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story.lead_photo.caption Submitted photoCountry music performer Tracy Lawrence will return to the Moniteau County Fairgrounds on June 2 as the headliner of the inaugural CalMo Country Fest, a fundraiser by Giving a Better Life to provide all-terrain wheelchairs for outdoorsmen.

After looking at national and international artist performances coming to Jefferson City last week, big summer concerts are also taking place in Columbia; Lake of the Ozarks; and California, Missouri; among other Mid-Missouri communities.

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Check out the first installment of this two-part entertainment series featuring a sampling of summer concert dates in Jefferson City:

Big music names make for big local concerts - Part 1

This is a sampling of big concerts hitting Mid-Missouri. Find out more about these concerts and others at the News Tribune's Go! Events online calendar.

Big country hits in California

The inaugural CalMo Country Fest will welcome the country icon Tracey Lawrence, who created hits like "Time Marches On" and "Texas Tornado," on June 2 at the Moniteau County Fairgrounds.

Missouri acts Murphy's Ford and Halle Kearns also will grace the stage, along with California's own southern rockers, Bourbon Creek.

Gates open at 5 p.m., and Lawrence is scheduled to end his set at about 11 p.m.

The event is organized, produced and promoted by local resident Travis Bax. The founder of the foundation, Giving a Better Life, created the concert to raise money for people in wheelchairs to better enjoy the outdoors.

As previously reported in a News Tribune article, Bax hopes to make the festival an annual event that entwines his love of country music and the outdoors. He hopes to pay for expenses in ticket fees and give all of the money raised from food and alcohol sales to the cause of purchasing all-terrain vehicles for the foundation.

For tickets prices and more information, visit

Concert happenings in Columbia

Two internationally known names will grace University of Missouri's Jesse Auditorium as part of the MU University Concert Series.

Weird Al Yankovic brings "The Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour" to Mid-Missouri audiences at 8 p.m. June 8. Yankovic delivers musical satire, building quite the international fan base for more than three decades. However, for the first time in his career, the Grammy Award-winning artist will escape his typical big-production show for a more intimate evening of original, non-parody music from his 14-album catalog.

On July 27, fans of Grammy-nominated, platinum-selling Newsboys can see them in concert at Jesse Auditorium. Also included in the MU University Concert Series, the Newsboys are internationally known as "one of the most influential bands in Christian music history," according to the MU University Concert Series website. Some of their big hits include "We Believe," "He Reigns," "Miracles" and "God's Not Dead."

Special guest Zealand and Adam Agee will also perform.

For more information or to order tickets, visit

The Downtown Columbia Summerfest concerts are back, including seven concerts between two venues from June through early September. At Rose Park, Cracker will perform their blend of country and Americana music June 6; gates open at 5:30 p.m. and the show begins at 6:30 p.m. Indie rockers Cold War Kids, along with Thomas Abban, will take the same stage June 7, and Lucero will deliver their brand of country-punk rock to the concert series July 12. The Cold War Kids show begins at 7 p.m. and Lucero starts at 6:30 p.m.

The series continues at the 9th Street venue with Cody Jinks on June 23, Grizzly Bear + Spoon on July 26, Jon Pardi on July 19 and Chase Rice on Sept. 8. All shows begin at 7 p.m.

For more information and tickets, visit

The Blue Note is also holding some big name acts this summer, including alt-rock/hard rock notables Pop Evil, with special guests Decadent Nation and The Many Colored Death on May 27. Doors open at 7 p.m. with the show starting at 8 p.m. On July 16, the clever, theatrical production that has made legendary hard rockers GWAR famous will come to The Blue Note during the group's "The Blood of Gods" tour. The show, which includes guests Light the Torch, starts at 8 p.m. For more information and tickets, visit

Live music at the Lake

Some of leading artists in country, rock and Red Dirt music will make up a summer-long concert series held this year at Lazy Gators in Lake Ozark.

LOCASH will kick things off May 25, delivering their CMA award-winning original modern country and classic rock blend of music to fans. Best known for her chart-topping country hits like "Redneck Woman," Gretchen Wilson will perform June 29.

On July 5, the Lazy Gators will host the Red Dirt Whiskey Jam featuring Turnpike Troubadours and Cody Canada and the Departed with Madd Hoss Jackson. Boasting three singles on Hot Country Songs, Walker Hayes will take the Lazy Gators stage on July 14. At the end of the month, film star and now rockabilly musician Billy Bob Thorton and the Box Masters will entertain the crowd July 25.

Hailing from Perryville, Chris Janson will perform Aug. 11, delivering country classics like his original, popular tune, "Buy Me a Boat." Those attending the Wonderland Camp music fundraiser of Phat Phest at Shady Gators may want to visit Lazy Gators next door that evening for southern rocker Uncle Kracker's concert Aug. 18. Known for songs like "Brokenheartsville" and "Gimmie That Girl," Joe Nichols will perform his original country hits Aug. 24.

All concerts begin at 9 p.m. For more information or to order tickets, visit

On the other side of Lake of the Ozarks, the outdoor music venue Ozarks Amphitheater in Camdenton will bring country, rock, alternative and more to its stage this summer with some big names. Starting Memorial Day weekend, heavy-hitting country headliner Alabama will take the stage, along with special guests Montgomery Gentry, at 7 p.m. May 26. Musician/comedian Rodney Carrington will perform at 9 p.m. June 15, with the stage offering a whole new vibe with alternative and hard rockers Primus, Mastodon and JJUUJJUU turning up the heat at 7 p.m. June 16.

Country comes back to Ozarks Amphitheater with popular Jamey Johnson, along with special guests Craig Campbell and Stoney LaRue at 7 p.m. July 6.

Colorado native rockers Big Head Todd and the Monsters will perform at 7 p.m. Aug. 11 along with well-known Latin rock chart-toppers Los Lobos.

Stopping in Camdenton on his "The Sinner" tour, Aaron Lewis, musician, songwriter and founding member of the alternative metal band Staind, will share his original music at 7 p.m. Sept. 1.

For ticket prices and more information, visit

Shawnee Bluff Vineyard in Eldon has lined up quite the summer concert series for the last few years, and this year they are bringing back a few favorites to the Lake and showcasing some well-known national music treasures.

On June 1, lovers of '90s music will revel in the iconic pop/alternative rock sounds of The Gin Blossoms, Tonic and Vertical Horizon. Christian country artists Diamond Rio will share favorites like "Meet in the Middle," "One More Day" and "Beautiful Mess" to audiences on June 8. Rock, country and singer-songwriter Steve Earle and The Dukes will celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Copperhead Road on June 22 at the Eldon vineyard, performing "Copperhead Road" in its entirety. The Mastersons will also perform.

Country crooner Cam will perform June 30, and Missouri native country artist Sara Evans will take the stage July 7. Audiences will delight in the "Eye of the Tiger" and many more hits when rockers Survivor perform July 28, and Wynona and the Big Noise will return to Mid-Missouri on Aug. 25.

Fall brings even more national acts to Shawnee Bluff Vineyard, including the Bellamy Brothers and The Oak Ridge Boys in September, and Reverend Horton Heat in October.

All concerts begin at 8 p.m. For ticket prices and more information, visit

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Big music names make for big local summer concerts

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