Tailgate N’ Tallboys is Central Illinois #1 Country Music Festival. The Music Series is designed with the true Midwestern summer concert goer in mind. Boasting top country acts to span over the summer months all at one low cost ticket price. Our 6 Pack Pass allows entry to 6 concerts for practically the cost of one concert. This allows our Midwestern country music lovers the ability to hit one or all six shows on the calendar and keep the party going all summer long.

Aaron Lewis

“I’m a sinner to my core...I ask forgiveness and nothing more.”If it sounds like Aaron Lewis is long pastdefending his Country music pedigree, that would be a correct assessment. Lewis would prefer the music speak for itselfand, withthe release of SINNER, Lewis’ stunning Dot Records follow-up to his groundbreaking full-length solo debut The Roadin 2012, any would-be detractors will be pretty much out of ammo.Lewis, however, is not. SINNERblasts through today’s Country music doldrums like a shot of 100-proof whiskey, with the singer making zero compromises with either himself or the restrictions of a format that seems to have abandoned its rougher tendencies in favor of pop and ‘70s rock inclinations largely lacking in grit. “I’d like to think that SINNERis a newer take on classic, traditional Outlaw Country, Waylon and Merle and Willie,and Hank Jr. and Johnny Cash and all that stuff,” says Lewis. “That was the musicI heardas a kid,and that’s the Country music that permeated my soul and stuck with me my whole life.”Lewis admits he “didn’t really pay attention to any of the Country music in between” that early Outlaw exposure and his emergence as a new voice for the genre with the release of “Country Boy” on the Town LineEP in 2011. “I was too busy going down the road of one day ending up being in a rock band,and revolting against the music I was basically force-fed as a kid,” he says. “I finally came around full circle,and this music crept back into my life. My plumber at the time bet me that I wouldn’twrite a Country song, so I sat down and wrote ‘Country Boy,’and the rest is history.”As the front man for one of modern rock’s most successful bands in Staind, Lewis admits his entre into the Country world has been met with mixed reactions. “I have definitely dealt with some of the old guard questioning my commitment to the genre, questioning how much of this might be a toe-dipping in the water to see what the temperature is,” he says. “I had, and still have, a very established career in the rock world, and as much as that has been a blessing in some ways, it has been a curse in others in trying to be looked at as somebody who is taking this seriously and isn’t just trying to go where the money is. There has beena pretty big misconception I’ve had to battle, but there has also been lots of support. Therehave been times I’ve been told by a program directorthat my record was his favorite that came out that year buthe couldn’t play it because it’s ‘too Country.’The landscape of Country radio today doesn’t really leave any room for an artist like myself that has no desire to mix pop music with Country music. Why would I do that?”Few pop-tinged songs would dare feature lyrics as candid, biting and personal as those on SINNER.If “Country Boy,” with it’s swaggering bravado, was the opening salvo, the 11 songs on SINNERherald a man who admits—and often deeply regrets—his personal shortcomings, yet offersno excuses. “This is an album of acknowledgement, admittance, moments of self-awareness,” he says. “It has been a pretty trying time in my life over the past few years, and these songs are what have come of it. At the risk of sounding cliché, my music has always been therapeutic for me.”

