Sounds of the Summer: Country Thunder preview

Hannah Mason, co-editor-in-chief

This year Country Thunder will be taking place from July 23-26 in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin. Compared to other festivals, Country Thunder has a more relaxed and chill vibe. While there is a stage and sitting area, most people tend to tailgate in the field and listen to the music from a distance. I suggest country music lovers attend this festival, but it’s really a good time for anyone.


As a two-time winner of the Academy of Country Music Award’s most prestigious category, Entertainer of the Year, Luke Bryan is the headlining act that I am most excited to see. Known for hits such as, “Country Girl (Shake it for Me)” and “That’s my Kind of Night,” Bryan integrates rock and classic country to form a more modern sound. His latest hits consist of the song, “Play it Again,” from his album Crash My Party and “Games” from Spring Break… Checkin’ Out,which came out on Mar. 10 and his newst hit which came out on May 19, “Kick up the Dust”. I definitely recommend you watch his set; there is no doubt he will live up to his great entertainer status, and include some of the “booty shaking” showcased in some of his viral videos on Youtube.


Perhaps one of the newest names in country, this dynamic female duo is made up of Maddie Marlow and Taylor Dye. According to Great American Country TV’s website, the girls first got started when they were introduced through their voice coach at the age of 15. The song that drew them to fame, “Girl in a Country Song,” is a strong female anthem. It currently has 22 million views on Youtube and is the most popular song off their five-song self-titled EP. They’re known for their tight, swift harmonies and lyrics that captivate listeners with strong inspirational messages while also maintaining a catchy tune, as seen in their song “Fly”. The uniqueness of this duo will get them far in the country industry, and they’re worth seeing if you want to preview the new faces of country music.


The Swon Brothers, Zach and Colton, got their start after placing third on The Voice in 2013, and are probably one of the more well known acts to come out of that show. Zach is the lead singer of the two, with Colton supplying harmonies and guitar. Their self-titled album came out in October 2014, with their most popular songs including “What I’m Thinking About”, “Later On” and “Pray for You.” With all their experience of live singing on The Voice, I’m sure they will have a great stage presence and interact really well with the audience. An artist can lose focus on their singing when they become more popular and also have to worry about choreography. As artists who seem fairly grounded, I’m expecting them to sound really similar to the music I hear from them on the radio.


Originally named The Cadillac Black, The Cadillac Three consists of native Nashville residents Jaren Johnston, Neil Mason and Kelby Rayhave. The guys, in my opinion, represent the “bad boys” of country music. The sound is more of a hard rock fused with folk, as seen in their most popular songs, “I’m Southern” and “Party Like You.” Their latest song just came out in April of this year and is more of a ballad entitled “White Lightning.” The contrast between their rock songs and this lighter ballad is enormous, but I liked hearing the variety of forms of music they produce. If you’re looking for a group outside the country genre norm, these guys will do that for you.