Review: The Cadillac Three Bring Rock Star Attitude to Taste of Country Festival Stage
The Cadillac Three have the swagger of rock stars and Southern pedigrees. Put that together onstage and you get a trio of a-little-bit-redneck boys who know how to command a stage as massive as the one at the 2016 Taste of Country Music Festival in Hunter, N.Y.
Throughout their hour-long set on Friday (June 10), TC3 — lead vocalist and guitarist Jaren Johnston, bassist Kelby Ray and drummer Neil Mason — mixed hard-rocking instrumentation with Southern pride-filled country lyrics, throwing in some blues-y and soulful melodies to boot. The trio has plenty of fans who love both rock and country music, and their live performances mix both worlds skillfully.
The Cadillac Three opened their set with "I'm Southern," "Party Like You" and "I'm Rockin'," the latter of which ended with Johnston on his knees for a jam session. They kept the party going with "Tennessee Mojo" (of which these guys have plenty), then slowed things down for "White Lightning," a killer love song that Johnston penned for his wife. The singer dedicated the tune to the "rednecks in love" — of which there were plenty — in the crowd.
TC3's 2016 ToC Fest set also included a few special treats for the thousands gathered on Hunter Mountain's hillside: two new tunes and two covers. "Shipfaced" is a blues-tinged track that will be on the band's upcoming new album, Bury Me in My Boots, while the record's title track, as Johnston said from stage, is straight-up Southern rock.
Following "Bury Me in My Boots," Johnston requested a quick guitar change to switch things up and play "Raise 'Em Up" and "Days of Gold," which Johnston wrote for Keith Urban and Eric Church, and Jake Owen, respectively.
"We don't make setlists," Ray told the crowd. "We just party."
The Cadillac Three, of course, closed their time onstage with "The South." Hunter Mountain is well in the north ... but you wouldn't have known it by watching the crowd sing along.
Watch the Cadillac Three Get Pranked at ToC Fest 2016
See Photos From Day 1 of the 2016 Taste of Country Music Festival