The Swon Brothers, made up of brothers Zach and Colton Swon, have been on The Storyteller Tour as the opening act for Carrie Underwood since January, but they managed to carve out some time to make a stop at the Midnight Rodeo in Springfield, MO to do a headlining show with special guest Drew Baldridge. It was a fun night full of excitement from both bands who played in front of a house full of very boisterous fans.
Drew Baldridge started the night off with a bang as he got the crowd energized with several songs from his upcoming album (set to release in June) including “Train,” “Burnt Toast,” “Rebound,” and the title track “Dirt On Us.” In addition to his own songs, he did a wide range of covers from Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” to Trace Adkin’s “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” which he transitioned into Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back.” Baldridge is quite the showman. He was all over the small stage dancing, singing and shaking his hips like no white boy should be able to for his entire set. His band even had choreography to several of the songs and they showed just as much personality as Baldridge. He ended the set with his current single “Dance with Ya” while the crowd took the words to heart and danced all around to the infectious song.
After a short intermission The Swon Brothers came on stage ready to wow the crowd and it was evident that they were there to have a good time. Throughout the night they played most of the songs off their new EP, Timeless, including “Throwback,” “Just Another Girl,” “Nobody” and my personal favorite “Killing Me.” They also mixed in several covers such as Keith Urban’s “Somebody Like You,” Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page,” and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Fishin’ in the Dark.” One of the best numbers of the night had to be when Zach performed what I think is one of the best covers of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine” I’ve ever heard. His intense vocals along with some fantastic guitar playing make you get the stank face and get lost in the emotion of the song as you watch him sing with immense conviction. Most artists, especially those that are still making a name for themselves, will do a lot of cover songs to fill their time on stage and The Swon Brothers do that, but somehow they do such great versions of the songs they pick, you almost forget it’s not their song to begin with.
The Swon Brothers paid tribute to the late Merle Haggard and sang “Working Man Blues” while they introduced their band and then performed another new song “You Got Somebody” which they seamlessly mixed with the Kings of Leon song “Use Somebody.” They ended the show with their hit single “Later On” and came back out for an encore where they sang the Eagles’ “Life in the Fast Lane.” Finally, Colton took a turn on lead vocals for The Doobie Brothers’ “Listen to the Music” as he headed into the crowd to take selfies and hand out shirts and CDs.
Both The Swon Brothers and Drew Baldridge are great entertainers and know how to keep a crowd engaged. Whether it is with the more dance infused pop country style of Baldridge or the soulful classic rock style of the Swons, they keep the audience dancing, singing and having a great time all night long. Both of these acts are rising stars in country music and deserve to have great success in years to come.