Shooter Jennings, Adrianna Freeman, Daytona Bike Week
Two cutting-edge musical artists will take the stage in Ormond Beach, Florida on Saturday, March 16, when rising African American country star Adrianna Freeman opens for country-rocker Shooter Jennings at Daytona Bike Week. The annual motorcycle festival is expected to draw approximately 500,000 people from March 7-17.
Jennings, the son of country music legend Waylon Jennings, will be celebrating the release of his new album, "The Other Life," which is also the title of a biopic about his father, to be released next year. With a reputation for supporting underground, independent music, Jennings was named by Billboard magazine as one of "the best and brightest music industry characters" in 2011 and 2012.
Freeman, one of the few black female singers in country music, is also promoting her recent album, "Either You Do or You Don't," the title track of which has been receiving airplay in Europe and Australia, and is now starting to attract attention in the United States.
"I'm looking forward to opening for Shooter Jennings," Freeman said. "He is known as kind of an outlaw of country music. I think of myself as a rebel, too, because so many people told me that I could never make it in country music, but I wouldn't listen to them."
Freeman fell in love with country music as a young girl in the Florida Panhandle, listening to such country icons as Waylon Jennings, Randy Travis, Dolly Parton and Patsy Cline. She began singing at age 8, at her church and at her family's produce market in Tallahassee. Pursuing country music as a career has been challenging, she said, because of the perception that African Americans do not listen to country music.
"When a lot of people see me for the first time, they don't know what to make of me," Freeman said. "They expect me to sing R&B, but children are a product of their environment. My father loves country music, so I grew up mimicking what I heard on the radio. To me, it wasn't weird; it was just good music."
Freeman struggled for years in Nashville, eventually winning the Best New Nashville National Contest sponsored by Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores. As a result of that competition, she caught the attention of Teddy Gentry of the country music group Alabama. Gentry produced Freeman's current album, which is available on iTunes and Amazon.
"I learned so much from Teddy, and am so grateful that he believed in me," Freeman said. "I love country music, and I hope to keep performing for the rest of my life."
Adrianna Freeman will open for Shooter Jennings at Daytona Bike Week on Saturday, March 16 at Bruce Rossmeyer's Destination Daytona, 1637 U.S. Highway 1, Ormond Beach, Florida 32174 on Saturday, March 16. Admission is free. For information, call 386-671-7103 or visit www.officialbikeweek.com. Information about Shooter Jennings is available at www.shooterjennings.com. Information about Adrianna Freeman is available at www.adriannafreeman.com.