Concert Review: A Thousand Horses Brings a Musical “Landslide” to Oregon

Posted August 12, 2016 by Kreuzer33
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Just when I think there’s nothing more I can say about a band…they come out and surprise me once again. I feel like that’s a theme with A Thousand Horses.

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I have said this over and over again, and I believe it bears repeating: A Thousand Horses is THE band you need to watch, follow and support. There is literally no other act in country music like them. I first stumbled across them more than a year ago, opening for Josh Thompson and Will Hoge at the Rodeo Club in San Jose, and I’ve been hooked by their music, their lyrics and their stage presence ever since.

For a little background, A Thousand Horses takes the best of both country music and southern rock and ties it all together in 90 minutes of in your face musical fun. Comparisons? You want to know who they sound like? Well, that’s a tough one. If I had to give a comparison, I’d have to say that they remind me of Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers and The Black Crowes, with their own unique style. Trust me. In now way are they a copycat act of any of these bands. Sure, they may not yet have the pedigree of any of the aforementioned bands, but give it a little time. I have a feeling that we’ll be hearing from these guys for many, many years to come.

The band consists of four core members, but there are a bunch more, including the Horsettes (my daughter’s favorites):

Michael Hobby – Lead Vocal
Bill Satcher – Lead Guitar
Zach Brown – Guitar and Vocal
Graham Deloach – Bass and Vocal

Credit: Liisa Anderson

Now that you’ve met the guys, let me tell you a little more about them. A Thousand Horses has their own look. They have their own sound. They also have a stage presence that captivates their audience from the very first note. The entire band gives it their all every time they hit the stage. But what they do best, outside of their music, is that they also take the time to engage with their fans.Throughout this show (and others I’ve been to), they are always interacting with the audience. Talking with them. Waving to them. All the while, they’re having a great time.

On this warm, Tillamook, Oregon evening (hosted by 98.7 The Bull), the band hit the stage right at 8 p.m., just as the sun began to set over the Pacific Ocean to the West.

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Naturally, the band opened with “Southernality”, the title track from their album and their current single on country radio. This definitely got the crowd fired up as the went into a traditional setlist which included favorites such as “(This Ain’t No) Drunk Dial”, “Tennessee Whiskey”, “Sunday Morning”, “Trailer Trashed”, “Back to Me”, “Heaven is Close” and “Travelin’ Man”.

Graham Deloach! Credit: Liisa Anderson

The crowd also got a taste of a couple new songs from a yet to be titled new album. “Blaze of Something” and “Up for Anything” are certainly two songs that I can’t wait to hear on country radio. But “Bridges” was by far my favorite. The band did an up close, acoustic version of the song which was fantastic and definitely one of the highlights of the evening.

The night concluded with a cover of The Black Crowes “Hard to Handle”, their number one hit “Smoke” and the opening song from the Southernality album, “First Time”. Obviously, the crowd went wild for Smoke, singing every lyric, but I always love that the band closes with “First Time”. It’s just the perfect song to close the night out. A rocking tune that truly leaves the audience wanting more.

The Horsettes! Credit: Liisa Anderson

 

 

Simply put, there is nothing else like A Thousand Horses on the radio today and that’s an absolute shame! A Thousand Horses is what country music needs right here…and right now.

Bill Satcher & The Horsettes! Credit: Liisa Anderson

 

You know you want to keep up with the band, new music and tour news, so make sure you check them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter at@AThousandHorses. Don’t forget to download Southernality on iTunes and on Amazon.

While you’re at it, check out the A Thousand Horses Stable, the official fan club of the band. You can check them out on Twitter at @TheATHStable and on Facebook. The “Stable Hands” over there do a fantastic job promoting their favorite band. GIDDYUP!

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A Thousand Horses is currently out on the road with Jason Aldean and Thomas Rhett, so if you’ve got tickets to the Six String Circus Tour 2016, be sure you get there early and don’t miss A Thousand Horses. You won’t regret it!

Now it’s your turn. Did you go to the show in Tillamook? Have you seen A Thousand Horses live? I want to hear from you. Are they as good as I’ve said?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Concert Review: “Just Another Day in Paradise” with Phil Vassar

Posted August 12, 2016 by Kreuzer33
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I get spoiled sometimes with the amount of concerts I have the opportunity to attend each year. However, most of those shows fall outside of my home state of Oregon. So when I heard Phil Vassar was returning to the state with a show, hosted by 98.7 The Bull, at the Yamhill County Fair, there was no way I was going to miss it.

