By Christy Strawser, CBS Detroit
Oversized cowboy hats came in handy when after an all-day tease, the rain started to fall for real at WYCD’s Downtown Hoedown midway through the Friday night line-up. Some country fans moved inside Comerica Park to hear the acts on the third stage, others braved the downpour, donning ponchos to hear their favorite country stars on the main outdoor stage.
But there was a third option: Grabbing friends and dancing full-out in the rain.
In fact, Drake White changed the lyrics at the end of “Simple Life” to say, “I like dancing in the rain” — as the wet and happy –and dancing — crowd cheered. See all the photos HERE.
Show opener Charlie Worsham predicted he was kicking off what will turn out to be a fantastic year for Hoedown, despite the rain.
“I know we’re just getting started for a great night and a great weekend,” Worsham told the crowd, strumming into a banjo jam version of a song few would expect to hear him play — Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train.” After picking his way through Ozzy, the Mississippian segued into the more traditional version of his own hit “Could It Be,” and wrapped up with the title track from his soon-to-be-released album “Rubberband.”
Rubberband: snap back, together again
Next up was Maggie Rose, rocking an American flag T-shirt with shredded ends and skin tight jeans, who praised the “hard core partiers” in the crowd who kept dancing through the rain. “Don’t let the rain get in the way of our fun,” she said, launching into “I Ain’t Your Momma,” and following it up with a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain.”
She wrapped up the set with “Better” and “Preacher’s Daughter,” from her debut album, which she joked has “quite a body count,” adding, “No one was hurt in the making.”
Drake White put on an energetic show, dancing and stomping on the stage. White, who describes his music as “country rocking freestyle blues” kept the crowd going with his debut single “The Simple Life.”
Fans sang along as he crooned: “I said I’m a fan of beer ice cold / Waving at my neighbor when I meet him on the road / Kissing on my woman in the moon light / Yeah, I’m a fan of the simple life / Give me a good pair of boots / A small piece of land / A little ol’ house where I can hang my hat / I’ll be a happy man / Yes, I’m a fan of the simple life.”
Then it was time for Detroit’s own Uncle Kracker, who entertained the crowd with a feel-good set of covers and his biggest hits, including his cover of Dobie Gray’s “Drift Away,” ” “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Smile,” “Good To Be Me,” and “Nobody’s Sad On A Saturday Night.”
He also played his newest single “Blue Skies,” a rock ballad in the vein of “Good To Be Me.”
How happy was Uncle Kracker to headline a show of this magnitude in his hometown?
“I might be the luckiest man on the planet,” he told the crowd.
— Christy Strawser, CBS Detroit