DETROIT (CBS Detroit) — If you live in Detroit, chances are that you won’t have to go very far to hear some quality, local country music.
In a weekend lineup which included staples Big & Rich, The Band Perry and Dierks Bentley, WYDC program director Tim Roberts said that some local Detroit talent was ready to shine through and be noticed.
“We have a couple of bands from Michigan that are already on pace to becoming big stars,” Roberts said. “Jana Kramer — who had a top-10 record last year — is from right here in Rochester Hills. We’ve got Frankie Ballard from Battle Creek. There’s Gunnar and the Grizzly Boys — they’re on Average Joes Entertainment, so the word is spreading and we’re getting noticed.”
Gunnar Nybald, of Gunnar and the Grizzly Boys, formed the band in Kent City, Mich. and attends Michigan State University. Gunnar and the Grizzly Boys is slated to perform at the Downtown Hoedown on Sunday.
“Country music is huge — it’s the No. 1 format in America right now on the radio,” Roberts said. “It just keeps growing and every time I think it’s peaked, it just keeps getting bigger. There’s so many popular artists that cross genres — Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum and Taylor Swift — it goes on and on.”
Everyone from Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn to Johnny Cash and Brooks & Dunn have headlined the event, but Roberts said attendees should pay attention not just to the main stage, because a lot of the current hit-makers started playing on “Stage Three”.
“Rascal Flats always gives me grief because they played the third stage, which they consider to be beneath them which, at the time, when they were no one.” Roberts said. ” But, now they’re superstars and they always give me a hard time — Garth (Brooks) does the same thing. He played the third stage as well. But a lot of bands did as they were up-and-comers.”