Rock the South 2018 closes with powerhouse performances


Hank Williams, Jr. and Eric Church closed out Rock the South 2018 Saturday night. (W.C. Mann/Nick Griffin for The Tribune)

CULLMAN – It was huge, it was loud, and it was a rollicking good time. Rock the South (RTS) 2018 brought down the house, closing out the event Saturday night with superstar Eric Church. And let’s not forget Grammy Award-winning Hank Williams, Jr., who drew thousands of die-hard fans.

After a wet opening day, Saturday dawned dry and hot. And stayed that way. Heritage Park was filled to capacity with exuberant concertgoers soaking up the sun and the music. Dalton and the Sheriffs took the stage first.

Away from the main stage, guests got the chance to take photos in front of the Rock the South sign, test out their arm with a football booth, work on their 3-point shot on a couple of basketball goals, pick up RTS merchandise, visit dozens of different food vendors and more.

Kenton Bryant grabbed the mic next to keep the party going. During his set, Bryant took a moment to thank the crowd for attending and talk about how much it meant to him to play for such a big crowd.

“Before our next song I just want to say thank you to all of you guys out here today,” he said. “It means a lot to me that y’all would come listen to a kid from Glasgow, Kentucky play.”

Troy Cartwright followed Bryant before a special guest at this year’s event took the stage at 5:30; 11-year-old Mason Ramsey, perhaps better known as the “Wal-Mart Yodeling Kid,” became an internet sensation after a video of him performing “Lovesick Blues” in a Kentucky Wal-Mart went viral earlier this year. His appearance at RTS was a treat for the crowd and Ramsey himself, who is a huge Hank Williams, Jr. fan. Mason will also be part of the upcoming “Stars of Tomorrow” show at the Kentucky Opry starting later this month.

The enduring Southern country/rock Marshall Tucker Band thrilled the crowd, especially with nostalgic tunes such as “Fire on the Mountain.” MTB has been rocking since the early 1970s and showed no signs of stopping any time soon.

Next up was Alabama’s own Riley Green, who took the concert into the evening and got the crowd riled up for the headliners.

“Bocephus” (Williams Jr.) walked out to an absolutely raucous crowd, thousands of whom came from all over the country to see him perform. He did not disappoint, judging by his fans’ responses.

Closing out RTS 2018 was superstar Eric Church, who put on a spectacular performance and brought the house down in a thunderous finale to this year’s festivities.

RTS is not just about the music, however. It’s also about giving back to the Cullman community. This year, Childhaven was a recipient of a large donation. Look for a full story on the philanthropy of RTS and its founder, Shane Quick, in Tuesday’s print edition of The Cullman Tribune.

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