published Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Jake Owen to play Riverbend in Chattanooga

Country singer Jake Owen is the opening night headliner at Riverbend 2013.
Country singer Jake Owen is the opening night headliner at Riverbend 2013.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Yee haw, country singer Jake Owen will be the headliner on opening night for Riverbend Festival in 2013.

Also announced are "back wood hip-hop" artist Big Smo, who will play the Bud Light Stage on June 14, and indie-pop duo Civil Twilight, which will play the Unum Stage on June 12, according to talent and production coordinator Joe "Dixie" Fuller.

Owen is the second country headliner added to the festival, which traditionally has featured at least two main acts from the genre. He joins Dierks Bentley, who's set for the Coca-Cola Stage on June 12.

"These are two young country stars that put on high-energy shows that people will love," Fuller says.

Owen's debut album, "Startin' with Me" in 2006, produced three Top 20 singles in "Yee Haw," "Startin' with Me" and "Something About a Woman." His 2009 follow-up, "Easy Does It," also featured three hits in "Don't Think I Can't Love You," "Eight Second Ride" and "Tell Me."

Big Smo received this judgment from one critic, "If Kid Rock and Run DMC had a love child, he would be called Big Smo." His songs have titles such as "Kickin' It in Tennessee," "American Made" and "My Life in a Jar."

Civil Twilight mixes atmospheric sound and storytelling that have been compared to a "cross-pollination of Jeff Buckley and Thom Yorke."

Riverbend is scheduled to take place June 7-15 along the 21st Century Waterfront.

Previously announced acts include R&B singer Brandy, who will headline on June 9; Florida Georgia Line on June 7; and Ed Roland's Sweet Tea Project on June 13; jazz guitarist Larry Carlton on June 13; and Moon Taxi on Friday, June 14.

Contact staff writer Barry Courter at or at 423-757-6354.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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