Fun on the Fourth

By Helena Rodriguez

Country spirit will not only be flowing in terms of patriotism this Fourth of July weekend, but will be overwhelming present in the form of entertainment.
Just about every brand of country music, from classic to contemporary, from Texas to even Tejano country, will be represented at area Fourth of July celebrations, from Grammy-nominee Holly Dunn, Lynn Anderson, Cooder Graw and Emilio in Clovis to country music pioneer Merle Haggard, Marty Stuart and Pam Tillis at the UFO Music Fest in Roswell and Tracy Lawrence at the Sandia Casino in Albuquerque.
Today in Clovis, the Independence Day celebration kicks off at Joe’s Boot Shop at 10 a.m. with the area Home Cookin’ Band, followed by country crooner Lynn Anderson at noon and The Texas Playboys at 1 p.m.
On Friday, three-time Grammy nominee, Holly Dunn, will help Clovis celebrate The Fourth with a big bang. She’ll perform at Joe’s Bootshop at 1 and 3 p.m. and then at the city-wide Smoke on the Water celebration at 8 p.m. at Greene Acres Park.
The 20th annual Great Tent Sale and Concerts at Joe’s Boot Shop have become a Fourth of July tradition. The free concerts were staged 18 years in Muleshoe and the past two years in Clovis. It’s been host to some big names in country, including the Dixie Chicks, who were an unknown trio when they sung at the original Joe’s Boot Shop in Muleshoe before hitting the big time.
The boot shop has not only scheduled an impressive lineup of free concerts this year, but a healthy mix which will also include up-and-coming Texas country band, Cooder Graw, whose claim to fame is a Dodge commercial with their song, “Llano Estacado” and “Better Days.”
“We’re excited about our line-up. We’ve got some people who have been real popular and area still popular, like Holly Dunn, Lynn Anderson and the Texas Playboys,” said Scot Stinnett of Joe’s Boot Shop.
“Cooder Graw is also a real popular band, the kind of band the young crowd likes and the older crowd will enjoy,” Stinnett added. “We are especially excited about having Emilio. We have been wanting to get him for several years.”
Emilio is a multiple -Tejano Music Awards winner who sings country in both Spanish and English. He sung duets with the late Tejano music queen, Selena, and has toured with Alan Jackson and other country stars.
Another Spanish band, Sueno Norteno, will also perform at Joe’s on Friday.
In Roswell, things really get out of this world when Merle Haggard takes the stage at the UFO Music Fest. He performs at 8 p.m., at Bob Crosby Arena at the Eastern New Mexico Fairgrounds. And for those who don’t mind driving even further, Tracy Lawrence performs on Sunday at Sandia Casino in Albuquerque.