Country Music on the Fourth

Willie Nelson Hosts His 44th Fourth of July Picnic in Texas

Austin and Nashville are once again living up to their reputations as country music capitals on July 4 with Willie Nelson continuing a Texas tradition and Chris Young and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band headlining a free concert in Tennessee.

The 44th edition of Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic will take place at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas’ Austin360 Amphitheater with a lineup that includes Sheryl Crow, Kacey Musgraves, Jamey Johnson, Steve Earle, Margo Price, Asleep at the Wheel, Turnpike Troubadours, Hayes Carll, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Johnny Bush, Billy Joe Shaver, David Allan Coe, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Insects vs. Robots, the Raelyn Nelson Band and Folk Uke.

As of Sunday (July 2), tickets remained available via Ticketmaster. Several of the performances will be featured live on Sirius XM satellite radio on the Willie’s Roadhouse channel.

While it can’t claim the history of Nelson’s event, the annual concert in downtown Nashville has become a tradition. In fact, organizers are predicting a crowd as large as 280,000 for “Let Freedom Sing! July 4 in Music City,” the free concert on Broadway near Riverfront Park.

Young, a native of nearby Murfreesboro, Tennessee, will headline the show featuring the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, R&B artist Jonny P and folk-rock duo the Sisterhood, featuring Alyssa Bonagura and Ruby Stewart, daughter of rock icon Rod Stewart.

If you’re planning to celebrate the holiday at home, there are other country music options available.

Lady Antebellum, Brad Paisley and Sheryl Crow will perform on Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular airing on NBC. The lineup also includes Jennifer Lopez, Charlie Puth and Hailee Steinfeld.

Kellie Pickler and Trace Adkins will be in Washington, D.C., for the A Capitol Fourth concert on PBS. John Stamos will host the show from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol with performances by the Beach Boys, Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi of the Blues Brothers, the Four Tops and Yolanda Adams.

Needless to say, fireworks displays will cap all of the celebrations.

But as a bit of trivia, this is the 44th edition of Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic and only the 37th annual edition of A Capitol Fourth. God bless America and Willie Nelson.