Credit: News-Press

I’ve seen Vassar a number of times in the past. Starting with the KZLA Country Bash back in 2001 in Irvine, California. This was a concert which had a certain feel to it as it took place just weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I’ve also caught shows at the Rodeo Club in San Jose, and at larger venues as the opening act for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.

Just two years ago, I saw his performance at the Tillamook County Fair, which turned out to be quite bittersweet when I found out the next morning that my father had passed away while we were at the show. My dad was always a fan so naturally, his service was filled with a number of Vassar’s greatest hits.

So this night was a special one for me which I had been looking for since it was announced that he would be coming to McMinnville. Of course, being in my backyard, I had to bring the kids. All of whom have grown up listening to songs such as “I’m Alright”, “Bye Bye”, “Little Red Rodeo” and more.

Thankfully, all of those hits made the setlist. If they hadn’t, my three year old daughter would have had to have a chat with Vassar after the show (she might be the biggest fan of all of us!). Check out the video below…

 

Vassar has a long list of hit country music songs. This list includes 10 No. 1 singles and 26 Top 40 hits. Amazing, right?

But what I love most about Vassar is that he always plays for the crowd. He always has a good time. While he might have an idea of what songs he’s going to play, he doesn’t always have a set list in place. He uses Twitter for song requests. He talks to the people. In fact, he and the band also have a couple of drinks with the crowd. Nothing wrong with that right?

There aren’t a lot of artists out there that put on a show quite like Phil Vassar. When you go to one of his shows, you know you’re going to get your money’s worth and a whole lot more. On this night, we were treated to a set full of the songs we know. The songs we love. Classic songs like “Carlene”, “Just Another Day in Paradise”, “My Next 30 Years”, “Six-Pack Summer”, “Joe & Rosalita”, “I’ll Take That as a Yes” all filled the evening. We also got the usual cover tunes thrown in including “Stay (Just a Little Bit Longer)”, “500 Miles”, and of course “Piano Man” to close out the night.

I say close out the night, but luckily for my kids, there was one more surprise up my sleeve: a quick meet & greet and photo with their favorite: Phil Vassar. You can tell in the picture below that they were absolutely thrilled. Thanks Phil!!!

Vassar

So that’s it! Another concert in the books…and what a show it was! I’ve got to say, if you haven’t checked out Phil Vassar before, what rock have you been hiding under for the past two decades???.

Make sure that you check out a concert the next time he’s in town. You won’t be disappointed. Vassar’s shows are some of the most highly entertaining and energetic in country music today, as they always have been, and with as many hits as he’s written, you’re guaranteed to know just about every lyric to every song he sings all night.

With his first new album in a few years coming out soon (we were treated to a few of his new songs during the show…they’re great!), you should definitely be sure to keep up with Vassar via his website, follow him on Twitter at @philvassar and Facebook for his latest news and concert schedule.

So what did I miss? Have you seen Phil Vassar live? What do you think of him? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

Artist Spotlight: Interstate 10

Posted August 2, 2016 by Kreuzer33
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I’ve written about a lot of up-and-coming artists. Obviously, there are a lot out there trying to find their place in country music. But today, I’ve got a real treat for you. These guys are something special and a group that you need to take a listen to. The name? Interstate 10.

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As a bit of background, Interstate 10 is a country/pop duo headed by Army Rangers Justin Wright of Tallahassee, Florida, and Andrew Yacovone of Hollister, California.

I first had the opportunity to meet Yacovone two years ago at a concert put on by 101.9 The Wolf in Davis, California. The show was their annual Christmas concert featuring Steve Holy and Dustin Lynch. During the concert, Yacovone was invited up on stage to play a song. It was an amazing experience. Here was this guy, fresh out of the audience (and the military) with a guitar. Not sure what the crowd expected, but we were blown away. You could tell that the on air staff was into it too. How cool is that!

Anyways, back to the group.

According to their website:

Focusing on a mix of traditional country music with modern beats and story lines, Interstate 10’s recordings and performances display strong melodies and good-time listening. 

While deployed to Afghanistan in 2014, friends and active-duty officers, Wright and Yacovone, debuted their first YouTube hit together, “Hometown Hero.” Their first song about longing for one’s hometown proved a compelling start for the guitar-playing friends. Together they continued to write both passionate and party-style Country music abroad and after their return home in late 2014.

