Although the legacy of Nashville might not be as revered and celebrated to any huge degree in the UK, there's no doubting the popularity of home-grown US roots-music in contemporary pop and rock music. Commonly referred to by critics and journos as Americana, the genre of country has been given a new lease of life by not exactly being, y'know 'country' in the truest sense.
Rewind to the late '80s and early to mid '90s and most HMV, Virgin and Our Price shops were lined with country and western sections, rammed with CDs adorned with squeaky-clean images of cheery artists adorned with Stetsons. Metres of American imports suggested there was a production-line of guitar-toting songwriters just waiting for Britain to buckle under the sheer volume of country music. But it didn't quite happen, rave and Britpop swept the nation and C&W retreated back to the States.
Nowadays, country's reputation for good wholesome livin' continues apace with the likes of Lady Antebellum and Kelly Clarkson fusing the genre with pop and selling out shows on both sides of the Atlantic. And to prove that country is once again, 'in', the O2 Arena will be hosting a massive two-dayer next year with some leading names on the bill.
Tim McGraw, very much a major player in the country-music scene, will headline the first day on Saturday 16th March 2013, while American Idol star Carrie Underwood heads up day two on Sunday 17th. Each performer will have a dazzling supporting cast - McGraw's show will also feature a stalwart of C&W, Vince Gill, plus Little Big Town and Sugarland's Kristian Bush with Underwood's concert set to go off with rockin' Darius Rucker, chart-topping LeAnn Rimes and new star Brantley Gilbert.
We have tickets to the event on sale now. Day tickets are priced at £35 - £65 while a Weekend Pass to both days are priced at £90 (and already selling fast).