Posted tagged ‘Brooks & Dunn’

Concert Review: James Wesley Keeps it “Real” at The Rodeo Club in San Jose, California

December 3, 2013

As most of you know, I love to go to concerts. Lots of concerts. Country concerts…rock concerts…punk rock concerts…you name it! I guess it’s pretty obvious if you’ve listened to me talk for even five minutes.

I’m proud to say that I’ve seen them all, across genres: Kenny Chesney, Brooks & Dunn, Florida Georgia Line, Zac Brown Band, Tim McGraw, Blink 182, Green Day, Pearl Jam, Metallica, U2, The Rolling Stones and the list goes on and on.

So if I were to tell you that I went to one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to, then you’d probably stop and take notice, right?

I can honestly say that in all of my 35 years, I can count on one hand how many times I’ve been to a show that seemed to have as much energy as there was at the Rodeo Club in San Jose, California, on Friday, November 22. I wonder if Chevon and Christine would agree with me?

The gang together at the show!

The gang together at the show!

Ladies and gentlemen, if you don’t know him already, go take some time on YouTube (or below) and check out Broken Bow recording artist James Wesley. If you can only catch one show in 2014, this is the guy to see. Dead serious! OK, maybe not just James. Marshall Weidner, Jesse LaFave, Neil Alexander, Michael Blakemore and Eric Burgett are all pretty damn good too.

For those of us who follow country music closely, this man is already known. With hits such as “Real”, “Didn’t I” and “Thank a Farmer”, James has been getting airplay for quite some time thanks to stations like KRTY (but definitely not enough airplay and I can’t stress this enough!!!). His videos have reached the top of the GAC charts and if you see him in concert just once, you’ll be hooked.

James Wesley and I after the show.

James Wesley and I after the show.

James is a traditionalist which I find rare in country music these days. He’s also passionate about his music…and his fans. He writes his own songs and he plays his heart out each and every time he takes the stage. During his show in San Jose, he mixed his own music with the sounds of Hank Williams Jr., Merle Haggard, George Jones and Johnny Cash. I’ll admit, anytime you can absolutely NAIL “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Family Tradition”, you’re doing something right!

Good Times!

Good Times!

I think one of the best parts of the show was the opportunity to hear new songs that haven’t made it on the radio yet. There are a few songs that I expect to be hits in 2014 including “Running”, “The You I Wanna Know” and “You Should Be Here with Me”. I really wish I would have shot some video because I’d love to share these songs with you, alas my phone was dying and wouldn’t allow me to. “Running” (co-written with Marcum Stewart and Zac Wrixon) is the one that stuck out in my mind as the one that should be the clear-cut radio hit next year (do you hear that Indiana Al at KRTY???). I think I probably live-Tweeted that thought multiple times during the show. Loved both the lyrics and the beat.

Rockin' Out!

Rockin’ Out!

And now for my favorite part of the evening. Following the show, James does what a lot of other artists don’t…he spent hours meeting, talking to and taking photos with his fans. I’m lucky enough to have had the opportunity to meet James via Twitter (@jameswesley1) last year and have had a number of conversations with him over the past few months. You don’t realize that sometimes, just sometimes, artists are exactly the same in-person as they appear online. James truly is one of these people. He doesn’t pull punches. He’s as friendly in-person as he is on Twitter and really makes every effort to get to know each and every one of his fans. I wish more artists would follow his lead.

Having Some Fun!

Having Some Fun!

I’ll say it again: if there is one artist that you see in concert in 2014, make it James Wesley. From the stage presence, to the music to the time he spends with his fans, it is not just a concert…it’s an experience. A “Real” experience that music lovers of all ages and genres will enjoy. You won’t regret it!

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

James Wesley Setlist: San Jose, CA on November 22, 2013

James Wesley Setlist: San Jose, CA on November 22, 2013

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Concert Review: “Just Another Day in Paradise” with Phil Vassar and Jaron and the Long Road to Love in San Jose, California

April 18, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Taylor Swift Takes Top Honors at CMA Awards

November 12, 2009

It was a big night in Country Music last night as Taylor Swift walked away with four Country Music Association Awards, including the top prize of Entertainer of the Year, over longtime favorites Kenny Chesney, George Strait, Keith Urban and Brad Paisley.

Other CMA Award winners for 2009 included Best New Artist Darius Rucker, Best Duo Sugarland and Best Group Lady Antebellum. I thought that there were some great moments during the show including both Swift and Rucker’s wins but one performance that should not be overlooked was the Zac Brown Band’s rendition of The Devil Went Down to Georgia by Charlie Daniels. It was my favorite moment of the night!

What was yours? Did you agree with Taylor Swift winning Entertainer of the Year? What about Sugarland taking Best Duo from Brooks & Dunn and how about Lady Antebellum dethroning Rascal Flatts? Great night!

