Concert Review: Granger Smith and Drew Baldridge Bring the Country to this “Tailgate Town”

Posted January 29, 2016 by Kreuzer33
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I don’t know how they continue to do it, but KRTY topped themselves once again with amazing live performances by Drew Baldridge, Granger Smith and a special appearance by none other than Earl Dibbles Jr.

Earl_Granger

Just one night after Dustin Lynch, Chris Lane and Tyler Rich took the Rodeo Club stage, this trio had the unenviable task of trying to best them. As difficult as I thought that might be to do…I think they succeeded!

The night started off with a bang around 8:45 p.m. when Drew Baldridge arrived. Drew is a singer songwriter at heart. According to some background research I did ahead of the show, he grew up playing basketball and baseball, but would perform the National Anthem at all his games. As a teenager, he joined a quartet at church singing bass while his father sang tenor. Later on, he played acoustic gigs at a nearby bar on Saturday nights. Not a bad way to break into the business.

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In 2013, Drew signed with THiS Music, joining the company of a number of the most prominent and prolific songwriters in Nashville. Soon after, he released his debut EP, All Good and singles “BYOB” and “She’s Taken” became radio staples across the Midwest.

Known as much as a performer as a singer, Drew brings an energy-packed show to every performance. Doesn’t matter if he’s opening, or the headliner. He’ll always give you 100%. No less. Over the past few years, Drew has shared the stage with artists such as Alabama, Phil Vassar, and Josh Turner among others. Not bad company to be associated with, right?

I’ve got to say that I was thoroughly impressed with Drew and the band, so much so that I was sure to hit the merchandise table after the show and buy both his CD and EP. The setlist was packed full of songs that were both originals, as well as a few cover songs that sent the crowd into a frenzy. What i loved the most was how the band was always in sync and they entertained. That’s the key word. This was entertainment at it’s finest. You could tell they were having fun up on stage. Everyone danced together while playing. Seriously. Check out the live performance video link below.

His current single, “Dance with Ya“, which closed the set, was the most recognizable of his own songs and here in San Jose, we were sure to make Drew feel welcome. Nothing says “Welcome to KRTY” like a front row filled with Drew Baldridge bobbleheads, right? Yep, that’s me right behind Drew’s left hand, wearing my Oregon Ducks gear!

Bobblehead

Credit: Rudy Sabin (www.rudysabin.com)

The setlist also includes songs such as “Rebound” and the aforementioned covers of Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance”, as well as a medley of hits from the 90s including Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back”, Smash Mouth’s “All Star”, Sugar Ray’s “Fly” and Third Eye Blind’s “Semi Charmed Life”. Of course, the night wouldn’t be complete without a few country covers which included “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Play Something Country”.

Here’s a quick clip of the live performance of “Shut Up and Dance”.

Here’s a quick clip of the live performance of “Dance with Ya”. Thanks Maggie Doran for capturing it!

During Baby Got Back, the crowd was “treated” to a little rump shaking from the four guys in the band, which seemed to go over well. We also got a little “All About That Bass” from the bass player.

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Oh, did I mention the drummer, Simone Simonton? She was amazing! I mean she could flat out play. Her drum solo was one of the highlights of the evening for me!

I’ve seen a lot of shows. And I’ve seen a lot of so-called “opening acts”. Well I will tell you this. There is NO WAY that Drew Baldridge remains an opening act for long. The last time I saw an opener like this was when A Thousand Horses came to the Rodeo Club to support Josh Thompson. They blew the roof off the place that night, just like Drew and his band did opening for Granger Smith. I can’t wait to see what these guys have in store for them in the months and years to come!

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Drew is active on social media so make sure to check him out on Facebook and follow him on Twitter at @DrewRBaldridge. Speaking of social media, also check out the Drew Crew fan page on Facebook for news, photos and discussions about all things Drew.

After that set, I certainly needed to catch my breath. But I didn’t have long because soon after, the headline of the evening, Granger Smith, made his way to the stage (minus a guitar player who’s wife apparently went into labor!).

Before we get into the music, first, let me provide you with a little background on Granger. He was born and raised in Texas where he grew up with two brothers. Apparently his life changed when he was 14 years old when he decided to teach himself to play guitar. This was motivated by two things: He thought the guitar would make girls pay attention to him, and George Strait played one. Two great reasons!

JohnGranger

By the time he turned 15, he was performing weekends on small town stages in North Texas, and doing his best as a fan club member to attend every George Strait concert he could. By age 19, Granger was satisfied with enough songs he had written to make an album. As a freshman at Texas A&M, he was able to scrape together some money by pre-selling the album to friends around campus. That album eventually landed him a songwriting deal with EMI Music Publishing, and the following year, he headed off to Tennessee.

Granger’s little brother, Tyler joined him in 2008. Together they worked from the ground up with the goal of not only building an artist, but a brand. Like many others, they embraced social media, searched for real connections with fans, and most importantly, ignored their doubters. They created alter-egos through videos to help promote the music and that’s where the world-famous Earl Dibbles Jr. came from back in 2011. While it may have started out as a short, funny video, it turned out to be something that completely changed the shape of Granger’s career.

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After independently releasing seven studio albums, a live album and two EPs, Granger signed his first record deal in 2015 with Broken Bow Music Group (BBR Music Group). And as they say, the rest is history…

So before the doors officially opened, a crowd of about 100 of us were lucky enough to attend an “Album Preview Party”, hosted by KRTY, which gave us a few snippets from his upcoming album “Remington”, due out on March 4. Granger took the stage and introduced each of the three songs and gave us a little insight into the making of the album, and the stories behind the songs. I’ve got to say that the title track is a hit waiting to happen. Although, I wasn’t disappointed by any of the songs that were played. I could easily see all three as follow up singles to his current hit “Backroad Song“. Definitely looking forward to purchasing the album, and I’m sure I’ll order it when pre-orders begin on February 5. Additional details on the new album can be found here.

Now on to the show, and what an action packed set it was. Granger knows how to play to an audience. The guy has a charisma and stage presence that is infectious. Apparently he also has a beautiful smile according to the girls next to me, but I’ll leave that up to you.

And can I just say that he’s got an amazing touring band. Guitar to bass to drums, these guys rock. I kept watching the drummer, Dusty Saxton, who was hidden in the back in his plastic enclosure, leading the organized chaos on stage.  Also had a pretty good view of Jonathan Wisinski on the bass. I’d love to see these guys in an arena or an even larger venue.

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Granger has a full archive of his own music that I swear could fill three full shows. At this show, he ran through a great assortment of favorites and new songs including “The Country Boy Song”, “Bury Me in Blue Jeans”, “Tailgate Town”, “If the Boot Fits” and “Backroad Song”.

 

Now, before I get too far into this, did I mention this was an acoustic show? Now let me ask you a question. How many times have you been at a show where the band blows out the sound…on an ACOUSTIC show??? Well, Granger and the band were successful in accomplishing this. Something I’ve never personally witnessed, but pretty cool in its own right. To pass the time, Granger signed some autographs, took a few pictures with the crowd and was both amused and stoked by the “USA…USA…” chant from the folks in San Jose.

Upon fixing the sound issue, the crowd was treated to a few more song and then, just as quickly as the show began, it appeared to be over. The stage went dark. The crowd went silent. Was it really over? Were we going to get an encore? Was there anything else to come?

Well, for those who know Granger, they also know his alter ego, who I mentioned earlier, Earl Dibbles Jr. Decked out in his white t-shirt, overalls and an American flag, accompanied with a full bag of tobacco, it was Earl time! Needless to say, the crowd exploded with his arrival.

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I don’t know many other artists out there who have an alter ego (Garth, we’ll forgive you for Chris Gaines). But Earl Dibbles Jr. is certainly my favorite. He bleeds red, white and blue and he loves his fans. Not only did we get a stirring rendition of “A Country Boy Can Survive”, but he also spent a good 10-15 minutes at the conclusion of the set signing every single autograph he could from the stage. Gotta love that!

Before you do anything else today, make sure to check out Granger on Facebook and follow him on Twitter at @grangersmith.

I really hope that the San Jose crowd appreciated what they saw tonight. We saw two (OK 3) young, talented, up-and-coming artists who blew the roof off the Rodeo Club. I don’t say things like this lightly, but these guys are heading for the top. I could certainly see them headlining large venues in the years to come. They’re that good. If you see them coming to your town, cancel your plans, get a babysitter and GO TO THE SHOW. You will not be disappointed.

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As always, I want to give thanks to the folks at KRTY. Thank you to Nate Deaton, Julie Stevens, Tina Ferguson, Gary Scott Thomas, Randy Jones, Indiana Al, Jamie Jackson, Jenna Johnson etc…for once again bringing the best in up-and-coming talent to the South Bay. Let’s see any other so called “local country station” in the Bay Area try to do that!

Were you at the show? Have you seen Granger Smith, Earl Dibbles Jr., or Drew Baldridge live? Let me know your thoughts on these guys in the comments section below.

Concert Review: Dustin Lynch, Chris Lane and Tyler Rich Bring a “Hell of a Night” to San Jose, California

Posted January 28, 2016 by Kreuzer33
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Without a doubt, I can say that this night had just about everything. A marriage proposal. An emotional sendoff for KRTY’s Danika Gurley (who’s moving to Nashville to work for Cam. How awesome is that???) And finally, three solid country music acts who literally brought the house down!

Lynch_Lane

It’s always a fun trip for me to the Bay Area when there’s a concert scheduled at the Rodeo Club. I won’t lie, I usually plan a number of my business trips around the various shows that KRTY puts on. Nothing wrong with that. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out. But for a sold out show featuring Dustin Lynch, Chris Lane and Tyler Rich, there was no way I was missing this one!

The night started just after 8 p.m. with local boy Tyler Rich. Tyler hails from Northern California (Yuba City area) but currently resides in the home of country music, Nashville, Tennessee. During the show, he told us a great story about how it was a Garth Brooks show at Arco Arena in Sacramento that cemented his love for country music. Then, three months before his 14th birthday, his grandparents surprised him with a guitar for Christmas, and that, as they say, was that. Tyler never looked back.

Tyler_JK

After countless hours working on his craft, and spending years on the road touring across the U.S. with multiple bands, Tyler decided it was time to pursue his career as a solo artist. This turned out to be a great choice as he’s taken the stage with some of the country music’s top artists including, Cole Swindell, Sam Hunt, Dan + Shay, Gloriana, Canaan Smith, Maddie & Tae, and a whole lot more (including Dustin Lynch who he’s touring with as we speak). Tyler’s first single “Radio”, landed on iTunes in mid-2015 and is getting airplay on a number of radio stations across the country, including iHeartRadio.

What I loved about Tyler’s performance was his stage presence. You could tell by watching him play that it is what he was born to do…and he loves doing it. The passion is there. From songs like “California Grown“, a song about growing up in California (which I can DEFINITELY relate to being born and raised in the small town of Petaluma) and “Turn it Up” to his first single, “Radio”, Tyler grabbed the attention of the audience right from the start and didn’t look back. I had the privilege of catching up with him after the show, nearly 3 hours after he first took the stage, and he was filled with the same energy and love for his fans that he demonstrated earlier in the evening. I even picked up his EP which has been worn out already. Definitely check it out when you have the chance.

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Make sure to check out Tyler on Facebook and definitely follow him on Twitter at @TylerRichMusic. His YouTube channel also has a few good clips.

After a brief intermission for a “refreshment break”, it was time for Chris Lane to take the stage.

Growing up in Kernersville, North Carolina, Chris made it clear that he listened to all of the country music greats including Alan Jackson, George Strait, Kenny Chesney and Garth Brooks. But as a child of the 90s, he was also shaped by the sounds of artists such as Justin Timberlake, Usher and the Backstreet Boys. Not your typical influencers for a country music artist, right? But Chris makes it work as he has drawn upon those influences to create music for what can only be described as the “modern” country fan.

Chris is certainly making a name in country music. With more than 500 shows to date, He’s shared the stage with leading acts including Florida Georgia Line, Jerrod Niemann, Brett Eldredge and Thomas Rhett. He’s also out on the road on Dustin Lynch’s 35-plus cities Hell of a Night Tour. Not a bad group of guys to be sharing the stage with, right?

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So let’s get to the music. His latest single “Fix” showcases his natural, carefree singing style. Written by Sarah Buxton, Jesse Frasure and Abe Stoklasa, “Fix” is an upbeat song about finding that one person who gives you exactly what you need. OK. That sounds like a country song, right? Heck, I dig it. I actually have it ranked at #71 on my Top 100 Country Music songs of 2015 (and since it came out late in the year, it’ll probably end up on the list for 2016 as well as it picks up additional airplay in the coming months).

The rest of the setlist was filled with a mix of his own songs including “Saturday Night”, “For Her”, and “Cool” as well as some flashbacks to the 90s. Dare I say The Backstreet Boys and N’Sync made an appearance? OK, maybe not the ACTUAL bands, but Chris did get the crowd fired up with renditions of “I Want it That Way” and “Bye Bye Bye”. Not songs that I typically assimilate with a show at the Rodeo Club, but hey, he pulled it off judging by the reactions of the people around me!

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If I have one negative to say, it is a little disappointment that he didn’t play my favorite song of his “Broken Windshield View“. Totally understand though, with so many other songs he performed. Maybe we’ll get this on an album in the future?

I’ll say this, Chris is one to watch. I caught him before opening for Florida Georgia Line and I think that he’s well on his way to making a name for himself in the industry. Make sure to check out Chris on Facebook and follow him on Twitter at @iamchrislane.

Around 9:45 p.m., it was time for the main event: Dustin Lynch.

I was lucky enough to catch Dustin a few years back at the Rodeo Club for his first appearance and have seen him twice since. I’ll admit, I don’t know if there is a more down-to-earth guy in the industry. Talk about someone who loves what he’s doing and doing what he loves. Dustin is the epitome of this saying.

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Back in 2012, Dustin’s self-titled debut hit the number one spot on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, making him the only new male artist to achieve that distinction that year. The album’s lead single, “Cowboys and Angels,” exceeded platinum sales status while earning Dustin a legion of devoted fans. I’m proud to say that I was, and am, one of them. I have to consider “Cowboys and Angels” a modern day country classic, and that same year, it finished as one of Billboard’s Top 5 Country Songs of 2012.

Since releasing “Cowboys and Angels,” Dustin has catapulted on to the country music scene, racking up more than 25 million views on YouTube/VEVO and selling well over two million digital singles. What I love, first and foremost about him is that he brings a fresh combination of traditional influences and edgy intensity to the country music genre. A great mix of both which is what it takes to make it these days. Safe to say…Dustin has made it!

Here’s a clip of “Cowboys and Angels” from the show.

Here’s a clip of “Where It’s At” from the show.

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On this night, as always, Dustin didn’t disappoint. The audience was treated to a selection of his own music, including “Where It’s At”, “She Cranks My Tractor”, “Wild in Your Smile”, “Middle of Nowhere”, “After Party”, “Halo” and his new single, “Mind Reader”, complemented by an assortment of covers including Diamond Rio’s “Meet in the Middle”, “John Deere Green” and an all time classic, “Boot Scootin’ Boogie”. The night culminated with a stirring rendition of “Hell of a Night”, which proved to be the theme of the evening.

I’ll be perfectly clear here: Dustin Lynch is one of the best, up-and-coming male artists in the business today. Heck, I’m not even sure I can call him “up-and-coming” anymore. More like one of the best, established country music artists today. From beginning to end, his shows make you want to come back for more every time and I suggest if he’s coming to your area any time soon, that you check him out.

Also, be sure to look him up on Facebook and follow him on Twitter at @dustinlynch.

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I alluded to it earlier, but one of the best moments of the evening took place when Dustin invited a gentlemen during the opening riff of “Cowboys and Angels”. Here I was thinking that the guy was going to talk about his grandparents (hence the theme of the song) because he mentioned them when he first took the stage. Naturally, I was wrong. He soon invited his girlfriend up to the stage and it was pretty clear that we were going to see a marriage proposal. Thankfully, she said yes. Congrats to the two of you (whoever you are) :)

As I sit here reminiscing on another great night of country music, I have to give thanks to KRTY. As always, thank you to Nate Deaton, Julie Stevens, Tina Ferguson, Gary Scott Thomas, Randy Jones, Indiana Al, Jamie Jackson, Danika Gurley, Jenna Johnson etc…for once again bringing the best in up-and-coming talent to the South Bay. I’d love to see any other so called “local country station” in the Bay Area try to do that!

BTW…raising a glass to Danika on her last night with KRTY. It has been a pleasure getting to know you and best of luck in Nashville!

Were you at the show? Have you seen Dustin Lynch, Chris Lane or Tyler Rich live? Let me know your thoughts on these guys in the comments section below.

 

 

My 200 Favorite Songs of All Time

Posted January 12, 2016 by Kreuzer33
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Forget 2015. Forget the past decade. Forget my lifetime (I was born in 1978).

Today, I’m bringing you my 200 Favorite Songs of All Time.

Now, before we get started, here are a few things:

#1: This is across all genres. While I seem to be known for my love of country music, I have a wide selection of music I’ve listened to my entire life. Therefore, this list is going to be all over the map.

Heck, country music might only make up 20% or less of the final list.

#2: Songs didn’t have to be radio hits, or even singles, to make the list. My favorite songs aren’t tied to the airplay they received.

#3: There have been so many songs written/recorded, that I am bound to have forgotten a few. I wouldn’t be surprised if I forgot one of my all time favorites. It’s hard to remember every song you love!

#4: I’m not a professional writer or reviewer. This was for fun. Don’t freak out if you don’t like the order. This is my personal favorites list, not based on airplay, single or album sales etc… :)

Got it? Good! So here we go with my staple three-way tie at #200:

(T) 200. “Lightning Crashes“, Live

(T) 200. “Man on the Moon“, REM

(T) 200. “Take it to the Limit“, The Eagles

199. “Where is the Love?“, The Black Eyed Peas

198. “Three Little Pigs“, Green Jelly

197. “Playmate of the Year“, Zebrahead

196. “2,000 Light Years Away“, Green Day

195. “Self Esteem“, The Offspring

194. “Take Me Home Tonight“, Eddie Money

193. “Gangsta’s Paradise“, Coolio

192. “Stay a Little Longer“, Brothers Osborne

191. “Smooth Criminal“, Alien Ant Farm

190. “Shoebox“, Barenaked Ladies

189. “Semi-Charmed Life“, Third Eye Blind

188. “Meet in the Middle“, Diamond Rio

187. “Santa Monica“, Everclear

186. “Santeria“, Sublime

185. “Hold My Hand“, Hootie and the Blowfish

184. “Come Cryin’ to Me“, Lonestar

183. “Stacy’s Mom“, Fountains of Wayne

182. “Mr. Jones“, Counting Crows

181. “Two Princes“, Spin Doctors

180. “Kickstart My Heart“, Motley Crue

179. “How Do You Like Me Now?” Toby Keith

178. “Radar Love“, Golden Earring

177. “Interstate Love Song“, Stone Temple Pilots

176. “My Own Worst Enemy“, Lit

175. “Machinehead“, Bush

174. “Bawitdaba“, Kid Rock

173. “Red Dirt Road“, Brooks & Dunn

172. “Spiderwebs“, No Doubt

171. “Wagon Wheel“, Darius Rucker

170. “Already Gone“, The Eagles

169. “The Anthem“, Good Charlotte

168. “Carrying Your Love with Me“, George Strait

167. “1985“, Bowling for Soup

166. “What I Got“, Sublime

165. “Anarchy in the UK“, Sex Pistols

164. “Have a Cigar“, Pink Floyd

163. “Boys of Summer“, Don Henley

162. “Killing in the Name“, Rage Against the Machine

161. “Tha Crossroads“, Bone Thugs N Harmony

160. “Beat of the Music“, Brett Eldredge

159. “We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions“, Queen

158. “Home Sweet Home“, Motley Crue

157. “Pantera Fans in Love“, Nerfherder

156. “Africa“, Toto

155. “I Hold On“, Dierks Bentley

154. “Cemetery Gates“, Pantera

153. “Bro Hymn“, Pennywise

152. “Today“, Smashing Pumpkins

151. “She’s Got it All“, Kenny Chesney

150. “Paper Lanterns“, Green Day

149. “Right Now“, Van Halen

148. “Gimmie Shelter“, Rolling Stones

147. “Lose Yourself“, Eminem

146. “Jeremy“, Pearl Jam

145. “One“, Metallica

144. “Sold (Grundy County Auction)“, John Michael Montgomery

143. “Down Under“, Men at Work

142. “Long Way Down“, Goo Goo Dolls

141. “Good Directions“, Billy Currington

140. “Roots Radicals“, Rancid

139. “Sharp Dressed Man“, ZZ Top

138. “Amazed“, Lonestar

137. “Hello Tomorrow“, Zebrahead

136. “Tuesday’s Gone“, Lynyrd Skynyrd

135. “Kryptonite“, 3 Doors Down

134. “Family Tradition“, Hank Williams Jr.

133. “I Won’t Back Down“, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

132. “Mother“, Danzig

131. “Take it Easy“, The Eagles

130. “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door“, Guns & Roses

129. “Sell Out“, Reel Big Fish

128. “Even if it Breaks Your Heart“, Eli Young Band

127. “Girl All the Bad Guys Want“, Bowling for Soup

126. “Hot for Teacher“, Van Halen

125. “Spirit of the Radio“, Rush

124. “Master of Puppets“, Metallica

123. “Born to Run“, Bruce Springsteen

122. “Any Way You Want It“, Journey

121. “Epic“, Faith No More

120. “Only the Good Die Young“, Billy Joel

119. “You Give Love a Bad Name“, Bon Jovi

118. “The World I Know“, Collective Soul

117. “U Can’t Touch This“, M.C. Hammer

116. “Redneck Yacht Club“, Craig Morgan

115. “Hunger Strike“, Temple of the Dog

114. “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For“, U2

113. “November Rain“, Guns & Roses

112. “Standing Outside the Fire“, Garth Brooks

111. “Holiday“, Green Day

110. “How Forever Feels“, Kenny Chesney

109. “Wonderwall“, Oasis

108. “Janie’s Got a Gun“, Aerosmith

107. “Don’t Come Around Here No More“, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

106. “Learning to Fly“, Pink Floyd

105.”Regulate“, Warren G featuring Nate Dogg

104. “Not Ready to Make Nice“, Dixie Chicks

103. “Ramblin’ Man“, The Allman Brothers

102. “Losing My Religion“, REM

101. “God Only Knows“, The Beach Boys

100. “I Hope You Dance“, Lee Ann Womack

99. “Walk This Way“, Aerosmith and Run DMC

98. “Sweet Child O’ Mine“, Guns & Roses

97. “Drunk on a Plane“, Dierks Bentley

96. “Hey Jude” The Beatles

95. “Crazy Train“, Ozzy Osbourne

94. “When I Come Around“, Green Day

93. “Real“, James Wesley

92. “Don’t Stop Believin’“, Journey

91. “Hey Ya“, OutKast

90. “Only in America“, Brooks & Dunn

89. “If I Had a Million Dollars“, Barenaked Ladies

88. “Ruby Soho“, Rancid

87. “Check Yes or No“, George Strait

86. “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)“, Green Day

85. “Beer“, Reel Big Fish

84. “Cruise“, Florida Georgia Line

83. “Everything About You“, Ugly Kid Joe

82. “Something Like That“, Tim McGraw

81. “London Calling“, The Clash

80. “Come on Eileen“, Dexys Midnight Runners

79. “Song of the South“, Alabama

78. “What’s My Age Again?“, Blink 182

77. “Every Breath You Take“, The Police

76. “Here I Go Again“, Whitesnake

75. “Smoke“, A Thousand Horses

74. “Money for Nothing“, Dire Straits

73. “Jump“, Van Halen

72. “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn“, Poison

71. “You Gotta Fight For Your Right to Party“, Beastie Boys

70. “Straight Tequila Night“, John Anderson

69. “Baby Got Back“, Sir-Mix-A-Lot

68. “Hard to Handle“, The Black Crowes

67. “Peace of Mind“, Boston

66. “When You Say Nothing at All“, Keith Whitley

65. “Fool in the Rain“, Led Zeppelin

64. “Dust on the Bottle“, David Lee Murphy

63. “Down on the Corner“, Creedence Clearwater Revival

62. “We’re Not Gonna Take It“, Twisted Sister

61. “Should’ve Been a Cowboy“, Toby Keith

60. “18 and Life“, Skid Row

59. “Friends in Low Places“, Garth Brooks

58. “Centerfield“, John Fogerty

57. “Gone Country“, Alan Jackson

56. “Angel“, Aerosmith

55. “In Your Eyes“, Peter Gabriel

54. “Enter Sandman“, Metallica

53. “The Joker“, Steve Miller Band

52. “Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love“, Van Halen

51. “Ring of Fire“, Johnny Cash

50. “Hotel California“, The Eagles

49. “Bohemian Rhapsody“, Queen

48. “Welcome to the Jungle“, Guns & Roses

47. “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper“, Blue Oyster Cult

46. “Good Morning Beautiful“, Steve Holy

45. “Smells Like Teen Spirit“, Nirvana

44. “Basket Case“, Green Day

43. “Hey Jealousy“, Gin Blossoms

42. “Into the Great Wide Open“, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

41. “Seek and Destroy“, Metallica

40. “Mama Tried“, Merle Haggard

39. “Sweet Home Alabama“, Lynyrd Skynyrd

38. “We Didn’t Start the Fire“, Billy Joel

37. “Layla“, Derek and the Dominos

36. “Back in Black“, AC-DC

35. “Paint it Black“, Rolling Stones

34. “If You’re Gonna Play in Texas“, Alabama

33. “Stand By Me“, Ben E. King

32. “Baba O’ Riley“, The Who

31. “Pour Some Sugar on Me“, Def Leppard

30. “California Love“, Tupac and Dr. Dre

29. “I Walk the Line“, Johnny Cash

28. “Paradise City“, Guns & Roses

27. “Life’s a Dance“, John Michael Montgomery

26. “One“, U2

25. “Livin’ on a Prayer“, Bon Jovi

24. “I Remember You“, Skid Row

23. “Callin’ Baton Rouge“, Garth Brooks

22. “Rock You Like a Hurricane“, The Scorpions

21. “I Wanna Be Sedated“, The Ramones

20. “Devil Went Down to Georgia“, The Charlie Daniels Band

19. “More Than a Feeling“, Boston

18. “Carry on Wayward Son“, Kansas

17. “Save Tonight“, Eagle Eye Cherry

16. “Fade to Black“, Metallica

15. “Life is a Highway“, Tom Cochrane

14. “Damnit“, Blink 182

13. “My Maria“, Brooks & Dunn

12. “You Shook Me All Night Long“, AC-DC

11. “Under the Bridge“, Red Hot Chili Peppers

10. “I’m in A Hurry (and Don’t Know Why)“, Alabama

9. “Let it Be“, The Beatles

8. “Sound of Silence“, Simon and Garfunkel

7. “Piano Man“, Billy Joel

6. “Free Fallin’“, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

5. “The Dance“, Garth Brooks

4. “Freebird“, Lynyrd Skynyrd

3. “Stairway to Heaven“, Led Zeppelin

2. “American Pie“, Don McLean

1. “With or Without You“, U2

Well, there it is. All 200 of them. Like I said before, these are my 200 favorites of all time.

What are yours?

Concert Review: LANco Brings the Trouble Making to San Jose, California

Posted December 10, 2015 by Kreuzer33
Categories: Uncategorized

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I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: If KRTY announces a show at the Rodeo Club, no matter what night of the week it is, you NEED to make your way down to the venue. Tonight was no different. Not just because of the rising stars on the bill, but because proceeds and donations went to support Family Giving Tree. Charity and great music, of course I made the trip down from Portland, Oregon.

LANCO

On this rainy Wednesday evening, the San Jose crowd was treated to an energy packed performance from an up-and-coming group by the name of LANco. Haven’t heard of them? Give it time. These guys are primed for success. Heck, they even landed at #100 in my “Top 100 Country Music Songs of 2015” countdown with their single “Trouble Maker”.

So I actually discovered these guys by chance on a Saturday night back in September when I was on a trip to Atlanta. Get this, I’m checking out the town and I stumble across a venue called Smith’s Olde Bar. Without any plans that evening, I decided to check things out when I heard a familiar tune (see the link to the video from tonight’s performance of this Red Sox favorite). I’m glad I walked in. Although I only caught a couple songs that night, it gave me an idea of who the band is and what they’re all about. As you can imagine, I was excited to see another show, this time on the West Coast, timed with my latest trip to the Bay Area.

LancoPic

 

 

As a bit of background, formerly known as Lancaster & Company, Sony Music Nashville signed LANco to the label group’s Arista Nashville. The band, consisting of Brandon Lancaster, Tripp Howell, Eric Steedly, Jared Hampton and Chandler Baldwin, recently released their debut EP on Spotify, featuring the tracks “Trouble Maker,” “American Love Story,” “We Do,” and “High.” You should definitely check it out when you have a few minutes. You won’t regret it.

Lanco3

 

During tonight’s San Jose show, LANco performed these songs as well as a couple of well known covers. I’ve got to admit, while I loved the energy and crowd interaction, one of my favorite songs of the night was the ballad “American Love Story”. This song is your small town love story that many of us can relate to. I sure can and I’m pretty sure that the rest of the crowd did as well. I’m going to go out on a limb right now and say that you’ll hear this one as a radio hit in 2016.

 

As I mentioned, LANco pulled a few cover songs out of their bag.

Here’s a link to one of the highlights of the evening, a cover of Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline”.

Here’s a link to a cover of Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance”.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a video of the encore which consisted of a cover of Eric Church’s “Drink in my Hand”, but I can tell you, it was fantastic!

Lanco2

 

I’m not sure that there’s a lot more I can say about LANco. These guys are fun. They’re talented. They put on a show that makes you want more. It’s midnight now, and I’m still wanting to go back to the Rodeo Club and hear a few more songs. The show was THAT good! Did I mention that they played the second half of their final song from the crowd? The lead singer literally brought some drums into the crowd and went to town. The crowd ate it up!

 

LANco is currently doing a few shows with Eli Young Band, but will be out on the road again in 2016. While they aren’t sure who they’ll be touring with, I can tell you this, you don’t want to miss them when they come to your town. Whether opening for another act, or performing their own set at a club, they are well worth your time.

Interested in keeping up with LANco? Make sure you visit their website and check them out on Twitter at @LancoMusic and on Facebook.

Lanco4

As I sit here reminiscing on another great night of country music, I have to give thanks to KRTY. As always, thank you to Nate Deaton, Julie Stevens, Tina Ferguson, Gary Scott Thomas, Randy Jones, Indiana Al, Jamie Jackson, Danika Gurley, Jenna Johnson etc…for once again bringing the best in up-and-coming talent to the South Bay. I’d love to see any other so called “local country station” in the Bay Area try to do that!

Were you at the show? Have you seen LANco live? Let me know your thoughts on these guys in the comments section below.

 

Year in Review: My Top 100 Country Music Songs of 2015

Posted December 4, 2015 by Kreuzer33
Categories: Countdown, Country, Country Music, Music, Review, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s that time of year again where I like to take a look back at my favorite country music songs of the year. We’re into the home stretch so now is as good a time as any, right?

Now, let me preface this list as I always do.

  • I’m not a professional music reviewer.
  • I don’t get paid to promote artists.
  • I don’t go by Billboard or radio airplay charts.

Got it? Good. Let’s get going. My list which consists of the top 100 songs that I loved over the past year (or so). The songs that I wanted to come on my radio while driving to and from work, on a road trip, or when I was just sitting at home.

Now you might notice that a lot of mainstream, radio hits by major artists are not included. No reason except for the fact that my list is not based on how famous you are. Simple as that. I listen to the radio all day long, but a lot of the songs that are played just get played too often. I get burned out. Or, I hear them so often that I change the station. For that reason, those songs may or may not be on my list.

Frankly, it’s my personal list which includes the songs that I love and want to hear (but please feel free to sway me in your direction if I left a song off or ranked a song too high/low).

You probably heard some of these songs every hour (on the hour) on your local station. Others may not have been played much (if at all) when they should have been, in my own, personal opinion. You’ll note quite a few songs on the list that haven’t even been played on the radio. If you see those…be sure to take a listen!

Also, while some of these songs may have come out in late 2014, they were ones that were predominantly played (if they made the radio) in the 2015 calendar year. Others may be primed for success later next year so, like I’ve said before, keep your ears open!

Either way, I’m sure that I’m going to leave quite a few songs off this list that could have easily made it. I know this going in and expect each and every one of you to say “hey, what about this song…or that song.” Please do.

Fight for the music and artists that YOU love!!!!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go through each entry and provide detailed background on the song, reasons for it’s placement, etc…But, feel free to leave a comment and I’d be happy to respond.

Now, without further ado, let’s get this party started with a three-way tie at #100:

(T) 100. “Amen“, Toree McGee

(T) 100. “CRUSH“, The Darlins

(T) 100. “Kids with Cars“, Dallas Smith

99. “Lovestruck“, George Ducas

98. “Giving it All“, Haley & Michaels

97. “Trouble Maker“, LANco

96. “Upside Down“, Dean Brody

95. “Hit the Road“, Waterloo Revival

94. “Hey Time“, The Springs

93. “Move On“, Clare Dunn

92. “Run Angel Run“, Runaway Angel

91. “Hanging on a Lie“, Striking Matches

90. “I Met a Girl“, William Michael Morgan

89. “Drink Drink Drink“, Cloverdayle

88. “Til the Summer’s Gone“, Emerson Drive

87. “Trespassin’“, Chasin’ Crazy

86. “Country Proud“, The Stickers

85. “I Am Invincible“, Cassadee Pope

84. “The Driver“, Charles Kelley (Featuring Dierks Bentley and Eric Paslay)

83. “My Baby’s Got a Smile on Her Face“, Craig Wayne Boyd

82. “Miss You the Most“, Natalie Stovall and the Drive

81. “Kiss By Kiss“, Kristen Kelly

80. “Go Live Your Life“, Wade Hayes

79. “Next Boyfriend“, Lauren Alaina

78. “By the Way“, Lindsay Ell

77. “Ray Bans“, JT Hodges

76. “Me and Johnny Cash“, Rainey Qualley

75. “Clean Hands” Kyle Douglas

74. “My Church“, Maren Morris

73. “White Lightning“, The Cadillac Three

72. “On To Something Good“, Ashley Monroe

71. “Fix“, Chris Lane

70. “Bad for You“, Waterloo Revival

69. “Blue Bandana” Jerrod Niemann

68. “It All Started With a Beer“, Frankie Ballard

67. “Ain’t Always Thirsty“, Ray Scott

66. “Live Forever“, The Band Perry

65. “Folks Like Us“, Montgomery Gentry

64. “Ain’t No Trucks in Texas“, Ronnie Dunn

63. “Confession“, Florida Georgia Line

62. “I See You“, Luke Bryan

61. “My Mistake“, Cam

60. “Shake it Like a Hillbilly“, Hillbilly Vegas

59. “Tomorrow Tonight“, Craig Campbell

58. “Gonna Know We Were Here“, Jason Aldean

57. “Crooked Halo“, Annie Bosko

56. “Going Out Like That“, Reba

55. “Lose My Mind“, Brett Eldredge

54. “Hole in a Bottle“, Canaan Smith

53. “Ain’t Worth the Whiskey“, Cole Swindell

52. “Sippin’ on Fire“, Florida Georgia Line

51. “Raise ‘Em Up“, Keith Urban featuring Eric Church

50. “A Guy Walks Into a Bar“, Tyler Farr

49. “Take Your Time“, Sam Hunt

48. “Better Than You Left Me“, Mickey Guyton

47. “Run Away with You“, Big & Rich

46. “Kiss You in the Morning“, Michael Ray

45. “Standards“, Wade Bowen and Randy Rogers

44. “Backroad Song“, Granger Smith

43. “Little Toy Guns“, Carrie Underwood

42. “Riser“, Dierks Bentley

41. “Crushin’ It“, Brad Paisley

40. “Save it for a Rainy Day“, Kenny Chesney

39. “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16“, Keith Urban

38. “Nothin’ Like You“, Dan & Shay

37. “I Got the Boy“, Jana Kramer

36. “American Flags in Black & White“, John Moreland

35. “(This Ain’t No) Drunk Dial“, A Thousand Horses

34. “I’m to Blame“, Kip Moore

33. “Nobody to Blame“, Chris Stapleton

32. “Hell of a Night“, Dustin Lynch

31. “Let Me See Ya Girl“, Cole Swindell

30. “Already Callin’ You Mine“, Parmalee

29. “Jim and Jack and Hank“, Alan Jackson

28. “Biscuits“, Kacey Musgraves

27. “She Don’t Love You“, Eric Paslay

26. “Love Me Like You Mean It”, Kelsea Ballerini

25. “Little Bit of You“, Chase Bryant

24. “It Feels Good“, Drake White

23. “Young & Crazy“, Frankie Ballard

22. “Buy Me a Boat“, Chris Janson

21. “Don’t It“, Billy Currington

20. “Head Over Boots“, Jon Pardi

19. “Traveller“, Chris Stapleton

18. “Die a Happy Man“, Thomas Rhett

17. “Country“, Mo Pitney

16. “One Hell of an Amen“, Brantley Gilbert

15. “Whiskey on my Breath“, Love and Theft

14. “All Country on You“, Austin Webb

13. “Break Up with Him“, Old Dominion

12. “Like a Wrecking Ball“, Eric Church

11. “Anything Goes“, Florida Georgia Line

10. “I Love This Life“, LoCash

9. “Trailer Hitch“, Kristian Bush

8. “Burning House“, Cam

7. “Hooked Up“, James Wesley

6. “Crash and Burn“, Thomas Rhett

5. “House Party“, Sam Hunt

4. “Homegrown“, Zac Brown Band

3. “Girl Crush“, Little Big Town

2. “Stay a Little Longer“, Brothers Osborne

1. “Smoke“, A Thousand Horses

Well that’s it. My Top 100 of 2015! I know, it was a longer list than normal this year. But, I wanted to be sure to give everyone their due.

Where did I hit the nail on the head? Where did the arrow miss the mark?

I want to hear from you!

Let me know in the comments below!

Red Starbucks Cup…I Fill You Up!

Posted November 9, 2015 by Kreuzer33
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

With all the Starbucks controversy, I figured it was time to write a parody of it all to the tune of Toby Keith’s “Red Solo Cup”.

Mind you, I’ve had about 6 hours sleep in the last 3 days so I’m a little tired and it’s probably not as funny as I think it is!

Maybe I should just leave this up to a professional like “Weird” Al Yankovic.

Red Starbucks Cup

Now a red Starbucks cup is the best receptacle
For libraries, grocery stores, drives to work and festivals
And you sir do not have a pair of testicles
If you prefer drinking from a glass

A red Starbucks cup is cheap and disposable
And just like my Christmas Tree they are decomposable
And unlike my home they are not fore-closable
Santa Claus can kiss my ass

Red Starbucks cup, I fill you up
Let’s have a party…let’s have a party
I love you red Starbucks cup, I lift you up
Proceed to party…proceed to party

Now I really love how you’re red and beautiful
My addiction to you it is inexcusable
Everytime I hold you it is indisputable
Your bland redness shows off my class

But I have to admit that the ladies get smitten
Admirin’ at how sharply my misspelled name is written
On you with a Sharpie when I get to sippin’
Your holiday goodness while I’m pumpin’ my gas

Red Starbucks cup, you’re more than just a paper cup
More than amazing, you’re more than fantastic
And believe me that I’m not the least bit sarcastic
When I look at you and say:

‘Red Starbucks cup, you’re not just a cup (No, no, God no)
You’re my friend, yeah
Thank you for being my friend this holiday season’

Red Starbucks cup, I fill you up
Let’s have a party…let’s have a party
I love you red Starbucks cup, I lift you up
Proceed to party…proceed to party

Concert Review: Jana Kramer and Mo Pitney Have a “Good Time Comin’ On” in San Jose, California

Posted October 23, 2015 by Kreuzer33
Categories: Uncategorized

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So it’s approaching midnight and I just got back from another fantastic KRTY show at the Rodeo Club in San Jose, California. Tonight, the capacity crowd was treated to an evening of country music with two great, up-and-coming artists: Mo Pitney and Jana Kramer.

KramerPitney

Around 8:30, Pitney took the stage with his band in tow. I’ve been looking forward to seeing Pitney play for quite some time now, so I’m glad that my latest travel plans worked out this time around.

As background, Pitney was born in Cherry Valley, Illinois. He began playing drums at age six, guitar at age twelve, and later played in a bluegrass band with his brother and a friend. Eventually, Pitney moved to Nashville where he signed to Curb Records.

Last December, Pitney released the single “Country”, which he co-wrote with Bill Anderson and Bobby Tomberlin. I remember the first time I heard it. It was one of those songs that just jumps out and makes you say “wow. This is big. This is a game-changer.” And it certainly was. The song went back to traditional country roots and put Pitney on the map. I heard country music fans talking about it day in and day out. His latest single, “Boy & a Girl Thing”, was released to country radio this summer and it’s certainly another winner.

Pitney2

Credit: KRTY

During his set, Pitney ran though the aforementioned songs as well as a few personal favorites including “Clean Up on Aisle Five” and “I Met Merle Haggard Today”, a song he wrote after what can only be described as the “religious experience” of meeting the man himself. Nothing like turning a chance meeting with a living legend into a great song. That’s what country music is all about, right? On top of that, the audience was also treated to a fun cover of Cheap Trick’s “I Want You to Want Me.” How can you not have fun with that one?

I have to say, Pitney may very well be the future of country music. I was quite impressed with the set. Pitney is certainly a rising star and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store from him. It’s always nice to see a traditional country musician step to the forefront, especially in a day and age where it doesn’t always get the airplay it deserves. Make sure you check out his website and give him a follow on Twitter at @MoPitney and on Facebook.

After a brief break, it was time for the main event of the evening: Jana Kramer!

You may know Kramer from her roles of Noelle Davenport on Friday Night Lights and Alex Dupre on One Tree Hill. But she began her country music career back in 2012 with the release of her debut single “Why Ya Wanna” which appeared on her self-titled debut album for Elektra Records…and she hasn’t looked back!

Credit: KRTY

Credit: KRTY

One thing I noticed right away about Kramer is her smile. You can tell that she truly loves what she is doing as a musician, playing for her fans. Not once during her set did I see that smile come off her face. OK, maybe for a second during the encore when she was singing “I Hope it Rains” right to me. But, come on, how can you keep a smile to that song, right?

Her entire set was fantastic. A great mix of songs from her first record, and her latest album “thirty one”. Songs like “Why You Wanna”, “Whiskey”, “I Got the Boy”, “Don’t Touch My Radio”, and “Boomerang” filled the high energy set list. We were also treated to a fun track from her new album, “Said No One Ever”. The sing-a-long aspect of this song was great and the audience was really into it. Oh, did I mention that we also got a killer cover of Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic”? Dare I say…awesome?

If you’ve been living under a rock, and haven’t seen Kramer live, make sure that you clear your calendar the next time she’s in town. What a talent. Her vocals. Her stage presence. The way she interacts with her fans. Oh yeah, did I mention that she performed while more than 7 months pregnant? Did I leave that out? Seriously. I can’t remember the last time I was this impressed by a solo artist. Kramer is definitely going places and I can’t wait until the next time she comes to town!

Interested in keeping up with her? Make sure you visit her website and check her out on Twitter at @kramergirl and on Facebook.

Kramer1

As I sit here reminiscing on another great night of country music, I have to give thanks, and the highest praise to KRTY. As always, thank you to Nate Deaton, Julie Stevens, Tina Ferguson, Gary Scott Thomas, Randy Jones, Indiana Al, Jamie Jackson, Danika Gurley, Jenna Johnson etc…for once again bringing the best in up-and-coming talent to the South Bay. I’d love to see any other so called “local country station” in the Bay Area try to do that!

Did you go to the show? Have you seen Mo Pitney and/or Jana Kramer live? Let me know your thoughts below.


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