NASHVILLE – Nashville-based pop singer-songwriter Ben Rector has joined the lineup for Let Freedom Sing! Music City July 4th presented by Dr Pepper, the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp announced today. Rector joins a multi-genre lineup that includes Country Music superstar Brad Paisley, who is headlining.
The downtown event will present one of the country’s largest July 4th fireworks show, which will be synchronized to live music from the GRAMMY-winning Nashville Symphony, and the Amazon Family Fun Zone will include inflatables and live music. The concert and fireworks show are free and open to the public.
Paisley, a three-time GRAMMY-winner, and Rector will be joined on the Jack Daniel’s Broadway Stage by The War And Treaty, singer-songwriter Langhorne Slim and rising Country artist Tiera Kennedy, who will also perform the national anthem. This is the second time Paisley will headline Let Freedom Sing! with his last appearance in 2021. Performances at the Amazon Family Fun Zone will include The Magi, Tommy Howell, Les Kerr & The Bayou Band and Troubadour Blue, and Coach (DJ) will entertain between sets.
Rector has released seven studio albums. His records have topped numerous Billboard charts, with his last two records landing at #1 on Billboard’s US Folk and #2 on Billboard’s US Rock and US Indie charts.
The Amazon Family Fun Zone at Music City Walk of Fame Park will be open on Tuesday, July 4 from noon to 5 p.m. The Jack Daniel’s Broadway Stage will be located at First and Broadway with the concert starting at 4 p.m. After the concert, the event will shift to Ascend Amphitheater for the live performance by the Nashville Symphony and the fireworks show. Media personality Kelly Sutton will host both stages, Operation Song will provide a song and DJ Dave Audé will entertain between sets.
The event is partnering with The Store, a free-referral based grocery store, which aims to empower low-income individuals and families in the Nashville area, founded by Paisley and his wife, Kimberly Williams-Paisley. The NCVC will donate $1 from the sale of each event t-shirt to The Store.
Let Freedom Sing! Music City July 4th presented by Dr Pepper is produced by Music City Inc., the foundation of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp, for the city of Nashville. The free, family-friendly event was created to entertain Nashvillians and attract visitors to generate economic activity and tax revenue for the city. The event has regularly drawn more than 200,000 attendees – and a record-breaking 350,000 in 2021. Last year, Let Freedom Sing! generated $11 million in estimated direct visitor spending and an estimated 250,000 to 300,000 in attendance. This will be the 20th annual celebration produced by Music City Inc. through the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp and the 39th in the city.
Let Freedom Sing! Music City July 4th is presented by Dr Pepper and partners include Advance Financial, Amazon, Budweiser, Central BBQ, Crav’n Flavor, Dr Pepper Strawberries & Cream, Folds of Honor Tennessee, General Jackson Showboat, Jack Daniel’s, Kroger, Nashville International Airport, ORCA (Outdoor Recreation Company of America), Pure Kick, SoundWaves™ at Gaylord Opryland®, Tennessee Highway Safety Office: Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk and Wyler’s Light.
Fifteen years after starting his career writing songs and touring in his Honda Accord on the weekends, Ben Rector found himself at home and at the piano in March 2020. The alchemy of life’s big questions, more downtime than he’d had in a decade, and those now all-too-familiar “unprecedented times” resulted in his career album: The Joy of Music. The project includes a breathtaking short film (featuring seven songs brought to life with stunning cinematography), inviting listeners and viewers to visit a dream world that communicates Rector’s creative process and his reckoning with his job as an artist. He is led through the film’s chapters by his new friend Joy, a muppet monster he created with Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. In this fantastic and dream-like landscape we see and hear Rector overcome a deep-seated fear of failure, dancing and singing his way through the journey of rediscovering the joy of music. Rector has amassed over a billion streams across all platforms, has performed on numerous late night and morning TV shows including Conan, The Today Show, Jimmy Kimmel, Live With Kelly And Ryan, The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and as a celebrity mentor on American Idol alongside Ryan Tedder, Jewel, Brian McKnight, Jason Aldean and more. His records have topped numerous Billboard charts, with his last two records landing at #1 on Billboard’s US Folk and #2 on Billboard’s US Rock and US Indie charts. Rector has built a dedicated touring base, regularly selling out theaters and amphitheaters across the country, including three consecutive nights at the legendary Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. benrectormusic.com
