Florida Georgia Line: The Duo Changing Country Music, One Party Song At A Time

Music review: Billy Currington goes country and beyond at the Fillmore

The Georgia-born singer likes to start off country but emphatically refuses to stay there. ( Josh Sisk / For The Washington Post ) – Billy Currington ranged as far afield as The Jeffersons theme song and Robin Thickes Blurred Lines. Looking for things to do? Select one or more criteria to search Kid-friendly Get ideas By the close of his 80-minute set at the Fillmore on Friday night, Currington and his versatile, energetic quintet had unearthed the Jeffersons TV theme song Movin On Up and, with stabs at Robin Thickes Blurred Lines and Daft Punks Get Lucky , turned the Silver Spring rock hall into a beat-heavy nightclub. Which is hardly to say that he held back the hard stuff. After opening with the happy-go-lucky I Got a Feelin , Currington dug into the honky-tonk rockers I Wanna Be a Hillbilly and Thats How Country Boys Roll . The traditional-sounding country-western ballad Pretty Good at Drinkin Beer and the mid-tempo Love Done Gone , with its charming Neil Diamondesque ba-bada singalong hook, lifted spirits even higher. It was at this point that Currington introduced the audience to his real-live chocolate labrador retriever, Paco the honorary subject of the mock-misogynistic Like My Dog (He dont get mad at me and throw a major fit / When I say his sister is a bitch / I want you to love me like my dog does, baby / When I come home, want you to just go crazy). Currington escaped the doghouse with a pair of heartfelt ballads: Let Me Down Easy and Dont. Indeed its easy to picture Currington having attempted to rise up the ranks of modern R&B singers. Occasionally, though, Curringtons expansive range led him too far afield. The slick pulsating pop of Hey Girl and We Are Tonight (the title track of his recently dropped new album) sounded forced and flat on Friday. Yet no matter how strenuously he stretches his repertoire, Currington remains centered in songs like Good Directions and People Are Crazy , the latter a worthy contribution to county musics corpus of wisdom literature: God is great, beer is good and people are crazy. Galupo is a freelance writer.

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No problem. He opens a small sliding door, and as if by magic, reveals several beer bottles packed in ice. Looking for things to do? Select one or more criteria to search Kid-friendly Get ideas Hovering over six feet tall, Kelley, 28, sits down, leans back and props his legs up on a small counter across the aisle as his duo partner, Tyler Hubbard, appears. Hubbard, 26, grabs a granola bar out of a makeshift kitchen cabinet and takes a seat. Just a couple of everyday guys, hanging out before taking the stage in Richmond in front of 6,000 screaming fans. Fifteen months ago, these dudes didnt have a record deal. Now theyre shattering music records while taking Nashville by storm . On Sunday, the 20,000-plus expected to gather at Merriweather Post Pavilion for the annual Sunday in the Country festival will see Kelley and Hubbard right before they graduate to the next level of stardom: their first national headlining tour, which kicks off Thursday. Fans will pack in to hear feel-good party songs from the duos platinum-selling debut album, Heres to the Good Times , and especially the inescapable crossover smash Cruise, which recently spent 22 weeks at No. 1, making Billboard country chart history. As Florida Georgia Line keeps ascending, the duo is also being credited or blamed, depending on whom you ask for helping to change the sound of modern country music. The bands rise may seem rapid, but as everyone around them emphasizes, its the result of years of tough, behind-the-scenes work. Plus, its triumphant proof that doing things a little differently even if you start outside of the Nashville star-making machine, which has a methodical process of transforming singers into superstars can lead to success.

Music festival makes Carrboro a ‘mini-Bourbon Street’

– Live music from Orlando bands Yogurt Smoothness, Caribou King and Marky & the Sharks with Central Florida band Grey Market and more for this 18+ show. Tickets are $3 and the doors open at 9 p.m. Tanquerays – 100 S. Orange Ave. – Orlando band Buster Keaton every Thursday night at 10:30 p.m. for this FREE 21+ show. SoNapa Grille – 640 S. Orlando Ave. (Maitland) – Live music from Orlandos RonJon Band at 7 p.m. Natura Coffee and Tea – 12078 Collegiate Way – Open mic every Thursday night at 8 p.m. Call at 10:30 a.m. to sign up 407-482-5000.

So many choices this week in Orlando local music (Video)

Upcoming Orlando local music events

There is so much good music happening locally, she said. Thats truly the essence of the festival, to capture as much of the (local) ambiance as we can. … Its like a mini-Bourbon Street. Bands apply to play in the festival and are chosen by festival coordinator Gerry Williams and a steering committee. If chosen, their payment is only food vouchers or T-shirts, and They have to fight for parking like everybody else, Trost said. Thats enough, said Brian Leden, drummer with Animal Envoys. Its an opportunity for people that do it mainly for a hobby to get out and play, he said, packing up with vocalist and guitarist Brett Durham after their show. Its real open and accepting, theres no one judging. … A fun gig, Durham said. This is a fantastic venue … to get your music out there, said drummer Gary Mitchell, who had finished a solo set and was getting ready to play with the band Funktion. A lot of people are just going as the wind blows … walking by and are pleasantly surprised when they hear something they like. Admission was free and there was no way to count the crowd, spread over almost a mile, but Trost said attendance appeared every bit as strong as last year even with competition from the bluegrass festival in Raleigh.