Note: The below story was written by Sue Guynn. You can read the below story as well as all you need to know about the local country music scene on her blog, Three Chords And The Truth.
The Swon Brothers and Danielle Bradbery were the headline music acts at the Family FUNomenon at the Frederick Fairgrounds Saturday.
Rain was the weather of the day, but by the time I walked onto the track in front of the grandstand stage, about 15 minutes before the brothers took the stage, the rain had stopped. Just some sloppy mud, puddles in the gravel and, (yeah!) even a few minutes of sunshine before the heavy gray clouds reorganized with the heavy threat of rain, but just a few drops.
Now I can put a check beside the Swon Brothers and Danielle Bradbery on to-see concert list.
The brothers, Zach and Colton Swon, opened the afternoon show. Older brother Zach took the lead on most songs with Colton bringing on that brotherly harmony that won fans when they appeared on NBC’s “The Voice.”
Their set included a song they co-wrote with Lady Antebellum that says all those things a guy wants to say to a girl or as Zach said, “a song that says it all.” Two songs that caught “Voice” fans’ attention when they performed them during the competition were “Danny’s Song” and “Fishin’ in the Dark,” and they performed them as well. Colton stepped down to the front of the stage to give people a chance to sing the chorus of “Fishin’ in the Dark” in the microphone.
A track on their upcoming debut album is a summer song, “95.” Colton said the album had to have a summer song and feature all those things you do when the thermometer hits 95 degrees, like wearing flip flops and getting your tan on.
Another song from their album, “Pretty Beautiful,” was dedicated to FUNomenon organizer Debbie Williams’ sister, who was celebrating her birthday. Williams invited her sister to the stage where Colton gave her a dozen red roses and each brother gave her a hug. Zach said the brothers wrote the song together and it has all the things you want to tell a girl, like “you make pretty beautiful.”
Zach said “Voice” coach Blake Shelton told them to just be themselves. “If you like George Jones and Merle Haggard, then do it on NBC,” he said. “This one’s for the possum, George Jones,” he then added as he introduced Jones’ classic hit “Whose Gonna Fill Their Shoes.”
The brothers turned the stage over to their keyboard player Seth, who suggested they include some pop songs in their set. Then each brother played one of their own, with Colton playing a classic pop number, a Temptations hit, “My Girl.”
The set included three more songs from their upcoming album, “Chasin’ You Around,” “Same Old Highway,” and their first single and No. 1 song, “Later On.”
Zach and Colton sprinkled their set with brotherly bantering and brought a lot of energy to their set. This was my first Swoncert, and it likely won’t be my last.
Danielle Bradbery, wearing short denim shorts and black short fringed boots and a gray shirt, opened her 60-minute set with three songs from her self-titled debut album, “Talk About Love,” “My Day” and “Wild Boy,” before launching into a couple of pop covers “because they are fun” to sing, as she said.
Bradbery won “The Voice” the same season that the Swon Brothers appeared on the show, and they were both with coach Blake Shelton. Danielle said that Zach and Colton were like big brothers to her, and sang the song she did during the show’s finale, “Born to Fly,” a hit for fellow country artist Sara Evans, and her favorite Blake Shelton song, “Over.”
She just finished touring with Hunter Hayes and said that he played guitar when she recorded “Endless Summer” in the studio.
Danielle invited the crowd to sing along, dance or whatever they wanted to do as she covered Katy Perry’s “Roar.”
Her two-song encore included her first single, “The Heart of Dixie,” and she then left the stage with the audience knowing why this powerful singer won “The Voice.”
And kudos to all the volunteers and sponsors of the event that benefits the recipients of the Patty Pollatos Fund Inc.