Produced by Country legend Buddy Cannon (whose production resume boasts masterpieces with artists ranging from Kenny Chesney and George Strait to Merle Haggard and George Jones), and recorded over 16 intense hours at Nashville’s Blackbird Studios, SINNERcaptures what was going on in Lewis’ head at this point in his life; laid backwith a soundtrack that harkens back to the Country genre’s most honest and musically adventurous artists.“I loved working with Buddy,” says Lewis. “He’s an amazing, highly accomplished producer that really doesn’t have very many bad ideas. And he also steps back and allows you to be creative and do whatever it is you’redoing, and doesn’t try to change the vision that you have. I was able to write and record a record that I was responsible for how it came out.”Written on tour and during infrequent down times over the past two years, and road-tested in front of fans that basically served as judge and jury for inclusion on the record, the songs on SINNERtogether alternate between swagger and vulnerability, biting humor and fierce independence. Lewis and his creative compadreBen Kitterman (Lewis’ former bus driver who earned a permanent place by his side on the road and in the studio once his talent was discovered), are joined by such A-Listers as Brent Mason(guitar), Paul Franklin(steel guitar), Jim “Moose” Brown(keyboards), Bobby Terry(guitar), Pat Buchanan (guitar) and Tony Creaseman (drums). Also taking partare such country stalwarts as Mickey Raphael, Willie Nelson (who adds a committed gravitas to the title cut), Alison Krauss, Dan Tyminskiand Vince Gill. Remarkably, “I think I got Vince Gill to sing the word ‘shit’ for the first time in his career,” Lewis says with a laugh. Most of the songs were cut live in the studio, using scratch vocals. “I had a pretty good idea what I wanted the album to sound like,” says Lewis, “and then it was a matter of just going in and either playing songs for the guys in the studio live on an acoustic guitar and letthem go from there; or playing them YouTube clips of the song live off of somebody’s phone. Most of the time, they didn’t even need to listen to the whole song, they got the gist of it, charted it out, and then went in there and nailed it on one or two takes. Everything is live, everybody was just playing the song and going right to tape, and then 16 hours later the recording process was complete.”The result is an album that is “as raw and as real and as un-messed with as it could possibly be,” accordingto Lewis, with the energy of a “band” record and an introspective tone that completely reflects the state of mind of Aaron Lewis. Creative flourishes abound, with innovative arrangements melding with traditional honky-tonk structures and instrumentations,along with muscularballads and powerful themes of love, loyalty, alienation and regret, tempered by a dose of humor and knowing introspection. While Lewis’ lyrics and vocals astound throughout, perhaps the most impactful song on an immensely interesting and entertaining album is its hidden track, a version of the Bruce Robison gem “Travelin’ Soldier” featuring vocals from Lewis then-13 year-old daughter, Zoe. In her recorded vocal debut, Zoe nails it, providing an innocence and purity of tone that servethe song’s lyrics to the highest level. It’s an auspicious debut, and one Lewis admits could change his daughter’slife.“I am beyond proud,” says Lewis. “She has this innocence and purity to her voicebecause it’s a completely raw, untrained voice. All I wasdoing in the room, silently, with hand gestures and body motions, wasjust trying to get her to sing loud and project, just trying to get her to go after it.”The power of Zoe’s debut begs the question of how Lewis would feel if his daughter were toembark on a career in a business he has been openly critical of. “I would be very,very cautious,and supportively against it, if that makes any sense,” he says. “It is a vicious, vicious industry, and I would have to be right there at her side, holding her hand the entire time in order to be comfortable with it. I’ve heard it all already, every possible thing you could throw at my daughter to influence her in some way, and it ain’t gonna happen.”

While SINNERmay surprise those unaware of Lewis’ lyricaldepth and vocal authority, hard-core fans of his concerts (which he describes as “a very healthy mix of cowboy hats,baseball caps,tattoos,black shirts”) will rejoice in having definitive copies of songs they’ve been hearing live and on the Internet, some for a couple of years. Lyrically, Lewis generally doesn’t lead with his political views (though his stance is often to be found for those who look), he has been publicly outspoken in ways few Country artists dare in these complicated, polarizing times. “I believe in this country, I believe in the Constitution that created it, I believe in conservative capitalism, I believe in all the things that made this country great, and I will not shut up about that for anyone,” he states. “And if you don’t like it, don’t talk politics with me, because I’m constitutionally correct in every single thing I say.”As to whether his outspokennesshas impacted his career, Lewis says, “It’s not hurting me as far as I know, but I couldn’tgive a damn, I don’t care. And, honestly, I could care less if I lost a couple of people because of that along the way. If you can’t enjoy my music anymore because you don’t see eye-to-eye with me, then so be it. Whatever.”And, after putting his heart and soul on the line to create SINNER, Lewis feels similarly about how it lands in the marketplace. “You can’t make everybody happy,” he says,“so you put your best foot forward, you hope everybody likes it,and if they don’t, f-‘em.”CONNECT: Facebook(55K Likes)Twitter(78.4K)www.AaronLewis.com

