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Come for the Coloradoan rodeo, stay for the Drake White concert in Pueblo

January 11, 2018 Updated: January 11, 2018 at 2:54 pm
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Country star Drake White is headlining a concert at the Coloradoan Rodeo and Concert Series at the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. Here, White performs at the Faster Horses Music Festival in the Brooklyn Trails Campground at Michigan International Speedway on Friday, July 21, 2017, in Brooklyn, Mich. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)

It's not often you can take in an indoor rodeo and hear a national country act all in one weekend, and for potentially less than $50.

The Coloradoan Rodeo and Concert Series is Friday, Jan. 12, and Saturday, Jan. 13, at Southwest Motors Event Center on the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo. The cherry on top of the festivities is a Saturday night concert by country star Drake White.

"Normally we've had in the past a PBR (Professional Bull Riders) event. This year we decided to do something different: It's a full-blown rodeo, and after that we booked Drake White for a concert," said Tommy Giodone, president and CEO of Tommy G. Productions, Pueblo, which is putting on the rodeo and concert series.

Sanctioned by the United Professional Rodeo Association, the rodeo will include bareback bronc riding, barrel racing, bull riding, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping, tie-down roping and mutton busting for children ages 4-7.

Reached by phone in Nashville, Tenn., last week, the 33-year-old Alabama-born White, whose 2016 album "Spark" reached No. 4 on the country charts, said he was looking forward to performing in southern Colorado and capping off the rodeo.

"We love coming to Colorado," said White of his four-piece band the Big Fire: Adam Schwind on drums, Philip Pence on bass, Jabe Beyer on guitar and Jon Aanestad on fiddle. "We have a fan base there and have relationships we've formed throughout the state. I do enjoy the rodeo lifestyle. It's conducive to the life of a musician. And I'm a fan of cowboys and what they stand for. I've been known to ride a horse a little bit."

White's singles "It Feels Good," "Livin' the Dream" and "Makin' Me Look Good Again," all from "Spark," have climbed the country charts. The latter song, a soulful ballad written for his wife, is a crowd favorite that Drake said will for sure be on the band's playlist in Pueblo.

Colorado Springs country band Jeffrey Alan Band will open for White.

Touring with Willie Nelson in 2011 put White's name out there, but he's been playing professionally since about 2004. He moved to Nashville just over a decade ago and took a job as a sound engineer while laying the foundation for his music career. It was then that he got his dog, a golden retriever he named Songwriter.

"Every time I heard his tags rattling, it reminded me, 'Hey, Drake, that's why you moved to Nashville.'"

The tactic worked. Songwriter's 11 now, and White's career has taken off.

The band is at work on a new album and will be testing out songs during their Colorado stop. White and his band most recently toured with the Zac Brown Band. A summer tour with country music singer-songwriter Kip Moore is in the works.

"We season songs live before we put them on that record. If you listen to your fans, you really engulf yourself in the people. It's a good barometer of what you need to put out. It's those fans that are just the champions. Their energy is reciprocated by us," White said.

On White's personal playlist right now are Midland, Brothers Osborne, Jerry Reed, Roger Miller and Boulder's Leftover Salmon.

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