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Big & Rich ride into Davie

Country musicians recognize the need for radio airplay, so they keep in close contact with stations across the country.

"We probably have a performer of some kind visit our station three times a month," WKIS-FM Program Director Ken Boesen said.

And when Big Kenny and John Rich, aka Big & Rich, planned to visit South Florida, an idea blossomed.

"We were going to have dinner with them, then we said, 'Hey, why not bring your guitars?'" Boesen said. "They said, 'We could do that,' and one thing led to another."

The result is a free concert in downtown Davie Thursday night that kicks off a series of seven shows. American Young opens at 7 p.m., followed by Big & Rich.

The show is free, and is the first of what has evolved into a series called "Concerts on the Corner." Next are: Big City Dogs, with Billy Bones, Sept. 11; Sucker Punch, Sept. 25; Jimi Ruccolo Band, Oct. 9; Andrew Morris Band, Oct. 23; Jamie Mitchell Band, Nov. 6; and Happy Daze, Nov. 20.

"We'd kind of been looking for an opportunity to do something big for listeners where they don't have pay, and don't even have to have tickets," Boesen said.

The Bergeron Family is paying for costs of production, staging, sound, lights and security, and the Davie's Community Redevelopment Agency also is a sponsor.

The concerts will be at the intersection of Orange Drive and Davie Road, with parking available at the Bergeron Rodeo Grounds. Orange Drive will close at 4 p.m., and the area also will include food and beverage trucks. Patrons are encouraged to bring blankets, lawn chairs and coolers, but glass bottles are not permitted.

Big & Rich's most notable hit is "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)" from 2004, with an accompanying video that included Gretchen Wilson and Cowboy Troy, as well as a marching band and dancers. The song is still the basis for a popular country line dance for beginners.

Their concerts also can resemble a circus act on stage. Kenny specializes in offbeat fashion choices, including a top hat and coke-bottle sunglasses, and Rich isn't far behind with sparkly jackets and shoes.

The pair, who appeared at the WKIS Chili Cook-Off in 2005, went on solo careers from 2008-11, but reunited this year and has an album, "Gravity" due out Sept. 23.

American Young, comprised of Kristy Osmunson and Jon Stone, came together last year in Nashville.

American Young and Big & Rich perform for free at 7 p.m. Thursday at Orange Drive and Davie Road in Davie.

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