Conceived in a honky tonk long, long ago, Cody now makes his living in them. Accompanied by the Tonedeaf Hippies, he rolls across the land and the oceans onto other lands to sow a collective musical seed. Not like the brazen giant of "Texas/Red Dirt" fame, he is a fair-sized man with a Zippo whose flame longs to be ignited by the sound of real music.
"Keep that which is plastic, and the posers that compose for money. Give us your listeners, your dreamers, your huddled drunken masses longing to break free of the feces on our radios. Send these: the hippies and the cowboys, and we will flick our bics through those swinging doors."

Whiskey Myers

It would be an understatement to say that a lot has happened since Whiskey Myers was
last in the recording studio. Over two whirlwind years, the gritty Texas band hit #1 on
the iTunes Country Chart with their breakout third album 'Early Morning Shakes,'
earned raves everywhere from Rolling Stone to USA Today, and toured the US and UK
relentlessly, slaying massive festival crowds and sharing stages with Lynyrd Skynyrd,
Hank Williams Jr., Jamey Johnson, and more along the way. You'd be forgiven, then,
for expecting things to work a little differently this time around when the band
reunited with acclaimed producer Dave Cobb for their stellar new album, 'Mud.' But as
it turns out, success doesn't change a Southern gentleman, and they don't come any
more Southern than Whiskey Myers.
Fueled by larger-than-life performances honed tight from countless nights on the road,
'Mud' finds the band scaling new heights of songwriting and musicianship, with searing
guitars, soulful vocals, and indelible hooks. While their approach to the music and
humble, hard-working attitudes may not have altered, there have been developments
in the Whiskey Myers world, most notably with the arrival of new faces. For the
recording sessions, the band's five founding members—Cody Cannon on lead vocals and
guitar, Cody Tate and John Jeffers on guitars, Gary Brown on bass, and Jeff Hogg on
drums—fleshed out their sound with the addition of fiddler/keyboard player Jon
Knudson and percussionist Tony Kent, who are both now full-time members.
"They bring a great energy, and I think it's really helped our sound and makes the band
more versatile," explains Cannon. "There's less room onstage now, but sometimes a
family grows."
A glance through Whiskey Myers' lyrics will show you that Cannon is a man who chooses
his words carefully, so it's little surprise that he describes the band as a family. The
tight-knit group's roots stretch back decades into the red dirt of East Texas, where
Cannon, Jeffers, and Tate first began playing together before rounding out their initial
lineup with the addition Hogg and Brown (who is Cannon's actual cousin). They built up
a rabid local following on the strength of their 2008 debut album, 'Road Of Life,' and
then notched their first #1 on the Texas Music Charts with their 2011 follow-up
'Firewater.' It was 'Early Morning Shakes,' though, that introduced the rest of the world
to what Texas already knew. The album cracked the Top 10 on the Billboard Country
Chart, a remarkable feat for a fiercely independent band and a testament to their
rigorous DIY work ethic and endless supply of passion and drive. Esquire called them
"the real damn deal," while Country Weekly said they combine "greasy Southern rock
riffs with countrified songwriting and Texas grit for something wholly unique," and
Playboy dubbed them "the new bad boys of country music."
Even in the face of their rapidly-growing profile and expanding lineup, the band found
they were able to pick up exactly where they left off when they returned to the studio
for 'Mud.'
"We don't want a high stress situation, and we don't want to feel uncomfortable while
we're recording, because we want to make sure everybody can get into their creative
mode," explains Brown. "Dave has a laid back attitude as far as making music and that
fits right in with the way we work. His ear is similar to ours and he has the same kind
of vision for what the music should sound like."
What the music sounds like is raw, visceral emotion: pride, faith, desire, defiance. The
songs on 'Mud' are stories of ordinary men and women standing up for their families
and honoring their roots. Home is sacred ground for Whiskey Myers, not just a plot of
land, but rather the cornerstone of an identity worth dying for. Fiddle-led album
opener "On The River" steps back to frontier times when the struggle for survival was a
daily one, while the epic title track promises a home-foreclosing banker "Ain't no man
gonna take it away / Because it's deep down in my blood / So step across the ol'
property line / And you'll die right here in the mud." "Frogman," written with Rich
Robinson of the Black Crowes, follows a Southern man halfway around the world, as he
risks his life to defend freedom and fight terror in the Middle East as a Navy Seal, and
the Darrell Scott co-write "Trailer We Call Home" finds the beauty in simple things,
concluding, "Times get tough but love is strong / Here in this trailer that we call
"Where you come from and where you grew up influences your music a lot," says
Cannon. "As a band, we don't go into the studio with any preconceived theme. You just
sit down and you write and the songs come out naturally."
As a result, Whiskey Myers' music fits neatly into no genre. Sure, it's heavily influenced
by country music ("My first record was 'The Pressure Is On' / Ain't it funny how your life
can change with a song" Cannon sings on "Hank"), but the band credits everything from
Alan Jackson and Waylon Jennings to Led Zeppelin and Nirvana as inspiration. "Some
Of Your Love" channels old-school soul, while the bright, punchy horns of "Lightning
Bugs And Rain" flirts with Rolling Stones swagger, and "Good Ole' Days" captures a
stripped-down, folky vibe, as the whole band sat in a circle singing together live. It all
adds up to what Cannon perhaps describes best as "no frills, no bullshit rock and roll."
"The equipment we used on the recording process for this one was really important to
the sound, too" he adds. "Dave has these amazing old amps and we recorded
everything to tape for the first time. The piano was from, like, 1904 or something, and
I don't think it's been tuned since. Little things like that make a big difference. It
sounds authentic when you actually use the real, old gear."
In the end, there may be no better word for Whiskey Myers than authentic. This music
is in their blood, and it flows as naturally from them as a spring feeding a mountain
creek. While a record this good is sure to send their (lone)star rising higher than ever
before, you can rest assured that success still won't be changing this band any time
soon. They make music they're proud of that celebrates where they come from and
makes people feel good. As far as they're concerned, that's all the success anyone
could ever ask for.

