Athens has been called "Live Music Central," the "#1 College Music Scene," and is known as the home of R.E.M., the B-52's, Widespread Panic, and Drive by Truckers.  But, Athens has grown into far more than just an indie music haven.  

From old country acts like T. Graham Brown and southern folk's Shovels & Rope and Josh Abbott Band to rising and biggest country artists such as Chase Rice, Randy Rogers Band, David Nail, Kip Moore, and Luke Bryan, Athens, Ga. has any die hard country fan covered this fall. Bring out your cowboy boots, Levi's, and cotton dresses this fall for these musical hits that are sure to make you reminisce about that "red dirt road" with stories beginning with "Remember when..."



Country music is all about life, and that is perhaps why people love it so much. Country music has involved, and so has parts of its message, but country fans evolve with the times, embracing the new lessons these songs teach. They pull at our heartstrings, reminding us of our "friends in low places" and our "Mayberry" home "way down yonder on the Chattahoochee" as well as encouraging us to "walk the line". They teach us that we are all "wild ones" and "our lives are better left to chance, and even though we could miss the pain, we would have to miss the dance."

Country music - however you decide to define it these days - is ingrained in one's soul and all who are southern (and many of those in Athens, Ga. surely are) eat and breath that soulful sound. Country music lovers will be "old troubadors when they're gone" and are always gonna love this music "forever, forever and ever, amen."

Whether non-country folk know this or not, country music is a backbone to life for many like myself who grew listening to the classic country stars Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, Dixie Chicks, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, George Strait, and Randy Travis. Country fans have transitioned to listening to today's stars such as Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Jake Owen, Chase Rice, Kip Moore, Eric Church, David Nail and many more, but we still appreciate going back and listening to the songs that helped raise us.

Athens is in the south. Therefore, it also embraces all that is simply and sweetly southern.. including country music. Athens is everything music, and it is welcoming many country and southern musical souls this fall, so be sure to check out these music acts with your friends and family!

                  So turn it on, turn it up and sing along
                  This is real, this is your life in a song
                  Just like a road that takes you home
                  Yeah this is right where you belong
                  This is country music

                  - Brad Paisley, "This Is Country Music"

T. Graham Brown
Aug. 15th at the Classic Center Theatre
Music at 8 p.m.

When Brown arrived in Nashville from his native Athens, Ga., in 1982, he quickly found work as a studio singer making demonstration tapes. Having such a unique sound, he was quickly signed to Capitol Records. His first single release, "I Tell It Like It Used To Be," stymied country radio; it was played anyway, and it became a hit. He followed it with "Hell And High Water," "Come As You Were" and "Darlene." All became huge country hits and Brown and his incredible band, affectionately known as the Rack Of Spam, hit the road and haven't looked back since. Brown was nominated for Country Music Association Awards in 1987, 1989 and 1990 and won in 1992 for the Vocal Event of the Year with George Jones and others on "I Don't Need Your Rocking Chair." In 1998, Brown's single "Wine Into Water," not only inspired the lives of countless individuals, but went all the way to the top of the Christian Country Music Charts and was awarded the No. 1 independent music video of the year. Brown's sound defies musical boundaries, and that uniqueness has made him one of the most enduringly popular singers performing today. He has penned several hit country songs and has garnered 10 Top-10 hits, a CMA Award and a long list of national radio and television ads. He is playing at the Classic Center Theatre on August 15th and tickets are $20-$25. 

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Josh Abbott Band
Sept. 5th at the Georgia Theatre
Doors open at 8 p.m., music at 9 p.m.

Truth is, that's been pretty evident for a while now - even though the Josh Abbott Band has only been recording and touring for half a decade. Abbott didn't even begin writing songs until around 2004, when he was still in grad school at Texas Tech in Lubbock. A diehard Texas country fan, he'd picked up guitar a few years earlier, mainly to strum along to his favorite Pat Green songs. He vividly recalls the epiphany he had at a concert one night at Lubbock's Blue Light when the notion of writing and playing his own music - maybe even for a living - first took root. Josh Abbott Band is playing at the Georgia Theatre September 5th and tickets are $12. 

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Chase Rice
Sept. 17th at the Georgia Theatre
Doors open at 7:30 p.m., music at 8:30 p.m.
Singer/songwriter Chase Rice, raised on a farm in Asheville, NC, has done it all. Brought to fame by his hit "Ready, Set, Roll", Rice has been gearing up his whole life to do just that. Ready. Set. Roll. He's been the starting linebacker for the University of North Carolina; a member of a NASCAR pit crew; a touring artist who sold out strings of venues across the country without a record company, a manager or a song on the radio; and a co-writer of a record-setting, many-times multi-platinum single, Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise." There are few Nashville artists who can match Rice for his passion, energy, and overall drive to succeed. UGA Miracle presents Chase Rice this fall at the Georgia Theatre on September 17th. Tickets are $18.

