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Sep. 15—I had a friend who was a high school principal in small town East Texas and, in what were assuredly recurring lapses in judgment if not downright crimes, he'd share what he thought were amusing names of some of his pupils — and then we'd predict what each of these children would end up doing, professionally, based solely on their names.
"Buddy Piper" was one I remember, and we were certain he'd either be a plumber or perhaps a meth chemist.
Turns out the entire Deep South engages in such practices ON THEIR OWN CHILDREN. Parents down there assign their sons names guaranteed to help the young lads become either country music stars or the starting quarterbacks at SEC colleges.
Consider Bo Wallace or John Rhys Plumlee — both recent quarterbacks at Ole Miss. Would you be surprised if someone named John Rhys Plumlee was the support act for Kane Brown or Cole Swindell? No. And if Kane Brown was the QB for Florida, that would make perfect sense, too.
That brings us to Brantley Gilbert. Can you for certain say whether Brantley Gilbert is a C&W star or the star quarterback at Alabama? I didn't think so.
Truth is, Gilbert IS an arena-filling country singer, and he appears Thursday in the Mohegan Sun Arena. Based on his latest song "The Worst Country Tune Ever," though — and it DOES stink, mightily — he may have to try out for a football team. Opening the show is Buddy Piper. Kidding. It's actually — you can't make this up — Mitchell Tenpenny.
Brantley Gilbert, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Mohegan Sun Arena; $39-$79; www.mohegansun.com.