On post-deployment leave in Byron Bay, Australia, the pair performed live for the first time at an impromptu show for a crowd of 100+ at the Falls Music Festival. Impromptu performances are now a common occurrence for Interstate 10, including: performing for Sam Hunt’s management team at the Ogden theater in Denver, Colorado in March 2015, and later this year playing backstage for Chase Rice at a Professional Bull Riders event in May in Colorado Springs.

Two months later, the duo began recording their full-length EP at The Spot Studios in Lakewood, Colorado. During this time Interstate 10 actively continued for opportunities to showcase their sound in Nashville, Tennessee where they had the opportunity to play at six venues in five days.

Here’s a link to their most recent song, “I’m Gonna Miss You” which has seen nearly 340,000 views on YouTube to date. I absolutely love this song, and I’m sure that you will too.

Also, make sure you check out “Hometown Hero” which was written back in 2014 during the little downtime they had while deployed in Afghanistan, and “Yellow Lines“, a song about memories of the great times in the past and things they wished they were doing during the summer while stationed in Afghanistan. This includes long drives, summertime, romance, spontaneity, beaches, boats and, of course, a beautiful girl.

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In other band news, last month, Interstate 10 went live from Afghanistan and announced the release of “Let’s Ride,” as well as news of  their recent partnership with Grammy Award winning producer Nathan Chapman. Chapman is well known in the industry and has worked with a number of artists including: Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Charles Kelley, Rascal Flatts, and Darius Rucker.

When asked about Interstate’s upcoming release, “Let’s Ride,” Chapman stated:

“I think this song has some real possibilities starting to emerge. We’re about 3 steps away from it being a real competitive record.” 

Interstate 10 will be releasing a new song shortly titled “Let’s Ride”. After “I’m Gonna Miss You”, the group was overwhelmed to learn that so many people received their message. Now, they are excited that to announce that they have 8 songs fully recorded waiting to bring to the masses.

I’ll definitely be keeping a lookout for “Let’s Ride” when it debuts on August 5.

If you haven’t checked out Interstate 10 before, make sure you give them a look. Also, keep up with them via their website or follow them on Twitter at  @i10music and Facebook for their latest news and concert schedule.

So what did I miss? Have you seen Interstate 10 live? What do you think of the guys? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

Half Year in Review: My Top 50 Country Music Songs of 2016…So Far

Posted June 16, 2016 by Kreuzer33
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It’s that time of year again where I like to take a quick look at my favorite country music songs of the year so far. We’re just about at the halfway point 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.

This list consists of the top 50 songs that I like so far in 2016. 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. Note that not all songs may be “traditional country”. I listen to all genre’s of music, so I have no issues with country artists who play “non-traditional” country. To me…music is music. If I like it, I’m going to listen to it (and enjoy it).

Also, you’ll 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. It’s the songs that I love (but please feel free to sway me in your direction if I left a song off).

You probably heard some of these songs every hour (on the hour) on your local country station. Others may not have been played much (if at all) when they should have been, in my own, personal opinion. Also, while some of these songs may have come out in late 2015, and may have even landed a low spot on my wrap up of the year, they were ones that were predominantly played (if they made the radio) so far in the 2016 calendar year.

Others may be primed for success later this year so 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.

And now, Without further ado, let’s get this party started with a three-way tie at #50.

