Country and funk added to amphitheater series

Little Big Town brings country music hits to Murphys on July 1.

Little Big Town, the Isley Brothers, the Commodores and the Family Stone have been added to the Summer Concert Series at the Ironstone Amphitheatre outside Murphys this year.

On July 1 at 7 p.m., country music sensation Little Big Town appears with an as yet unnamed special guest.

Little Big Town recently won a Grammy for the song “Better Man,” which was written by Taylor Swift. The song is on the band’s latest album, “The Breaker,” which debuted in the No. 1 slot in the Billboard Country Charts and reached No. 4 on the Billboard 200. The record was the fourth Top 10 debut the group has achieved.

The act is the reigning Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music Vocal Group of the Year. Little Big Town was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2014. In 2017, Little Big Town performed a sold-out, yearlong residency at the famed Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn., marking the venue’s first ever, yearlong residency in its 125 year history.

“We are very happy to welcome for the first time to Ironstone one of country music’s hottest artists, Little Big Town,” said Billy Cohen, who does publicity and marketing for the Richter Entertainment group, which books the shows at the amphitheater. “Don’t miss this one!”

The Isley Brothers, the Commodores and Family Stone come to Murphys for a show at 8 p.m. July 21.

Ronald Isley said the group didn’t consider itself a “professional unit” until 1959, when the trio logged their first hit, “Shout.” That tune sold more than a million records, and it and “Twist and Shout” were later covered by The Beatles.

The group has charted dozens of No. 1 hits as both singles and albums and received two dozen gold, platinum and multiplatinum singles and albums. The band joined the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s ranks in 1992.

The Commodores came together in 1968 as members attended college at Tuskeegee Institute. The group has sold more than 60 million albums that have featured hits like “Machine Gun,” “Brick House,” “Easy,” “Three Times a Lady” and “Sail On.”

Featuring Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees and original founding members of Sly & the Family Stone Jerry “Papa J” Martini and Greg Errico, Family Stone also features Phunne Stone.

“Three of the funkiest soul and R&B groups in history together on one Saturday night in the Mother Lode. With literally hundreds of millions of records sold between them, multiple Grammys and many, many incredible hits, this show promises to be a party!” Cohen said. “Get your dancing shoes on and get on down to Ironstone! This is going to be one hot Saturday night!”

Tickets for the Little Big Town show range in price from $57.50 to $400 and go on sale Friday. Isley Brothers, Commodores and Family Stone tickers go on sale Thursday, but prices had not been posted by press time. All tickets for Ironstone Amphitheatre shows are sold at ironstoneamphitheatre.net or call 551-8497.

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