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Country Gold
By Chris Nixon

There’s Gold in them thar hills!

For those who thought "boot-scootin'" and "tobacco chewin'" had been relegated to the American backwoods, Kumamoto's resident cowboy, Charlie Nagatani, proudly presents the 18th Annual Country Gold International Music Festival on Sunday, Oct.15. Country Gold has been putting the "western" in western Japan since 1989 by bringing some of the biggest country bands to the hills of southern Kyushu.

Previous artists have included country music superstars such as Dwight Yoakam, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley and Diamond Rio. Not one to disappoint, the 71-year-old Nagatani has outdone himself this year by bringing the legendary Charlie Daniels on board. Also taking the stage will be Cowboy Crush, Moot Davis, Grascals and of course Nagatani and his band, The Cannonballs.
The one-day event opens early at 9 a.m. for the more than 20,000 participants to enjoy line dancing, fast draw contests, vendor booths, barbecues and all things outdoor. Performances begin at high noon with the finale bringing the event to a close at 6:30 p.m.
Location: ASPECTA Outdoor Stage; Aso Mura, Kumamoto
Tickets: Advance, ¥7,000; Day-of, ¥8,000
Contact: Office, (096) 359-2735; Charlie, (096) 359-2904
Web: www.countrygold.net

Charlie Nagatani at a Glance

-Performer since 1956.
-Presented "Jim Reeves Award" by the Academy of Country Music. First Japanese to win the award. Only the fourth country singer to receive the award following in the footsteps of Roy Rogers, Roy Clark and Garth Brooks. The 17th award overall with the last coming nine years ago.
-Produces the Country Sunshine concert taking pace in April (14th Annual in 2007).
-Published the book, "My Name is Good Time Charlie" in 2006.