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Photo provided by Andrew Holzaepfel via OU Performing Arts and Concert Series website.

Dustin Lynch with guest Travis Denning bring country music to Athens

Country music is an untimely American classic, procuring up visions of warm summer nights, and long car rides with the windows rolled down. The crooning melodies and rolling guitar licks of country music seem to have the power to remind us of sweeter, less complicated times.

Country singer and songwriter Dustin Lynch, along with opening act Travis Denning, will be performing this Saturday at 8:00 p.m. at Ohio University’s Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium. 

Lynch, first appeared on the country music scene with his hit single “Cowboys and Angels,” in 2012. Since then, Lynch has been steadily climbing the charts to join the ranks of the top country artists, including country stars like Thomas Rhett, Keith Urban, Jason Aldean and Tim McGraw.

“This will be the fourth time Dustin Lynch will be here at Ohio University,” Andrew Holzaepfel, Director of the OU Performing Arts & Concert Series, said. “When we were looking at shows for  the spring, we thought he would be a good person to bring back. The audience loves him and he always puts on a great show.”

Because of Lynch’s previous visit to the university and the popularity of country music among local listeners, he has become a fan favorite and a staple performer, both in Athens and beyond, Holzaepfel said. 

Lynch also has released a new album called “Tullahoma” this year, which includes songs like “Ridin’ Roads,” “Workin’ On You” and “Red Dirt, Blue Eyes.” 

Fellow country musician Travis Denning will also be performing his latest songs, which include “After a Few,” “Heartbeat of a Small Town” and “Red, White and Blue.” This will be Denning’s first time at OU.

“I think the Athens music scene has something for everyone,” Malie Curry, a sophomore studying education, said. "OU does a good job of diversifying their music scene. Concerts sponsored by OU include all genres, even the ones a lot of people are less familiar with take their upcoming STOMP concert/show as an example.”

Lynch and Denning will be touring from Jan. 30 until March 28. Athens will be the third stop on the tour.

“I have been listening to country music ever since I can remember,” Alicia Klohn, a junior studying international business and marketing, said. “This concert will be kicking off a great year of events at OU. It definitely shows that people in Athens have a diverse music taste because it is going outside the stereotype of college students from big cities.”

Athens draws in many different types of music genres, ranging from metal to indie to bluegrass and many more. In terms of performers that come to play at OU, however, the popularity in country music has increased exponentially. 

“There are a lot of different opportunities to view other genres like pop and hip hop,” Holzaepfel said. “But country has been particularly dominant in the last few years. We know that country is something that we can depend on to draw a lot of students and community members to the show.”

To purchase tickets, visit


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