Country music star can 'Roll With It' in Cassville

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Country Music Star Easton Corbin plays to the crowd of 1,000 gathered at the Cassville Event Center Monday night for a "The Next Crop Project" concert. Corbin said Cassville is similar to his hometown because of its size. Kyle Troutman/

Easton Corbin said Cassville is like where he grew up

A group of young fans sit center stage at the Easton Corbin concert held in Cassville Monday night. Kyle Troutman/

On Monday morning, at about 10 or 11 a.m., there was one vehicle in particular that stood out in Cassville -- the big rig promoting Country Music Star Easton Corbin.

Corbin was a newcomer to Cassville on Monday, invited to perform a special concert for "The Next Crop Project," which aimed to raise money for Future Farmers of America clubs.

Corbin said since his tour schedule has kept him busy over the past few days, he took some time in Cassville to get some grub and to just relax.

"We've been on a long run, so we just went to BBQ Station and I came back and crashed," Corbin said. "I worked out on the track a little bit to get going. Our last concert [was Monday night], then we'll all go home for a couple days."

Deidre Westpheling, president of the Cassville Future Farmers of America chapter, addresses the crowd of 1,000 prior to the concert performed by Country Music Star Easton Corbin. Kyle Troutman/

Corbin, a 32-year-old Nashville resident, is a native of Trenton, Fla., a town of less than 2,000 in 2012, according to the United States Census Bureau.

"It's great to come to a small town like [Cassville] because I don't think anyone ever came to our town," he said. "We don't even have a Walmart and we just got a McDonald's.

"It's a great opportunity to come to a town like this because this is just like how I grew up, and I want to be able to make a difference in kids' lives."

Corbin was a member of the FFA when he was in high school, and said the program still plays a big role in who he is.

"FFA is a great organization," he said. "I got involved in it when I was in the sixth grade, and it institutes a lot of hard work and great values.

Country Music Star Easton Corbin, left, performs at a "The Next Crop Project" concert at the Cassville Event Center Monday night. Kyle Troutman/

"It shows the importance of teamwork, being able to work with others and a lot of other life skills that help all of us become better human beings."

Corbin also said his small-town background continues to affect how he performs today.

"It's where you grew up that influences who you are, hand that flavor adds in to what I do as an artist," he said.

Corbin said although Cassville may be smaller than some other venues he has played, the size of the city does not correlate with the size of the show.

"Besides the sizes of the venues, I don't do anything different here as a part of the show," he said. "I go up there and put on a show like it is for 1 million people."

Kris Marcy, manager of Country Music Star Easton Corbin, explains procedures for the meet-and-greet session with Corbin prior to his concert at the Cassville Event Center Monday night. Kyle Troutman/

Corbin said he started playing guitar in his early teens, and said for any area youth working toward a career in music, practice makes perfect.

"I played as much as I can and practiced as much as I could and just got to keep playing and to go on to bigger things," he said.

The concert put on by Corbin Monday night was free and for members of the Cassville, Southwest and Purdy FFA groups, and Country Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram in Cassville. Only 1,000 tickets were available, and they were split 50/50 between the FFA clubs and the dealership.

Country Dodge also hosted the FFA Feed and Ram Fun Fair prior to the concert, raising donations, through meal and T-shirt sales, that benefitted the FFA and local sports teams.

Country Music Star Easton Corbin, left, performs at a "The Next Crop Project" concert at the Cassville Event Center Monday night. Kyle Troutman/

On April 26, the Ram Truck brand partnered with individual dealers, such as Country Dodge, and FFA chapters across the country to sponsor "The Next Crop Project" national day of test drives, where Ram donated $20 to the FFA for each test drive.

Country Music Star Easton Corbin, left, poses for a photo with Austin McClintock, a sophomore at Cassville High School. Kyle Troutman/

To be eligible for the Easton Corbin concert contest, dealers and their participating chapters had to complete 100 drives or more during their event. The four winners were then selected from this pool of events.

Nearly 100 dealers across the country participated in the national day of test drives, and approximately 6,400 test drives were taken, raising over $125,000 for FFA leadership programs nationwide.

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