Posted tagged ‘Club Rodeo’

Easton Corbin and John King Prove They are “A Little More Country Than That”

August 27, 2014

It’s been a whirlwind two weeks for me following the sudden passing of my father. I wasn’t sure if I’d even be able to get out of the house after the emotional toll this has taken on me. But I’m glad that I took the first steps in getting life back to normal tonight by checking out Easton Corbin and John King at the Rodeo Club in San Jose, California.

What a crowd. A sellout on a Tuesday night. You don’t see that too often but KRTY is known for bringing the best in country music to the Bay Area and tonight’s show DID NOT disappoint.

First to take the stage was John King. As background, just last year, Black River Entertainment signed King to their artist roster which includes the likes of Kellie Pickler and Craig Morgan. Great move guys! King is a star waiting to happen.

King

When you go to a show, I’ll admit, you usually look right past the opening act in anticipation of the headliner. Boy am I glad I didn’t miss this one! King is already a polished performer who not only knows how to work the crowd, he has them eating out of his hands. With songs like “Tonight, Tonight”, “Something in the Water” and crowd favorite “Huk’r Shoes” (that’s right, I said Hooker Shoes), King nearly stole the show tonight. 

But, one of the best parts of the evening was when, out of nowhere, King suddenly appeared in the crowd after his set. Signing autographs for his fans. Taking photos. Who does this??? I’ll tell you who does: John King. I can’t wait to see him again soon (whether it’s here in San Jose or in my home state of Oregon). Bravo Mr. King. Bravo!

Now, it was time for the main event: Easton Corbin. I’ve seen Corbin before, but not in a small venue such as the Rodeo Club. What a treat! How often can you say that you’ve seen one of country music’s biggest acts in front of 1,000 of your closest friends.

Easton

Corbin was on his game tonight. Mixing it up all night long with an assortment of new music, established hits and cover songs. “A Little More Country Than That”, “Lovin’ You is Fun”, “All Over the Road”, “Roll with It” and “Clockwork” were crowd favorites, but we also got a taste of some new songs that are going to hit the radio soon…and judging by the reaction for the crowd they can’t come soon enough! 

Cover songs? Did I mention cover songs? How can you go wrong with the likes of “Brand New Man” and “If You’re Gonna Play in Texas” by Brooks & Dunn and Alabama, respectively. The perfect encore to a great evening of music. I don’t know his name, but Easton Corbin’s fiddle player is FANTASTIC. It’s always great to get some fiddle action.

So there you have it. Another great show from the Bay Area’s country music leader KRTY! If you haven’t seen either of these acts before…what are you waiting for!

I’ve said this before (on Twitter @KreuzersKorner), and I’ll say it again: John King is a star in the making. Take notice now before it’s too late. And as for Easton Corbin: the guy is one of the best out there today. From the first time I heard him a few years ago, all I could think of was George Strait. Seriously. The voice draws an immediate comparison. Quite a compliment for sure.

Were you at the show? Have you seen either in concert? What did you think? Share your thoughts and personal experiences in the comments section below.

Concert Review: James Wesley Keeps on “Running” in San Jose, California

July 11, 2014

Ladies and gentlemen…boys and girls…children of all ages!

If you don’t know him already, go spend some time on YouTube and check out Broken Bow recording artist James Wesley. If you can only catch one show this year, this is the guy to see. OK, I can’t forget Jesse LaFave, Michael Blakemore and Eric Burgett either because they’re pretty damn good too. But you get my point!

JKjames

For us hardcore country music fans, James Wesley is already known. With hits such as “Real”, “Didn’t I”, “Jackson Hole” and “Thank a Farmer”, he has been getting airplay for quite some time now thanks to stations such as KRTY 95.3 and KAT Country 103, but definitely not enough airplay (in my opinion) and I can’t stress this enough! His videos have reached the top of the GAC charts and if you see him in concert one time, you’ll be hooked.

JKmike

Before you ask too many questions about James, let me tell you this: he is a traditionalist, which is something that I find rare in country music these days. He’s also VERY passionate about his music and his especially his fans. He writes his own songs and both he, and the band, play their heart out each and every time they take the stage. Just take a look at the photos and they will give you just a small idea of what a live performance is like. But photos really don’t do justice.

