Can you remember it? Kacey Musgraves channeling Mary Poppins, boots in the air waving at Eric Church and, of course, Chris Stapleton silencing an auditorium of thousands… For me (CJ), it’s going to be hard to top the highlights of the last Country to Country Festival and I’m finding it impossible to stop second-guessing the lineup ahead of the impending announcement.
So, here goes, my zero-inside-knowledge predictions (or wishes). It’s a bit like playing fantasy football with country singers. If I get more than 50% right, I reckon co-blogger Judi has to pay for my C2C ticket.
1 & 2. Tim McGraw AND Faith Hill
Tim played the festival (minus the Mrs) back in 2013 so he already knows how friendly / grateful / desperate we are. Here’s hoping their joint Soul 2 Soul tour will cross the water.
3. Kenny Chesney
I’ve guessed him before and been wrong but, for the great range he’d bring, from the party (American Kids) to the poignant (You and Tequila), I thought I’d try again. Even though we don’t have much of a beach to tempt him with.
4. Tanya Tucker
As much as my iPod is crammed with country’s newbies, I have revered those C2C moments when a classic takes the stage. So with a new album on the way perhaps Tanya’s next to join C2C alumni like Vince Gill and Dwight Yoakam. That way, the next time Redneck Woman is played I’ll be able to truthfully sing along to “I know all the words to every Tanya Tucker song”.
5. Jake Owen
He’s currently going around the states on his Love Bus (really!) but I like to imagine Dierks Bentley got home from here and told him how great the UK fans are. In the same daydream I was also in the room hanging out, eating pancakes and inspiring his next album, but it’s possible, right? If not Jake, then Chris Young would help us cope with the loss. Actually make it both.
6. Margo Price
Big things are tipped for this tiny reincarnation of Loretta Lynn. She’s been making a stir and would fit with the C2C trend of introducing new acts who are more traditional in style, like Andrew Combs last year.
7. George Strait (A long shot, I know)
The official King of Country has been named Billboards all time greatest country artist. Who better to bridge the growing gap between new & traditional country fans? It’s highly unlikely as George is apparently hosting his annual rodeo (of course!) on the C2C dates but maybe, if I just cross my fingers hard enough…
8. The Shires
Is there a rule about only US acts being allowed on the main stage? Hopefully not. They’ve been earning their stripes since the first C2C, graduating to a bigger stage every time so surely only the arena is left for them.
Just because I think she should.
10.Chase Rice OR Lee Brice
Because Chase has a song that says “somewhere between Jack Daniels and Jesus” which, apart from being one of the most ‘country’ song titles in years, is also helpfully where I can usually find Judi. Obviously he and Lee Brice aren’t interchangeable but it’s the baseball cap club… If not then Billy Currington perhaps.
*And for bonus points…
Keith Urban – he’s doing an Australia tour, so may as well stop everywhere else in the world on his way back to the states. Then Yola Carter on the satellite stage (I may have mentioned her once or twice).
Your guess is as good as mine. Who are you expecting / wishing for in March next year?
By @CheryTwee for @UKCountryBlog
[Photos courtesy the artists’ official pages / instagram feeds. We’re not yet that up close and personal, plus I keep forgetting to bring my camera to gigs anyway…]