November 22, 2019

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A bad moon will rise in Dauphin

John Fogerty, Big & Rich announced as headliners for 2020 Countryfest

John Fogerty, who fronted Creedence Clearwater Revival before starting a solo career in 1973, will close out Dauphin’s Countryfest next year. (Amy Harris / The Associated Press files)

John Fogerty, who fronted Creedence Clearwater Revival before starting a solo career in 1973, will close out Dauphin’s Countryfest next year. (Amy Harris / The Associated Press files)

The snow has only just begun to stick around for this winter season, but Dauphin’s Countryfest organizers are already hoping to turn thoughts back to summer with the announcement of the July festival’s headliners for 2020.

John Fogerty, universally lauded as one of the best songwriters of all time and founder of iconic swamp rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival, will close out the festival on Sunday, July 5, as part of Countryfest’s popular Throwback Sunday series.

Fogerty, 74, has had success as both part of CCR and as a solo artist, penning such hits as Proud Mary, Down on the Corner, Centerfield, Bad Moon Rising and Fortunate Son. He’s a Grammy Award-winner, an inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame and has recorded more than 15 albums (including his work with CCR).

Honky Tonk Badonkadonk singer Trace Adkins is part of the Throwback Sunday lineup. (Sue Ogrocki / The Associated Press files)

Honky Tonk Badonkadonk singer Trace Adkins is part of the Throwback Sunday lineup. (Sue Ogrocki / The Associated Press files)

Throwback Sunday also includes Canadian country crooner Jason McCoy as host for the day, American country mainstays Joe Diffie and John Michael Montgomery, and the six-foot-six Honky Tonk Badonkadonk cowboy himself, Trace Adkins.

Opening the 31st Countryfest is Corb Lund, a Juno Award- and Canadian Country Music Association Award-winning folk-country artist from Alberta with nine records under his belt (three of which are certified gold), who will perform on the Bell MTS Stage on the evening of Thursday, July 2.

Familiar faces Dallas Smith and Dean Brody will fill the Friday headlining spot on the Club Regent Casino & Event Centre Main Stage; Smith and Brody are both Countryfest regulars and just wrapped up a co-headlining tour together, the Friends Don’t Let Friends Tour Alone tour, which rolled through Winnipeg last month. Both men also released new EPs earlier in 2019; Smith dropped theThe Fall in March while Brody released Black Sheep in April.

Also performing Friday night are the James Barker Band and 25-year-old Canadian singer Jade Eagleson, who was crowned the winner of the Boots & Hearts Emerging Artist showcase in 2017. Shortly after, he signed to Universal Music and has become a favourite of Canadian country-music radio.

Big Kenny (left) and John Rich of Big & Rich play Saturday’s mainstage. (John Locher / The Associated Press files)

Big Kenny (left) and John Rich of Big & Rich play Saturday’s mainstage. (John Locher / The Associated Press files)

The lineup on Saturday, July 4, features a mix of the old and the new. Party-starters Big & Rich will bring their country-pop catalogue to Dauphin for the second time (they previously played the festival in 2005) to headline the Saturday main stage.

The duo — made up of "Big Kenny" (Kenny Alphin) and John Rich — burst onto the country scene in 2004 with their debut record, Horse of a Different Color, which included the hit singles Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy) and 8th of November. The pair went on to release five more full-length records — the most recent of which is 2017’s Did It for the Party — and have won multiple Grammy Awards, American Music Awards, Billboard Awards and dozens of country-specific music awards.

Sharing the stage that night are the Hunter Brothers, Morgan Wallen and Chris Young.

The Hunter Brothers, a group of brothers from Saskatchewan, are two albums deep, including this year’s State of Mind, released while the band was on tour with Paul Brandt. Wallen is likely most recognizable from his time on TV reality competition The Voice, which he was on in 2014. Young also comes from a TV reality competition background; he won Nashville Star in 2006, and used the show to build a solid career, hitting No. 1 on the country charts with singles such as Tomorrow, You, and Neon.

Many more artists will be announced in the weeks and months leading up to the festival, which runs July 2-5, 2020, at the Selo Ukraina Heritage and Festival Site just south of Dauphin.

Dallas Smith returns to Dauphin for a Friday slot on the mainstage. (Kyle Darbyson / The Brandon Sun files)

Dallas Smith returns to Dauphin for a Friday slot on the mainstage. (Kyle Darbyson / The Brandon Sun files)

"We wanted the 2020 lineup to pay tribute to the best memories made at Countryfest throughout the years," said Rob Waloschuk, general manager of Dauphin’s Countryfest, in a news release.

"Come and celebrate the best of the past with the best of the future."

Tickets for Countryfest — the longest-running country music festival in the country — go on sale Nov. 18 at 9 a.m. at Countryfest.ca. Regular weekend passes are $249; day pass prices are not yet available. VIP ticket options range in price from $420-$629.

erin.lebar@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @NireRabel

Erin Lebar

Erin Lebar
Multimedia producer

Erin Lebar is a multimedia producer who spends most of her time writing music- and culture-related stories for the Arts & Life section. She also co-hosts the Winnipeg Free Press's weekly pop-culture podcast, Bury the Lede.

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