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Spotlight On The 2011 Craven Country Jamboree
Story & Photos By Glen R. Forrester

The 2011 Craven Country Jamboree was held July 14-17, 2011. 

Intense rains flooded the grounds this year making it look like the event would not happen, but by moving the campsite to a hill and leaving the stage and grandstands at the original site it became a reality. 

On Thursday night in the beer gardens, the festival fired up with Sawyer Brown, a good start up band for the festival. Williams and Ree, the weekend hosts, opened the festival on Friday and introduced Sarah Beth Keeley, a Calgary home artist. Neal McCoy, a guy that worked for Charlie Pride for years, thought he could go on his own and he was right. Neal puts on a show that you will never forget! He had the crowd standing and singing with him, what a show! John Montgomery went on in the afternoon. He is a brother of Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry. He played most of his fifteen number one hits and a lot of great songs as well. Ronnie Dunn of Brooks and Dunn, is another dual that went on his own. Ronnie's voice is out of this world, when he sang his latest number one "Bleed Red" it was unreal. Doc Walker, a Manitoba band came on in the evening another good Canadian band. To finish the day John Reid, a Scottish singer/songwriter now a Canadian. Performed with a lot of energy and excitement, similar to a Las Vegas show.

On Saturday in the early afternoon, Casey James came on. He is a Texas guy that brought a little of Texas to Saskatchewan. Ryan Laird, a Canadian from the east, sang like he is from Nashville but a true Canadian. Mel Tillis a legend of country music, was funny and sang songs that everyone knew. Xtreme Muzik Tour with Big and Rich (Big Kenny and John Rich), Gretchen Wilson and Cowboy Troy, sang together and also as sols. John Rich and Big Kenny started the Muzik Mafia Club. Gretchen Wilson was found in a bar, bar tending, and Cowboy Troy was a shoe sales man in Dallas. What a mix of music! Sugarland ended the night, with Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush. They are a dual that shakes the crowd with a range of depth in their voices. 

Sunday, Tracy Lawrence went on stage in mid afternoon. This guy that has hits after hits like "Sticks and Stones, Can't Break It To My Heart" and on and on. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band a class act, sang songs like "Fishin' In The Dark and Mr. Bojangles". Uncle Kracker (Matt Shafer) came on just before super. In his early years he performed as the DJ in Kid Rock's Twisted Brown Tucker Band. He knows how to entertain the crowd with rock and country blend at the right time. Darius Rucker is a successful African-American country singer that is following in Charley Pride footsteps. Darius sang his heart out, with the crowd getting into his songs like "I Got Notin". To end the Jamboree was Rascal Flatts, (Gary, Joe Don and Jay). The grounds were full to the max and the crowd was having a good time with the trio singing their great songs. They know how to grab the crowd with their music and singing. 

I want to thank everyone back stage, for everything they did to make this article and pictures possible. 

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The Roys touring bus
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Glen Forrester & Neal McCoy
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Casey James (American Idol)
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Big & Rich
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Sugarland
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Sugarland
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Backstage with Big Kenny & friends
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2011 Craven Country Jamboree
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Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
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Rascal Flatts
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Williams & Ree
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Neal McCoy
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Neal McCoy
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Neal McCoy
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John Michael Montgomery
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John Michael Montgomery
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Craven Country Jamboree Banner
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Ronnie Dunn
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Ronnie Dunn
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Ronnie Dunn
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Ronnie Dunn
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Mel Tillis
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Mel Tillis
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Gretchen Wilson
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Gretchen Wilson
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Big & Rich
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Big & Rich
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Tracy Lawrence
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Tracy Lawrence
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Nitty Gritty Dirt Band member
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Nitty Gritty Dirt Band member
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Nitty Gritty Dirt Band member
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Nitty Gritty Dirt Band member
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Darius Rucker
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Darius Rucker
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Rascal Flatts member
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Rascal Flatts member
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Rascal Flatts member

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