Starting in July, Southern California is about to feel a little more southern. Next month, the Annenberg Foundation, in association with eclectic public-radio station KCRW, will launch a free concert series focusing exclusively on country acts and roots rockers. Curated by the Annenberg Space for Photography, the shows are inspired by current exhibit Country: Portraits of an American Sound, and will pair legacy acts with newcomers.
Gregg Allman and cosmic cowboy Sturgill Simpson kick off the “Country in the City” series on July 19th, with Grammy winner Shelby Lynne and Jamestown Revival taking the stage one week later. Wynonna brings the summertime event to a close on August 2nd, with an opening set from Nashville-based newcomer Nikki Lane.
This isn’t the first time KCRW has teamed up with the Photography Space to host free music. Two years ago, the two companies drew more than 4,000 concertgoers to Century Park, a grassy lawn adjacent to the Photography Space, for performances by Moby, Raphael Saadiq and Portugal. The Man.
Even so, “Country in the City” represents a giant leap forward for country music, a genre that has begun to leave its Bible Belt homebase and spread outward to the big cities. Earlier this week, Luke Bryan announced a September show at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, marking the venue’s very first country concert.