Yee-Haw! Rodeo Austin 2017 Lineup
Charley Pride, Kenny Rogers, and Dwight Yoakam top the talent
By Raoul Hernandez,
11:00AM, Tue. Jan. 10, 2017
Turns out that SXSW Music’s big band reveal this morning and Rodeo Austin’s talent announcement preceding it are perfectly complementary: The former boasts volume, while the latter unveils headliners. Among the country legends gracing the Travis County Expo Center March 11-25 are Charley Pride, Dwight Yoakam, and “The Gambler,” Kenny Rogers.
Naturally, the bull riding, bronc taming, and mutton bustin’ attract a demographic that may or may not still have an 8-track tape player in its pickup truck, but as per usual, Rodeo Austin programs for broader tastes. Indie roots star Elle King, daughter of comedian Rob Schneider and recent tour partner for Austin’s Paul Cauthen, bats third in the two-week run after Yoakam and Pride. ACL Fest favorites and regular Stubb’s sell-outs Fitz & the Tantrums will attract a younger crowd.
Rarely seen in Austin over the past couple decades, soul diva great Patti LaBelle anchors the second half of the run.
Opener Yoakam crowned Rodeo Austin two of the last three years, and there’s no better native locale to catch the Kentucky country blue blood, recently glimpsed on the small screen opposite Billy Bob Thornton in Amazon series Goliath. When my wife and I concluded our SXSW 2014 by taking a couple visiting music dignitaries to see the singer, everyone agreed he proved the most authentic performer of the week. You don’t know country music until you’ve experienced it at the spinning stage on a dirt floor hosting epic contests of will between man/woman and beast.
Last year, the Patti LaBelle slot went to Smokey Robinson, who put on a three-alarm Motown revue in a tight, red leather suit. We chased that with buoyant bounce from Raul Malo and the Mavericks. Even with Austin’s annual March madness heating up already, this year’s animal husbandry lineup and accompanying soundtrack should get us and our 2-year-old cowboy hat enthusiast out to North Austin at least thrice.
Time for a SXSW and Rodeo Austin collabo.March 11: Dwight Yoakam March 12: Charley Pride March 13: Elle King March 14: Cole Swindell March 15: Fitz & the Tantrums March 16: Bobby Bones & the Raging Idiots March 17: Randy Rogers Band March 18: Chase Bryant March 19: Kenny Rogers March 20: Neal McCoy March 21: Josh Turner March 22: Patti LaBelle March 23: Old Dominion March 24: Cody Johnson March 25: Kevin Fowler