From the Los Angeles Times:

Taylor Swift made history at Wednesday night’s Country Music Assn. Awards by becoming the youngest person, at only 19, to win the coveted entertainer of the year title. Only five women —  Loretta Lynn (1972), Dolly Parton (1978), Barbara Mandrell (1980, 1981), Reba McEntire (1986) and Shania Twain (1999) — as well as one female group, the Dixie Chicks (2000), have received this honor in the 43-year history of the CMAs.

Swift — who just two years ago was named best new artist by the CMA — also won album of the year for her top-selling disc “Fearless,” video of the year for “Love Story” and female vocalist. Among those she edged out for that last award was show co-host Carrie Underwood, who had taken this prize the last three years running.

Her co-host on the ABC kudocast, Brad Paisley — who led with half a dozen nominations — was just one of three of last year’s champs to repeat with his third-in-a-row male vocalist win. Paisley also shared the trophy for musical event with Keith Urban for their duet “Start a Band.”

Sugarland won its third consecutive duo award despite the impending breakup of sentimental favorites Brooks & Dunn, who dominated this category every year but one from 1992 to 2006 (Montgomery Gentry bested them in 2000). Musician of the year was once again all-rounder Mac McAnally.

From Newsday:

Darius Rucker became the first black singer to win new artist of the year at the Country Music Association Awards, joining Charley Pride as the only African-American to win a major individual award, while Taylor Swift won two awards, including album of the year.

“First of all, to the fans, thank y’all for accepting me,” the jubilant Rucker said. “And I think most importantly, to country radio, you took a chance on a pop singer from Charleston, S.C. Thank you so much for that!”

Swift, who won the top prize of entertainer of the year, thanked the fans for their support of “Fearless,” the top-selling album of the year. She also won video of the year for “Love Story.”

“You guys, this album is my diary and so to all the people who voted for me for this, thank you for saying you love my diary because that’s the nicest compliment,” Swift told the audience.

Concert Review: Brad Paisley in Mountain View, September 25, 2009

November 8, 2009

I’ve been to a lot of great country shows: Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Brooks & Dunn, Blake Shelton, Lady Antebellum, McBride, Trailer Choir, Keith Urban, Shania Twain and a WHOLE LOT MORE! I’ve been to a ton of shows at the Rodeo Club in San Jose, put on by local country station 95.3 KRTY.

But this year’s show with Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley and Jimmy Wayne has to rank up there near the top. I first saw Brad Paisley live at the KZLA Country Bash in Irvine, California, back in 2001 about a month after the terrorist attacks on America.

Back then, Paisley was still an up and coming talent. Today, he is one of the best in the industry.

The night started off with a short set by Jimmy Wayne. Too bad it was only 6 songs because I’m pretty sure that this guy is going to be huge. He has a stage presence that puts him at a much higher level than his billing and its shows as he plays the crowd during his entire set. After the show, I got the chance to meet him. He was really nice and took the time to sit and talk for a minute with each person during the meet and greet. The photo can be found below.

jimmywayne

Jimmy Wayne and I

Here’s the set list:

Cowboys and Angels

Stay Gone

Kerosene Kid

Trespassin’

Smile Sara

Do You Believe Me Now

Next on the bill was one of my favorites, Dierks Bentley. For most concerts, Dierks Bentley would be a headliner and he proved it during his set which include most of my favorites (how could you leave off my all-time favorite “Tryin’ to Stop Your Leavin'”). There was so much about his set that I loved. “Sideways” is a great song to start with because it really gets the crowd going. Others such as “How Am I Doin'”, “What Was I Thinkin'” and “Feel That Fire” were crowd favorites.

Great music, great voice and, like Wayne, Bentley really played the audience. I love the way that he was able to mix in his standard party songs with his great ballads and he never lost touch with his emotion. This is clearly demonstrated in each song he performed during his one hour set.

I’ll admit, I would have loved a little longer set but you can’t complain when you get nine of his best! I think if he had been the headliner, the set list would have included a few additional songs. The crowd was really into the set but I really enjoyed when he took the time to slow down a bit for “My Last Name”. Very emotional and showed his softer side.

bentley

Dierks Bentley

Here’s the set list:

Sideways

Lot of Leavin’ Left to Do

How Am I Doin’

Settle For A Slowdown

Come a Little Closer

My Last Name

Feel That Fire

What Was I Thinkin’

Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go)

About 9:20, it was time for the main event of the evening: Brad Paisley. Paisley is an entertainer at heart and really knows how to put on a show. Multiple times during the show, he thanked the audience for coming out to show, knowing that we are in difficult economic times and still paid to see the performers that night. Yes, the show’s are pretty expensive, but I’ll continue to pay to see my favorite artists live.

