Country Stars Will Welcome 2013 at Venues Near and Far

Jason Aldean, Taylor Swift, Willie Nelson, Zac Brown Band Among the Lyrical Celebrants

Led by Jason Aldean and Taylor Swift on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve telecast on ABC, country stars will be heralding the impending arrival of 2013 at venues across the continent. Hosted by Ryan Seacrest, Monday’s (Dec. 31) show will feature Swift performing in New York’s Times Square, while Aldean will be performing in Los Angeles on a bill that also includes Justin Bieber, among others.

Willie Nelson, that king of celebrants, is set to do an Austin City Limits show that evening at Austin’s Moody Theater that will be broadcast live on Sirius XM satellite radio.

Nashville will, as usual, be abuzz. Old Crow Medicine Show and Pokey LaFarge & the South Street Three are playing the Ryman Auditorium. Just a block or so away on Broadway, the out of doors Music City Bash will feature Love and Theft, the Fray, Sixpence None the Richer and Striking Matches.

Bassist Mike Bub will take the bandstand at Nashville’s historic Station Inn for a bluegrass and country blowout that spotlights such other stellar sidemen as Billy Thomas and Jeff White (from Vince Gill’s band), Dan Tyminski (Union Station), Jimmy Stewart, Charlie Cushman and award-winning fiddler Michael Cleveland.

Across town, Bub’s former boss, Del McCoury, will be dazzling ticket holders with his band at Marathon Music Works.

The Zac Brown Band is set to take command of Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, the city that used to lure Southern workers by the thousands.

Little Big Town will heat things up at Wild Bill’s in Duluth, Ga., while Florida Georgia Line headline an already-sold-out show at Boondocks in Springfield, Ill.

Gary Allan will be carrying country music’s flag into the House of Blues in Las Vegas. The Eli Young Band will rile up the customers at Choctaw Casino in Grant, Okla.

Finally, the Casey Donahew Band will toast its 10th anniversary and the new year with a concert at Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth.

Here’s hoping you weren’t stuck with the Mayan calendar concession.

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