Thursday, June 20, 2024

Top to open McBryde concert

| July 2, 2023 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — Ashley McBryde will kick off her Aug. 5 Festival at Sandpoint concert with guest Zach Top.

When contemporary influences expand country music’s parameters, a common refrain is sure to come up: "Country music ain’t like it used to be.” But 25-year-old Zach Top is reviving the spirit of '90s traditionalists like George Strait, Keith Whitley, and Randy Travis, with classic vibes that evoke the dancehalls of Texas, the roar of the rodeo, and the jukebox ballads with a cold beer in hand. There’s nothing more current than old-school country to Zach, who grew up on a ranch in Sunnyside, Wash.

He recalls rockin’ a Marty Robbin’s “Gunfighter Ballads and Trail songs” cassette while riding out in an old Chevy pickup to feed livestock throughout his childhood. At the age of 7, he formed a bluegrass band with his siblings called “Top String.”

All through his teens and early 20s, he played in various bluegrass bands, including Modern Tradition (winners of the 2017 SPBGMA international band competition) with whom he notched a string of hits on bluegrass radio, including the No. 1 song “Like It Ain’t No Thing”.

Honky-Tonk dreams took him to Nashville in 2021, where he secured a crucial publishing deal with Bob Doyle’s Major Bob Music. Since the move, he has established himself as an artist to watch, being asked to perform at the Grand Ole Opry several times, we he debuted his first country single, “Cold Beer & Country Music” on the historic stage.

GRAMMY, CMA, and ACM award winner Ashley McBryde cut her teeth playing country songs in rural biker bars — and it shows. The Grand Ole Opry member’s 2018 major label debut "Girl Going Nowhere" (Warner Music Nashville) charmed The New York Times, NPR, Rolling Stone, Paste, The Washington Post, and more, all en route to landing a Grammy nomination for Best Country Album.

McBryde closed out 2019 with ACM New Female Artist, CMT Breakout Artist, a New Artist of the Year win at the 53rd annual CMA Awards, and two nominations for the 2020 Grammys for Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance for “Girl Goin’ Nowhere.” Her follow-up, "Never Will", was tagged by Rolling Stone as one of the most anticipated of the year alongside NPR, who also ranked her Top 10 RIAA Platinum-Certified single “One Night Standards” as one of the best songs of 2019.

The album earned McBryde a 2021 GRAMMY nomination for Best Country Album, making "Never Will" the only album nominated for Country Album of the Year by the ACMs, CMAs, and the Recording Academy in the same award season. Her Grammy-winning duet with Carly Pearce, “Never Wanted To Be That Girl,” went all the way to No. 1 and earned McBryde and Pearce the ACM and CMA awards for Musical Event of the Year. McBryde was also honored with the 2022 CMA International Artist Achievement Award for the most significant creative growth, development, and promotion of the country music industry outside of the United States.

Performing at the 2023 Festival are:

  • July 27 — An Evening with Brit Floyd
  • July 28 — Gary Clark Jr.
  • July 29 — Train (Concert is sold out.)
  • July 30 — An Evening with The String Cheese Incident
  • Aug. 3 — Family show with Michael Franti and Friends
  • Aug. 3 — Michael Front and Spearhead with Soja
  • Aug. 4 — REO Speedwagon
  • Aug. 5 — Ashley McBryde
  • Aug. 6 — Grand Finale, "The Princess Bride"; "Taste of the Stars" wine and beer tasting tickets are $10 additional.