Cowboy up on Friday night for “Country Night” under the tent.
Friday, July 29 features two of the region’s most popular Country performers: Kris Hitchcock and Gunnar & The Grizzly Boys. Kris Hitchcock opens the show at 7 p.m. with ear-grabbing music that mixes elements of traditional country, folk, pop, and rock. At 9 p.m., Gunnar and the Grizzly Boys headline the Sounds & Sights Festival stage for their first time. The country band emerged from the Michigan music scene with a young beat, honest storytelling and wide range of musical influences from classic country to Detroit rock to 90s punk.
When ASCAP singer/songwriter Kris Hitchcock set out to write his first nationally released album this year, he had four years of 200+ shows a year and thousands of miles of road to draw from. The hardest working independent artist in the midwest was able to put all those miles and hours behind the wheel to good use in the writing of “American Fire”, released in November of 2013. The album is filled with hard won memories, stories, and rock coated country music straight from America’s heartland. With a young voice that already holds the maturity and grit of a seasoned rocker, and a pen that knows how to connect to listeners of all ages and backgrounds, Kris is a rising star in the writing and performing world. Joining with Nashville producer Aaron Eshuis, this album explodes out of the speakers. Even at his young age, you can hear the true-life, lived out experiences that Kris writes about.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of Sounds and Sights this year. As a young performer and songwriter I was able to be involved in the past, and I feel like the event is such a great benefit to the community there, a community that supported me and allowed me to develop into the artist I am today. Now I get to return as an event headliner and share my music and stories with a whole new group of people. It’s truly awesome to come up from Nashville to play for such an outstanding community.”– kris
Gunnar & The Grizzly Boys (GGB) have fashioned a style that leader Gunnar Nyblad describes as, “Country music with a Michigan root.
In other words, GGB’s country rocks! With a young beat and a driving force, the honest storytelling grabs your attention while the music makes you smile. The energy of a live Grizzly Boys show explodes into the audience like a dose of adrenalin.
Gunnar, who still farms the family apple and fruit orchards he’s been working all his life, is the conductor and lyrical leader of this band of Michiganders who came together during stages of his young life. While attending Michigan State University for an agricultural degree, Gunnar introduced his childhood friend, bass player Rob Mason (Kent City, MI) to his college buddies, lead guitarist Shane Grehan (Alpena, MI); guitarist/keyboardist Chris Newberg (Rockford, MI); and drummer Joe Connolly (Rochester Hills, MI). more…