Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Tony Justice, Thompson Square to perform at MATS

Tony Justice (Photo by Tex Crowley @ Texomatic.com)
Tony Justice, an OOIDA member from Dandridge, Tenn., attended his first Mid-America Trucking Show in 2012. Five years later, the truck driver and country musician is slated to perform in front of thousands of fans at the MATS free concert on Friday, March 24. Justice will open for international country music stars Thompson Square at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.

“Man, it’s a dream come true,” Justice said while hauling a load to Mesquite, Texas, on Tuesday morning. “It couldn’t be possible without God and my wife’s (Misty’s) hard work. I think I’m more excited for her than I even am for me. This has been a big goal for her. We had a lot of drivers and fans who kept going to the truck show website and requesting for us to be there. This is just an awesome deal.”

Justice, a second-generation truck driver, has definitely climbed the ladder in the country music industry. A grassroots effort of sorts started with the release of the album “On the Road” in 2011. Since then, he and Misty have been handing out CDs and spreading the word about his music at truck shows around the nation.

He followed “On the Road” with “Apple Pie Moonshine” in 2013 and “Brothers of the Highway” in 2016. Singing about the trucking industry and life on the road, Justice continues to attract country music fans. In the title track of his most recent album, Justice sings a duet with OOIDA Life Member and country music star Aaron Tippin. Less than a year after being posted, the video for “Brothers of the Highway” has nearly a half-million views on YouTube.com.

In 2016, Justice opened for John Michael Montgomery at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas and headlined the Guilty By Association Truck Show in Joplin, Mo. In addition to opening at MATS, he will perform in June at the Wheel Jam Truck Show in Huron, S.D.

Justice said being able to play at MATS is a sign of how much he and Misty have accomplished in the past five years.

“I knew we were going to have to work hard, earn people’s respect, and pay our dues,” he said. “The last five years, we’ve been at every truck show we can make. To go from five years ago where I’m handing CDs out at MATS when hardly anyone knew my name to being on the big stage five years later is pretty awesome. It’s proof of what hard work, determination and sacrifice will get you.”

Justice is especially proud to know he will be playing for his fellow truck drivers.

“It’s going to be pretty great,” he said. “If it’s anything like the show in Dallas, I can’t wait. To be able to get up in front of your peers … I can’t think of anyone I’d rather perform for.”

The headliners, Thompson Square, have topped the radio charts in the United States and Canada with such hits as “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not,” “If I Didn’t Have You,” and “Everything I Shouldn’t Be Thinking About.” The band was named Top Vocal Duo by the Academy of Country Music Awards in 2012 and 2013.

A limited number of complimentary tickets for the show will be distributed by the Mobil Delvac Booth No. 18160 in the North Wing during truck show hours.

The doors to the concert will open at 6:30 p.m. on March 24, and the performances are scheduled to start at 7 p.m.