Paisley played all of his hits and the audience was eating out of his hands from the opening number “Start a Band” (minus Keith Urban of course). It was a great mix of old songs, and new. Ballads and rockers. And of course, lots of guitar solos. Paisley is an incredible guitarist who demonstrates his talent throughout.

paisley

Brad Paisley

I loved the videos that played on the screen in the background throughout the show. Good stuff! Loved the parodies and everything. It really made the songs come to life even more.

“Welcome to the Future”, Paisley’s latest hit was the opening song of a three song encore. This song has fast become my favorite song that Paisley has ever performed. Not only does it have a great beat and just makes you want to turn up the radio when it comes on, it has a great message of hope and making you realize that the future is here, now!

During the encore, Paisley brought Wayne and Bentley back out for a great rendition of “Alcohol” which capped the night! , a great cover of Don Henley’s classic “Boys of Summer” was the final song of the evening, but seeing these three talented musicians on stage together was a real thrill, and a perfect song!

If you ever get the chance to check out Brad Paisley (and Dierks Bentley and Jimmy Wayne) live, I suggest you do! It’s definitely a 5 star show!

If I can get some video of the show up, I’ll be sure to do so! You can always check out my Facebook page which has the videos there.

Paisley and Bentley

Here’s the set list:

Start a Band

American Saturday Night 

Mud On The Tires

Wrapped Around

Celebrity

Waitin’ on a Woman

Water

Feel Like Makin’ Love (Bad Company Cover)

I’m Still a Guy

Catch All the Fish / I’m Gonna Miss Her

She’s Everything

The World

Letter to Me

When I Get Where I’m Going

Ticks

Online

Then

Encore:

Welcome to the Future

Alcohol 

Boys of Summer (Don Henley Cover)

Brooks & Dunn to Break Up

August 10, 2009

Wow! I’m shocked!

Country music duo Brooks & Dunn announced today that they will break up after a farewell tour next year.

From Reuters:

Singer/guitarists Kix Brooks, 54, and Ronnie Dunn, 56, said in a statement that “it’s just time” for the split, which surprised music industry observers.

“After 20 years of making music and riding this trail together, we have agreed as a duo that it’s time call it a day,” they said.

“This ride has been everything and more than we could ever have dreamed…. We owe it all to you, the fans. If you hear rumors, don’t believe them, it’s just time.”

Dates have yet to be announced for next year’s concert outing, dubbed The Last Rodeo Tour. It will be preceded next month by a hits record, “#1 … and then some.”

Brooks & Dunn first hit the charts in 1991, and went on to become the biggest-selling duo in country music history. They sold 22.3 million albums in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, which tracks retail sales.

2008: Caylee Anthony, Barack Obama and More…

January 2, 2009

First before I go any further in recapping 2008, I want to say thank you to the more than 275,000 people who have taken the time to stop by, read and leave a comment on my site. When I started this blog back in August, I never thought that I would reach 1,000 readers, much less nearly 300,000! It absolutely blows my mind!!!

As most of you already know, I only blog for fun during the spare time I have before work, after work and after the kids have gone to bed at night. I’m not a professional. I don’t break the news, I just pass along stories that I find of interest and hope to spark discussion amongst those who stop by the site. I did get interviewed by MSNBC for an article that came out this week. That was pretty cool, possibly the highlight of my year!

Judging by the number of people who have visited the site, it seems that a lot of you have many of the same interests that I have, and I appreciate you taking the time to read! 🙂 I have enjoyed reading each and every comment that has been left and every email that has been sent to me @ roaddawg33@aol.com. (I read them all and try to respond to all as well) Feel free to drop a line anytime via email or visit me on Twitter, Facebook or MySpace.

I would  have to say that the  most read stories I have posted this year have been about Casey and Caylee Anthony. This has been a truly sad story from the beginning. The loss of a little girl who none of us knew until July who it seems was taken by her own mother. (Yes, I believe that she did it and more than likely her family knew about it at some point in time).

I have said this before, and I’ll say it again: I wish that I never had to cover this story. I wish that Caylee Anthony was still alive, with a loving family, celebrating the holidays. I wish that she had the opportunity to grow up, go to school, get married and start a family of her own. Having a 3 and 1 year old is the greatest experience I’ve had in my life. I can’t understand how anyone would ever harm their own child. It makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE TO ME!

Unfortunately, not all people live with the same morals and values in this life. This has been a tragedy and I hope that closure will come with the trial in 2009 and those who were a part of the death of a sweet, innocent young child, will face the consequences that they deserve.

When I started the blog in August, I thought that I would only be covering politics, music and sports. I went to my fair share of concerts including: Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Brooks & Dunn, Gary Allan, LeeAnn Rhimes, Phil Vassar, Lonestar and Luke Bryan. All were great shows and I can’t wait for another lineup of great acts to come through the Bay Area in 2009. Thanks to KRTY for all the great shows at the Rodeo Club! Bring back Phil Vassar!!!! Best show of ’08.

