Posted tagged ‘Trailer Choir’

Chesney Rocks…Sugarland Walks!

July 19, 2009

Last night, Kenny Chesney once again demonstrated why he is the greatest entertainer in country music today. Unfortunately, he needed this performance to help appease a very upset crowd at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

Chesney returned to the Bay Area last night with his Sun City Carnival Tour which included supporting acts Lady Antebellum and Miranda Lambert. I would say Sugarland, but, well…they ONCE AGAIN had to cancel a Bay Area show. To quote a gentleman sitting behind me last night, “maybe they should skip the Bay Area every time, and let the real talent shine.” I won’t go that far, as they are a great band, but why us again?

The crowd was greeted with signs saying that singer Jennifer Nettles has lost her voice in the recording studio. (Thank you to Are You Breathing for the photo…I forgot to take one!)

No Sugarland at AT&T Park

No Sugarland at AT&T Park

Huh? Weren’t they playing with Keith Urban just the night before? I don’t get it. For those of you going to the Staples Center tonight, I heard that Lady Antebellum will be replacing Sugarland as well. I was told by others in attendance that Sugarland did a sound check prior to the show and decided that they should not perform due to the strain on Nettles vocal chords. So, why did the signs state that she lost her voice in the recording studio? Just a question. I’m told she was great last night!

Back to the concert. I have to say one thing about AT&T Park: this is NOT a great place to see a concert. The venue is great for baseball and even for the Emerald Bowl in college football. The park has a great selection of food and good people working both the concessions and guest relations, but the acoustics for a concert are lousy. The entire night, it was difficult to hear what the performers were saying and there was a constant echo during the entire show.

Lady Antebellum took the stage first at about 5:50 p.m. (about 20 minutes late) with a fun set that included all of their hits including: I Run To You, Lookin’ For a Good Time and Love Don’t Live Here Anymore. I really enjoyed a new song they played. I think it’s called I Need You Now. It’s slow but I absolutely love the lyrics! Watch for it to be their next radio hit!

They also paired some classic rock songs which was an excellent addition to the set, especially a rendition of AC-DC’s You Shook Me All Night Long. The band currently has the number one song on the Billboard charts and after seeing them perform live for the first time, I see a bright future ahead for them. They have a great stage presence and don’t look like newcomers. They look more like polished professionals! I’ll tell you one thing, by next year, they’ll be headlining shows like this. They have the talent and passion to be HUGE in this business. I predict great things (and numerous CMA/Grammy awards this year). Mark my word. They may have stolen the show!

Next up was Miranda Lambert. A former Nashville Star contestant, Lambert did her best to entertain the crowd, who at times seem disinterested in her set because of a few fights in the crowd (two in our section, section 104) as well as the cold wind that whipped up throughout the event. Say what you will, I thought that her band was entertaining and people may not have enjoyed as much as they should have due to the acoustics at AT&T Park. Loved the band members mohawk by the way!

Her set included: Kerosene, Me and Charlie Talking, Famous in a Small Town and concluded with Gunpowder and Lead. Probably the highlight of her set was the intimate More Like Her which was soft, sincere and very emotionally driven. I feel that Lambert is a good performer and has a lot of talent, but just isn’t quite ready for the stadium shows just yet (just give her a little more time…there is a lot of talent in Lambert and her band!). I really wish Blake Shelton was accompanying her for this show. I think together, they could have rocked the park!

Following Lambert was ANOTHER long, break in between sets, courtesy of Sugarland. I’ll bring this up again, I, as well as many in attendance were VERY upset with another Sugarland cancellation. Like many others, I spent a lot of hard earned money during tough economic times to take my wife to this show. We both love Kenny Chesney, but she came for Sugarland. To not see them perform was a complete downer for the entire evening. I have the latest Sugarland CD, unopened, which I may return to the store today. Sugarland, you broke my wife’s heart last night, for the second time. Once at Shoreline and now once at AT&T Park.