JKjesse

During his show in San Jose last night, James mixed his own music with the sounds of Merle Haggard, Dwight Yoakam and George Jones (see the full set list below). “Mama Tried” some “White Lightning” and a little “Fast As You”. Good stuff! Though I won’t lie and say that I wasn’t just a little disappointed that there was no “Family Tradition” or “Folsom Prison Blues” this time around…but I’ll live!

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Besides the staples (Real, Didn’t I and Thank a Farmer) we were also treated once again with new songs that haven’t made it on the radio yet (or maybe an album in the near future???). I’ve said this before, but just to reiterate, there are a few songs that I expect to be hits in the near future, including: “Running”, “See You on the Radio” and “The You I Wanna Know”. “Running” (co-written with Marcum Stewart and Zac Wrixon) and “See You on the Radio” were two songs that continue to stick out for me as having the potential to be radio hits. Do you hear that KRTY? KAT COUNTRY?

MikeEric

How do describe last night’s show? How about high energy. Absolutely entertaining. A little bit country…a little bit rock and roll! I could go on and on but I’m sure you’d eventually get bored with my endless rant. So, in closing, I’ll say it again: if there is one artist that you see in concert in the next year, make sure that it’s James Wesley. From the stage presence, to the love of the music to the time he spends with his fans, it is not just a concert. It really is a “Real” experience that music lovers of all ages and genres will enjoy. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

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Have you seen James and the band in concert? What did you think? Please leave your comments and thoughts in the comments below! Would love to hear about your similar experiences!

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If you like the review (and want to help spread the James Wesley name) please share this review with your friends, family, etc…

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By the way, I left out the pregame “festivities” with KRTY DJ’s Randy Jones and Indiana Al. Or are they now known as “Indiana Lambert” and “Randy Underwood”? I’ll just post one picture and let’s just say…you might not be able to unsee this! :)

AlRandy

Concert Review: The Dirt Drifters, The Jane Dear Girls and James Otto

February 12, 2011

Just another Friday night at the Rodeo Club in San Jose, CA? Not quite…

My Buddy Travis and I Enjoying Intermission

Last night, a capacity crowd was entertained with 3+ hours of music from a mix of up and coming acts and an established superstar. While I was excited to see James Otto for a 2nd time (I’ve previously seen him as the opening act for Toby Keith and Trace Adkins),  I was looking very much forward to seeing the openers for this particular show…The Jane Dear Girls and The Dirt Drifters.

As the 9 o’clock hour struck, and following another great session of line dancing lessons from Adam the Dancing Cowboy (seriously, if you need to learn how to line dance in the South Bay Area, you need to check this guy out), KRTY’s Randy Jones, celebrating his birthday, hit the stage to introduce The Dirt Drifters. I discovered this band online a couple of months ago and had high expectations. I wasn’t disappointed.

The band consists of lead singer/guitarist Matt Fleener, vocalist/guitarist Ryan Fleener, vocalist/guitarist Jeff Middleton, bassist Jeremy Little and drummer Nick Diamond. These five artists, signed to the Warner Bros. label, started the night off right with a mix of country, rock and even some R&B that got the crowd moving.

The Dirt Drifters

With songs such as “Something Better”, “Call in Sick”, “As Soon as I Get You Alone” and “Married Men in Motel Rooms”, I think I’m safe in saying that these guys have a huge future ahead of them in the country music business. The passion that they have for their music comes out in their live performance and I don’t see them as an opening act for much longer. If you get the opportunity, please be sure to call, email or Tweet your local country station and tell them to put The Dirt Drifters on the radio. You won’t be disappointed. The only disappointment I had from last night’s show, other then I don’t believe they played “Guys Like Me”, was when they’re set was complete.

After a short intermission, we were treated to the music of Susie Brown and Danelle Leverett, otherwise known as The Jane Dear Girls. When they started out, the girls were each pursuing solo country music careers when a friend suggested that Danelle watch Susie perform at a local, Nashville club. Before too long, the two made an attempt at writing together and from the moment they finished their first song together, they knew that they were a duo.

