Posted tagged ‘Chris Cagle’

Artist Spotlight: Kari Lynch

May 20, 2016

It’s funny sometimes. You find yourself looking through a long list of great, up-and-coming country music artists when all of a sudden, a wave of fans reach out to you to tell you all about their favorite artist(s).

That’s what happened to me this week as I was introduced to the music of Kari Lynch.


Credit: Heather Cisler Photography

Like other great, young artists that I’ve mentioned recently, one thing that I truly love about Kari is her deep appreciation for the dedicated fan base she has built up. Her unique voice, which combines classic country with a sort-of modern pop-rock twist, paired with great lyrics about real life and love, resonates with me immediately.

In creating her sound, Kari learned early on that what inspired her most was real life and struggles,  which includes a familiar topic with listeners of country music: love and loss.

In her own words, Kari says:

“I witnessed and experienced heartbreak early in my life. I think it made me grow up faster than most kids my age so I always had that longing for connecting with the rest of the world. Writing songs became my way of figuring out life and it was my place to say exactly how I was feeling, no holds barred.”

Though many new fans may view her as a brand new artist, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, Kari has been writing and performing since the age of seven. Since 2009, she has released 3 EP’s and I’ve read some great reviews. She’s also landed radio time in her home state of Michigan, as well as throughout the Midwest. Hopefully, this will spread out here to the West Coast!

I really want to hear some “Two to Be Lonely” on the radio soon! Check this one out y’all. It’s a hit waiting to happen!

In talking about her inspiration, Kari says:

“I knew I would write and sing songs for a living the first time my grandma played me Patsy Cline’s cassette tape when I was 6-years-old. The first song was, “Crazy” and it was like a fire lit up inside me. I was so captivated by her voice. Soon after that I heard Garth Brooks, “No Fences” for the first time and I’ll never forget that moment. I fell in love with the idea of writing and creating my own songs, so when I was 7-years-old I started writing songs and performing every chance I could.”

I mentioned before that many fans consider Kari a new artist, but she is clearly no stranger to the spotlight. According to her website, she has played thousands of shows across the U.S and abroad, successfully released original music and videos, played to crowds in the tens of thousands and opened for an impressive list of country music royalty including: The Band Perry, Dierks Bentley, Chris Cagle, Dustin Lynch, Montgomery Gentry, Brantley Gilbert, Big and Rich, Little Big Town, Miranda Lambert, The Charlie Daniels Band, Thomas Rhett and Alabama.


Kari is going to be very busy this year, with a loaded tour schedule that will take her all across the country and see her opening for acts such as Diamond Rio, Kelsea Ballerini and Native Run. She also has a brand new music video that continues to climb in views and popularity, and her new single, “Sweetheart” out now which has already been picked up for rotation by several radio stations.

Before I get too far, I can’t forget to mention her new album “Little Games” which was actually released today, May 20, 2016. How about that for timing? I’ve had a chance to listen through all 10 tracks and I’m really digging it. I think that you will too!

If you want to listen to “Little Games” for yourself, you can pick it up on iTunes.


I know there’s more that I could talk about here, but I’ll let you check out the rest of her music, for yourself. Here’s a sample of songs off the new album, as well as a few older ones:

Two to Be Lonely” featuring Travis Stinson

Nothin’ That a Shot Won’t Fix

Little Games

West Texas Ground

Can’t Move On

This is Gonna Hurt

One More Hit

Better Than Today

Fly Fly Fly

Make sure to check out her website and follow Kari on Twitter at @KariLynchMusic and on Facebook. Upcoming tour dates can be found here. Hey Kari, how about a date at the Rodeo Club in San Jose or Duke’s in Portland???

So what did I miss? Have you seen Kari live? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Concert Review: Chris Cagle Gets “Back in the Saddle” with Haley & Michaels in San Jose, California

April 17, 2015

When KRTY announces that they are putting on a show that will blow you away, it’s not just hot air.


For the past few weeks, the Bay Area country music scene has been waiting for Chris Cagle to descend upon San Jose, and his latest trip to the Rodeo Club. Cagle has been here before, and he will no doubt be back again, but in speaking with some “newbies” to the club last night before the show, they weren’t sure what to expect. They had never been to a KRTY show (blasphemy!) and had never seen Cagle live before.

