Allan will be appearing Thursday (Dec. 31) at House of Blues in Las Vegas. Johnson is headlining at the Eastern Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville, Ky., while his recent CMT on Tour partner, Randy Houser, will be at Wild Bill’s in Duluth, Ga. Also in the southland, Justin Moore is in his home state of Arkansas for a show at the Village in Little Rock. Much farther north, Gloriana will be visiting Columbia Basin College in Pasco, Wash.
One of the most interesting pairings of talent and venue is Montgomery Gentry’s appearance at Agua Caliente Resort and Spa in Rancho Mirage, Calif. (No offense to Eddie Montgomery, but can you picture him at a spa?)
As always, Texas claims the highest concentration of country music concerts on New Year’s Eve. In Houston, the live music offerings include Cross Canadian Ragweed at House of Blues and the Eli Young Band at the Verizon Wireless Theater. The overachievers of the day are the members of Reckless Kelly, who will be playing an afternoon show at Reliant Stadium in Houston as part of the Texas Bowl pre-game festivities before heading to Dallas to close the night at House of Blues.
Also in the DFW area, Chris Young will be at Cowboys Dancehall in Dallas, Roger Creager is set for Cowboys in Arlington and Texas favorite Kevin Fowler will be headlining at one of the nation’s biggest country nightspots — Billy Bob’s Texas.
Jack Ingram’s New Year’s Eve show takes place at Cowboys Dancehall in San Antonio.
In Austin, Robert Earl Keen, the Randy Rogers Band, the Band of Heathens and Wade Bowen will be at the Austin Music Hall. Also in Austin, Joe Ely and Dale Watson will be sharing the bill at Antone’s, and Austin mainstay Alvin Crow will be at the Broken Spoke.
In Nashville, Rodney Atkins headlines an event touted as the Bash on Broadway, a free street party taking place downtown on Broadway between First and Third avenues. The music also features the Gabe Dixon Band, Tommy Sims and Friends and the Dirt Drifters (with scheduled guest appearances by Marc Broussard and Jonny Lang).
For those preferring to do their celebrating indoors in Nashville, Old Crow Medicine Show and former BR549 member Chuck Mead are appearing at the Ryman Auditorium. Singer-songwriter Jeffrey Steele will rock in 2010 at the Wildhorse Saloon, and former Mavericks frontman Raul Malo will be offering a midnight toast at 3rd & Lindsley.
If you’re out and about on New Year’s Eve, do everybody a favor — including the artists — and enlist a friend as your designated driver. Or call a taxi or contact one of the many organizations offering free rides to those who have overindulged. One prominent artist, who will remain unidentified, no longer performs anywhere on New Year’s Eve because of the danger in getting to and from the gig. We wouldn’t want that to become a trend.