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David Nail
Sept. 24th at the Georgia Theatre
Doors open at 8 p.m., music at 9 p.m.

Since his debut in 2009, David Nail has made a career of singing songs that all can relate to. Though many may be "sad songs", they surely speak truth and sincerity from hit hit singles about cheating ("Let It Rain"), breakups ("Red Light") and failed dreams ("Turning Home"). He has owned every one, singing as if from personal experience. David's ability to speak such truth of life's tales is what defines him as a relatable and down-to-earth country music artist. David Nail is playing at the Georgia Theatre on September 24th, and tickets are $20.

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Luke Bryan Farm Tour
Oct. 9th in Jefferson, Ga.
Parking opens at 2 p.m., doors open at 5 p.m., and music at 7 p.m.

And the sexy star is here again this year in Jefferson, Ga. - just a short drive away from Athens. He is sure to set hearts on fire with his latest number one singles from his fourth album Crash My Party: "Crash My Party", "That's My Kind of Night", "Drink a Beer", and "Play it Again". Guys and girls alike go crazy for this guy, as you all know, and even those who believe he's gone too mainstream and isn't consider true country anymore can't help but admit that he's a true entertainer and looks great in those blue jeans! This farm tour concert is sure to be a success as it is every year, so don't miss out! Public sale tickets go on sale August 8th for $40.

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Shovels & Rope
Oct. 10th at the Georgia Theatre
Doors open at 8 p.m., music at 9 p.m.

Shovels & Rope take the "less-is-more" approach to their work and their musical lives,keeping the theme of simplicity and soul at the forefront of each song. Mississippi-born, Nashville-bred Cary Ann Hearst and Texas-born, Colorado-raised Michael Trent forged singular paths as solo artists before connecting - both musically and personally - in Charleston, South Carolina. While they'd both had solo careers, they quickly found that both their voices - which entwine with eerie beauty in their haunting harmonies. Some of my favorites from their album O' Be Joyful include "Birmingham", "Hail Hail", "Lay Low", "O' Be Joyful", and "Cavalier". The show is at the Georgia Theatre and tickets are $17. 

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Martina McBride October 24th at the Classic Center Theatre
Music at 8 p.m.

McBride has been called the "Celine Dion of Country Music" for her big-voiced ballads and soprano range. McBride was signed to RCA Nashville in 1991, and over time, she developed a pop-styled crossover sound, similar to that of Faith Hill and Shania Twain. McBride has recorded a total of eleven studio albums, one greatest hits compilation, one "live" album, a Christmas compilation, as well as two additional compilation albums. She has sold over 14 million albums. In addition, McBride has won the Country Music Association's "Female Vocalist of the Year" award four times (tied with Reba McEntire and Miranda Lambert for the most wins) and the Academy of Country Music's "Top Female Vocalist" award three times. Some of her most famous songs include "This One's for the Girls", "How Far", "I Love You", "Valentine", "Wild Angels", "Independence Day", "Where Would You Be", and "Concrete Angel". Tickets go on sale August 8th at the Classic Center Theatre, price TBD.

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Kip Moore
Nov. 14th at The Classic Center Theatre
Event at 7 p.m.

Moore has tapped newcomers Charlie Worsham and Sam Hunt to come along for the ride in Athens. Moore's album "Up All Night" was the best-selling debut album from any solo male country artist released in 2012 and 2013, and produced three back-to-back No. 1 singles with the Platinum-selling "Somethin' 'Bout A Truck," "Beer Money" and "Hey Pretty Girl." Tickets on sale at for $32.50 for regular seating and pit standing.

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Randy Rogers Band
Nov. 21st at the Georgia Theatre
Doors open at 8 p.m., music at 9 p.m.

Rolling Stone magazine ranked this band alongside such artists as U2 and the Stones in its list of Top 10 Must-See Artists in the summer of 2007. They earned $2.5 million-a staggering total for a still-developing act-on the tour circuit in a single year. Willie Nelson, the Eagles, Gary Allan and Dierks Bentley all picked them as opening acts for their concerts. And more than 2,200 people showed up and bought the bands album at an appearance at Wherehouse Music. Randy Rogers Band is playing at the Georgia Theatre on September 21st and tickets are $15.

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