This ain’t your father’s country

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When Scott DuBose takes the stage at the first annual Rockin’ on the River Ribfest, concert-goers will be treated to what this local artist calls, “Ranch Rock.”

On Saturday, opening for country music star Chris Cagle, DuBose will open the Miller Lite Main Stage starting at 7 p.m. While DuBose firmly believes the best thing an independent artist can do is play to the audience and put on a great show every single time, fans should expect non-stop energy from this country crooner.

“I’m a high energy guy,” DuBose said the week of the show. “I’m a big person on stage. I run around the stage. I can’t stand in one place with my guitar.”

DuBose got his start in music at a young age. Growing up, he split his time between the south side of Chicago and Southern Mississippi, where country was always on the radio. His father bought DuBose his first guitar when he was only five or six years old.

“I’ve always had music around and I’ve been real lucky my parents encouraged it,” he said.

It wasn’t until he reached 11 that DuBose was really exposed to rock ‘n roll, which he has incorporated into his country sound. While he bills himself as a country artist, DuBose’s musicians do not come from a country music background.

“Everybody wants a good country sound, but they also want a really good rock sound,” he said.

DuBose keeps himself busy playing close to 100 shows each year. He began performing with “The 101 Ranch,” the band he started in 2003, but went solo about five years ago. His performances are mostly central to the Midwest, which has gained popularity in the area in the last few years. As his biography states: “This is not your father’s country music, this is ranch rock!” Stating that Country music has evolved and grown into something that has been accepted into the mainstream.

While DuBose acknowledges that some people are initially turned off by what they think country music is, he challenges them to spend 24 hours listening to country music and not love the stories and heart of the music.

“It’s the soul,” DuBose said of his love for country music, adding it really tells stories about everyday life. “The music has got so much soul and so much heart… It’s a music that touches your heart.”

Entry to the new Rockin’ on the River Ribfest, held at Freedom Center, 560 W. Grand Ave., is $10 for general admission and $25 for VIP tickets. Tickets can be purchased at the gate or online at www.rockinriverchicago.com. VIP tickets include access to the VIP Rockin’ Lounge, complete with premium viewing of main stage performances, food buffet and a full cash bar.

The three-day festival on the Chicago River will showcase the nation’s best barbecue joint and performances by DuBose, Chris Cagle and Colt Ford (Sunday) as well as some other local non-country favorites. The fest is open from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday (Aug. 13) and Saturday (Aug. 14); and 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday (Aug. 15).

Parking is available for $10, but the festival is also accessed through public transportation.

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