Naturally I told them that they were in for a night that they’d never forget…and I’m not just saying that because we are Phi Delta Theta fraternity brothers. The guy is literally one of the hardest working performers in country music and ALWAYS puts on a show to be remembered for his fans. Not to mention he’s a great follow on Twitter at @chriscagle.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Before Cagle took the stage around 9:45 p.m., we were treated to a set by the up-and-coming duo Haley & Michaels (Shannon Haley & Ryan Michaels).

via Margo Lang

via Margo Lang

So here’s the story on these two. It turns out that they grew up only a few miles apart here in Northern California, but get this, they didn’t know each other until well after they separately started their country music careers in Nashville. Shortly after meeting they began singing and writing together and discovered they had a great connection.

What I love about Haley & Michaels is that they have this mix of vocals and harmonies that carry them through their set. You probably know them from their debut single “Just Another Love Song”, which of course was the highlight of their performance. Naturally, the crowd at the Rodeo Club was singing along to every note.

The folks at KRTY have been standing firmly behind Haley & Michaels, as I’ve seen them a few times now and each time I feel as though I enjoy them more and more. They may not be a household name to you just yet, but they have been touring with and opening shows for major acts including Brett Eldredge, Parmalee, Clint Black, Hank Williams Jr., Dustin Lynch and Martina McBride.

If you see them on the bill as an opening act, make sure you’re not late to the show. You won’t be disappointed. BTW they are getting married next month so make sure to stop by their Facebook page and give them your best wishes!


Speaking of not being disappointed, if there is one country music artist that is guaranteed to not disappoint, it certainly would be Chris Cagle.

What can I say…I’ve been a fan of Cagle dating back to his debut album, Play it Loud. And what’s not to love. We’re talking “My Love Goes On and On”, “I Breathe In, I Breathe Out” and my personal favorite “Laredo”. Some classic songs from a great album that you still hear on the radio today.

On this night, Cagle pulled out all of the stops. Whether it’s a club show or a much larger venue, Cagle knows what it takes to be an entertainer. And that’s what the KRTY crowd was treated to…entertainment. From the moment he took the stage, until the band took their final bows, it was a non-stop mix of country, rock and rolls and emotional ballads.


I’ll admit, I’ve never seen an artist overcome with so much emotion during a show. During a short pause while performing “Miss Me Baby”, the San Jose crowd let Cagle know exactly how much they appreciated him. Without exaggeration, he was given a 5-6 minute standing ovation that went “on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on” (sorry, I had to do it). You could see in his eyes that he truly appreciated the love from the crowd, needing to step back a few times to withhold tears.


It really was a magical moment, and one that this artist deserved after so many years of doing what he does for us, the country music listener. These are the types of moments that you get when you come to the Rodeo Club…and I thank KRTY for bringing him to town so I can experience them.

The rest of the set was exactly what you would expect. We were treated to classic Cagle, as well as a few new songs including “Got My Country On” and “I’ll Grow My Own” from his latest album “Back in the Saddle” which concluded the set. Normally, like most people, when the new stuff comes on, I kind of tune out a little. But not this time. I really liked “I’ll Grow My Own”. It was a good choice to conclude the set…knowing that he and the band had to come out for at least one more song.

For the encore, Cagle went old school southern rock, courtesy of some Lynyrd Skynard. While it may have been a Thursday night, it quickly became a “Saturday Night Special” at the Rodeo Club.  Most people that choose a Skynyrd cover song would pull out “Sweet Home Alabama”, “That Smell” or even “Freebird”, but I love the fact that the band went another direction.

via Margo Lang

via Margo Lang

As expected, “Chicks Dig It” closed out the set. And why not. It’s a great song…one that the audience can sing along to every word of and how can you not have a smile on your face at the same time. It’s the story of a guy who has always done various stunts (most of the time injuring himself in the process) in attempts to impress women, because the “chicks dig it”.

OK guys, raise your hand if you’re guilty of that. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

What can I say that I haven’t said already. From Haley & Michaels, to Chris Cagle (and his band of course), this was another great night of entertainment.

Thank you again to Nate Deaton, Julie Stevens, Tina Ferguson, Gary Scott Thomas, Randy Jones, Indiana Al and the rest of the folks at KRTY for putting on another hell of a night.There’s a reason why KRTY is the number one country music station in the Bay Area. It’s because of the people that work there that put their heart and soul into their jobs and make sure that their audience is treated to the best that country music has to offer.


