Every Monday we bring you the Southern Living Hot List, a roundup of the five latest and greatest things to hit the South. Consider it your weekly update on our region’s most buzzworthy food, culture, and style news.
1. Crank it up. Fans of “bro country” will get an earful with the August 19 release of Nashville up-and-comer Chase Rice’s new album, Ignite the Night. The country crooner, who co-wrote Florida Georgia Line’s summertime anthem “Cruise,” is a story in himself. He was a linebacker for the University of North Carolina, worked the pit crew for NASCAR drivers Ryan Newman and Jimmie Johnson, and placed second on the reality series Survivor. Look for him live this fall as he travels solo across the U.S. in support of his forthcoming album.
2. Cook like a pro. The celebrated author of three James Beard Award-winning cookbooks wants to teach you how to cook. On August 18 come to the Cooking School at Southern Season in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, as culinary legend Nathalie Dupree instructs on Southern classic dishes. Nathalie’s lustrous career includes being the founding chairman of the Charleston Wine and Food Festival and a founding member of the Southern Foodways Alliance.
3. Celebrate Southern tradition. The Southern Folklife Collection celebrated 25 years of collecting and preserving Southern heritage with two very important guests: Tift Merritt and Merle Haggard. The event kicks off on Thursday, August 21 at the Louis Round Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill campus as Tift takes the stage following a dinner curated by James Beard Award-winning chefs Ben and Karen Barker, Ashley Christensen, Andrea Reusing, and Bill Smith. And on Saturday, August 23, Tift will perform again, this time with Country Music Hall of Famer Merle Haggard.
4. Beat the heat. This weekend, August 23-24, congregate in Atlanta’s oldest park for the Grant Park Summer Shade Festival. Come browse local artists, listen to live music, and eat until you’re not hot anymore. This year’s lineup includes Michelle Malone, Andy Browne Troupe, The Whiskey Gentry, The Wheeler Boys, and Frank Barham’s Brazilian Fusion.
5. The Gambler. Fans of Kenny Rodgers should saddle up for Nashville to pay tribute to the country star’s glorious career. The Country Music Hall of Fame is tipping its hat to the beloved singer with the exhibit “Kenny Rogers: Through the Years” running now through June 2015. Guests can get a glimpse into the singer’s life with awards, costumes, sheet music, and memorabilia.