Justin Moore

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Rookie country crooner at ‘Fest

By Billy Davis

Up-and-coming country artist Justin Moore, whose single “Backwoods” became a Top Ten hit last summer, will headline Batesville’s SpringFest on May 14.

Moore’s pick as SpringFest headliner was announced last week by organizer Batesville Main Street, which has begun an advertising campaign to announce the two-day annual event. 

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Moore is expected to take the stage at 9 p.m., following fellow country artist Dustin Lynch.

Both Moore and Lynch are signed to Valory Music Co., where Moore released his self-titled debut album in 2009. The album included “Small Town USA,” which rose to No. 1 in 2009.

Moore, 27, is releasing his sophomore album, Outlaws Like Me, this summer.

Moore’s planned appearance continues an unofficial practice of country artists dominating the top spot at the music-centered event, at least in recent memory.

Country artists Steve Azar and Mark Chesnutt, and trio Little Big Town have previously played on the Square. Keith Anderson headlined last year.  

Other notable acts have also played in downtown Batesville, including ‘70s rock-and-rollers The Byrds and The Coasters, the rhythm-and-blues group that hails from the ‘50s.

SpringFest has been scrutinized by some for booking regional and national acts, because that naturally bumps local names from the lineup. But the annual event is also credited for bringing well-known musicians to Batesville.

Next week’s music schedule is sprinkled with local faces, beginning with a Friday night performance by Willy Waggs.

Other local performers are Jameson Rodgers, 5 and 2, and The Litigants, all playing Saturday morning.

SpringFest evolved from a Saturday barbecue sponsored by the Batesville Rotary Club.
SpringFest 2011 also includes a two-day carnival, a 5-K race to benefit the Panola County Humane Society, children’s activities at the Kids Corner, and lots and lots of good food.