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story.lead_photo.caption Chris Janson headlines the Smokin’ Summer Kickoff concert at 8 p.m. May 25 at Shepherd of the Hills. A barbecue contest, a kids’ zone and fireworks complete the Memorial Day Weekend. INFO — 417-334-4191.

It might seem like Branson has always offered music for most every taste. Jeff Johnson thinks he's found a little room for more.

Johnson is a partner in Shepherd of the Hills Development LLC, owners of the Branson property since last year, and he thinks he's found an entertainment niche that Shepherd of the Hills can fill. The property already has a comfortable outdoor amphitheater. Why not have a Memorial Day music event?


Smokin’ Summer Kickoff

WHEN — May 25-26

WHERE — Shepherd of the Hills in Branson

COST — $40-$50 for the concert at 8 p.m. May 25; $5-$10 for the barbecue festival

INFO — 417-334-4191 or

BONUS — The event also includes a boat, RV and hobby sport show, a kids’ zone & a fireworks show.

Chris Janson will headline the concert, set for 7 p.m. May 25 to kick off the holiday weekend. Johnson says Janson is neither traditional country nor red dirt country, although fans of both genres likely know his name.

His hit song "Buy Me a Boat" was No. 1 on the Billboard Country Music charts for multiple weeks when it was released, Johnson says, and his 2017 album, "Everybody," includes chart-topping songs such as "I Can Fix a Drink" which are favorites on country music radio.

Joining Janson for the first-ever Smokin' Summer Kickoff is RaeLynn, who made a name for herself when she teamed up with Blake Shelton as her coach on "The Voice." Her 2017 album "WildHorse" also hit No. 1 position on the Billboard Country Music charts.

And if that's not enough, Shepherd of the Hills is also hosting a Kansas City Barbeque Society competition with more than 50 professional teams and a cash purse of over $15,000.

Asked if the Memorial Day event will become a Shepherd of the Hills tradition, Johnson says "time will tell."

"We know people who come to the Ozarks love music, and if we can offer some music that isn't playing anywhere else, it seems like a good fit," Johnson says.

-- Becca Martin-Brown

NAN What's Up on 05/13/2018

Print Headline: Shepherd Fills Hills With Song

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