Published in the July 11 – July 24, 2018 issue of Gilroy Life

Photo courtesy CMT.com
Mitchell Tenpenny will perform on the Amphitheater Stage Sunday.

Live outdoor music is here at the wineries, local festivals and downtown music events. The 40th Annual Gilroy Garlic Festival has their music line-up set for 2018. The bands make up a great mix of blues, rock, country, soul, funk, southern rock, surf rock, rockabilly, dance music, party bands and a DJ tent with a wide variety of local DJ’s. Some of the many acts I am happy to see this year are The Moondance Band, The Tsunami Band, Angelique Lucero, Ted Sanchez, The Mike Osborn Band, Tin Man, Vital Sign, blues singer Paula Harris, Los High Tops with singer Chantilly Lace Vincent and Santa Cruz favorites (mine too!) Extra Large.

Sunday will bring a day of country music as KRTY radio brings top notch National country acts to the Amphitheater Stage with artists including Mitchell Tenpenny, Travis Denning and Cale Dodds. McKenna Faith will close out the evening on that stage.  Local country act The Kelly McDonald Band will also be out there on the Vineyard Stage as will Mason Douglas and Jeff Ricketts and the Dirt Road Band. All fine country acts.

Mitchell Tenpenny is someone who has a local’s appreciation for the origins of Nashville as well as a keen focus on what happens outside of Music City. A Nashville native, Tenpenny’s grandmother was industry legend Donna Hilley, who shaped the musical landscape of country music as CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Where he comes from was fertile ground with musical influences as disparate as Michael Jackson, John Mayer, the Oak Ridge Boys, and R. Kelly. The resulting sound on his Riser House/Columbia Nashville self-titled debut EP is current, edgy, and grounded in themes intrinsic to the South. His current single “Drunk Me” made streaming chart history for a new country artist with more than 1.5 million streams.

A native of Warner Robins, Georgia, Travis Denning vividly remembers the moment he realized he wanted to pursue music for a living. He was 7 and sitting in his dad’s truck and heard AC/DC for the first time. From then on, he was hooked and devoured all types of music from country and heavy metal to pop and rock. Travis started playing local bars at the age of 16 and built a solid following from his distinctive songs and raucous guitar licks. He moved to Nashville in 2014 and within a year signed a publishing deal with Jeremy Stover’s RED Creative Group. After securing outside cuts by Jason Aldean, Justin Moore and Chase Rice, he caught the attention of Universal Music Group, where he eventually signed a record deal in 2017. His debut single, “David Ashley Parker from Powder Springs,” is an upbeat coming-of-age song and he will likely play that one at this year’s festival.

Cale Dodds is an artist from Columbus, Georgia, who has already established his talent as both a singer and a songwriter. A Thousand Horses featured his co-written track “(This Ain’t No) Drunk Dial” as their second single, and his own, independently-released People Watching EP has racked up more than eight million streams on Spotify. His debut single with Warner Bros./Warner Music Nashville is “Take You Back,” and Dodds recently released an acoustic remix of the song (with accompanying video) called “Take You Back (to Basics).”

If you want to see the festival’s entire  music line-up in advance visit gilroygarlicfestival.com/festival/entertainment

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On another note, Guglielmo Winery is running their Vines & Vibes Summer Music Series Wednesdays from 6 to 9 p.m. The lineup continues July 11 with the Bay Area’s favorite country band One Country (boots and hats welcome); July 18, Luv Bomb; July 25, The Kaye Bohler Band; Aug. 1, Long Train Running; Aug. 8, Rusty Rock And Roll; Aug. 15, Lyin’ I’s (Eagles tribute); and the closer for the season Aug. 22, Country Cougars. Bring your own picnic. For 21 and older only, no outside beverages. Details: www.guglielmowinery.com/events.

Got a music tip? E-mail harmonicaman1@yahoo.com.