Willie Nelson Comes To St. Charles

Friday, June 24, 2011

I don’t like country music. I don’t listen to it; I don’t know many songs; I can’t name more than a few artists. I just don’t like the stuff. Which doesn’t explain what I was doing in the standing room only section of Blue Crabs Stadium Saturday night, three rows from the main stage, singing along to a song I’d just learned by a singer I’d never heard of. I could say my reason was that the song was about beer, except a half hour earlier I’d been over at stage two doing something similar to a song by yet another artist I’d never heard of. I have no excuses. Apparently, I like country music.

For those unaware, Willie Nelson’s Country Throwdown came to Southern Maryland this past week, bringing with it an impressive thirteen recording artists on three separate stages, and a staggering eight hours of music. The event started at 3:00 PM and I arrived not quite sure what to expect.  I can’t profess to having known very many of the performers before the evening started, but I left with more than a few names in my head, including Craig Campbell, Randy Houser, Brantley Gilbert, and Lee Brice, who sang his soon to be released love song to beer titled “Beer!” For a guy who doesn’t like country music I spent an awful lot of time dragging my date from location to location so we could get close to the stage before everyone else arrived.

The afternoon turned to evening and then to night much quicker than I expected. The headliner, of course, was Willie Nelson, and by the time he took the stage at 10:00 PM I was up in the seating section, resting my tired feet and enjoying the music from a distance. The standing room only section was overflowing with people much younger and with far more resolve than me, who were more than willing to sing along to every song Willie pulled out of his six decade repertoire.

I’ve been to plenty of Blue Crabs games at the stadium before, but never a concert. While it was my first, it won’t be my last. Saturday night was a good time, even though I “don’t like” the music. I hope to see similar events held at the stadium in the future.

by guest blogger, Miike Billard