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Go Country With Brantley Gilbert at Ocean Casino Resort

Published: July 2022

Maybe it’s the immense crossover success of artists like Taylor Swift and Kacey Musgraves, two guitar-plucking country girls whose genre-bending music blurs the line between pop and country. Or maybe it’s the rise of streaming and satellite radio, which have liberated listeners from the constraints of radio formats and the whims of their DJs.


Whatever the reason, there’s no denying that country music is thriving on the east coast—and Atlantic City is no exception.


Over the past seven years, the city’s country stations have experienced a steady increase in listenership, and Atlantic City venues like Ocean Casino Resort have been booking some of country’s biggest stars, from the Kenny Curcio Trio to Brantley Gilbert.


In honor of Brantley Gilbert’s upcoming performance on July 29th at Ocean Casino Resort, we’re two-stepping our way through country’s past, present, and future in Monopoly City.


A Brief History of Country Music

In the early 20th century, country music emerged as a heartfelt genre of working-class people in the American South. Although its official birthplace is recognized as Bristol, Tennessee—a small Appalachian hamlet in the northeast corner of the state—country music has become synonymous with the states south of the Mason-Dixon Line.


Country music is built upon an array of American and European influences. An amalgamation of styles and forms, it draws from varied musical traditions like:


  • English ballads
  • Celtic fiddle songs
  • American blues, gospel, jazz, and folk music


Lyrically, country music engages relatable, folksy themes like pang of heartache, the thrill of new love, and the unique struggles and pleasures of rural life. It frequently incorporates colloquial language, regional idioms, and storytelling techniques.


The genre is closely associated with acoustic and electric guitars, violins or fiddles, and the banjo. In traditional and modern country music, these instruments are often accompanied by:


  • Drums
  • Dobros
  • Harmonics
  • Mandolins
  • Pianos


The world of country has produced some of the biggest music stars in music, from old-guard masters like Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, and Tammy Wynette, to next-generation stars like Carrie Underwood, Morgan Wallen, and Luke Bryson, who are carrying the country torch into the 21st century.


Country Music in New Jersey

If you think country music with twangy accents, Stetson hats, and lyrics that wax poetic about pick-up trucks, hound dogs, and do-wrong men are exclusive to the American South, think again.


The quintessential music of the plains is one of the most listened-to musical genres in the country—including right here in Atlantic City.


Country stars near and far do-si-do to the beaches of Atlantic City for country-centric festivities, including the likes of Luke Bryan, Morgan Wallen, and Dierks Bentley. Atlantic City is more than an ideal respite for high-rollers and slot-players—it’s a mecca of first-class entertainment and Atlantic City country music shows.


The Secret History: New Jersey’s Hidden Country Roots

It’s easy to view the 1970s as a time of intense social change. Indeed, the decade wasn’t even half over before the United States witnessed the end of a violent foreign war, a presidential resignation, and Jaws on the big screen. And the music of that time is indelibly wrapped up in all of that, from the unrest of funk and folk to the ambient escapism of disco.


While glitterati were assembling at iconic venues further up the coast, country music topliners were making a play for New Jersey.


This secret history came to light a few years ago when Rutgers University received a donation of 56 postcards. Dated from the 1970s, they advertised country western shows playing at various New Jersey venues, featuring big-name country acts like:


  • Hawkshaw Hawkins
  • Wanda Jackson
  • Rose Maddox
  • Hank Thompson
  • Slim Whitman


As it turns out, the country boom that took hold of New Jersey in the 2010s—and that continues to rage now—isn’t totally without precedent. At intimate venues throughout the city, from Villain & Saint to Ovation Hall, country music has a home in Jersey.


Country Comes Alive With Brantley Gilbert at Ovation Hall

With such a rich history in the state, it’s only fitting that today’s top artists bring country music NJ back to New Jersey.


On July 29th, don’t miss your chance to catch Brantley Gilbert live in concert at Ovation Hall. One of country music's most exciting artists, he’s bringing his bad boy, hard rock-infused take on country to Ocean Casino Resort for one night only. Get your tickets today.


Are you wondering, “Are there other country concerts near me?” Click here to discover more.




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