Swinging in the New Year

Toby, Terri, Brad, Buck, Del Among Spotlight Celebrants

Most country acts will be popping their corks in private on New Year’s Eve. But a few zealous souls will get their first glimpse of 2005 through the heartwarming glare of spotlights at clubs, casinos and arenas around the nation. Here’s who’s playing where:

• Billy Joe Royal at the Louisiana Convention Center in Alexandria, La.

• Buck Owens, Brad Paisley and Dwight Yoakam at the Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, Calif.

• Confederate Railroad at the Dakota Magic Casino in Hankinson, N.D.

• Exile at the Grand Resort Hotel in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

• Gene Watson at the Texas City Convention Center in Texas City, Texas.

• Joe Diffie at Cactus Pete’s in Jackpot, Nev.

• Julie Roberts at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville.

• Michael Peterson at the Newport Performing Arts Center in Newport, Ore.

• Montgomery Gentry, Trace Adkins, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Blue County at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky.

• Pat Green at the Gwinett Center in Duluth, Ga.

• Robert Earl Keen at the Hobby Center in Houston.

• Sawyer Brown at the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Okla.

• The Del McCoury Band at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

• Toby Keith and Terri Clark at the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville.

• Tracy Lawrence at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth, Texas.

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to CMT.com.