Thank god for Kenny! Chesney’s 90 minute set nearly saved the entire evening for us. Chesney brings such passion to his music, and his concerts, which has brought the reputation as the best performer in country music today. Yes, Carrie Underwood may be the reigning Entertainer of the Year, but I have seen both, and unless I get a date with Carrie afterwards, Chesney is by far the better live performer.

He entered the stadium in style, from a flying chair which floated above the crowd during his opening song Live Those Songs. His set list was, as always, top notch including: Summertime,  Beer in Mexico,  Keg in the Closet, Out Last Night,  Big Star, No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems , I Go Back / Anything But Mine,  Down the Road, Never Wanted Nothing More, Back Where I Come From, Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven, When the Sun Goes Down, Don’t Happen Twice, She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy and Don’t Blink (encore). For the most part, the set was party anthem after party anthem, with just a sprinkling of a few ballads intertwined nicely.

What I love about Chesney is that he loves what he does, and it shows in his concerts. Chesney knows how to work a crowd and the crowd always knows how to respond. I was slightly disappointed that Chesney did not interact with the fans as much as he typically does. The songs were great but they were one after another with hardly any segue in between.

An especially loud cheer came up during “Back Where I Come From” when the video monitors flashed photos of the San Francisco Bay Area and of local San Francisco teams the San Francisco Giants and 49ers. He did this last year as well but it’s always a nice touch :)

The show was good, but not great. I can not compare this year to last year’s concert which included supporting acts Luke Bryan, Gary Allan, LeAnn Rhimes and Brooks and Dunn. Last year’s show also included special guests Steve Miller and Sammy Hagar. Last years show was one of the best concerts I have ever been to in all of my 31 years, so I knew going into this years that it would be hard to live up to.

I love Kenny Chesney, but I wish that something could have been done to compensate concert goers for the lack of Sugarland (again). Yes, the opening acts did longer sets, but (and I mean no disrespect in this statement) I didn’t pay my money to see extra Lady Antebellum and Miranda Lambert. I would have loved to have seen some of the band from the Beach Ball Free for All, including Trailer Choir and Love and Theft, make an appearance on stage. A short, 3-5 song set by Trailer Choir would have done it for me! The concert organizers had these bands at their disposal. Why wouldn’t you find a way to get them on stage to at least help fill the time caused by the loss of Sugarland?

Overall, a good show, but not worth the price of admission this year. Chesney is amazing, and I know that I’ll probably be back next year, but if the economy continues to remain as it is, I’ll be much more inclined to miss the stadium shows, and concentrate on my favorite intimate gatherings at the Rodeo Club. Looking forward to the next one, KRTY!

If you went to the show, I want to hear your thoughts as well. What did you think? Worth the price you paid? Were you disappointed by a lack of Sugarland?

Be sure to check out the San Jose Mercury News for their review of the show.

Trailer Choir Gaining Momentum

June 23, 2009

With a new album released on June 9, and concert dates across the country, this up and coming country act is starting to finally get some coverage in the national media! Nice job guys!

You can see my review of the album here and a review of their concert at the Rodeo Club, in San Jose, here.

From CMT.com:

No need for yoga classes and gym memberships to rid yourself of partying side effects this summer. That’s because Trailer Choir’s newest album, Off the Hillbilly Hook, offers admiration for curvy women that down cold beer. Their most-requested song, “Rockin’ the Beer Gut,” suggests that a good-looking girl should sport her muffin top, a.k.a. “extra love around their waist,” by wearing tight jeans to exaggerate it. If you get the chance to see Trailer Choir perform this song live, Big Vinny, the 400-pound band member, will do his signature pop worm dance as an accompaniment. So ladies, enjoy that six-pack of cold brew and don’t worry about that workout plan if you’re trying to get the attention of these band members.