The Olympics took up quite a bit of my time this summer, watching Michael Phelps run for 8 gold medals in Beijing. Misty May Treanor and Kerri Walsh also dominated Women’s Volleyball again this year (and Misty got her butt slapped by the President) and who can forget the US Dream Team taking home the gold!

The 2008 Presidential race was one for the ages! In the end, Barack Obama defeated his Republican counterpart John McCain in what could be considered a convincing fashion. Saturday Night Live made Tina Fey famous once again for her impressions of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

There’s been a lot more this year that I just don’t have time to mention: TechCrunch Vs. PR, The Economy and much, much more. You can take a look back through the archives and see what has been discussed. I know there has been a lot! Thanks again to everyone who has taken time out of their day to stop by Kreuzer’s Korner. I’ll try to keep you updated, as always, with the news that I find interesting next year!

Happy New Year Everyone! Here’s to a GREAT 2009!

John Kreuzer

Caylee Anthony and More…A Look Back at 2008

January 1, 2009

First before I go any further in recapping 2008, I want to say thank you to the more than 270,000 people who have taken the time to stop by, read and leave a comment on my site. When I started this blog back in August, I never thought that I would reach 1,000 readers, much less nearly 300,000! It absolutely blows my mind!!!

As most of you already know, I only blog for fun during the spare time I have before work, after work and after the kids have gone to bed at night. I’m not a professional. I don’t break the news, I just pass along stories that I find of interest and hope to spark discussion amongst those who stop by the site. I did get interviewed by MSNBC for an article that came out this week. That was pretty cool, possibly the highlight of my year!

Judging by the number of people who have visited the site, it seems that a lot of you have many of the same interests that I have, and I appreciate you taking the time to read! 🙂 I have enjoyed reading each and every comment that has been left and every email that has been sent to me @ roaddawg33@aol.com. (I read them all and try to respond to all as well) Feel free to drop a line anytime via email or visit me on Twitter, Facebook or MySpace.

I would  have to say that the  most read stories I have posted this year have been about Casey and Caylee Anthony. This has been a truly sad story from the beginning. The loss of a little girl who none of us knew until July who it seems was taken by her own mother. (Yes, I believe that she did it and more than likely her family knew about it at some point in time).

I have said this before, and I’ll say it again: I wish that I never had to cover this story. I wish that Caylee Anthony was still alive, with a loving family, celebrating the holidays. I wish that she had the opportunity to grow up, go to school, get married and start a family of her own. Having a 3 and 1 year old is the greatest experience I’ve had in my life. I can’t understand how anyone would ever harm their own child. It makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE TO ME!

Unfortunately, not all people live with the same morals and values in this life. This has been a tragedy and I hope that closure will come with the trial in 2009 and those who were a part of the death of a sweet, innocent young child, will face the consequences that they deserve.

When I started the blog in August, I thought that I would only be covering politics, music and sports. I went to my fair share of concerts including: Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Brooks & Dunn, Gary Allan, LeeAnn Rhimes, Phil Vassar, Lonestar and Luke Bryan. All were great shows and I can’t wait for another lineup of great acts to come through the Bay Area in 2009. Thanks to KRTY for all the great shows at the Rodeo Club! Bring back Phil Vassar!!!! Best show of ’08.

The Olympics took up quite a bit of my time this summer, watching Michael Phelps run for 8 gold medals in Beijing. Misty May Treanor and Kerri Walsh also dominated Women’s Volleyball again this year (and Misty got her butt slapped by the President) and who can forget the US Dream Team taking home the gold!

The 2008 Presidential race was one for the ages! In the end, Barack Obama defeated his Republican counterpart John McCain in what could be considered a convincing fashion. Saturday Night Live made Tina Fey famous once again for her impressions of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (who’s daughter gave birth to a baby boy this week).

There’s been a lot more this year that I just don’t have time to mention: TechCrunch Vs. PR, The Economy and much, much more. You can take a look back through the archives and see what has been discussed. I know there has been a lot! Thanks again to everyone who has taken time out of their day to stop by Kreuzer’s Korner. I’ll try to keep you updated, as always, with the news that I find interesting next year!

I’ll be heading off to the Seattle/Tacoma Airport tomorrow afternoon (if you can find me, stop by and say hi…Southwest Airlines) to fly back to San Jose after a week in the snowy Pacific Northwest, but not before making a quick trip South to visit client Burgerville for a Pepper Bacon Cheeseburger, French Fries and my favorite: a Vanilla Shake! Centralia…here I come!

Happy New Year Everyone! Here’s to a GREAT 2009!

John Kreuzer