John Michael Montgomery will be celebrating Independence Day 2018 with a concert at the Missouri State Fairgrounds, as he headlines the inaugural Show-Me Freedom Festival. 

"The Fourth of July is a great day for America, and I'm looking forward to it," Montgomery told KIX 105.7's Beau Matthews.

Montgomery has some of the biggest country hits of the 90s and early 2000s on his resume´, including "I Swear," "Sold (the Grundy County Auction Incident)" and "Letters From Home.' The Kentucky native got his start playing in a family band. "My mom and dad played music. My mom was a drummer in my dad's band and they both sang. Of course my brother Eddie (of Montgomery Gentry) and I were in the family band. We just started playing the bars and honky tonks and whatever weekend warrior stuff we could do. We never did it because we thought we would be famous one day. We just loved it. It was in our blood, we were young, and we thought, 'Hey, let's have some fun with this stuff!' I was makin' more money with that than I was at a real job, so I thought, 'Hey, why not?'!"

According to John Michael Montgomery, many of the lessons he learned from playing bars and clubs were directly applicable when he started recording music professionally. "You want to make 'em laugh, you want to make 'em cry, and anything in between. I applied that to my albums. I like to have fun stuff, the serious stuff, love songs. It's worked out for me. 26 years later I'm still out here runnin' around on a bus, enjoyin' the life!"

The Show-Me Freedom Festival is July 4 on the Missouri State Fairgrounds. Hours are 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and admission is free. There will be food, craft booths, kids' activities, a BBQ contest, and live music throughout the afternoon, leading up to the John Michael Montgomery concert at 8 p.m. Queens Blvd, Dirt Road Addiction and up-and-coming country artist Michael Tyler are scheduled to perform. The festival will conclude with a fireworks display, sponsored by Sedalia Parks and Rec. The Show-Me Freedom Festival is being presented by the GUESA Foundation.