The spring concert season is nearly in full swing, and the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater is gearing up for an exciting month of April to kick off a much-anticipated series of shows. As the spring air warms and the days get longer, events in downtown Tuscaloosa are sure to heat up as well.

The Amp will serve as a stop for country rockers as part of the “Let It Ride” Tour 2014. The downtown venue will no-doubt be packed to capacity with country music fans on April 11, with the bill for the night featuring headliner Brantley Gilbert with special opening guests Thomas Rhett and Eric Paslay. Given the lineup of established country penman that has been set up for the evening, fans will not want to miss their chance to see these performers before they possibly become larger-than-life superstars.

Gilbert, who sports two No. 1 singles on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs Chart, has released two full-length albums through Valory Music Company, a Nashville-based division studio of Big Machine Records. The last studio album released by Gilbert in 2010, “Halfway to Heaven,” is certified Gold and set the bar high for the native of Jefferson, Ga.,. While Gilbert has since written new groundbreaking material, he does not shy too far away from the sound that brought him to the big-time.

Country music fans in Tuscaloosa can bet on hearing, among other new songs, Gilbert’s latest No.1 smash hit, “Bottoms Up,” when he makes his stop in the Druid City. Concert venues in Tuscaloosa may regular haunts for many country acts, but a few things set this particular baseball-cap wearing performer apart from the rest of the pack.

The recording sound for “Bottoms Up,” deviates from the traditional country twang and incorporates stylistic elements of hip-hop. While the bass hits the listener like a ton of lead and carries an unorthodox cadence reminiscent of Jason Aldean and/or Colt Ford, the true country overtones are still existent, but make for a different listening experience that one could call fresh and innovative. Simply put, this is not your Daddy’s country music.

Gilbert has also established himself as a prolific songwriter in Nashville, helping to pen both “My Kinda Party,” and “Dirt Road Anthem,” for outlaw country sensation, and contemporary, Jason Aldean. The two country stars share many similarities, but most notably the incorporation of rap-like lyrics and backing instrumentation into songs played in the same radio mix as Hank Williams Jr., and George Strait. Both songs written for Aldean by Gilbert made it to the top of the country charts and stand as testaments to not only Gilbert’s prowess as a front man, but as a songwriter.

Beer drinking, hell raising and lovemaking are all common themes woven in to Gilbert’s lyrics, and the musical accompaniment is more than suitable to bring those words to life for a live audience. Whether you like to tap your foot or shake your butt, the new and old tunes from this country newcomer will have you moving on the dance floor or truck-bed of your choice. While it may sound like blasphemy to some, it will definitely sound like boogie to others.

Also taking the stage with Gilbert in April at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater are two up-and-coming acts, Thomas Rhett and Eric Paslay, both of whom will come ready to rock the house with their fairly unheard catalog of songs.

Rhett, who released his debut self-titled album in 2012, saw fame when “Thomas Rhett,” reached no. 24 on the Billboard U.S. Top Country Albums list. On his debut album, Rhett was also aided by many talented songwriters, including Rhett Akins, who helped in writing the song, “Whatcha Got In That Cup.” Simply by brushing shoulders with country music royalty, Rhett has been able to strengthen his craft and hammer out a sound all his own.

It is also unlikely that Rhett will deny his Tuscaloosa fans the chance at seeing and hearing him perform his hits “Beer With Jesus,” and “Something To Do With My Hands,” both from his debut full-length album, “It Goes Like This.” For fans of country music that cuts deep and is close to the heart, you may get your money’s worth before the opening acts even leave the stage for the headliner.

Another established Nashville songwriter, Eric Paslay, will join Rhett in opening for Gilbert. Paslay, whose self-titled debut album was release in February 2014, found success at the top of the charts with his hit co-written single, “Friday Night,” that was previously performed by Grammy-Winners Lady Antebellum. “Friday Night,” also debuted on the Billboard Hot Country Songs list at No. 49. In addition to his work with Grammy-winners, Paslay has also teamed up with popular acts such as Jake Owen, Rascal Flatts and Eli Young Band.

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