Doug Stone At The Grape Festival

Doug Stone Headlines Thursday Night at the Tontitown Grape Festival.

This year marked the 113th annual Tontitown Grape Festival in Tontitown, AR. The festival was 5 days long, Tuesday August 9 – Saturday August 13th, with free entertainment each day. The headliners were: Tuesday Jamie O’neal, Wednesday Chuck Wicks, Thursday Doug Stone, Friday Studio B featuring Patrick Hall, and Saturday Andy Griggs.

Thursday I decided to partake in the small town’s festivities, convincing myself I couldn’t miss the legendary Doug Stone. The weather couldn’t have been better, a breezy 75 degrees with the smell of carefully prepared food filling the air! I sampled some grapes, a cup of local wine, and purchased my grandpa a leather keychain with “Thomas” imprinted on it!

Focusing on what I came for, I strategically placed my lawn chair at the perfect position among the crowd gathered on the asphalt, not too close, yet not too far. Not in the middle, but not too much on the side where all I got was a view of the sound system. When I was comfy, I sat and watched the artists do their thing.

Western Justice, a close to the area Oklahoma band, was first up. Even with one band member down, the guys had a great show! They never once dropped their momentum.

Sammy Sadler was next to take the “Gold Medal” stage. Known by many for an awful tragedy that occurred when he was a young man in 1989, “Murder On Music Row” has only made Sadler the strong, capable, and talented artist he is today. His album, Heart Shaped Like Texas, is available now and includes “I Wanna Be Loved By You“, “I’ll Always Have Denver“, “Thank God“, “If This Ain’t Heaven“, the title track “Heart Shaped Like Texas“, plus 6 others. Sadler sang his heart out and impressed a slew of people!

Unfortunately when Stone took the stage, I almost regretted my decision of coming. I had such high hopes for the man who gave us numerous top ten hits including “In A Different Light“, “Why Didn’t I Think Of That“, “I’d Be Better Off (In A Pinebox)”, “Jukebox With A Country Song“, “Fourteen Minutes Old“, and “Made For Lovin’ You“. The crowd really seemed to enjoy his performance and easy-going attitude, but I knew he could have done so much better.

It was a very “comical” show, full of jokes and laughter. The members of the band were very talented and did their best to keep their front man on his toes. Stone seemed to be having a great time, so much that he forgot his own lyrics on several occasions. I believe his favorite part of the evening was pointing out random fans who decided to leave early and talking to them (once during a song). Sticking it out until he was done performing proved to be my biggest task this week (possibly this month).

Tonight is the last night the festival will take place, so don’t miss your chance to partake! Admission is free and the entertainment starts at 7pm!

About HaleighT

HaleighT grew up in rural Sallisaw, Oklahoma, completely immersed in the country music lifestyle. She works with CMNB as our field assignment journalist, gathering concert reviews and exclusive interviews from every artist she can. When she's not out on the road, she's in our web studio filming "Takin' a Break With HaleighT" a short weekly opinion and news segment that launched in 2011.