Tit might be the northeast, but if you walk into the Nutty Irishman in Farmingdale on a Tuesday night, you’d think the bar is located in the south. Men and women wear jeans, plaid shirts, tank tops, Daisy Dukes and cowboy boots as they dance together on the parquet. It’s true, Long Island has become a bit of a country.

“The country community is almost like the TV show ‘Cheers’; you are welcome no matter who you are,” says DJ Neil Wrangler, who runs on Nutty’s Country Tuesdays. “There is an aura of southern hospitality. on this subject.”

Long Island has become a hub for country music. In fact, the genre made up a third of Jones Beach and Bald Hill’s concert listings last summer.

“Country artists understand the passion of listeners here,” says Phathead, program director and morning DJ at My Country 96.1 FM in Long Island. [WJVC]. “Most of the country’s artists come from rural areas, so the lyrical content of their songs lends itself to being connected to the suburbs rather than the cities.”

WHY IS IT POPULAR?

The appeal of country music is its inclusiveness. The age range of the crowd is quite wide, ranging from 20 to seniors.

“We all mingle and we all mingle. There is no age barrier,” says Brianna Sanzotta, 31, of Holbrook, who is a regular at Nutty’s Country Tuesdays. “It’s almost like a family event.”

Part of this close unity is due to the line dancing bonding activity. At Country Tuesdays, not only is it encouraged, but there are even free classes offered on the open dance floor to welcome newcomers.

“You don’t have to know everything up front,” says Ryan Finlay, 31, of West Babylon, who attends weekly with his girlfriend. “The crowd is filled with nice people who are always ready to teach you a new dance.”

LIVE COUNTRY MUSIC

Those looking for a country concert experience can head to the Mulcahy Pub and Concert Hall in Wantagh, which has booked national headliners like Rodney Atkins, Easton Corbin, Hunter Hayes, LoCash, Drew Baldridge, Mitchell Tenpenny and Craig Morgan. . One of Mul’s biggest draws is the ZBTB, the Zac Brown Tribute Band, which has been filling the pub since 2013.

“Zac Brown’s music is so seaside. He’s almost like a country version of Jimmy Buffett,” said Pete Frank, singer and acoustic guitarist for ZBTB. “The closer we get to the beach, the better off we are.”

Whenever ZBTB is in town, Emily Baron, 29, of North Babylon makes a point of being in the crowd.

“I love their vibe. ZBTB shows are always a guaranteed good time,” she says. “This is my therapy.”

Alyssa Lindenmeier, 30, of Carle Place agrees: “The performers set the tone by being very interactive with the fans and really partying. The guys have such an energy on stage that you will never see anyone on stage. Sit.”

Every December, My Country hosts a secret Long Island vacation show where they donate and sell tickets, but the crowd doesn’t know who’s headlining until the performer takes the stage. Former surprise guests included Darius Rucker, Dan + Shay, Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves, Brett Young and Luke Combs.

“This year we’re going to have two secret holiday shows at Mulcahy’s on December 1, with all the female artists, and on December 15, with all the men,” Phathead promises.

COUTURE CAMPAIGN

Another element of the popularity of the country community is fashion. Go west! in Bohemia has been Long Island’s outpost for country clothing for the past 24 years.

“We sell cowboy boots, hats, belts, buckles, shirts, bandanas, etc. Says owner Ellen McGarvey. “We even have spurs.”

Sanzotta keep it simple with a tank top, shorts and boots. “It’s relaxed but comfortable,” she says. “It’s easy to dance in it. “

Finlay goes with a similar vibe by donning a t-shirt, jeans, and boots. “I can’t do the cowboy hat,” he admits. “I’m too hot dancing.”

Obviously, boots are the most popular country item everyone wears. “We sell 200 different styles,” says McGarvey. “Men generally like square toes while women tend to go for a more pointed toe.”

Once a month, Go West! teamed up with next door neighbor Eleanor’s Lounge where they host an outdoor line dancing event with a country band in the parking lot.

“Country fans come out strong every time,” says Brandon Altman, co-owner of Eleanor’s Lounge, which also offers monthly country karaoke. “They are very lively, fully dressed and always looking to have a good time.”

COUNTRY TUESDAY

WHEN | OR 7 to 11 p.m. every Tuesday, The Nutty Irishman, 323 Main Street in Farmingdale

INFO 516-293-9700, thenuttyirishman.com

ADMISSION To free

ZBTB – ZAC BROWN TRIBUTE BAND

WHEN | OR 9 p.m. on October 23, Mulcahy’s Pub & Concert Hall, 3232 Railroad Avenue in Wantagh

INFO 516-783-7500, muls.com

ADMISSION $ 20 ($ 15 in advance)

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REARDON GOES TO THE COUNTRY

Long Island is developing a new country star – Dan Reardon. The 40-year-old singer / songwriter from Bayville heads to Nashville for the weekend to record his original songs, which are currently streaming on Spotify.

“Country music has an authentic quality,” says Reardon, who typically performs at Spotlight in Huntington and at Craft Kitchen and Tap House in Wantagh. “Whether the concept is simple or deeper, every song has a heartfelt story. “

Growing up, he grew up to the music of Alabama, Alan Jackson, George Strait and Garth Brooks.

“I’m looking to bring back the traditional country,” Reardon says. “My style is more rock with old-fashioned instrumentation. Think Toby Keith meets Aaron Lewis meets Jason Aldean.

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