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Job category: Weekly Poll
Which national act are you excited to see at the Hoedown?

43% Terri Clark
5% Tracy Byrd
38% Clay Walker
14% Sammy Kershaw


Everything at the 'Gone Country' booth at the Hoedown. Print out this page for your savings.

Valid only on Sunday 5/21/06.



You could win tickets to see "Escanaba In Love" by Jeff Daniels at Detroit's Gem Theatre!!

<< Entertainment >>

Detroit's Downtown Hoedown

Click for Detroit, Michigan Forecast
Click for Detroit, Michigan Forecast

* 2006 Hoedown News *

"This is the 3rd year that I've be going to the Hoedown. I love the fact that I can go onto to find out everything that is going on. I live in Battle Creek so this is my way of keeping in touch." -Gary L. Boylan [ Canton, OH ]

WYCD Roadhouse / VIP Area

Courtesy of

The WYCD Roadhouse will cost $25 per day and will have a "Country Bar" feel with a VIP section of seating on the side of the main stage, specialty food and private bar and bathroom, pool tables, dart boards, a VIP patio with a river view and outdoor seating and local music throughout the weekend. The local talent includes: Sarah Lenore, Tony Phillips, The Orbitsuns, Dani Marine, The Hummingbirds, Jen Cass, Hunter Brucks, Company of Strangers, Horse Cave Trio, and Annie Capps. By purchasing a ticket to the WYCD Roadhouse, you'll also have a chance to meet many of the artists performing at this year's Hoedown.

Tickets are $25 and will go on sale Friday 5/5 at

New Artist Spotlight: Trent Tomlinson


by Gary Voorhies
© 2006 CMA Close Up News Service



Trent Tomlinson has demonstrated tenacity pursuing his dream to be a Country singer. He continued pushing despite his father's misgivings about the music industry and after several songwriting deals went sour.

Tomlinson grew up in Kennett, Mo., the son of a former college basketball star plus, the local high school basketball coach and biology teacher. His father groomed him to become a basketball star, but at 6 foot 2 inches tall, Tomlinson felt that was out of reach.

He was more drawn to music and found a place for himself with other young, local musicians.

Before long he was sneaking out to play music in the bars in his home town. In his junior year of high school he appeared on The Nashville Network talent show "You Can Be A Star," eventually losing the Grand Championship by less than a point.

After a short stint in college, Tomlinson moved to Nashville, and wrote songs recorded by Blue County, Emerson Drive and Sara Evans among others.

He landed several publishing deals, which gave him ample time in the studio to produce demos and find his sound, but each deal dissolved when the companies had business woes.

When he landed at the Cal IV Entertainment music publishing company, he began to come into his own and was soon signed to Lyric Street Records. Tomlinson co-produced his March 7 debut album, Country Is My Rock, with HillBilly and Leigh Reynolds. He wrote or co-wrote all eleven tracks on the CD, including the debut single, "Drunker Than Me," penned with Ashe Underwood.

Today, even his father is among Tomlinson's supporters. "At one time he thought it was all a pipe dream," Tomlinson said. "Now he's calling with song ideas."


Who is your musical hero? "Merle Haggard."

What CD is on your stereo?
"Waylon Jennings' Honky Tonk Heroes."

What do you sing in the shower?
"Just about anything. Actually, I do a lot of songwriting in the shower, coming up with lyrics and song ideas."

What is your pet peeve? "Traffic."

Which mode of transportation do you prefer - planes, trains or automobiles? "Cars, especially my four wheel-drive Chevy pickup."

On the Web:

New Artist Spotlight: Danielle Peck


by Edward Morris
© 2006 CMA Close Up News Service



When Danielle Peck likes a song, she sticks with it. Her parents say the first song she learned was Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues," which remains part of her live show today. Born in Jacksonville, N.C., Peck is the daughter of a U.S. Marine and spent her formative years in Coshocton, Ohio. Her mother's side of the family traveled and sang in churches. Her father's family played Country Music at local dances.

With music all around her, it's no surprise that Peck sat on the kitchen counter and pounded out the Cash song at 3 years old. Peck, who made labels for her own imaginary albums as a child, performed in church and joined a band at 16.

"We played weekends and hit the local summer fairs," she said. "While my friends were into sports, I was consumed with music."

