WEZL’s “Stars & Guitars” review

I was able to attend WEZL’s annual Stars & Guitars on Sunday June 2nd   at historic Boone Hall Plantation. Trace Adkins headlined the show with support from Midland and Runaway June. I have never been to Boone Hall, but instantly fell in love with the beautiful surroundings. Giant trees with Spanish moss lined the entrance road and we were directed to a large field where the stage was set up. Vendors offering food and drink lined the perimeter and fans armed with lawn chairs and blankets eagerly awaited the music to start.

We arrived early and female trio Runaway June started the evening with an acoustic set. I had heard Runaway June put on a heck of a show so I was very interested to see them live. They had infectious harmonies and even got the men in the crowd to sing along when they performed a cover of the Sara Evans classic “Suds In The Bucket”. I observed Midland watching the set from the side of the stage (more to come on that later). Runaway June ended the set with their radio single “Lipstick.” I was impressed and am eager to see them again with a full band.

Midland was up next and also performed an acoustic set. Their whole vibe is 70’s cowboy meets Burt Reynolds from “Smokey and The Bandit”, and they did not disappoint. Midland is very high energy and I wish I could have seen them up close in a packed bar.


Runaway June watched from the side stage. It was revealed that Midland will release their debut album on Sept. 22ndand will support Jon Pardi in the fall along with Runaway June. Midland called Runaway June back onto the stage to join the band on a cover of Alabama’s “Dixieland Delight”. You could tell Midland and Runaway June enjoy touring together. I kind of want them to start a supergroup to compete against Little Big Town, lol. Midland ended the night with their current Top 10 “Drinking Problem”.

As the night drew to a close Trace Adkins took the stage backed with a full band and impressive lighting. I, for one, forgot about all the hits the man had and he played them all! He started the night with “Songs about Me” and continued playing for well over an hour. “Just Fishing” and “You’re Gonna Miss This” had me thinking about my 3 year old daughter.  It is amazing how songs can resonate with you, and take you back to a specific time. I had not heard Trace in years, but it seemed the songs took on new meaning for me now than when they were first released. Trace was a true professional, very at ease with the stage, the crowd, and let the music do the talking for him. Trace recently signed with Broken Bow Records subsidiary Wheelhouse Records and is now supporting the new album “Something’s Going On”.

Photos & article by guest contributor Thomas Murray.

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