Wynonna coming back to Oregon Jamboree

Scott Swanson

The artist who started it all, Wynonna Judd, will return this summer to headline the Saturday night show at the 20th annual Ore-gon Jamboree.

Jamboree officials announced the signing of Judd, whose appearance will be her third at the three-day festival, to be held Aug. 3-5, last Friday. They also largely completed their line-up by signing rising stars Brantley Gilbert, Eden’s Edge and Morgan Frazier.

The new signees join previously announced artists Rascal Flatts, Dierks Bentley, Chris Young, Eli Young Band, Charlie Daniels Band, Steve Holy, Kentucky Headhunters, host/performer Neal McCoy. One spot, the Saturday afternoon opening act, has yet to be named.

Jamboree Manager Erin Regrutto said signing Wynonna was almost a no-brainer, especially for Saturday, which will be a 20th-anniversary celebration for the event.

“With Wynonna, it’s almost like how could we not have her here,” Regrutto said. “It’s one of those things where we gave it a lot of thought and really listened to our fans. People really wanted to see Wynonna back.

“We’re thrilled that, with her support, the Oregon Jamboree has grown into one of premier country music events in the Northwest. Without her help, it really wouldn’t have gotten off the ground.”

A five-time Grammy winner as an individual artist, Wynonna has been performing on the big stage for nearly 30 years after rising to superstardom with her mother, Naomi Judd, in the early 1980s in the duo The Judds. The two won multiple Grammys before Naomi had to retire due to illness. The two have toured together twice in the last 20 years, including in 2010, but Wynonna has also recorded seven individual albums and is working on her eighth, while earning the Top Female Vocalist of the Year award in 1994.

A new single, “Love It Out Loud,” was released last year and in November Wynonna debuted her new band, Wynonna & The Big Noise, in Nashville. She began recording a new album in December for Curb/Asylum.

“She put together a new show this summer,” Regrutto said. “The thing about Wynonna, she doesn’t have any current hits, but that woman has more hits than I can even think of. Her show will be absolutely incredible. I couldn’t think of anybody more fitting to have on stage than Wynonna Judd.”

Gilbert, who will precede Wynonna in the early Saturday evening slot, has made quite a name for himself as a performer, but is even better known as a songwriter; his credits include Jason Aldean’s single, “Dirt Road Anthem” and his No. 1 smash “My Kinda Party.” Gilbert also wrote the No. 1 single “Country Must Be Country Wide” and has released two albums, including “Halfway to Heaven,” which reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart for upcoming artists and No. 2 on the country charts.

“He’s really making a splash on the country music scene,” Regrutto said. “There’s a lot of buzz about him. He hasn’t been on the radio a lot until the last couple of months. People are just thrilled to have him coming. He’s one of those acts we’ve had lots of requests for, so we’re happy to do that.”

Eden’s Edge, the country pop-folk trio of Hannah Blaylock, Dean Berner and Cherrill Green, released its debut album, “Amen” last April, which subsequently climbed to the top 20 of Billboard’s country chart. The group signed with Big Machine Records in 2010 after performing a medley of songs by their mentor, veteran songwriter Kye Fleming, when she was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame (with Taylor Swift, Toby Keith, and other industry heavyweights in attendance). Eden’s Edge will open Sunday’s performances.

“They are a group that’s been together for a long time, but haven’t quite broken over the edge of fame yet,” Regrutto said. “‘Amen’ is a wonderful song. They are amazing performers and vocalists – very, very fun to watch.

She said that, on a talent scouting trip to Nashville, Tenn. she was in a showcase event in which a crowd of concert promoters were standing around talking as Eden’s Edge came on stage.

“The lead singer comes out and starts singing, just holding one note,” Regrutto said. “Everybody’s talking and she holds that note until everybody shuts up and pays attention to her and her group. You couldn’t ignore this beautiful voice. It was really cool. Not a lot of performers can command that kind of attention, especially among buyers who have been listening to music all day.”

Frazier, a 17-year-old rising star from Texas who will open the Jamboree on Friday aftrenoon, was offered her first record deal at age 13 (after selling some 30,000 copies of her initial CD, made at age 9, by knocking on doors across the state of Texas).

“She has worked really hard since she was very young, going and singing at truck stops and gas stations,” Regrutto said. “She’s playing at Tootsies in Nashville and she’s been there quite a bit. I think she’ll be a fun addition to our lineup.”

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