(T) 50. “California Grown“, Tyler Rich

(T) 50. “Paradice“, Michael Beck

(T) 50. “Middle of Nowhere“, McKenzies Mill

49.”Ice Cold Summer“, Trailer Choir

48. “Make You Mine“, High Valley

47. “Drunk on Your Love“, Brett Eldredge

46. “Shut Up and Fish“, Maddie and Tae

45. “Suitcase“, Steve Moakler

44. “Running for You“, Kip Moore

43. “June“, Runaway Angel

42. “Wasted Time“, Keith Urban

41. “If the Boot Fits“, Granger Smith

40. “Bluebonnets“, Aaron Watson

39. “Livin’ the Dream“, Drake White

38. “Mind Reader“, Dustin Lynch

37. “Better in Boots“, Tyler Farr

36. “American Country Love Song“, Jake Owen

35. “Hurtin’ on the Bottle“, Margo Price

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

33. “Record Year“, Eric Church

32. “Someone to Take Your Place“, Tara Thompson

31. “It All Started with a Beer“, Frankie Ballard

30.”Rock On“, Tucker Beathard

29. “Sooner Than Later“, Jacob Davis

28. “Wasn’t That Drunk“, Josh Abbott Band w/ Carly Pearce

27. “Outskirts of Heaven“, Craig Campbell

26. “Think of You“, Chris Young w/ Cassadee Pope

25. “You Look Like I Need a Drink“, Justin Moore

24. “Long Live Tonight“, LANco

23. “Mayday“, Cam

22. “American Outlaw“, Halfway to Hazard

21. “I Know Somebody“, LOCASH

20. “You Should Be Here“, Cole Swindell

19. “Parachute“, Chris Stapleton

18. “Girl Next Door“, Brandy Clark

17. “Humble and Kind“, Tim McGraw

16. “Snapback“, Old Dominion

15. “Break Up in a Small Town“, Sam Hunt

14. “Saltwater Gospel“, Eli Young Band

13. “21 Summer“, Brothers Osborne

12. “Vacation“, Thomas Rhett

11. “Southernality“, A Thousand Horses

10. “It Don’t Hurt Like it Used To“, Billy Currington

9. “Mr. Misunderstood“, Eric Church

8. “From the Ground Up“, Dan & Shay

7. “H.O.L.Y.“, Florida Georgia Line

6. “Dance With Ya“, Drew Baldridge

5. “Backroad Song“, Granger Smith

4. “Head Over Boots“, Jon Pardi

3. “Beautiful Drug“, Zac Brown Band

2. “My Church“, Maren Morris

1. “Die a Happy Man“, Thomas Rhett

Well that’s it. My Top 50 of 2016…so far!

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

Let me know in the comments below!

Artist Spotlight: David Brookings

Posted June 3, 2016 by Kreuzer33
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As anyone who reads my blog on a regular basis knows, I tend to focus my taste in music to the genres of country and rock. They’ve always been the cornerstone of what I choose to listen to, thanks in large part to an upbringing on Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Boston and the likes.

But sometimes, I have to go back to other areas that I also enjoy and as I’ve said many times, I’m a huge fan of all types of music. With a collection that ranges from Garth Brooks, to Metallica and Green Day, to They Might Be Giants, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, The Beatles and even Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, you might say that my love for music is a bit eclectic.

Yep. That’s how I roll!

So today, I’m going to dive into my bag of tricks. I want to bring you an artist I came across a few years ago (I’ll get to that later) and only reaquainted myself with over the past week. While he doesn’t fit in my traditional country and rock background, he’s still someone that you should take a listen to.

His name is David Brookings.

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First, a little background. Brookings grew up in Richmond, Virginia, and began his journey towards a career in music at the age of 9 when he started playing guitar and writing his own songs. By the age of 15, he was playing in local clubs with local bands. He released his first solo album, “Sounds Off” in 2000. A year later, he moved to Memphis, Tennessee, to continue his musical journey.

In 2004, Brookings released his sophomore album, “End of an Error”. During much of the decade, he worked as a tour guide at Sun Studio, where he recorded 3 more albums, bringing his total to five. Needless to say, Brookings is no newcomer to the business.

By 2009, it was time to head out to the west coast with a move to San Jose, California (my home for seven years) after a chance meeting with Apple CEO Steve Jobs. In 2013, Brookings released his sixth solo album, “The Maze”. It was at this time where I first came across his music.

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Actually, that’s not entirely true. “The Maze” was a great introduction to his own music, but where I truly know the name from is his INCREDIBLE project on The Beatles that he undertook in 2010 and 2011 to record 209 Beatles songs in 209 days. No seriously. He actually did it! More information can be found on the Facebook page set up for this project.

Now, back to the present. Brookings latest album is set for release on June 10, 2016 (hey…just one week from the time I’m writing this!). The album is titled “David Brookings and the Average Lookings” and I’m certainly looking forward to its release. Not just because I’m average looking myself, but because I know that it will be filled with some great music.

DB

Here’s a quick trailer for the album. Songs such as “Hearts”, “Time to Go”, “This is the Life” and “Place We Can Go” stand out for me.