From the Leader-Telegram:

From party anthems to tear-jerking ballads, Trailer Choir vocalist Crystal says she likes to be taken on “the full ride” when she attends a concert.

So it’s maybe not surprising that the country trio’s debut album, “Off the Hillbilly Hook,” which was released June 9 on Toby Keith’s Show Dog Records, gives listeners that ride.

Between the band’s comical first single, “Rockin’ the Beer Gut,” and the heavy-hearted track “What Would You Say,” which is about the fatal January 2006 Sago Mine accident in West Virginia, the disc taps comedy, tragedy and emotions that lie in between.

“We’re songwriters at the root of all of it,” vocalist and guitarist Butter said in a group telephone interview. “So as songwriters we like writing all types of things. As a whole we’re a trailer gate party. We’re a backyard barbecue in high definition.”

CD Review: Trailer Choir “Off The Hillbilly Hook”

June 18, 2009

If you haven’t heard of Trailer Choir yet, get ready, you soon will.

Signed by Toby Keith’s Show Dog Nashville in 2007, the band consists of three members: Butter, Crystal and Big Vinnie.

From their Web site:

Trailer Choir started as a loose association of musicians and singers, usually including Butter and Big Vinny, traveling the Southeast playing private parties and frat houses.

Not long after they began performing together, Crystal jumped on stage adding the finishing harmonies to the group. Soon they were having so much fun that folks started to notice. Quotable lines and good time songs only touch on the Trailer Choir experience.

Full effects can only be felt live and in-person, where we find master of ceremonies, comic ringleader and front man Butter, smooth and soulful Louisiana girl Crystal and worm popping small town big boy Big Vinny. Because you just haven’t lived until you’ve seen a 400-pound man do the pop worm in the middle of a country show.

On June 9, Trailer Choir released their new album “Off the Hillbilly Hook.” The CD features the radio favorite ballad “What Would You Say” the title track, “Off the Hillbilly Hook” (which was featured in Toby Keith’s movie “Beer For My Horses) and what is sure to be a highly requested summer anthem, “Rockin’ the Beer Gut”.

From beginning to end, the 6 song album is a crowd pleaser. There is a little something for everyone on this album, and I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

“Rockin’ the Beer Gut” is an ode to those ladies at the bar who might not always get the attention they deserve. With lines such as “The first thing that caught my eye…she was rockin’ the beer gut” and “it’s just some extra love around her waist” well, you know how this one will turn out.

“Rollin’ Through the Sunshine” is a fun, happy song, that just makes you feel good. This tune brings me back to my early college days when Len had their own hit “Steal My Sunshine”. While the two songs are completely different, you still get that “life is good” feeling listening to them.

“In My Next Five Beers” demonstrates that you don’t need to think about the future, where you’re going, or where you need to be in the next five years. What you need to do is think about where you’re going to be five beers from now, whether it’s out and about, or sitting right there in the same chair you’re already in.

“What Would You Say” hit the radio a few months back and has been a mainstay since, at least on KRTY in the Bay Area and other stations that frequently play the amazingly well written song. A tribute to those men lost in the West Virginia mine tragedy a few years back, this song makes you truly think about your life, if you have lived it to the fullest, and if you only had a few minutes left, and just a pad of paper, what would you say.

The title track to the CD, “Off The Hillbilly Hook”, is the first Trailer Choir song I ever heard. I first heard the tune at a concert at the Shoreline Ampitheater in the Bay Area when the band opened for Montgomery Gentry and Toby Keith. Rumor has it that KRTY’s own Indiana Al is the man behind the title to this country/rap hit and if you don’t think that these two genres of music can mix, then you must listen to this song. You’ll be “Hillbilly Hooked!”

Overall, “Off the Hillbilly Hook” is an album for everyone. It has a great mix of country, rap, ballads and more. You can listen to the tracks on the bands Web site or MySpace page but I recommend shelling out the money and buying the album as soon as you can. These guys may not be big just yet, but they have the talent to make it in the business and you better get on the bandwagon before it’s too late!

