Rosanne Cash opens first full weekend of Westobou

Outdoor concert the festival's first at Parade Grounds

The first full weekend of the 2011 Westobou Festival kicked off Friday night with an outdoor concert by Rosanne Cash, the daughter of country music legend Johnny Cash.

A few dozen people in lawn chairs and others seated at reserved tables listened to music played under a cool night sky and large oak trees lit with paper lanterns.

“She’s a legend’s daughter. She’s incredible all by herself,” said Patty Hudson, of Aiken.

Hudson and her friend, Brad Miller, said the opening act, Blue Rodeo, was enough music and talent to bring them out for the concert.

Friday’s concert was the inaugural concert event at the Parade Grounds at the Old Richmond Academy on Telfair Street, an area organizers said could hold as many as 3,000 people.

Cash has produced 11 songs to make it to No. 1 on the Billboard Country Singles and Album charts, including the 1981 song Seven Year Ache. In 1985, Cash won the Best Country Female Vocal Performance Grammy award for I Don’t Know Why You Don’t Want Me. Her 2009 album and most recent recording, The List, was nominated for a Grammy award in 2010.

Some concertgoers wore cowboy boots and hats, and others came without knowing much about Cash’s music.

“It’s something different for Westobou,” said Dee Temple­ton, of Augusta.

Templeton and her husband, Ed, didn’t know what to expect from the music but said the cooler weather and downtown venue were enough to make a fun night out.

The parade grounds will play host to another Westobou music performance, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, at 8 p.m. Friday.

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