When she graduated from high school, she hit the road leading her own band, working up to regional fairs and festivals. Shortly after, Peck moved to Nashville to pursue a record deal. She met a publishing executive, which led to her first publishing contract. A chance meeting with music industry executive Scott Borchetta while working as a waitress prompted a late-night singing audition. Borchetta eventually established Big Machine Records, distributed by Universal Music Group, and signed her.

Peck wrote or co-wrote seven of the tracks on her self-titled debut album, which carries production credits by Byron Gallimore, Tommy Lee James and Jeremy Stover. The album, which was released as a digital download on March 14, is set for release in stores June 6 and includes the leadoff single, "I Don't," which Peck penned with Burton Collins and Clay Mills. Peck is the opening act for Toby Keith on his "Big Throwdown II" tour, which kicked off in January.


Which song would you secretly like to cover?
"'I'll Stand by You' written by Chrissie Hynde, performed by The Pretenders."

What CD is on your stereo?
"Tammy Wynette's Greatest Hits."

What is your pet peeve?
"Slow drivers."

What moment in your life would you relive if you could?
"The first time I fell in love."

Do you have a lucky charm?
"A green amber necklace and bangle bracelet. I also make a wish at 11:11 AM and PM."


New Artist Spotlight: Rockie Lynne


by Gary Voorhies
© 2006 CMA Close Up News Service



As a seventh grader, Rockie Lynne mowed lawns in his hometown of Statesville, N.C., and saved money to buy his first guitar from JC Penney.

He bought his first record player at a yard sale, along with Jimi Hendrix and KISS albums. Lynne stayed up late figuring out how to play the songs on those albums.

Later, he joined his high school jazz ensemble, took up songwriting and played in numerous club bands.

"They wanted us to play cover songs, but we played my songs," Lynne said. "We would get fired and a few weeks later and I would book us at the same place under a different name and some other band's photo."

After high school and a stint in the Army, Lynne moved west and enrolled in the Guitar Institute of Technology in Los Angeles. He studied, learned and eventually moved on to Myrtle Beach, S.C., where he worked as guitar player and bandleader for a local entertainer. Before long, he was in Nashville playing for acts including Noel Haggard, The McCarter Sisters and B.B. Watson.

The desire to perform his own songs led him out on the road playing clubs. He settled in Coon Rapids, a river town near Minneapolis.

A Warner Bros. Records executive was dining at an area tavern and heard Lynne playing. The executive asked for some music to play for other executives including a Universal Records Vice President who signed him. He worked with Universal South Records' Senior Partners Tony Brown and Tim DuBois. Brown and Blake Chancey co-produced the self-titled debut album, set for release May 2. Lynne co-wrote the debut single, "Lipstick," along with 11 other cuts on the album.


Who is your musical hero?
"Tony Brown. He's the reason I moved to Nashville. When I first heard Steve Earle's early records, Nanci Griffith's early records and Wynonna's first solo record, I was floored. And then when I met him, he was everything I would have expected him to be."

What is your pet peeve?
"Being late. I hate being late."

What moment in your life would you relive if you could?
"The birth of my daughters."

Which mode of transportation do you prefer - planes, trains or automobiles? "Motorcycle."

Do you have a lucky charm? "I have a little silver bell on my motorcycle that a friend gave me. It's supposed to keep me safe while I am riding. It will stay there forever."

Who is your dream duet partner?
"James Taylor."

When they look back on your life in 50 years, what do you hope people say about you? "I hope they say, 'He could really play.'"

What do you sing in the shower?
"I don't usually sing in the shower. I was in the Army so my showers are only 90 seconds long. I'd only get a verse and chorus out before it is over."

What word or phrase do you find yourself saying over and over again?
"Crazy good."

What actor would portray you in a biopic about your life?
"Viggo Mortensen or Liam Neeson."

What song do you wish you had written?
"Fire and Rain."

Which song would you secretly like to cover?
"'Only Women Bleed' by Alice Cooper."

What CDs are on your IPOD?
"Del Castillo, Alison Krauss & Union Station and Buddy Miller."

What book is on your nightstand?
"I am reading the Jimi Hendrix bio (Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix), written by Charles Cross."

On the Web:

LISTEN: Our exclusive interview with Rockie Lynne!


Downtown Hoedown Gets a New Producer

By Jason Rzucidlo



Since 1997, Watts Up Inc. out of Plymouth, MI has been the producer of the Hoedown. This year, their contract ran out and a new one was signed with Wasserman Media Group. They are a Los Angeles-based sports and entertainment powerhouse.

99.5 WYCD will remain as the official radio station of the Hoedown. This will be the 24th annual Downtown Hoedown for Detroit. Next year will celebrate the 25th anniversary. The Hoedown is the world's largest FREE country music festival. It is the first riverfront festival hosted at Hart Plaza annually during the third weekend in May.

With the old contract with Watts Up Inc., the City of Detroit paid $200,000 each year for the entertainment and the marketing costs. Then, the money was repaid to the city of Detroit after the event was concluded plus 50% of all profits. Since the city of Detroit is cutting back on it's budget, a new producer had to be found.

Wasserman Media Group has been in business for nine years. They are partnered with NASCAR and international soccer. WMG is going to pay all the up front costs instead of charging the city and then repaying later. The Hoedown is one of the biggest fundraisers for the city of Detroit each year.


New Artist Spotlight: Jamey Johnson


by Gary Voorhies
© 2006 CMA Close Up News Service



Jamey Johnson moved to Nashville on Jan. 1, 2000.

"That was the day that everything was supposed to stop and I decided if the world is going to come crashing down, then I'm going to Nashville to write and sing about it," Johnson said.

Born and raised just outside of Montgomery, Ala., Johnson grew up loving and playing Country Music. At 10, he started playing guitar and after high school, a little college and an eight-year stint in the Marine Corps Reserve, Johnson felt he was ready to pursue his Country Music dreams. The dawn of a new millennium was reason enough to make a change.

He worked as a salesman for a sign company and in construction while he began to find his way around the music industry. Eventually, Johnson played writers nights at clubs and landed work as a demo singer. Among the first professional demo jobs was recording a duet with Gretchen Wilson.

He wrote "The Dollar," while splitting time between construction and music. Johnson had spent a few months in the Mobile, Ala., area helping to repair the damage caused by Hurricane Ivan and wondered how to explain to his daughter why adults have to go to work so much. The result was the song about a child who empties a piggy bank to buy a little time with his father.

The song became the album title track and debut single for Johnson when he signed to BNA Records. He wrote or co-wrote 11 of the songs on The Dollar, produced by Buddy Cannon and released Jan. 31. Country Music Hall of Fame member George Jones sings with Johnson on, "Keepin' Up With The Jonesin'."

Johnson, who includes Alabama, Vern Gosdin and both Hanks among his musical influences, is the co-writer of the Trace Adkins hit "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk."


What CD is on your stereo right now? "The CD player in my truck doesn't work, but if it did, I would probably be playing Waylon Jennings' Dreaming My Dreams."

What do you sing in the shower? "Nothing. I'm not a morning person."

What moment in your life would you relive if you could?
"The birth of my daughter. What a miraculous experience!"
When they look back on your life in 50 years, what do you hope people say about you? "Look! He's still breathing!"

What book is on your nightstand? 1) "The Facts of Life: and Other Dirty Jokes, written by Willie Nelson." 2) "The Bible, written by God and a few divinely inspired humans."

Which mode of transportation do you prefer - planes, trains or automobiles? "I really love riding on the bus. There's just something relaxing about it."

On the Web:

"The entertainment updates sure help to know what is new in the Country and Western Music world." -Nancy Howe [ Rodney, Ontario, Canada ]

Win Toby Keith's "Pull My Chain" album

This album, released in 2001, includes "I'm Talkin' About Tonight," "I Wanna Talk About Me" & "My List." Courtesy of Universal Music.

Win Toby Keith "How Do You Like Me Now?"

This album, released in 1999, features "Country Comes To Town," "You Shouldn't Kiss Me Like This" & title track "How Do You Like Me Now?" Courtesy of Universal Music.

Win a copy of The Wrenfields "Seconds"

Hometown Band The Wrenfields performed at the Hoedown on Friday afternoon. They've won six Detroit Music Awards and you can win their latest album!!


Return to the Downtown Hoedown section.

Detroit's Downtown Hoedown is known as the World's Largest Free Country Concert. The event is held each year at Hart Plaza along Detroit's Beautiful Riverfront bordering Windsor, Ontario. It is a three-day event featuring music, dancing and fun for all ages. The music portion is filled with local bands, newcomers and established artists.



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