Festival Officials have admitted that they may have been hasty in dropping the original Country Music Party after the 2011 Festival, when it seemed to be a bit lost in the throes of an identity crisis. Explanation: Around the turn of the Millennium, country artists began to raise their fees to match those of pop artists and rock artists. “Smaller-than-arena-sized” events like the County Fair Circuit and the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® found that they could rarely afford “big-name” talent after that; and, a conflict quickly arose between fans that wanted affordable “up-and-coming” acts, and fans that wanted affordable “classic” acts. This was exactly where the Festival found itself in those days; and, as ticket sales slumped from their peak years, the event was temporarily discontinued while Organizers explored different directions. But, the country music stars have aligned once again! The Southern Rock Party merged with the Oldies Rock ‘N’ Roll Dance; “Apple Blossom’s Got Talent!” has generated its own entire mini-schedule of Festival events; and, once again, the Saturday night after the Grand Feature Parade is open for a mega-party at the Sprint Tent. The call for a new event went out, and the new Country Music Party presented by iHeartRadio has come rocking home. Festival President, Jim Douglas, is very pleased to announce that the rapidly-rising Swon Brothers, Zach and Colton, have been contracted to headline the return of this iconic Festival event.
The Swon Brothers, Zach and Colton, were born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, on February 21st, 1985, and August 17th, 1988, respectively. The brothers started performing quite young, touring with their parents’ Southern gospel group, Exodus, with a 10-year-old Zach on drums. In 1995, Kelly and Tammy Swon formed a family-style variety show called the Westwood Music Show, in which the Brothers performed songs ranging from Elvis Presley to Frank Sinatra, and also began to experiment in the country music genre. In 2000, when they were 15 and 12, the brothers started calling themselves The Swon Brothers, and appeared at various local venues. In 2007, Colton Swon auditioned for the seventh season of American Idol (aired 2008) and reached the Top 48. Their first professionally recorded album, “Another Day,” which they described as modern country, was released on January 16th, 2009. They have cited the Eagles as their major musical influence. The Swon Brothers auditioned for the fourth season of The Voice on a whim.
During the blind auditions, they performed Tom Petty’s “American Girl,” turning three chairs: Usher, Blake Shelton and Shakira on April 1st, 2013. They proceeded to choose Blake as their coach and remained on his team the whole season. During the Top 8 Live Performances, they finished in third place. The Swon Brothers signed a recording contract with Arista Nashville after appearing on The Voice. They released a single, “Later On,” on December 10th, 2013, which became the first single from their album, “The Swon Brothers,” released on October 14th, 2014.
The new Country Music Party presented by iHeartRadio will be held from 8:00pm to 12midnight on Saturday night, May 2nd, at the Sprint Tent on the campus of the Winchester Medical Center at 1755 North Sector Court. Tickets for the return of this excellent event have been reduced from $35 to $25, and both mail order and online ticket purchasing is available here on our web site and at Apple Blossom Headquarters. Organizers want to point out that the seating is now General Admission; there is no longer numbered, reserved seating. The format will be the same as it is with the Disco Dance Party and the 80s Dance Party: tables and chairs will be scattered loosely around the room; but, many people will never sit down, simply dancing and partying the entire night away!
FLASH!!! Since this Media Release was prepared, the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® has learned that The Swon Brothers have received an additional accolade. This year’s Academy of Country Music Awards Program, hosted by Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton, has nominated The Swon Brothers in the “Vocal Duo of the Year” category, along with: Brothers Osborne, Dan + Shay, Florida Georgia Line and Maddie & Tae.