In 35 short days, thousands of music fans will converge on Nashville for the 43rd annual CMA Music Festival, which promises 100-plus hours of amazing live music from Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town and more of country music’s biggest stars and brightest up-and-comers.
One particularly special performance will come from Shooter Jennings, who’s performing at CMA Fest – with late dad Waylon’s band Waymore’s Outlaws – for the first time. Waylon and Waymore’s Outlaws played the first Fan Fair in 1972, adding extra meaning to Jennings’s set.
“It feels great!” Jennings, 34, tells PEOPLE exclusively of preparing to take the stage. “My middle name is Albright, named after my dad’s drummer, Richie Albright. There’s a lot of emotions tied up in that.”
There’s a lot of comfort, too: Jennings first started joining his dad on the road when he was 13, so hanging with the Outlaws comes quite naturally.
“It’s nice to have moments and feel at home,” Jennings says. “It gave me a lot of strength.”
The CMA Music Festival kicks off Wednesday, June 4, with Jennings and the Outlaws joining country acts from Canada, Australia and the U.S. in a free concert that pays homage to the genre’s roots. The festival wraps up on June 8.