This year’s South Carolina Peach Festival in Cherokee County will feature one of country music’s top artists as its headline attraction.
Colt Ford — who has been classified as a country/rock/rap artist — will perform at Lake Whelchel on July 21 as part of the South Carolina Peach Festival.
Since 1976, the festival has been held annually in July because it is the peak season for local peach production. The majority of Peach Festival events will take place this weekend — July 12-14 — in downtown Gaffney and will include a barbecue cook-off, arts, crafts, carnival rides, professional wrestling, a corn hole tournament, Family Fun Fest and more.
A concert from country chart topper Colt Ford — perhaps the most anticipated portion of the festival — will take place a week later, on July 21, at Lake Whelchel.
Ford released his debut album, “Ride Through the Country,” on Dec. 2, 2008 through Average Joe’s Entertainment, which he co-founded. The album included guest appearances from country singer Jamey Johnson, as well as rappers Bone Crusher and Jermaine Dupri, Adrian Young of NoDoubt and Jeremy Popoff of the band Lit. Hence, the country/rap/rock classification. Ford co-wrote and originally recorded the song “Dirt Road Anthem” for that album, and the song was later released by Brantley Gilbert, who co-wrote the song on his 2010 album “Halfway to Heaven,” and again by Jason Aldean on his 2010 album “My Kinda Party.”
Ford’s summer tour is in support of his fourth CD, “Declaration of Independence,” which is scheduled for release on Aug. 7 of this year.
Those involved with the festival say that audience members should also be on the lookout for the artists set to open for Ford, as they are quickly making their own names in the country music world.
One of those artists is JJ Lawhorn, who is described as the “epitome of a good ol’ southern boy.” Lawhorn’s first single, “Sitting on a Tailgate,” was featured on the album Mud Digger Vol. 2, alongside fellow Average Joe’s acts including Ford, JB and the Moonshine Band and Sunny Ledford.
“With hunting, fishing and working on his truck as just a few of his hobbies, the rural Virginian lives a life most country artists only dream about,” stated promoter Kenneth Wright of Nashville.
Wright, a Gaffney native, has become a veteran of Nashville’s music row.
Wright said those in attendance at the concert at Lake Whelchel are also in for a treat in the way of Nashville newcomer and South Carolina native Doug McCormick. McCormick is known for his genuine voice, sincere songwriting abilities and his energetic live performances.
Wright said he and McCormick have collaborated on a regular basis since McCormick has moved to Nashville.
“Doug’s music is real!” Wright said. “The future is bright for ol’ Doug!”
For more information about this year’s South Carolina Peach Festival, visit www.scpeachfestival.org. Tickets for the Colt Ford concert may be purchased at www.ticketalternative.com or in person at the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce in Gaffney.