During the summer there are all kinds of outdoor festivals and concerts going on because people want to be outside. One of the most anticipated events of the season — at least for country music fans — is the Listener Appreciation Concert hosted by local radio station KATM-FM, Kat Country 103.
This year’s concert, slated for the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds on June 1, has a blazing lineup including Chris Janson, LoCash, Jordan Davis, Cassadee Pope, duo Everette, and Dillon Carmichael.
For over 20 years, Kat Country has been bringing Northern Katafornia, as they coined it, a free concert for their loyal listeners with a great artist lineup and fun to spare as a way to show their appreciation. The planning process for the event takes about a year, expalined D.J. Walker, Kat Country Morning Host, and they always try to find artists that put on a great show.
According to Walker, the LAC began in Stockton at the Spanos Center with an attendance of about 3,000 to 5,000 people. The concert was held there for about three to four years and was graced by superstars like Toby Keith, Rascal Flats and Clay Walker.
“Nobody knew who they were at the time,” said Walker. “Now he (Toby Keith) is like one of the biggest superstars in country music. I think you get a couple headliners but a lot of people you see on the lineup you may not have heard of but it is kind of like a lucky charm for them to play the LAC.”
The concert has moved around to different venues over the years, but will be in Turlock once again for 2019.
“We decided the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds is really the best place for us to hold it because it works great there,” stated Walker. “It is an easy location for people to get to. It is a fun place to be. It is a good area for us to be in. We have done tons of shows there.”
Through the years the LAC has seen many country artists like Jon Pardi and Eric Church that were just starting out and have gone on to have huge careers.
“There was a young gal who came through here, she was just 17 years old,” stated Walker. “We took a chance at putting her on stage and singing for a few folks and her name was Taylor Swift. There is a guy that was just starting off that had a couple hits and we weren’t quite sure, you know. We threw him on stage, he wasn’t the headliner, Travis Tritt was the headliner at the time but this guy was brand new. He came out and did a couple songs, his name was Blake Shelton.”
This year, Chris Janson will be headlining the show bringing his hits like “Buy me a Boat,” “Drunk Girl,” and “Fix a Drink.” As a songwriter he has written songs for several other artists including Tim McGraw, LoCash and Randy Houser.
“A lot of people are going through stuff and I enjoy playing my part in trying to make a day better,” said Janson about his favorite part of being a country music artist.
He was also inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on March 20 2018.
He is excited to play for country music fans at the LAC and thrilled about the lineup.
American country music duo LoCash which includes Chris Lucas and Preston Brust formerly known as LoCash Cowboys will hit the LAC stage singing fan favorites like “I Know Somebody” and “I Love This Life”. They will also sing new hits from their latest album “Brothers” that was released at the end of March.
“Rhett Atkins has a bunch of stuff on this album,” the duo explained during an interview with Walker.
“The theme or feel it is called Brothers” added Brust. “Chris and I aren’t blood brothers but we feel like brothers. We wanted to share that message with everybody. Everybody needs that out there right now you know with all the drama in the world. We need each other.”
The duo was nominated for Vocal Duo of the year at the Academy of Country Music Award a few
New artist singer, songwriter, Jordan Davis has hit the country scene with a vengeance with hits like, “Singles You Up,” and “Take it from Me” that have hit number one. He is a native of Shreveport, Louisiana and has been around music since he was young. Davis and Janson are friends and have toured together previously.
Cassadee Pope recently released a new album “Stages” that she expressed is a good representation of her sound and is well rounded with songs of heartbreak and falling in love. She is known for a few singles like “Wasting All These Tears” and “Think of you,” a duet with Chris Young.
“It sort of happened by accident but I think that is why the record tells such a vivid story because life actually happened during the making of it,” Pope explained. “When I am writing I think I do go more country when it comes to storytelling just overall the structure of songs are more country. I did incorporate some pop and rock elements; I wanted to stay true to the things that I love and I am not just one thing I am a few different things.”
Pope has spent some time in the spotlight when she won the Voice Season 3 with Coach Blake Shelton.
“It was a lot of things,” added Pope about being on the show. “It was nerve-wracking, exciting. The biggest thing for me is that it taught me to go with my gut. There were a lot of songs on the show that I just really felt connected to and felt like I could tell the story for the song in a way that would get people to sort of connect with me and hopefully want to root for me. That whole process made me grow a lot.”
With the new album recently released and a few singles out on the radio like “If my heart had a heart,” and “One More Red Light” Pope hopes fans check out the album and can sing along with her when she hits the stage at the LAC.
Kat County will have ticket stops throughout the 209 area in April and May. To find a ticket stop near you, visit www.katm.com.