CMAFest IN REVIEW: Darius Rucker & Friends; Benefit Concert for St. Jude’s

The Wildhorse Saloon was the setting for Darius Rucker’s 6th Annual Benefit Concert to support St. Jude’s Research Hospital. The sold out show would include guests Steve Wariner, Brett Eldredge, Brothers Osborne, A Thousand Horses, Scotty McCreery, & surprise guests Little Big Town.

The evening started with Nan Kelly, host of Country Music Channel & help from a St. Jude patient. Together they auctioned off signed guitars from a few of Artists, with Rucker’s personally signed guitar going for a whopping $11,500, bringing in a total 2 day donation of $220,000 between the concert/auction, & celeb golf tournament to be donated to St. Jude in Memphis, TN, to aid in research for Childhood Cancer’s and other life threatening illnesses.

DariusDarius Rucker // Photo Credit: Lori Deavers


Rucker came on sang hits like “Homegrown Honey” and “Alright”! He remarked occasionally on how happy he was that the crowd seems to get bigger every year & friends don’t hesitate to join him in the cause! The first of many friends that night was American Idol Winner, Scotty McCreery, who came on and sang his newest Single “See You Tonight” before singing an awesome take on George Strait‘s “Check Yes or No”. Next to appear was new group Brother’s Osborne who sang their single, “Rum”, but not before showing the crowd their guitar skills on the ZZ Top’s Classic “La Grange”.

1000 horsesA Thousand Horses // Photo Credit: Lori Deavers

Brett Eldredge was next to come on singing his tune “Beat of The Music”, which after the 1st verse busted every electrical panel there was…leaving Eldredge without a mic. So, what’s a singer to do? He encouraged the crowd into singing the chorus with him A Capella until the engineers could get things working! Eldredge and Rucker did a duet on not 1, but 2 Sinatra Tunes! A Thousand Horses, a fairly new band on the scene came in and sang their #1 Single “Smoke”. I soon discovered that the lead singer used to be with the Group The Black Crows, which led into a crazy rendition “Hard to Handle”!

LBTLittle Big Town // Photo Credit: Lori Deavers

The highlight of the night was the introduction of Little Big Town who quieted the crowd by singing their hit “Girl Crush”, followed by “Pontoon”! Of course the evening was not an evening with Darius & friends finishing the night with Rucker’s remake of “Wagon Wheel”!

Michelle Kennedy

Michelle Kennedy

I've been married to my husband Bob for 21 years and we have 2 teenage boy's. I work as a Teaching Assistant for Special Needs High School Students. In my spare time I love attending concerts, photography, and spending time with family & friends!

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