Ned LeDoux performs at River Rock Salem this Wednesday.
River Rock Salem is back this year with three concerts, three nights in a row at the Riverfront Park amphitheater.
The series kicks off Wednesday evening with country music singer Ned LeDoux, the son of famed singer-songwriter Chris LeDoux.
He’s followed by the Spin Doctors on Thursday and John Splithoff with special guest Edna Vazquez on Friday.
Tickets for each show cost $25 online plus fees, $30 the day of the show or $59 plus fees for all three shows.
Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and shows begin at 7 p.m. 200 Water St. N.E.
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LeDoux is no stranger to the Salem area. He played drums in his dad’s band, Western Underground, back in the late 1990s when the group performed at the Elsinore Theatre.
“I’ve always enjoyed the Oregon folks,’ he said.
LeDoux said the area boasts a lot of ranchers, farmers and laid-back country folks.
“The music that I’m writing, it’s about them,” he said.
LeDoux writes about what he knows – spending time with his grandad building fence, working cows and driving a tractor.
“I think about all those years of stacking hay and branding and all that stuff,” LeDoux said. “There actually are a lot of people that write about the same stuff, it’s just never going to be played on mainstream radio. But that’s what cool about it. Those traditions maybe weren’t meant for mainstream.”
There’s a song on LeDoux’s first album called “Forever a Cowboy,” which tips a hat to the men and women still ranching, LeDoux said.
“Their bad habit is they never knew when to quit,” he said.
For Wednesday’s concert, LeDoux said he likes to let the music do the talking.
“We try to keep it high energy we like to have a lot of fun up there,” the country singer said.
He’ll play a lot of his original songs, like some from his upcoming album, and some of his dad’s classics.
The musician still feels new to songwriting; he released his first album in 2016.
LeDoux said the art cowboy country songwriting isn’t lost, it’s just hidden under the surface.
When he played at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, an annual event that celebrates art from the rural West, he said, “When I walked in there I said: ‘Man, I feel right at home here.’”
Country radio may have changed in the past few years, LeDoux said, “But I’m just going to stay where I’m at. I’m not writing songs for mainstream radio.”
Tickets can be purchased online.
Have a tip? Contact reporter Saphara Harrell at 503-549-6250, [email protected] or @daisysaphara.