To be fair, it’s very difficult to give an honest opinion of the duo because they unfortunately had some technical difficulties throughout their performance, both with their microphones and instruments. This wasn’t ANY fault of theirs but it was obvious during the set that it was affecting their performance.

Through these issues, Brown and Leverett remained as professional as possible and worked through a great mix of ballads and crowd pleasing, party songs. Opening with their latest single, “Shotgun Girl”, The Jane Dear Girls set the pace for their performance and had the crowd singing and dancing along. The duo also played songs that are sure to be future hits including “Merry Go Round” and the slowed down, melodic “Saturdays and Septembers.” They told the crowd that “you won’t hear many sappy love songs”, but “Saturdays and Septembers” is definitely a song that shows the range that the duo has and is a song that I know we’ll be hearing on country radio in the near future (and trust me, you need to hear Susie on the fiddle…wow!)

Closing with “Wildflower”, their biggest hit to date, The Jane Dear Girls brought the decibel level to its loudest point of the night (so far) as both women and men alike sang along to the tune that landed the act an ACM nomination for best vocal duo. While they have some tough competition with the likes of The  Band Perry, after seeing their live performance, I can say that they are, without a doubt, a duo that is ready to take the country by storm (much like the Dixie Chicks did back in the late 90’s).

At the conclusion of their set, it was obvious that Danelle was still visibly upset over the issues that plagued the group from their opening number. Although the microphone problems seemed to be resolved by the end, there were still some problems with her instrument. After signing a quick autograph for a fan, she took off, off the stage and didn’t look back. Hopefully this experience won’t keep the group from coming back to San Jose again soon.

Following one final intermission, it was time for the headlining act of the evening, Mr. James Otto. Seeing Otto walk out on stage, you can’t help but notice his large stature and stage presence as he seems to fill the room with his larger than life personality. From the first song of the evening “These Are the Good Ole Days”, Otto set the pace of a night that would be filled of nearly every genre music you could imagine.

James Otto

Otto treated the crowd to all of his hits including “Groovy Little Love Summer Song”, “Lover Man” and his number one single “Just Got Started Loving You”. But what may have been the highlight of the evening was the stirring rendition of his latest single “Soliders and Jesus”. Prior to the song, Otto brought a woman up from the crowd who was a Gold Star Mother. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a Gold Star Mother is a woman who has lost a son or daughter in service of our country. This mother recently lost a son in Iraq and it was an emotional few moments as they embraced and Otto kept her onstage as he played the ballad. In looking around the crowd, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house, yours truly included.

Another great night at the Rodeo Club with three acts who didn’t disappoint. I was thoroughly impressed by The Dirt Drifters and also look forward to hearing more from The Jane Dear Girls. I hope that despite some of the technical issues experienced during the show, that each of these acts will consider a return trip to the South Bay.

Did you go to the show? What did you think? Have you seen any of these acts in-person before? Would you see again? All comments are welcome!

Thanks again to KRTY for bringing the show to San Jose.

Check Out: “Real” by James Wesley

February 9, 2011

He played at the Rodeo Club here in San Jose recently and his current song “Real” is, in my opinion, the best song on Country radio these days. He’s James Wesley.

We spend so much time talking about reality shows, sports, sensational trials and other things that just aren’t that important. But check out the music video below. I think you’ll enjoy both the music and the lyrics. Pretty powerful stuff!

“Real”

Artist: James Wesley

Five-hundred channels and there ain’t much on tonight
Except reality shows about some folk’s so-called lives
A pretty girl cries ’cause she don’t get a rose
But she’ll find love next year on her own show

And they call that real

Real is a hand you hold fifty-seven years
Real is a band of gold tremblin’ with fear
It’s the first long tear down an old man’s face, watchin’ his angel slippin’ away
His heart’s so broke, it’s never gonna heal

I call that real

Where I live, housewives don’t act like that
And the survivors are farmers in John Deere hats
Our amazin’ race is beatin’ the check
Prayin’ that the bank ain’t ran it through yet

Real, like too much rain fallin’ from the sky
Real, like the drought that came around here last July
It’s the damn boll weevils and the market and the weeds, the prayer they’re sayin’ when they plant the seeds
And the chance they take to bring us our next meal

I call that real

Real, like a job you lose ’cause it moves to Mexico
Like a mama and a baby with no safe place to go
Like a little dream-house with a big old foreclosed sign
Like a flag-draped coffin and a twenty-one gun goodbye

I call that real
Man, I call that real
Oh, I call that real

Concert Review: Phil Vassar at the Rodeo Club on April 16, 2010

April 18, 2010

When you go into a show with the highest expectations, you typically end up with an enormous letdown. With Phil Vassar, though, this is never the case. Once again, here in San Jose, Vassar lived up to all expectations with 90 minutes of great music and great fun!

