Review: BIG SHANE THORNTON Headlines at Picklefest

This award winning powerhouse entertains festival goers

By: May. 25, 2024
Review: BIG SHANE THORNTON Headlines at Picklefest
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When you mix great music, pickles and local festivals together, what do you get? Picklefest, of course, in the bustling metropolis of Atkins, which was held last weekend. Broadway World went Saturday, May 18, to see the amazing headliner Shane Thornton perform an hour-and-a-half set before everyone moved to the arena for the Atkins rodeo. It was perfect weather and tasty food with great friends and fabulous music on the stage. We had a blast! 

Awarded the 2019 Josie Music Awards Songwriter of the Year, this powerhouse of a performer is making a name for himself in Arkansas and beyond. Shane’s musical skill is enviable, his backing band can cover multiple genres, and the connection he makes with his fans is why people keep asking him to play at their venues. Every year he rakes up more and more accolades, and this year is no different. Currently, he is nominated for Male Modern Country Artist of the Year - JMA Alum, Male Modern Country Vocalist of the Year- JMA Alum, ️Musician of the Year (Multi-Instrumentalist), Duo/Group Music Video of the Year (“Just The Same”- featuring Justin Keith & Andy Wallis), and Best Male Performance in a Music Video (“Just The Same”) for the 2024 Josie Music Awards. Just The Same has also put Shane and his friends as finalists for Video of the Year, Song of the Year, and Music Collaboration of the Year at the 2024 Arkansas Country Music Awards, which will be Monday, June 3. We are so excited for him! 

Review: BIG SHANE THORNTON Headlines at Picklefest

 This concert was my first time to see Shane with a full band, and let me tell you, he is worthy of all the praise that he has been receiving. Before I get into the show, I want to talk about his mind-blowing ensemble. Backed by Marquis Boyd on Drums, Darius Blanton on Keys and Vocals, and his dad Danny Cullum on Lead Guitar and Vocals, this band produced song after song with ease and comradery. They played not only for the adoring audience but for themselves. They were having a ball, and it was a joy to be able to witness it. They played country, rock, blues and originals so effortlessly that you would have never guessed that it had been months since their last gig together. Marquis was steady and kept the beats flowing. Darius was smooth with the keys, sometimes going on tangents like all good pianists do. But Danny......whew! That man can tear up a the best of ways. He is on pro level and a blessing for instilling the love of musicianship in Shane. I am confident in saying that these guys can play anything, and if they can’t, they would be able to successfully fake it.  

Shane (known as Big Shane...though he seems to be shrinking) is larger than life on stage.....and I’m not referencing his size, but in how he commands the stage when behind the microphone. I’ve seen him in other venues, and he is as comfortable on a tiny stage in front of a handful of people as he is on a larger performance area in front of a rowdy crowd. He loves to perform, and it shows. Also, Shane is a master on the bass guitar and can also jam on the piano and acoustic guitar. And then there is his lovable personality. He takes the time to hang out with his adoring fans, and he gives the best hugs. 

Review: BIG SHANE THORNTON Headlines at Picklefest

For this event, everyone stood with their hands on their heart as they opened with Jimi Hendrix’s version of The Star Spangled Banner. Then, they launched into Journey’s Any Way You Want It before doing a couple of Shane Thornton originals. If you love the heartfelt, emotional songs, Shane is your singer/songwriter. Doin’ My Best and Fallin’ were wonderful complimentary songs that got you in your feels before he launches into the materialistic Buy Me a Boat, which led into a Fishing montage. Then he let his dad take the lead with Thrill is Gone, which showcased the band’s versatility, Through out the show, Shane related to the audience and really brought us into his world. His regulars were sending him messages about what they wanted, and he obliged. Closer to the end of the show, they put together a genius medley that had the group guessing what they were sampling. We especially liked it when they launched into the Every Breath You Take guitar licks and then Shane rapped in the lyrics from I'll Be Missing You and then went right into I Ain’t Missing You. To finish up, Shane grabbed his acoustic and played more of his originals-Tear Stained Alter, Just The Same, and This Side of the Dirt. After that, time ran out, and he had to end it there, which was too bad because he does a wonderful Prince set.  

To put it simply, Shane Thornton and the band thoroughly impressed and entertained me and my friends. I loved that as an added bonus, my friend Donnie Lee Strickland was invited to sing some Conway Twitty. Shane is generous with his stage time and with his words of love and inspiration. I can’t wait to see him perform again. 

Review: BIG SHANE THORNTON Headlines at Picklefest

Coming up, Shane will be at TCs Midtown Grill a couple of more times in May, and then on June 3rd, he and his friends Justin Keith and Andy Wallis will perform at the 2024 Arkansas Country Music Awards on Monday, June 3 at the Reynolds Performance Hall on the campus of the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. For more information, visit his Facebook page at 

Review: BIG SHANE THORNTON Headlines at Picklefest


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