My only hope is that the band will come out with a Live CD/DVD soon. The music on the CD is good, but it’s the stage show that truly makes the band who they are. If Trailer Choir comes to your town, be sure to check out the show. You’ll have a set list which includes Trailer Choir material as well as songs by the Steve Miller Band, John Mellencamp, Sublime and more! Do I need to add a country version of “Baby Got Back”? It’s true!

Buy the album, check out a show. You won’t regret either!

Concert Review: Trailer Choir, May 15, 2009

May 15, 2009

All I can say is that this show was “Off the Hillbilly Hook”!

I’ve seen Trailer Choir before, but not in a venue as small as the Rodeo Club in San Jose, California. It hasn’t even been an hour since the show ended, but the vision of the crowd singing along to a trio of talented musicians is still running through my head.

I was happy that I got the chance to meet with Randy Jones and Indiana Al of KRTY both before and after the show. Great guys who work for a great, local country music station. 95.3 in the South Bay Area!

Here’s a little background on the band:

The group’s building momentum reached new heights when, after yet another packed show, Toby Keith introduced himself. “And then it was off to the races,” Big Vinny says. Trailer Choir were soon on a tour bus headed out on Toby’s Big Dog Daddy tour, where they played side stages, beer stands, parking lots – anywhere they could find fans to listen. “Toby said get your stuff, get the band, just get out there and introduce yourselves and play,” Butter says.

Keith’s fans enthusiastically embraced the band and their good-time sound. Songs “Off The Hillbilly Hook,” “My Next Five Beers,” “Rollin’ Through The Sunshine” and “Rockin’ The Beer Gut,” as well as their “did you see that?” stage show, led to a multitude of accomplishments.

These included 49 shows opening for Keith, performances at the CMA Music Festival and National Finals Rodeo, “Off The Hillbilly Hook” featured in the movie and soundtrack of the feature film Beer For My Horses, and the original song “Last Man Standing” used by ESPN & ABC in a national NASCAR promotion. And all this activity culminated in the November 2008 release of the four-song EP Trailer Choir, produced by Keith himself.

And all this activity culminates in the June 9th album release “Off the Hillbilly Hook.” The CD features the singles “What Would You Say” the title track, “Off the Hillbilly Hook” along with the crowd pleasing highly requested summer anthem, “Rockin’ the Beer Gut” just to name a few.

The show was opened by the California Cowboys, a local band that had some really great tunes! I’ve seen them before at the Sonoma-Marin County Fair and they’re playing the San Jose Flea Market this weekend.

Before Trailer Choir began, the band was seen wandering through the audience. The nice thing about still being a relatively unknown band (what am I saying, these guys are about to be huge) is that you can still walk around, unnoticed. Except by me I guess :)

I had a few minutes to sit and talk with Big Vinny as he made his way through the crowd. The guy is not a small man but he is one of the nicest, down to Earth artists I’ve ever met in person. He wrote their new hit “What Would You Say” and has dance moves that a man his size shouldn’t be making! I asked him if the band is starting to get noticed when out and about and he said that they’re just starting to get used to it. Just wait guys, you’re time is coming!

As the final preparations were taking place, I had a few seconds to talk to lead singer Butter. Very nice guy who, like Big Vinny, is very down to Earth and a class act. When I told him that we’re ready for a great show he said that “It’s about time for the fun to begin. We’ve got a lot planned so hold on to your hat!” Yeah, I had my trademark North Carolina hat on. Thanks for noticing! I knew the show would be good, but boy did I underestimate!

Trailer Choir hit the stage just after 10 p.m. tonight and it was a party atmosphere from the moment they hit the stage. An eclectic mix of their own songs, and cover songs from bands of every genre of music.

The crowd really got going with the second song of the evening, “The Joker” by the Steve Miller Band. A great sing along tune and you know everyone in the audience knew every word!