The night began with Jaron and the Long Road to Love and don’t let the name fool you, this is a band consisting of just one: Jaron. Although he only played five song, it was a very enjoyable opening act. The song that you’ll probably know him from is a country radio staple these days: “I Pray For You”.

He may not be well known now, but what I loved about his stage presence is that he played with the crowd and had a great time throughout his set. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more of him in the days/weeks/months to come.  I can tell he is a future star rising. Next time, hopefully, we’ll get a little longer set.

Following his set, it was finally time for the moment we had all been waiting for: Phil Vassar’s return to San Jose! The crowd was electric as KRTY DJ Randy Jones took the stage and got everyone on their feet, screaming at the top of their lungs. A moment later, Vassar took the stage.

If you haven’t seen a Phil Vassar show, you are missing out on one of country musics best. I’ve seen the best of the best: George Strait, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood, Brooks & Dunn, Garth Brooks and more. But, while Vassar isn’t seen in the upper eschalon of country music performers, and on an international stage such as these performers, he really should be!

Vassar is well known in the industry as a great songwriter and over the past 8-10 years, has been very well received playing his own music. Songs such as “Carlene”, “Bye Bye”, “I’m Alright”, “In a Real Love”, “Last Day of My Life”, “Six Pack Summer”, “Little Red Rodeo”, “Love is a Beautiful Thing”, “Just Another Day in Paradise”, “American Child” and “My Next Thirty Year” filled the setlist. Vassar didn’t miss a beat as he had the audience in his hand, singing along to every word.

Another great aspect of a Vassar stage show is how he brings in other songs that are not his own that continue to keep the crowd asking for more. One of these would have to be “Summer Nights” from the Grease soundtrack:

But what I have always enjoyed most of the Phil Vassar shows I’ve been to (6 in total), is how he incorporates a Billy Joel staple, “Piano Man”, into his encore to conclude the show. What else would you expect from a great piano player such as Vassar:

As always, the show exceeded my expectations and I can safely say that everyone who was in attendance left feeling satisfied. My wife got to meet Vassar and got the autograph that she wanted :) A great evening all around!

Whether you’re a fan of country music or not, I highly recommend that you check out a performance by Phil Vassar. You won’t be disappointed.

Phil Vassar…Tonight at the Rodeo Club!

April 16, 2010

It’s going to be a late night tonight as my wife and I will be heading down to the Rodeo Club in San Jose to see our favorite performer, Phil Vassar.

We’ve see Phil live 4 times in the past, and his show two years ago at the Rodeo Club was the BEST concert I’ve ever been to (and I’ve been to more than one hundred in my 32 years). The set list always includes favorites such as: Little Red Rodeo, Carlene, Just Another Day in Paradise, Bye Bye, Six Pack Summer, In My Next 30 Years, I’m Alright, That’s When I Love You and more…Let’s not forget that he typically finishes his show with a great rendition of Billy Joel’s Piano Man (see video below).

Very much looking forward to this one and posting a review this weekend. If you don’t know much about this great singer/songwriter, here is some background from his Web site:

Phil Vassar’s unbounded energy and limitless talent have proven him, again and again, as one of Nashville’s most prolific and versatile stars. His resume boasts six #1 hits for country artists including Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw, Jo Dee Messina, and Collin Raye, and three more as an artist in his own right. He’s been named the ASCAP Songwriter of the Year twice and has taken top honors from the Academy of Country Music, Billboard and MusicRow. Now releasing his sixth album, Traveling Circus, Vassar approaches his uniquely piano-based, rhythm and blues-infused, infectiously buoyant brand of country music from the back-to-basics school of thought.