Brad Paisley has earned his place in Country music history as one of the genre’s most talented and decorated male solo artists. For more than 20 years, his songwriting and unmatched showmanship have won him numerous awards, including three GRAMMYs, two American Music Awards, 15 Academy of Country Music Awards, and 14 Country Music Association Awards including a highly coveted Entertainer of the Year honor and recognition as the most successful CMA Award co-host in history, alongside Carrie Underwood, for 11 consecutive years. A member of the Grand Ole Opry since 2001, Paisley has written 21 of his 25 No. 1 hits, and in 2008 became the first artist to achieve 10 consecutive Billboard Country Airplay No. 1 singles. The superstar’s past works have amassed nearly 5 billion career streams. It was recently announced that Paisley will release his first album with Universal Music Group Nashville later this year, titled Son of The Mountains. The first new song off the forth coming project, “Same Here,” with special appearance by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, was released on February 24 marking the first-year anniversary since the war in Ukraine began. “Same Here” was written by Brad, Lee Thomas Miller, and Taylor Goldsmith, and produced by Luke Wooten. Paisley's additional endeavors include his new “American Highway” Bourbon, his collaborations with Peyton Manning on the national Nationwide insurance ad campaigns, and his partnership with Boot Barn® to develop “Moonshine Spirit by Brad Paisley,” an exclusive line of jeans, hats, T-shirts, jewelry, belts and woven shirts. bradpaisley.com
Paisley and his wife, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, are co-founders of nonprofit organization The Store, a free-referral based grocery store, which aims to empower low-income individuals and families in the Nashville area. The Store operates with the mission of allowing people to shop for their basic needs in a way that protects dignity and fosters hope. There is no charge to those referred or to the people and agencies that send them. They may shop for food to supplement their income during times of crisis and as they work toward self-sufficiency. The Store currently works with nearly 25 referral agencies in Nashville to help families in securing food assistance while they access other support services, for a more comprehensive and wholistic approach for families in need. The Store purchases all its food, with the exception of locally grown produce and in-kind donations through licensed vendors. The Store regularly serves over 500 households weekly. thestore.org.
The War And Treaty
Founded in 2014 by the husband-and-wife duo Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Trotter, The War And Treaty have emerged as one of the most electrifying new acts in American music. With a lionhearted sonic blend – both roaring with passion and tender to the touch, they “are making soul moves that are captivating everyone who sees them,” (Hits Magazine). Earning respect, they’ve gone on to appear as top-flight collaborators and have been recognized by the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Grand Ole Opry and the Americana Music Association as “2022 Duo/Group of the Year.” With more than 100 shows last year, the duo have dominated stages across the globe including North America, Europe, Italy, Australia, and Ireland, while headlining their own shows and opening for a diverse group of living legends: Al Green, Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell, John Legend, Lauren Daigle and Van Morrison among them. As they have created vastly diverse tour opportunities across multiple genres, The War And Treaty will join Chris Stapleton on the All American Road Show Tour this summer. thewarandtreaty.com.
Born Sean Scolnick in 1980, Langhorne Slim took part of his artistic moniker from his hometown of Langhorne, PA, a place he’s still very much connected to despite making his home in Nashville. Since the advent of COVID-19, he has been traveling back to Pennsylvania once a month to see his mother and grandmother, and, like many Americans, finding strength in his origins and family bonds. The title of his newest album, Strawberry Mansion, refers to the neighborhood in Philadelphia where both of his grandfathers grew up, a place he calls “dirty but sweet, tough but full of love, where giants roamed the earth and had names like Whistle and Curly.” That idea of a mythical wonderland informs the new album from head to toe. Strawberry Mansion is not so much about nostalgia for the past as it is about the possibility of better days ahead in this world. The songs are a reminder that everyone is part of a collective “Mighty Soul” united in one journey. Strawberry Mansion is the singer-songwriter’s seventh full-length album. He released his first record, Electric Love Letter, in 2004. Since then he appeared at Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Newport Folk Festival, and the Conan O’Brien show, winning fans over with his heart-on-a-sleeve sincerity and rousing live shows. langhorneslimmusic.com
Rising artist Tiera Kennedy is emerging as one of the most exciting voices in the format – injecting Country music with a breath of vitality. The flagship artist on Nicolle Galyon’s groundbreaking Songs & Daughters Publishing finds herself as a voice for young women everywhere. Lighting a fire with her independently released self-titled EP, Nashville Scene cited the Alabama native as “the total package” and “a writer who has learned how to write for their own voice at a young age,” while American Songwriter concurs, hailing her as “one of Nashville’s most promising young singer/songwriters” and TEEN VOGUE raved about her “pure, catchy upbeat country story-telling.” Giving fans a taste of where her music was headed with an initial demo of her debut single “Found It In You” – inspired by her relationship with her husband and creative director Kamren Kennedy – Tiera Kennedy and her co-writer/producer Cameron Bedell had Dann