Jason Isbell, More Tennessee Artists Promote State’s Tourism

Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires perform a live streamed concert for Chicago's Congress Park. PRNewsFoto/Tennessee Department of Tourist

Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires perform a live streamed concert inside the Country Music Hall of Fame’s CMA Theater for Chicago’s Congress Park. PRNewsFoto/Tennessee Department of Tourist Development

This week, the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development live-streamed three concerts from West, Middle, and East Tennessee into Congress Park in downtown Chicago as part of The Soundtrack of America: Made in Tennessee tourism program.

Citizen Cope, Jason Isbell, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Ashley Monroe took to the stage on three consecutive nights, May 23-25, and performed from iconic attractions in Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville. The live performances were streamed onto a two-sided video wall and artists interacted with the audiences over the course of three days, including giving away trips to Tennessee.

Citizen Cope kicked off the series of events on Monday and performed a solo acoustic set live from Stax Museum of American Soul Music. The screen gave the Chicago audience a 360-degree look at the Memphis performance, making it the first long distance concert of its kind. Citizen Cope also posed for photos through the screens and took song requests from the crowd in Chicago. He also gave one lucky Chicago audience member a trip to visit Memphis.

On Tuesday, the events traveled to Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum as high-energy old-time string band Old Crow Medicine Show performed seven songs including “Tennessee Bound,” “8 Dogs 8 Banjos” and “Wagon Wheel.” The group also connected with the live audience in Chicago’s Congress Park, through the interactive screens, and gave away a limited-edition poster to a fan.

The evening culminated with a set from Jason Isbell, joined by wife Amanda Shires on stage. Isbell greeted the audience in Chicago and performed “24 Frames,” “Cover Me Up,” and the title track off his latest album Something More Than Free. Additionally, Isbell took crowd pictures through the interactive screens and also selected a lucky winner in Chicago to give a trip to Nashville.

Singer, songwriter, and member of the country music trio Pistol Annies, Ashley Monroe took the stage in her hometown of Knoxville at the famous Tennessee Theatre for the final night of the concert series. Monroe performed a nine-song set that included singles “Like a Rose” and “Weed Instead of Roses,” as well as “Bombshell” off her latest album The Blade. Monroe also used time in-between songs to speak with the audience in Chicago and talk about growing up in Knoxville.

The live streaming concerts were part of a partnership with the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development and Nashville marketing agency FlyteVu.

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“As the birthplace of so many genres, Tennessee’s musical roots are deep with ground-breaking events,” said Kevin Triplett, Commissioner of Tourist Development. “The three days of streamed concerts, showcasing the amazing talent of Citizen Cope, Jason Isbell, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Ashley Monroe, featured the wide variety of music that is ours. Originating from Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville highlights these music destinations and venues as well as the artists and their music. And it makes this streamed event another incredible first that puts the music stake even deeper in the ground for Tennessee.”

Tennessee has long been known as a global music destination for live performances, historic music venues and recording studios. It is the state where the genres of blues, bluegrass, country, gospel, soul and rock ‘n’ roll originated and has more musicians per capita than any other place in the world.

Additionally, Chicago is a top tourism market for the state of Tennessee. Due to direct flight paths into the state’s major airports and close geographical driving range, Tennessee has become an easily accessible destination for many tourists over the years.

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Craig Shelburne is the General Manager at MusicRow.

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