As noted in the “Editor’s Notes” on iTunes:

A sugary blast of soaring hooks and clever lyrical turns, David Brookings’ whip-smart songwriting is a perfect match for the tight, guitar-driven backing of the Average Lookings. Songs like “Place We Can Go” and “This Is the Life” channel the fiery edge of Elvis Costello’s Attractions, where sweeter moments—like the lead-off track “Hearts” or the coy “I’m in Love with Your Wife”—are playful power pop with a well-polished, vintage luster.

If you’re reading this pre-June 10, don’t miss the official album release show which takes place that evening on Friday, June 10, 2016 at the Willow Den in San Jose, California. Should be a fun evening!

I know there’s more that I could talk about here, but I don’t want to bore you with my words. Instead, I’ll let you check out some more of his earlier music for yourself:

She’s Been Gone for Years

No Regrets

If I Don’t Make it Back

The Maze

The Dream is Over

Always be the Same

If you haven’t checked him out before, give him a look. Also, make sure you keep up with him via his website or follow him on Twitter at  @davidbrookings and Facebook for his latest news and concert schedule.

Don’t forget to check out “David Brookings and the Average Lookings” and purchase more of his music on iTunes or on his website.

So what did I miss? Have you seen David Brookings live? What do you think of him? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Artist Spotlight: Trailer Choir

Posted May 31, 2016 by Kreuzer33
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Now here’s a blast from the past. Another country music group that I absolutely love. Heck, I’ve bought all their music. I’ve seen them in concert three times (here’s my review from a KRTY show in San Jose way back in 2009) and I’m absolutely stoked that they have some new music.

Ladies and gentlemen…I bring you Trailer Choir!

Trailer

As background, Trailer Choir is a duo composed of vocalists Marc Fortney and Vinny Hickerson, known by their respective stage names Butter and Big Vinny (also known as Bigg Vinny and Bigg Vinny the Mack). At one time, the group was a trio with Crystal Hoyt. They originally signed to Show Dog Nashville, a label owned by Toby Keith, back in 2007.

After recording “Off the Hillbilly Hook” for the soundtrack to Keith’s film Beer for My Horses, Trailer Choir charted the singles “What Would You Say“, “Rockin’ the Beer Gut” (the song that got me called into my son’s kindergarten class by his teacher because he was singing it during class!) and “Rollin’ Through the Sunshine” on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. These singles were followed by an EP, Off the Hillbilly Hook, and their full-length album, Tailgate. Hoyt departed the group in February 2011.

In 2011, Hickerson entered the national spotlight when he participated on The Biggest Loser. While on the show he lost nearly 200 pounds, made the final four, and was the runner-up for the at-home prize. The show also aired his marriage proposal to girlfriend Lori Diaz, which took place at the Grand Ole Opry with none other than Thompson Square performing “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not”.

Vinny

Since his participation on The Biggest Loser, Hickerson has traveled around the country as a motivational speaker. In his own words, Hickerson said:

“That changed my life and also my music. Now I don’t run out of breath onstage. And guys and girls come up to me after each show and say, ‘You motivate me to realize I can go after the things I want, even though I’m big.’ Or we’ll do music at a school or a gym opening and I’ll talk the the students. I’ll tell them, ‘You have to believe in yourself how you are right now. You have to love yourself enough to realize that you’re worth all the work it’s gonna take to change.”

Now, let’s get onto the music!

Six years ago, I did an in depth review of “Tailgate”, which was one of my favorites of 2010. From the energetic “Shakin’ That Tailgate”, to classics such as “Rockin’ the Beer Gut”, “Off the Hillbilly Hook” and “Rollin’ Through the Sunshine”, the CD had that perfect mix of fun and sun!

Now, Trailer Choir is back and better than ever. As part of the Average Joes Entertainment family, the band is ready to climb back up the charts and share their music with country music fans everywhere. Certainly, big things lay ahead for the boys.

As Fortney states:

“Had we found real success earlier, I have a feeling that Vinny would be unhealthy, weighing 480 or 490 pounds. I might not have my wife and two little baby boys. Instead, by sliding back down the mountain and regrouping, we found ourselves. We needed some time to reflect. We’ve grown up a lot. Once we come back out, we just want to explode. We know that we’re going to be busier than we’ve ever been, going full throttle.”

IceCold

They are certainly taking that path with the release of their summer anthem “Ice Cold Summer“. Written by Hickerson, Fortney, Scott Martin Mills and Brandon Ray Tant, the songs tells the story of a hot summer day spent hanging out with friends, drinking some ice-cold beverages. Coca Cola, Dr. Pepper, MUG Root Beer and Lemonade I suppose, right?