Huff join them for the final take of the song, available now via The Valory Music Co. The songwriter who found her muse outside Muscle Shoals, AL distills all the whirling joyousness of nightfall in the towns of her home state with new song “Alabama Nights,” while also sprinkling some Christmas magic with her first pair of holiday releases “Blue Christmas” and “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.” Landing on several of 2022’s most impressive Artist to Watch Lists, including CMT’s Listen Up, MusicRow’s Next Big Thing and Pandora’s Country Artist to Watch, Tiera Kennedy recently opened for Kelsea Ballerini at the 2023 College Football Playoff National Championship Tailgate in Los Angeles. Tiera provided direct support for Danielle Bradbery’s A SPECIAL PLACE TOUR and performed at Stagecoach in April. As the host of Apple Music Country’s The Tiera Show, Tiera Kennedy puts her stamp on Country music daily. TieraMusic.com
After over a decade of industry success individually, Damien Horne (The Farm), Kenny Carter (Waterdeep, Trump Dawgs) and David “DJ” Lee (Scratch Track) have merged their talents as artists, songwriters, and producers to form The Magi. With performances spanning from arenas and festivals to night club, and churches, they have joined forces to bring a positive and encouraging musical experience to uplift souls and inspire a wide variety of audiences. By mixing bass grooves, beatboxing, acoustic guitar, and soul-felt vocals, The Magi has created an organic sound that is unique and specifically their own believing wholeheartedly that they did not choose but were chosen for such a time as this. damienhorne.com/the-magi
Take a foundation rooted in rural, rodeo, and dusty roads and add 40 dynamic years as an actor, writer and producer in Hollywood, then bring everything to a sudden stop with a global pandemic. That sparked the return-to-roots of Tommy “C. Thomas” Howell. And it’s how the lifelong creative found himself working with some of Nashville’s elite musicians (Zachariah Malachi and Sweepy Walker) and famed producer Dean Miller, son of country music legend Roger Miller, to connect his rich, unfolding journey through personal stories and all-original music. The artist who gave life to one of film’s most legendary characters (“Ponyboy” from The Outsiders) has created a sound that meets Texas thunder-heart with mountain-music soul. His debut LP, “American Storyteller” released February 3, 2023. In between filming, Tommy performs riveting concerts combining storytelling and music. He is launching “Backstage with Tommy Howell and Friends” at the City Winery Nashville, a 24-week, 48-show residency running from May to November. Hollywood’s biggest stars, including Charlie Sheen, Adam Carolla, the Cobra Kai cast and more, are booked to appear. tommyhowellmusic.com
Les Kerr & The Bayou Band
Les Kerr & The Bayou Band offer an upbeat, original combination of music they call “Hillbilly Blues Caribbean Rock & Roll.” Bandleader Les Kerr is a songwriter, guitarist and vocalist and former Gulf Coast resident who is a well-established part of Nashville’s music scene. Les Kerr & The Bayou Band have hosted annual Mardi Gras concerts at Nashville’s famed Bluebird Cafe since 1992 and have performed at festivals and events including Nashville’s July 4th, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series (formerly Country Music Marathon), Southern Festival of Books, Red Caboose Park concert series, Jefferson Street Jazz and Blues Festival and Southern Living Magazine’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. Additionally, the band was chosen to perform at Music City Walk of Fame Park in celebration of the Nashville Predators’ run for the Stanley Cup. Les has recorded eleven albums and will release another collection in late 2023. Les Kerr & the Bayou Band were featured in the TV documentary Civil War Songs and Stories broadcast on PBS stations across the United States. A three-time nominee for Music City Blues Society awards, Les has been nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year, CD of the Year and Entertainer of the Year awards. The original Mackinac Blues, a Bayou Band favorite, was included in National Public Radio’s All Songs Considered. In addition to Mackinac Blues and other original songs he has released as a recording artist, Les’ songs have been performed by world music artists, folk performers, bluegrass bands and even the Count Basie Orchestra. leskerr.com
Troubadour Blue blends evocative songwriting and compelling musical arrangements, daring you not to feel something when listening to their melodies. Formed by a trio of musicians based in Nashville, Troubadour Blue’s members include Daniel Kim Ethridge and siblings Brenna and Eli Wheeler. Through the various instrumental combinations by the multi-instrumentalists and three-part harmonies, the band transports listeners into the stories of their songs. Troubadour Blue is set to release their studio album in the fall of 2023 with collaboration from Tammy Rogers King of the GRAMMY-winning Bluegrass band, The Steeldrivers, as producer and Mitch Furr as engineer. troubadourblue.com
The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp
The mission of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp and Visit Music City is to maximize the economic contribution of the convention and tourism industry to the community by developing and marketing Nashville as a premier destination. Visit the NCVC’s website at www.visitmusiccity.com and follow us on social media: