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2009 Hoedown Poll
Which artist are you looking forward to seeing at the 2009 Downtown Hoedown?

Willie Nelson
Rodney Atkins
Josh Gracin
Phil Vassar
 

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<< Entertainment >>

Detroit's Downtown Hoedown

Click for Detroit, Michigan Forecast

::: THE WORLD'S LARGEST FREE COUNTRY CONCERT :::

* REVIEW: 1.2 Million People Attended the 2009 Downtown Hoedown in Detroit *

HOEDOWN COVERAGE

PRESENTED BY:

Downtown Detroit

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Downtown Detroit

1020 Washington Blvd.
Detroit, MI 48226 U.S.A.
(313) 887-7000

PHOTO BY JIM HINDY / ©MAGAZINE OF COUNTRY MUSIC

A close-up of Willie Nelson performing at the Hoedown.

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

DETROIT -- A record crowd of 1.2 million people came to enjoy the 27th Annual Downtown Hoedown at Detroit's Hart Plaza last weekend. The weather held up for most of the weekend, except for a little on and off showers on Friday. Fans were treated to special appearances by Kid Rock and Karen Newman. Attendees received free potato chips, samples of Pepsi Max and Bob Evans food. The River Stage was moved to a new location, in the far corner of Hart Plaza near the pyramid.

With the down economy and many people out of work, there was free food being passed out at the Hoedown. It was definitely a first. There was free sweet tea samples passed out, free potato chips from Frito Lay and free samples of Pepsi Max. Bob Evans passed out free samples of its pork and beans and its pulled pork over mashed potatoes and cheese.

On Friday May 15th, it all started out with WDIV Local 4 anchor Devin Scillian with his band Arizona Son on the lower stage. Waterford, Mich.-native Stephen Cochran performed for the very first time at the Hoedown. Just a few years ago, Cochran came to the Hoedown as a spectator and this year he graced the stage. Jessica Harp performed at the Hoedown for the first time as a solo artist. She performed at the festival in 2007 as part of The Wreckers, a duo that was also featured Michelle Branch. The crowd went wild when she sang her current hit "Boy Like Me".

Jack Ingram entertained the crowd at the Hoedown for the second time. His last performance there was in 2006. Luke Bryan performed for his second time at the Hoedown -- his last was in 2007. Hollywood actor turned country music singer Kevin Costner performed for the very first time with his band Modern West. Rodney Atkins closed out the first day of the Hoedown on Friday night. It marked the fourth Hoedown performance for Atkins, who also came in 1998, 2004 and 2006.

On Saturday May 16th, it all began with Bomshel on the lower stage. This was the first year that Kelley Shepard performed as part of the duo. Shepard performed at the festival as a solo artist in 2007. New country group The Eli Young Band performed next with their hit "Always the Love Songs". Next was last-minute addition Trent Tomlinson, who was a replacement for Adam Gregory, who canceled. Then it was Lee Ann Womack on the upper stage. We received some emails from people who said Womack performed a very short list of songs. One person who attended the festival said that Womack failed to sing her hit "I Hope You Dance".

Darryl Worley came to the Hoedown with a bandage on his head. Apparently, the day before he sang at a concert in Montana where a gust of wind sent a road cast flying across the stage. The road cast hit his mic stand and then it fell on Worley's head. However, he came to the Hoedown and performed anyway. He even took out extra time to meet the fans and pose for a picture. Local favorite Karen Newman came to the Hoedown to perform the national anthem and her new single "How Far We've Come".

Hometown favorite Josh Gracin performed at the Hoedown for the fourth year in a row. We should just call it the Josh Gracin festival. He started his set by singing in the middle of the audience. Gracin loves to get the audience on its feet. He went into the crowd to perform three of his songs. Many fans got great shots as he appeared right next to them. Phil Vassar closed out Saturday night at the Hoedown. He is always very full of energy. One minute he's singing and playing the piano. The next minute he's standing on top of the piano.

On Sunday May 17th, it all began with new country singer Justin Moore. He performed his new song "Small Town USA". Next up was Whitney Duncan, who was a finalist in the 2007 edition of Nashville Star. Trailer Choir made its first appearance at the Hoedown. The new country group really got the crowd on its feet. They sang their hit "Off the Hillbilly Hook". Jessica Andrews returned to the Hoedown for her second time -- her first was in 2003. Jason Michael Carroll performed at the Hoedown for his third year in a row. He performed his new single "Where I'm From".

Next up was new country group The Zac Brown Band. The band spent the day seeing two games -- the Detroit Tigers and then the Detroit Red Wings before coming to Hart Plaza to perform. It was the largest concert that ZBB has ever played for. The crowd was on their feet when they sang their number one hit "Chicken Fried". Then, Kid Rock came out to sing a version of "All Summer Long". People went crazy when they realized it was him. Kid Rock said that Zac Brown Band's new album The Foundation is "one of the best CDs I've heard in the last 10 years."

It all ended with the legendary Willie Nelson. It took him a while to get on stage -- about 20 minutes after he was introduced by the radio crew. However, fans waited until he came out. His first song was "Whiskey River". Hard to believe but it was Nelson's first time to perform at the Hoedown. Zac Brown came on stage to sing a song with the country legend. Then, a few minutes later, Detroit's own Kid Rock came on stage to sing with Nelson.

This year, the River Stage was moved from the center of Hart Plaza near the fountain to the corner of the Hart Plaza near the pyramid. I think it worked out better because people were not as crowded in the center of the festival.

We hope you'll join us for the 28th Annual Downtown Hoedown in 2010...

 

PHOTO BY JIM HINDY / ©MAGAZINE OF COUNTRY MUSIC

A close-up of Phil Vassar performing at the Hoedown.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

A close-up of Jessica Harp performing at the Hoedown.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Trailer Choir performs for the very first time at the Hoedown.

 

Win a copy of the new album by the Zac Brown Band "The Foundation", courtesy of Atlantic Records

AmericaJR.com has teamed up with Atlantic Records to give you the chance to win a copy of "The Foundation" by the Zac Brown Band. Their album, The Foundation, was released under Atlantic Records under their country division in association with Home Grown/Big Picture label on November 18, 2008. The group had been previously signed with Live Nation Artists Records."Chicken Fried" reached Number One on the country charts in November 2008.

Win a copy of the new album by Rascal Flatts, "Unstoppable", courtesy of Lyric Street Records

AmericaJR.com has teamed up with Lyric Street Records to give you the chance to win a copy of "Unstoppable" by Rascal Flatts. Rascal Flatts released the first single "Here Comes Goodbye" from their album, Unstoppable, to radio on January 20, and the album was released on April 7, 2009. The song was co-written by American Idol season 6 finalist Chris Sligh. Rascal Flatts has won the ACM Top Vocal Group award every year from 2002 through 2009. The group has also won the CMA Top Vocal Group award every year from 2003 through 2008.

Win an autographed copy of Billy Ray Cyrus's new album "Back to Tennessee", courtesy of Lyric Street Records

AmericaJR.com has teamed up with Lyric Street Records to give you the chance to win an autographed copy of Billy Ray Cyrus's new album "Back to Tennessee". Back To Tennessee is much more than just another album in one man's remarkable and enduring career. This is an extremely meaningful homecoming in that man's singular journey back to the musical roots that have long sustained him. "This album is everything I am at this second," says Cyrus.

Win an AmericaJR.com T-Shirt Autographed by Five of Country Music's Hottest Stars

During our coverage of recent concerts, we've asked the artists that we've interviewed to autograph this shirt for you! It's an AmericaJR.com Exclusive contest.One lucky winner will receive this t-shirt, which includes our logo and autographs by Hoedown artists Stephen Cochran, Trailer Choir, Jason Michael Carroll and fellow country stars Wild Honey and Holly Williams. It is the most comfortable t-shirt ever! Over 100% cotton, Hanes Authentic Tagless T-Shirt is preshrunk, durable and guaranteed. 6.1 oz. 100% cotton; Standard Fit.

Win a copy of Taylor Swift's new album "Fearless", courtesy of Big Machine Records

AmericaJR.com has teamed up with Big Machine Records to give you the chance to win a copy of Taylor Swift's new album "Fearless". Swift's latest studio album, Fearless, was released in the United States on November 11, 2008. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart. Its sales of 592,304 was the highest debut of any country artists in 2008.

 

* Win a Free AmericaJR T-Shirt and Wear it to the Hoedown *

 

 

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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