The Evansville area has seen a number of country artists make their way here since the restrictions of the COVID pandemic started to loosen and ultimately be removed. Morgan Wallen, Eric Church, Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett, and Cody Johnson are just a few of the musicians who have put Evansville or Owensboro on their tour schedules once they were able to get back out on the road. It looks like there's no sign of that slowing down as 2023 gets underway as Old Dominion, Kane Brown, Koe Wetzel, and Kenny Chesney have all announced shows at the Ford Center in the first half of the year. Another country star has added his name to that list as Walker Hayes has announced he's coming to town for a show in April.

Walker Hayes Long Road to Stardom

Despite being nominated in the New Artist of the Year category at the 2022 CMA Awards, Walker Hayes has been grinding it out as a Country singer-songwriter for over 15 years. After moving to Nashville in 2005 and signing a song publishing deal, he finally released his debut album, Reason to Rhyme in 2011, but it didn't do much in terms of sales and never showed up on the Country Albums chart.

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He continued writing for himself and other artists while working at Costco after he was dropped by his record label at the time. Six years later, in 2017, he had a new record deal and scored his first top ten hit with "You Broke Up with Me."

It would be another four years before he scored another hit, and it was a big one. "Fancy Like" not only became Walker's biggest hit of his career, it landed at number one on the Billboard Country Charts, and thanks to TikTok, became a crossover hit making Walker a household name and scoring him not only the aforementioned New Artist of the Year nomination, but a Grammy nomination, and recognition as one of CMT's Artists of the Year.

The song has been streamed hundreds of millions of times and it's official video has been watched over 100 million times.

Walker Hayes Bringing "Duck Buck Tour" to Evansville's Ford Center in April

Piggy-backing off the massive success of "Fancy Like," Walker has seen his next two singles, "AA" and "Ya'll Life" also see good success which has translated to him headlining his own stadium tour in 2023 which includes a stop at the Ford Center in downtown Evansville on Thursday, April 20th, 2023. Ingrid Andress and Breland will also be along as special guests.

Tickets for the show go on sale Friday, December 16th at 10:00 AM at the Ford Center box office and through Ticketmaster.

However, you do have a chance to get your tickets on Thursday, December 15th between 10:00 AM and 10:00 PM through Ticketmaster using the promo code: WHTOUR23.

And, keep listening to us between now and the show for your chance to win a pair of tickets for free!

[Sources: Entertainment Weekly / Allmusic]

Top 22 Country Songs of 2022, Ranked

There are plenty of feel-good country jams on this list of the top country songs of 2022, but the No. 1 song is one of the best love songs of the decade. These 22 songs are ranked by critical acclaim, radio and sales success, and importance to the genre.

Seven of the 22 artists made our Top Country Songs list from 2021 as well, but there are no repeats. If a song made a previous list or didn't spend most of its time on the charts in 2022, it's not eligible. So, before you ask where your favorite song is (i.e. Cody Johnson, "'Til You Can't), be sure the miss isn't just a technicality.

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