Phil bypassed traditional Music City session players and hired his road band to play on Traveling Circus. While the band had played on some of Phil’s Greatest Hits: Vol. 1 album, and had become his go-to guys for demo work, never before had Phil used them for a full album of original material. What’s more, Phil found that his road band, who contribute so much to the frenetic creative energy of his legendary live shows, were much better equipped to capture his concert sound than hired session musicians would be.


Concert Review: Chris Cagle in San Jose, California

August 14, 2009

All I can say is this: Chris Cagle’s concerts go on and on and on and on and on and on and on…

*In case you didn’t get that, its the lyrics to one of his songs :)

Tonight, Cagle took the stage at the Rodeo Club in San Jose, California. I’ve been to quite a few concerts over the past three years at this venue and I have never seen a crowd so large, and so loud. There was hardly room to move, let alone dance, but the crowd was electric.

First, I have to give it up to Adam Herbel “The Dancing Cowboy” who put on some great line dancing lessons prior to the concert. The guy can teach, can dance and really gets the crowd going before the show. Check him out via his Web site.

Cagle took the stage just after 10:30 p.m. and played for approximately 75-80 minutes. As the band hit the stage, the audience was greeted with pre recorded music from classic rock, country and even some hip hop. A nice mix to get the crowd going. He opened with “It’s Good to be Back” and thanked the crowd, and local radio station KRTY, for bringing him back to San Jose. He always seems to have a good time here and I’m pretty sure he’s sincere when he says that he’s glad to be back.

Next came my favorite Chris Cagle song “Laredo” which I promptly screamed the lyrics at the top of my lungs and began the downfall of my voice for the evening. Great song, though! He continued with hits such as “I Breathe In, I Breathe Out”, “Walmart Parking Lot”, “What Kinda Gone” and “What a Beautiful Day”.

The man is an incredible performer. He knows how to work the crowd, he knows when to slow it down, and unlike many singers I have seen in the past, he sounds just like he does on his albums.

I’ll admit, I’ve wanted to see Cagle in concert since I found out that we were in the same fraternity, Phi Delta Theta. I broke out my old fraternity letters for the show tonight and hoped that he’d see them. Finally, about 3/4 through the show he got to be about five feet away and saw them! Sweet! He looked and smiled and “tested me”, something that fraternity brothers do to ensure they are who they say they are. Of course, I responded correctly and got a big thumbs up. Although he probably forgot a few seconds later, its something I’ll remember forever. Pretty cool! :)

As he got to the final song of his set, he had the crowd eating out of his hand. By the time he walked off stage after the final song, I wasn’t sure the crowd could scream loud enough to bring him out. But I was proven wrong!

The crowd cheered for he and the band to come out for an encore and after some prodding by Randy Jones of KRTY, they came back and broke into Lynyrd Skynyrd’s classic “Saturday Night Special”. The woman next to me had been trying to get Cagle to sign her photo (yes, it was a photo she took of him at a previous concert) and during the encore, he obliged. He finished the night with one of his most popular songs “Chicks Dig It” and, of course, the chicks in San Jose dug it!

Another great night of music at the Rodeo Club. My wife and I got to shake hands with the band following the performance and they were very down to Earth, nice guys! If you’re a fan of country music, I recommend you take in a Chris Cagle show the next time he comes to town. You won’t be disappointed!

Yes, he’s different that Kenny Chesney or Toby Keith. He may not fill 75,000 seat arenas, but he puts on one hell of a show and the crowd goes absolutely crazy when he’s on stage. He has a personality that connects with the crowd and makes for an enjoyable evening of fun, and great music! Now, if only KRTY could bring Phil Vassar back…we’d be even happier!

Set List (hopefully pretty accurate):

  1. It’s Good To Be Back
  2. Laredo
  3. My Love Goes On & On
  4. I Breathe In, I Breathe Out
  5. What Kinda Gone
  6. New Song (Something about a Wild girl)
  7. No Love Songs
  8. What A Beautiful Day
  9. Hey Y’all
  10. Miss Me Baby
  11. Country By The Grace Of God
  12. Saturday Night Special
  13. Chicks Dig It

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