Music & Fireworks
Ring in the new year and rock out the old with Music City and thousands of your closest friends at Nashville’s New Year’s Eve party on Lower Broadway. Bring your party hats. Make some noise. Count down to the fireworks and midnight "Music Note Drop®"!
Hank Williams, Jr.
Though he began his career in the shadow of his legendary father, Hank Williams Jr. emerged as a formidable Country singer-songwriter in his own right with 1960s hits such as “It’s All Over But The Crying” and “Cajun Baby.” But things changed with the 1979 release of “Family Tradition,” where he broke the Nashville mainstream by adopting a rebel image and writing/recording in a style incorporating his Blues and Southern Rock influences. The results were staggering as 42 Top-10 hits followed, two CMA Entertainer of the Year honors, three ACM Entertainer of the Year honors, multiple Grammy nominations and a Grammy award for “There’s a Tear in My Beer”, a duet with his father using electronic merging technology.
As groundbreaking as Hank Williams Jr. became, it wasn’t just his performance that people took note about, but rather his songwriting that became so notable. The driven musician penned hits songs year after year scoring 20 BMI Awards. One of the arguably most-heard Country song of modern times, the four-time Emmy award-winning “Are You Ready For Some Football?,” which was heard nationally as the theme song of ABC and ESPN’s Monday Night Football telecasts, was aired for 21 years.
As the accolades kept coming, Williams sold over 55 million albums, achieving gold, platinum, and multi-platinum status along with 13 of those albums hitting the no. 1 spot on the Billboard chart. In 2008, Williams was honored with the BMI Icon award at the 56th annual BMI Country Awards, joining an elite group of past honorees including Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Dolly Parton.
"This year is going to be very special on New Year’s Eve," says Hank Williams Jr. "December 31st will mark the 60th anniversary of daddy’s death. For years, I have not performed on New Year's Eve in honor of my father, but this year is a monumental year in the history of Hank Williams. If daddy would have lived, he would have been 90 years old this year. I hope Music City is ready to boogie woogie, because Bocephus is going bring the party to Nashville."
For more than a decade the Southern Rock quintet, made up of Brit Turner (drums), Charlie Starr (vocals, guitar), Richard Turner (vocals, bass), Paul Jackson (vocals, guitar) and Brandon Still (keyboard), has created a unique mix of gospel, bluegrass, rock, soul and a touch of outlaw country. Playing up to 250 dates each year, Blackberry Smoke has toured with and befriended idols such as The Marshall Tucker Band, ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd and George Jones. They’ve toured Europe thrice over, and had their songs featured in video games (EA Sports’ NASCAR 08) and films (Swing Vote), as well. Blackberry Smoke has released three full-length albums—including 2012’s The Whippoorwill, the band’s first for country megastar Zac Brown’s Southern Ground label—two EPs and a live DVD, Live at the Georgia Theatre.
Virtuoso pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph and his longtime accompanists The Family Band first gained national attention with the release of the album Live at the Wetlands in 2002. The band followed with three studio recordings over the next eight years—Unclassified, Colorblind, and We Walk This Road—which, together with tireless touring and unforgettable performances at such festivals as Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, won them an expanding and passionate fan base. Randolph's unprecedented prowess on his instrument garnered him a spot on Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" list, and also attracted the attention of such giants as Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana, who have collaborated with him on stage and in the studio. Most recently, Randolph has attempted to amplify the tradition from which he came by executive producing the Robert Randolph Presents the Slide Brothers album, a recording which features some of the older "sacred steel" players from the House of God church who inspired him to pick up an instrument. He is also taking a bold new step by remodeling an abandoned school building in his hometown of Irvington, New Jersey and opening the Robert Randolph Music and Arts Program. Randolph’s latest album Lickety Split was released in July.
A native of the small town of Paris, Illinois, Country up-and-comer Brett Eldredge grew up listening to the likes of Ronnie Dunn, Ray Charles and Frank Sinatra. His passion for performing eventually led him to Nashville where he began writing his own songs and playing at local songwriters’ nights. He co-penned "I Think I've Had Enough" for Gary Allan and has since had the honor of writing with some of Nashville’s greats, including the legendary “Whispering” Bill Anderson. His debut single, “Raymond,” was released in 2010 and tells the gut-wrenching story of a woman suffering from Alzheimer’s. His third single, “Don’t Ya” recently hit No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart. After opening for some of the biggest names in country, including Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert, Trace Adkins and Willie Nelson, this year found Eldredge facing the biggest crowds of his lifetime thus far, opening 19 dates for Taylor Swift on “The RED Tour.” He recently received his first CMA Awards’ nomination for “New Artist of the Year” and he will celebrate another first on October 3 when he launches his first headlining tour, the “Bring You Back” Fall 2013 Tour.
Simply stated, Striking Matches, made up of Sarah Zimmermann and Justin Davis, came to Nashville to play music. Sarah, a Philadelphia native and Justin, from Atlanta, met when a professor at Belmont University paired them at random to play for a classroom full of guitar majors. The pair has been writing and performing ever since. Their influences range from Jerry Reed to the Beatles, John Mayer to Patsy Cline, and back again. It becomes more obvious every day that they were born to play music together. Their debut self-titled EP was produced by Luke Wooten (Dierks Bentley, Dustin Lynch) with all four tracks co-written by the band. The EP released October 2012 was named among iTunes "Best of 2012" and enabled the duo to score features with NPR and The Wall Street Journal. In December 2012, Striking Matches made their debut on the Grand Ole Opry where they have subsequently played more than fifteen times. The duo has had three songs featured on ABC's hit show "Nashville.” Striking Matches has shared the stage with John Hiatt, Hunter Hayes, Martina McBride, The Band Perry, The Fray, Billy Currington, Kip Moore, Ashley Monroe and many more. They were named a CMT Listen Up artist in September 2013 and became the first artist signed to the newly launched I.R.S. Records Nashville, with their debut full length effort to be released in 2014.
Kopecky Family Band
First drawn together amid a college dorm ‘pass the guitar’ session in 2007, co-founders Kelsey Kopecky and Gabe Simon quickly realized they shared something beyond their alma mater. Within months they wrangled the rest of their sonic siblings – Steven Holmes on lead guitar, David Krohn on drums, Markus Midkiff on cello, and Corey Oxendine on bass. The result is a versatile group, with bandmates often swapping instruments without a second thought, creating an emotive, adventurous and energetic environment onstage. Over the past five years there have been three EPs (Embraces, The Disaster and Of Epic Proportions) as well as a split 7” with Seattle’s Ivan & Alyosha and revelatory performances at the Next Big Nashville and SXSW festivals. 2011 saw the Family on tour with artists including Devotchka and Gomez, and year-end accolades such as Paste naming them one of the ‘25 Best Live Acts’ and ‘20 Best New Bands’ of the year. After a co-headlining tour with The Lumineers, and performances at Lollapalooza and the Austin City Limits festival, the band finally released its first full-length album, Kids Raising Kids. In 2013, the band made its major television debut with a performance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and has continued to receive accolades from various outlets, including USA Today, NPR and New York Times, which likened the group to Fleetwood Mac; “intelligent and a bit edgy, but still mainstream.”
Fireworks at Midnight
As we count down to midnight, a 15-foot-tall red music note will descend 115 feet. The midnight "Music Note Drop®" will trigger a fireworks display and major confetti cannons, welcoming 2013.
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