I remember this really well.  I was walking around with my camera at the last event that 'GNA had with this guy on the bill.  When his band took the stage, I literally stopped what I was doing and said to myself "Who the heck is that?".  (In a good way, mind you!).

There  was this "bluegrassy" mandolin sound that I literally can't get enough of. Then Greg started singing and again I said to myself "this is fantastic".  I swear - right hand held high, that's what went through my mind.

photo by Richie Phillips

Greg Bates, like so many people we have on each year's Countryfest roster might not be a household name yet.  And I'm not saying that he'll be the next Kenny Chesney. But these newcomers are on tour for a reason.  They are there because big record companies see their unique talents, even though they may have only one or two radio hits .

Heck,  I remember when Kenny Chesney was here and was relatively unknown.  He was a young guy just like Greg.  Want proof?

There he is with us and my son, Ben, a few years back  See? He even LOOKS like Greg Bates does now,  and look what happened to him!

So don't let the names fool you.  Today's (?) might be tomorrow's (!!!!!)

All the more reason to get on these cheap tickets while they last for Countryfest 2013.