6 Things You Missed on the First Day of Country Jam 2017
Beautiful weather and scenery. A sweet lineup. Delicious food. The first day of Country Jam 2017 (June 15) started the annual four-day festival off on a high note.
From Sasha McVeigh's Ram Trucks main stage-opening set to Randy Houser and Justin Moore's co-headlining shows, fans at Jam Ranch got a full day of music and fun — and there's three more to come. Here are six things you might have missed if you weren't at Day 1 of Country Jam 2017 (or if you were and were just too busy partying in the campgrounds).
1. Randy Houser shared some new music!
Prior to his set on Thursday night, Houser told Taste of Country that he took a lot of the winter months off to write "a ton of new songs" and recorded about nine of them a few weeks ago — and fans at Country Jam 2017 got to hear a few of them.
“High Time” is a song about leaving your problems behind with the aid of “a can of cold beer” and a smoke (the legal-in-Colorado kind). Houser also performed a travelin’ tune (we didn't catch the name) about leaving “no stone unturned / No turn unstoned," and a loping, steel guitar-heavy track with a prominent drum beat called “You Should Be Mine.” They all let Houser show off a more blues-influenced, soulful side of himself that fans don’t always get to hear in his radio singles.
2. Justin Moore covered Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man."
Moore has played “Simple Man” before, but as he wrapped up his lengthy Country Jam 2017 set early Friday morning (June 16), he performed this Lynyrd Skynyrd cover with more empathy than ever before. It was his only cover song of the night.
Moore's version of "Simple Man" was indicative of the full set, which came just four days after the birth of Moore's first son, Thomas South Moore. Before the show, Moore told Taste of Country that he can’t wait to teach the boy to play football and baseball.
3. Smithfield made rock and pop hits their own.
During their early-evening set, rising country duo Smithfield weaved together a number of recognizable non-country and country hits into one pretty epic mashup. Among other songs, we heard the Goo Goo Dolls' late-'90s hit "Iris," a little bit of Shania Twain and some of the Weeknd's "Can't Feel My Face."
4. We ate the best. ice. cream. sandwiches. ever.
Out among Country Jam's food tents is one called Gonuts Eats 'N Treats. They've got donuts and some other stuff, but they've also got fresh-made ice cream sandwiches. Pick your cookies, pick your ice cream flavor, and the guy behind the table will build it in front of your eyes. And then press it together to warm the cookies up.
Basically, find us there at least once every day.
5. Sasha McVeigh played Jenga!
British country singer-songwriter McVeigh had never played Jenga before her time in the Country Jam 2017 media tent. She got to make the first move in Taste of Country's Giant Jenga game. She didn't topple it over, so ... win?
6. Sammy Kershaw shared his plans for three (yes, three) new albums!
As it turns out, Sammy Kershaw has three new records in the works. He tells The Boot that he's recording a country album, a gospel album and a Louisiana "swamp pop" music. Kershaw says that the latter is "kind of a tribute to my heroes" — and he gets to sing with a number of swamp pop artists on the disc, too.
Kershaw says fans can expect to hear that swamp pop album this fall — early September, specifically. The other two albums will come out in 2018.
See Pictures of All the Fun Happening at Country Jam 2017