But don’t forget, it’s also because of you (and me)…the listeners who come out to the shows and listen every day. I love coming back to the Bay Area for shows like this and I can’t wait for the next one! I’ve got my sights on James Wesley on April 29.

If you’re looking for a few upcoming shows, don’t miss Frankie Ballard (with Clare Dunn) on April 22 and Maddie and Tae (with Logan Mize) the following night on April 23. Both shows take place at the Rodeo Club. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Chris Cagle Set List:


Concert Review: Steve Holy and Dustin Lynch Turn the “Radio Up” in Davis, California

December 20, 2013

Davis, California, may not be the world’s hotbed for country music. But, on the evening of December 19, 2013, the city welcomed two of my favorite live performers in Steve Holy and Dustin Lynch.

Courtesy of 101.9 The Wolf

Courtesy of 101.9 The Wolf

I’ve been lucky enough to catch both of these stars in small venues on multiple occasions, and after last nights show, I’m thinking that it might be my last chance to see them in such an intimate setting. In my opinion, both were tremendous performances once again. I’ll keep this simple: Steve Holy and Dustin Lynch are destined for stardom.

The Davis Graduate was the venue for 101.9 The Wolf’s Country Acoustic Christmas Show, which hardly had the feel of an acoustic show with the energy from the crowd, the radio personalities and the performers. From the moment the doors opened at 7 p.m., until Steve Holy concluded his set at 11:45 p.m., the venue was electric.

Dustin Lynch took the stage first and played a mix of his own music featuring “Cowboys and Angels” and “She Cranks My Tractor” as well as a great selection of cover songs including “Wagon Wheel”, “Callin’ Baton Rouge”, “Dust on the Bottle” and “Friends in Low Places”. How can you go wrong with any of those songs?


Not only is Lynch a great live performer, you can tell that he loves what he’s doing and appreciates his fans. Great interaction throughout the show with the audience, who were pretty much eating out of his hand from the first note. Just like Steve Holy and other artists including James Wesley, Phil Vassar and Chris Cagle, he’s genuine. You know that he actually wants to be there, playing music for the people. Taking requests, taking photos (and photo-bombing a few being taken in the front row) and just having a good time.

If you haven’t seen a live Dustin Lynch show, you’re missing out. Check him out next time he’s in town.

Around 10:15 p.m., Steve Holy took to the stage. I’ve seen him in concert three times before, with the most recent concert being a “Songwriter’s Night” in San Jose, hosted by KRTY 95.3, along with Troy Olsen, Brian McComas, Aaron Benward and Jason Jones.


What must be said first and foremost is that Holy brings a passion to his music that is unmatched in the industry. All of his songs are written from the heart (whether serious in nature or in fun) and this comes through in his live performances.

He played all of his hits including “Good Morning Beautiful”, “Love Don’t Run”, “Hauled Off and Kissed Me” and the crowd favorite “Brand New Girlfriend.” He also threw in a great cover of “Easy” and his current single “Radio Up” which is a standard on my playlist these days. If you haven’t heard it yet, what are you waiting for??? The song is a hit waiting to happen.

I always find it hard to choose a favorite moment. On this night, I’d have to go with the few moments we got to catch up after the show in the parking lot, talking about the show and plans for 2014. Spending time with your fans, even when you’re running late and in a big hurry, is important and what sets the good artists from the great artists.


Steve Holy is a genuine, all around great guy who doesn’t get the recognition that he deserves. This is something that needs to change and it really needs to change starting in 2014. There needs to be a movement and I’ll take the charge holding the flag if need be. We need to bring Steve’s name and songs to the top of the charts. Call, email and Tweet your local radio stations and tell them that you want Steve Holy played. Tell your friends to check out his music and videos…and tell them today! Country music needs more of the likes of Steve Holy, James Wesley and others who “get it”. We need to stand up and do what we can to get their names out there!

The future is bright for both of these artists, and I can’t see what’s in store for the year to come.

Have you seen either in concert before? What was your experience? Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments below. I’d love to hear them!

Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley and Jimmy Wayne…Tonight in Mountain View!

September 25, 2009

UPDATE: One of the BEST shows of the year. The set lists listed below are about 99% accurate. Dierks Bentley didn’t play “Trying to Stop Your Leaving. Paisley, Bentley and Jimmy Wayne all performed “Alcohol” together.

I’ll be there at Shoreline Amphitheater tonight! Looking for the KRTY booth! Will you?

It should be an awesome show as always with these guys. I’ve never seen Jimmy Wayne but heard that all three will impress.

