotte, N.C., contest) at 1:30 p.m. and Kuntry Boys 3 p.m., both on June 5; Brandon Bailey (from the Murrells Inlet contest) and Taylor Centers, at 1:30 and 3 p.m. respectively on June 6; and Mikele Buck (from the Raleigh, N.C., contest) and Morgan’s Road, with respective turns on stage June 7 at 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.

At age 26, Brooke Eden might be among the youngest performers with time on stage at the Carolina Country Music Fest, at 3:30 p.m. June 6.

In a phone call last week from her home in Nashville, Tenn., Eden praised her family for her growing up with values placed on hard work. She said her love of music since age 4 has escalated from “a dream and making it reality.”

She also credited her father, a carpenter who also played drums in a band, for that drive.

“I’m definitely carrying that over from my daddy,” said Eden, whose debut single, “American Dreamin’,” was released last year, from a forthcoming album on the BBR Music Group label.

“American Dreamin’,” which she co-wrote with a “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah-ee-yeah” refrain, even evoked a positive message from a soldier returning from wartime deployment.

Eden said she realized that with his time in the service, “his life is just beginning,” so such reactions from listeners have moved her.

She called this “kind of an inspiration … to know that song meant so much to so many people.”

Returning to the topic of her blue-collar nurturing, Eden said pursuing her dream, with all its challenges, “I’m basically an entrepreneur, running my own business, running a musical career.”

“I’m just waking up every day,” she said, “and pushing through it and getting to the other side.” Having opened in concert for such artists as Alan Jackson, Florida Georgia Line and Sugarland, Eden said performing across the nation, she sees how the music shows “country is countrywide.”

“I even did a show in New York City,” she said. “It’s everywhere.”

She said thanks to recent success by such stars as Taylor Swift and Hunter Hayes — the latter of whom will help ramp up the home stretch of the Carolina Country Music Fest at 8 p.m. June 7 — country has new connections to be “cool” for youth today.

Born and raised in Palm Beach County, Fla., Eden crosses paths with fellow Sunshine State natives on the country scene. She said she sees Jake Owen often and has met Easton Corbin. She also said Michael Ray continues proving himself as “an up-and-coming artist.”

While on her way to the fest in Myrtle Beach, Eden has planned to stop in Charleston to visit with family on her mother’s side, and a group including cousins will cheer her on in concert. She also said playing oceanside in Myrtle Beach, up the coast from southeast Florida, will bring some familiarity.

“It’s also a little piece of home when I get to the beach,” said Eden, who made Vogue’s list of “10 Country ‘It’ Girls” last fall.

Although many times, a performance has entailed “me and my guitar, and a tiki bar,” Eden said she’s fired up for this festival, with “a full band on stage,” with her own set among more than 30 peers on the lineup over four days.

Contact STEVE PALISIN at 444-1764.

If you go

What | Carolina Country Music Fest

When | June 4-7

Where | Myrtle Beach’s Ocean Boulevard, between Eighth and Ninth avenues North, at the site of the former Myrtle Beach Pavilion, with artists alternating between two stages.

Scheduled performers |

▪ June 4 – “Kickoff Party” concert, with Dee Jay Silver at 6 p.m., Darrell Harwood 6:30 p.m., Early Ray 8 p.m., and Sam Hunt 10 p.m.

▪ June 5 – Dirty Grass Soul 1:30 p.m., Davisson Brothers Band 2 p.m., Kuntry Boys 3 p.m., Georgia Satellites 3:30 p.m., John King 4:30 p.m., an act to be announced for 5 p.m., Outshyne 6 p.m., Rodney Atkins 6:30 p.m., Cole Swindell 8 p.m., and Rascal Flatts 10 p.m.

▪ June 6 – Gal Friday 12:30 p.m., Dee Jay Silver 1 p.m., Brandon Bailey 1:30 p.m., an act TBA for 2 p.m., Taylor Centers 3 p.m., Brooke Eden 3:30 p.m., Ricky Young 4:30 p.m., Corey Smith 5 p.m., Brian Davis 6 p.m., Colt Ford 6:30 p.m., Big (Kenny Alphin) & (John) Rich 8 p.m., and Eric Church 10 p.m.

▪ June 7 – Dee Jay Silver 1 p.m., Mikele Buck 1:30 p.m., Mo Pitney 2 p.m., Morgan’s Road 3 p.m., Marshall Tucker Band 3:30 p.m., Margaret Valentine 4:30 p.m., Kellie Pickler 5 p.m., Rainey Qualley 6 p.m., David Nail 6:30 p.m., Hunter Hayes 8 p.m., and Lady Antebellum 10 p.m.

How much | Including processing fees:

▪ Kickoff party with Sam Hunt on June 4 – $42.14. Also, for Myrtle Beach residents with ID, $19 (plus fees), available from Carolina Country Bar, 300 Ninth Ave. N., Myrtle Beach.

▪ Two-day passes for June 5-6 or June 6-7 – $168.74 general admission.

▪ Three-day passes for June 5-7 – $210.94 general admission, $369.19 “Main Stage VIP,” or $1,347.92 “Super VIP.” Also: $159 rate (plus fees) available for government employees, and current and retired military, police and rescue personnel.

▪ Three-day camping package at Lakewood Camping Resort, 5901 S. Kings Highway, about a mile south of Myrtle Beach city line, and two general admission concert passes, for June 5-7 – $626.92.

▪ For group rates for June 5-7 with 20 or more people, email groupsales@ccmf.com.

▪ Optional add-on for one flight on zip line, nearby at Myrtle Beach Adrenaline Adventures for time and festival day to be selected, $43.18.

Information | www.carolinacountrymusicfest.com, and www.brookeeden.com

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