On Friday night, the small town of Owenton, Kentucky, showed how to throw a perfect field party filled with music and memories. Froggy 104.9 FM out of Frankfort held their second annual Froggy Field Party at the Owen County Fairgrounds. It was in conjunction with the Owen County Fair. Joining the Field Party were the likes of Six Miles South, Ashley Ray, and Josh Thompson.
Even with the fear of rain, there was not a drop that fell for the entire evening. Pickup trucks lined the hill above the horse show arena where the stage was set. People would line up their chairs throughout the horse show arena and up the hill. Families brought their children and friends. Overall, it was a relaxing atmosphere full of camaraderie and fun times. Old friends saw each other and new friendships were also made.
First up on stage was Six Miles South of Henry County, KY. Fans of the band were in full force support, wearing shirts with the band’s name and logo. Right off the bat, the band got the party started with “Turn it Up.” They continued to sing several of their well-written songs before concluding with Baby’s Gone. They fed from the energy from the crowd. Collectively the band put on a great performance from vocals to instrumentation. Six Miles South would be one to see again live. In speaking with Jamie Tingle after their set, he said that they are pushing to try to have their cd out within the next month. Check out my interview with Jamie here and check out Six Miles South on Facebook.
As the sun was shining over the horizon, the sounds of a truck came over. Around the corner a yellow pulling truck came towards the stage as the music on stage started. Inside was Texas hit-maker, Ashley Ray, riding in the passenger seat of the truck with the ever-fitting phrase “Ain’t Dirt Cheap” across the front window. Ashley Ray took to the stage that was met with the fans screaming and clapping along. Her hour long set included personal well written songs as well as a few covers. Fans knew word for word for “Dirt Cheap,” her song that has really done well on the Frankfort radio station. Ashley would also sing “Hurricanes,” a song about a lover leaving her damage to her heart like a hurricane makes damage to the land. With “Red Wine with the Blues,” Ashley would cover a subject that most record labels are afraid to release – a song about a woman letting herself free. The song has proven to be a hit with radio listeners in Kentucky and hopefully the record label will start listening themselves. Ashley Ray would meet with fans after the show. After speaking to several fans in the audience, they agreed that she is one to watch and they were very surprised with her stage presence. The sassy singer-songwriter really brought her A-game and we hope that she does come back to Kentucky soon.
As the sun was setting over the hills of Kentucky, fans gathered around the stage and all over the hill to prepare for Josh Thompson. Over the speakers, the tunes and Waylon Jennings began to pour out as another pulling truck, in blue, pulled up to the stage. Josh Thompson came out waving with his hand in the air before grabbing his guitar to take to the stage. He went into “Blame It On Waylon,” one of his top honkytonking songs to blend it in with Waylon Jennings, “Lonesome, Onry and Mean” before bringing it back to his song. Right off the bat, the fans in the audience knew they were in for a good time. Thompson would entertain the crowd with selections from his current cd, “Way Out Here,” as well as new songs and cover songs of Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, and Johnny Cash. The amazing part was that fans knew his songs, including the unreleased songs (“I Won’t Go Crazy,” note for note singing right along. Josh Thompson’s set list also included acoustic versions of “I Like to Believe In That” and “Sinner,” which he would bring back the band towards the end. He would cover David Allen Coe’s “The Ride,” Waylon’s “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way,” and Charlie Daniels “Long Haired Country Boy.” After his two hour set, fans hollered for more and were excited as he and his band made their way back on stage. His encore included the Merle Haggard hit, “Footlights,” as well as Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” with a mix of “Jackson”.
Overall, the Froggy Field Party II was a complete success and was an entertaining experience for the entire family. Fans in the audience probably would not have had such an intimate experience with these artists as they did last night. All three acts took time to meet and greet with the fans to have a little one on one time. Josh Thompson will be going back on the H2O Tour with Brad Paisley very soon, so shows like this will be few and far between. It is even more impressive that a local radio station such as Froggy 104.9 showed the big dogs how to have an excellent field party concert that will be the talk of Kentucky for quite sometime. Their risk of having a show of newcomers, along with allowing fans to stand/sit wherever they want, bring a cooler, camera, even some fried chicken for dinner, proved to be a win-win for everyone from the performers to the fans.
Jessica Blankenship is the owner and founder of Kentucky Country Music website with over 20 years experience in music journalism, concert planning, photography, and promotion. Jessica is a Kentucky Colonel and alumni of the 2019 Leadership Kentucky BRIGHT Class and a recipient of the Laurel County’s Ten Under 40 Award. Listen to her each week on WFKY on Friday mornings for the Nashville News Roundup.