Been to a lot of good shows so far this year: Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Trailer Choir, Lonestar, Chris Cagle, Lady Antebellum etc…This should rank right up there with them!

Here’s the most recent set lists for Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley from August 27, courtesy of


    1. Start a Band
    2. American Saturday Night
    3. Mud On The Tires
    4. Wrapped Around
    5. Celebrity
    6. Waitin’ on a Woman
    7. Water
    8. I’m Still a Guy
    9. Catch All the Fish / I’m Gonna Miss Her
    10. She’s Everything
    11. Drum Solo / Cliffs of Rock City / Huckleberry Jam
    12. The World
    13. Letter to Me
    14. When I Get Where I’m Going
    15. Ticks
    16. Online
    17. Then
    18. Encore:
    19. Welcome to the Future
    20. Alcohol 
    21. Boys of Summer (Don Henley Cover)
  1. Sideways
  2. Lot of Leavin’ Left to Do
  3. Trying to Stop Your Leaving
  4. How Am I Doin’
  5. Settle For A Slowdown
  6. Come a Little Closer
  7. My Last Name
  8. Feel That Fire
  9. What Was I Thinkin’
  10. Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go)

Concert Review: Chris Cagle in San Jose, California

August 14, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Set List (hopefully pretty accurate):

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

Concert Review: Lonestar at Club Rodeo, August 22, 2008

August 23, 2008

Just back from the big Lonestar show thrown by KRTY at Club Rodeo in San Jose. I gotta say that I have been to a lot of concerts in my day and this was a very entertaining show from beginning to end. The last time I saw Lonestar was at the Petaluma Fair almost ten years ago. At the time, they were just about to release their Lonely Grill album. The band sure has come a long way since that night in Petaluma.

Credit: Kristin Barlowe

Doors opened at 7 p.m. and we arrived about 7:15 (3 hours before show time). Club Rodeo always has line dance lessons before hand so its great to sit and watch everyone having a good time. They had a great “Olympics” dance off which provided some great entertainment.

Lonestar hit the stage promptly at 10:15 and began their set with “What About Now”. The crowd was loud and singing along with every verse. They continued with “Tell Her”, “You Walked In”, “Walkin in Memphis” and a couple of new songs which are sure to be hits!

The night slowed down a bit with a wonderful version of “I’m Already There”, dedicated to the troops overseas helping keep America safe from harm. The crowd sang every lyric and you could tell it was a very moving experience for everyone in the club.

They continued their set with “With You” and the crowd favorite “Amazed”. Throughout the night it was nearly impossible to tell that the band got a new lead singer just a few short months ago. Lonestar finished the set with “No News” which was extended to nearly ten minutes with a great guitar solo and the band playing the crowd by breaking us up into three groups singing “No”…”News”…”Rocks”. Good times.


Credit: Lonestar

After a brief few minutes off stage, the crowd brought the band back out for an encore which included covers of “Last Dance with Mary Jane” by Tom Petty and “Rock & Roll” by Led Zepplin! The crowd was hot and I, for one, was screaming the lyrics at the top of my lungs. This was the point where the lead singer smiled, waved and winked to my wife who happened to be sitting on the stage at the time. She loved it and went home with the guitar players pick. Nice!

All in all, it was a very good show. The only complaint that I have is the Lonestar set list itself. Here were the songs that were NOT played this evening: Come Cryin’ To Me, Mr. Mom, From My Front Porch Lookin’ In, Let’s Be Us Again, Tequilla Talkin’, Not a Day Goes By and Smile.

I hate to say but some of those songs needed to be played. I was very excited to take my wife to the show since the song that was playing when I met her was Come Cryin’ to Me. I had always wanted to see the song live with her and will have to wait until next time when I hope that they will play it (their best song in my opinion).

Oh well you know, you can’t get everything you want and we certainly got a lot from this great band. Lonestar did a wonderful job entertaining a crowd of over 1,000 at Club Rodeo and thank you to KRTY for putting on another great show! And thank you to Randy Jones. My wife and I got to talk to him for a bit before the show. Talking mostly about Phil Vassar and how he needs to come back to Club Rodeo soon!!! I guess Randy got to spend some time with Phil at his house in Nashville. Must have been some fun!

Coming to Club Rodeo in the coming months: Chris Cagle, Keith Anderson and Darryl Worley. Those should be some great shows!!!!!