Have I mentioned yet that Big Vinnie is 380 pounds and he was a dancing machine…complete with a reverse worm!

My personal favorite “Rockin’ the Beer Gut” was next and lived up to the expectations I had hoped. The crowd was into it and Butter mentioned once again that this will be the bands next single…sweet!

More covers including “I Will Survive” by the stunning Crystal herself…Referred to by the band as Fergie May Clampet :)

“Jack and Diane”, “Baby Got Back ” and more followed!

Gotta love the happy go lucky “Rollin’ Through the Sunshine” followed by more covers including a stirring rendition of “Sweet Home Alabama”. The crowd had a choice between that and “Ice Ice Baby”. Either would have been a winner!

The show concluded with a great live version of “Off the Hillbilly Hook”. The crowd was going wild by this time and  Indiana Al, who coined this phrase years ago, could be seen dancing in the crowd with the spotlight (a small flashlight) over him.

A show wouldn’t be a show without an encore, which was gladly brought to us by the band. How many times can you say that you went to a country concert and left with Sublime’s “What I Got”. A perfect finish to a great show!

What really surprised me was that Trailer Choir did not play their current hit “What Would You Say”, a tribute to the 13 miners killed in West Virginia. I guess that the song didn’t fit into the party of the set list that was being used but it would have been great to have fit the song in.

Overall, what can I say. I had high expectations, and they were easily met. This is a band that is on the cusp of stardom and I’m proud to say that I got to meet them before they took that final leap to the big time. In my mind though, they’re already there!

Come back to San Jose soon y’all! Best show I’ve seen in quite some time. Top 5 for sure all time!

Trailer Choir in San Jose This Friday Night!

May 10, 2009

If you haven’t heard of them (you should have!) check out their Web site. There’s a link to their MySpace page which will have more songs to check out.

Trailer Choir is a lot of fun. They play on Toby Keith’s label Show Dog and we saw them on last year’s tour with Montgomery Gentry.

They’ll be playing the Rodeo Club this Friday night in San Jose for another Listener Appreciation free show by KRTY.

I’ll be there. Will you???

Black Friday Starts Holiday Shopping Season with a Bang

December 2, 2008

Individual shoppers spent about 7% more this year than last year from Thursday through Sunday, the NRF found. Shoppers affected by the economic slowdown were more selective than in years past, with many drawn in by deep discounts from retailers. “It seems that not only did retailers do a good job of attracting shoppers, but it seems that shoppers were also excited again to take part in the tradition of Black Friday weekend,” NRF spokeswoman Kathy Grannis said.

So, if Black Friday was so great, what is the outlook for the rest of the holiday season? Will shoppers continue to spend? Let’s take a look at sales totals in two weeks and see how well retailers are doing at that time. It’s a very sad, and scary time right now with the state of the economy.

From the New York Times:

Sales in the nation’s stores were strong over the weekend, to the relief of retailers that had been expecting a holiday shopping period as slow as the overall economy.

But while spending was up, there were troubling signs in the early numbers. The bargains that drove shoppers to stores were so stunning, analysts said that retailers — already suffering from double-digit sales declines the last two months — would probably see their profits erode even further.

Also, after shoppers flooded stores on Friday, foot traffic trailed off significantly on Saturday and Sunday.

Retailing professionals consider the weekend after Thanksgiving a barometer of overall holiday sales, which account for 25 to 40 percent of their annual sales. And in a year marked by an economic crisis, they are desperate for any signs that consumers are still willing to spend.

Their first glimpse came from two industry surveys released on Sunday. ShopperTrak, which does research for retailers, said sales increased 3 percent on Friday, compared with last year.

The National Retail Federation, adding up sales Thursday through Saturday and projected sales for Sunday, said that each shopper spent about 7 percent more this year than last year. Shoppers spent an average of $372.57 Friday though Sunday, according to the federation, a trade group.


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