Country Time is more than just a lemonade.
These days, thanks to the strength of country radio stations My Country (WJVC/96.1 FM) on Long Island and Nash FM (WNSH/94.7 FM) in New York, it's a state of mind.
Less than five years ago, country artists would tour nearly every part of America except its largest city. Now, they make up a major part of the schedules at the area's biggest venues -- a change clearly on display this fall. Luke Bryan's Sunday show at Barclays Center will not only mark the first time a country act will play the hip-hop hot spot, but also will kick off the venue's "Brooklyn Country" season.
Here's a look at some of country's biggest stars hitting the area this week:
BIO A former Clemson University football player, he started out as a Nashville singer-songwriter working on music for himself and other artists. His big break came in 2007, when Garth Brooks recorded his song "More Than a Memory," which landed him his own record deal.
CURRENT HIT "That Don't Sound Like You" from his album "I Don't Dance," released Tuesday. The album's title track already has topped the charts and is a song-of-the-year nominee for the upcoming CMA Awards.
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APPEARING WITH "Sunshine & Whiskey" singer Frankie Ballard and Plainview's Lisa Matassa.
WHEN | WHERE 5 p.m. Wednesday, Pennysaver Amphitheater, Farmingville
INFO $25-$60; 800-745- 3000, ticketmaster.com
BIO The son of a peanut farmer in Leesburg, Georgia, Bryan was fired by his father from working at the farm so he would pursue his music career in Nashville. He quickly got a songwriting deal, with his breakthrough coming when Travis Tritt recorded his song "Honky Tonk History." Bryan quickly landed his own recording contract and began breaking down the barriers between country and pop and rock, especially at his concerts, which have grown accordingly. He said he was extra nervous about headlining Madison Square Garden earlier this year, but was thrilled that he gets to return so quickly.
CURRENT HIT "Roller Coaster," the latest single from his chart-topping album "Crash My Party" from 2013, which is up for album of the year at the upcoming CMA Awards.
APPEARING WITH Lee Brice and Bryan's pal (and former merch guy) Cole Swindell, who co-wrote "Roller Coaster" and has his own hit "Hope You Get Lonely Tonight" on the charts.
WHEN | WHERE 7:30 p.m. Friday, Madison Square Garden; and 7 p.m. Sunday, Barclays Center.
INFO $49-$89.50; 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com
BIO The singer-songwriter from Arizona hit No. 1 with his very first single, "What Was I Thinkin', " in 2003 and hasn't looked back since. His latest album, "Riser," marks a return to more radio-oriented country, after detours into bluegrass and classic country.
CURRENT HIT "Drunk on a Plane," the latest single from his "Riser" album, which is up for five CMA Awards nominations, including album of the year.
APPEARING WITH The North Carolina band Parmalee, with the new hit "Close Your Eyes"
WHEN | WHERE 5 p.m. Saturday, Pennysaver Amphitheater, Farmingville
INFO $34.50-$79.50; 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com