The new song certainly focuses on the simple pleasures in our lives, that’s for sure!

I know there’s more that I could talk about here, but I don’t want to bore you with my words. Instead, I’ll let you check out some more of the band’s music for yourself.

Here’s a sample of their own songs, old and new, and one that you might recognize (hint: think the Steve Miller Band):

Can’t Drink All Day

Last Man Standing

Love Me First

The Joker

Better With a Beer

Homemade Mexico

In My Next 5 Beers

If you see Trailer Choir on the bill anytime soon, make sure you’re there early. You don’t want to miss your chance to see this band. I said it before and I’ll say it again: they have the type of show that will keep you on your feet from beginning to end!

Also, make sure that you check them out on Facebook and follow them on Twitter at @TrailerChoir. Upcoming tour dates can be found here.

Don’t forget to check out their music on iTunes.

So what did I miss? Have you seen Trailer Choir live? What do you think of them? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Artist Spotlight: Toree McGee

Posted May 25, 2016 by Kreuzer33
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My 3 year old is currently in her room. Her music is turned up really loud and she’s dancing around to California Gurls by Katy Perry (yeah, I know. What’s up with that, right?).

But the song got me back to thinking about doing another spotlight on a California grown country artist. Or in this case, a “California Girl”. Let me introduce you to Toree McGee.

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Gifted with a rafter-reaching soprano range and a voice that brings out a true grit and fire, McGee describes her music as a blend of “Woodstock rock ‘n’ roll, and  sparkly country.” Interesting mix, but you’ll soon understand where she gets it from and why it works!

First a little background.

McGee’s grandparents were part of a traveling gospel quartet, and her father was a singer in what can only be described as a “garage rock band”. Her father can be credited with giving McGee her love of classic rock and her passion for music, while her mother gravitated toward classic country.

Not surprising that I enjoy her live shows (I’ve probably caught here 5-6 times now) with my professed love for classic rock and country music.

McGee has some of the strongest vocals I’ve heard in a long time. Her musical style embodies elements of her influences, ranging from the sounds of The Judds and LeAnn Rimes, to  Guns N’ Roses and Aerosmith. She also embodies the vocals of Janis Joplin.

In her own words:

“I was a really big fan of Janis Joplin for a long time. I loved her uniqueness and how you could feel her emotion when she sang. But the whole rock ‘n’ roll kind of jagged edge thing wasn’t really me all the way. I always had a sunshiny personality, and I wasn’t as hardened as the rock scene was. Country music always made me happy, and everything always brought me back to that.”

McGee had her first performance as an opening act with a 30 minute set for country music superstar, Clay Walker in San Jose at the Rodeo Club, followed by another opening slot for one of my favorites: A Thousand Horses.

While she throws a lot of great cover songs into her typical setlist, McGee has a few of her own including “Run Right Back to You” and her first single, “Amen”.

Amen

“Amen”, gained airplay on Northern California radio stations and climbed to the #1 slot on 95.3 KRTY’s ‘Hot 9 @ 9’ segment. It has also gained the attention of Sirius/XM radio, as well as local news stations. The aforementioned “Amen” was released on March 31, 2015 and her full EP was officially released in October 2015. I’ve got it. You should too!

In speaking of her EP, McGee says:

“I wanted to blend my love of hard rock and country together. I have this heavy-hitting, gravelly tone I can get in my voice, and I didn’t want to lose that side of me that played in bars and grew up in bars. But country has always been my favorite genre of music. That’s where I want to be, but I want to bring a bit of that old style of rock with me.”

I mentioned her live sets earlier. Now besides her own songs, she also loves to fill her set lists with a few cover songs. Here’s just a sample of a few that I enjoy:

My Church

Girl Crush

Someone Like You

Piece of my Heart

Stay

Son of a Preacher Man

But what I enjoy the most about McGee, is her happy go lucky personality and her passion for life and her music. Nothing sums this up better than the moment she first heard herself on the radio when Randy Jones played “Amen” for the first time on KRTY. This is what it’s all about!

If you haven’t checked her out before, do so now. Also, make sure you keep up with her via her website or follow her on Twitter at @ToreeMcGee and Facebook for her latest news and concert schedule.

Don’t forget to check out her music on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play.

So what did I miss? Have you seen Toree McGee live? What do you think of her? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.