BRISTOL, Va. — A big noise is coming to this year’s Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion — Wynonna and The Big Noise.
Flamboyant Wynonna Judd, one of country music’s most visible artists and accomplished vocalists — first as a duet partner with her mother, Naomi, in The Judds and then as a solo artist — will headline the 19th annual festival. Officials of the Birthplace of Country Music announced the lineup for the 19th annual festival last Wednesday at the BCM Museum. It is set to unfold Sept. 20-22 in downtown Bristol.
“Wynonna is a name that has been talked about for years, and it’s just not happened for one reason or another,” festival music committee Chairman Brent Treash said after the announcement. “This was a situation where the stars aligned. When we think about who needs to headline Bristol, you need somebody who has that clout, who has that recognition in country music. I mean, we’re the birthplace of country music. Not many artists you can say just their first name and people recognize who they are.”
Wynonna is a former Academy of Country Music Female Vocalist of the Year and Grammy Award nominee. She has released 20 No. 1 singles, the last in 1996. She and her band released their self-titled album in 2016 on Curb Records.
She is slated to headline the Piedmont stage.
“She is a fireball, so you can imagine what she’ll be like in Bristol this September,” Treash said.
About 120 bands and individual artists will play the three-day festival. Among the other headliners are St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Patty Griffin, Sam Bush, Steep Canyon Rangers, Acoustic Syndicate, Gibson Brothers, Daniel Norgren, Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out, Lucy Dacus and Ruston Kelly.
It’s a return engagement for Birmingham, Alabama-based St. Paul, which played the festival in 2014 and 2015 and went on to headline major festivals and the Ryman, open for the Rolling Stones and make a number of TV appearances. They are scheduled to perform on Friday night.