Upchurch The Redneck

Ryan Upchurch is a hilarious self described "redneck comedian" from Cheetham County TN In 2014, while hanging with some friends Ryan started creating videos as his character "Upchurch the Redneck". In less than a year he hit over a million fans on social media.

In some of his famous videos, Upchurch sang bits of his favorite country songs. Fans couldn't get enough and would beg for more. In July, 2014 Ryan put out his first single "Raise Hell and Eat Cornbread" which started the RHEC craze. Before long, Ryan had his own RHEC clothing line. Redneck Nation quickly sponsored the clothing line and in no time RHEC merchandise became popular.

It seems everything Ryan touches turns to gold. Recently, Ryan released his hick-hop rap album "Cheatham County." The album was in the top 25 before even hitting shelves. In 2016, Ryan will appear on his on comedy TV show.

YouTube: https://m.youtube.com/user/UpchurchtheRedneck

Rick Monroe

American country music artist

$28 - $45


FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 29th Single-Day Ticket includes access for 1-individual.  NO lawn chairs allowed in VIP & Party Pit Section. GA Lawn ticket holders may bring lawn chairs.

Aaron Lewis, Cody Jinks & More - Friday September 29.

GA Lawn = $28, Party Pit = $35, VIP = SOLD OUT

Check TailgateNTallboys.com & Limelighteventplex.com for all details including lineup and schedule for gate times for each individual date along with all other festival policies.


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