Posted tagged ‘Club Rodeo’

Artist Spotlight: Toree McGee

May 25, 2016

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.

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

January 29, 2016

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.

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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!

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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

January 28, 2016

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!

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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.

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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.

 

 

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

October 23, 2015

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.

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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.

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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.

Concert Review: Gettin’ “Trailer Trashed” with A Thousand Horses and Chasin’ Crazy in San Jose, California

September 29, 2015

To steal a line I’ve heard from KRTY DJ Randy Jones, “Where else can you get a stadium show in a club setting!”. That’s what you get when you come to the Rodeo Club in San Jose, especially when you have Chasin’ Crazy and A Thousand Horses (along with The Horsettes) on the bill.

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If you’ve read my blog, you know that I have said over and over again that 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 about a year ago, and I’ve been hooked by their music, their lyrics and their stage presence ever since.

So when I heard they were touring the West Coast with another up-and-coming band by the name of Chasin’ Crazy, how could I pass up an opportunity to catch them one more time within the cozy confines of the Rodeo Club.

Before we get to A Thousand Horses, let’s talk about Chasin’ Crazy.

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Chasin’ Crazy came to be back in 2012 when Jimmy James Hunter and Forest Miller met in Nashville while playing in separate acts at a show. It was out of this meeting, during which the two also met Travis Fincher, that Chasin’ Crazy was born. For several months they performed as a trio until they were approached by Scott Siman and April Rider from RPM Entertainment who believed that they had the talent, musicianship and passion to be successful.

Obviously, the next step was to build out the band which came by way of a fan who suggested that Hunter talk to Landon Parker. Apparently, Parker was in another band in North Carolina at the time, and Hunter was in awe with his vocal skills and convinced him to visit with them in Nashville. Soon after, he joined the band, moving to Nashville and committed fully to the project. Creigh Reipe joined several months later and the rest, as they say, is history.

Now, on to the show. I’ve got to say, I’ve been chatting with these guys on Twitter for a few weeks and took some time to listen to some of their music ahead of the show. But nothing prepared me for their live performance. I always find it interesting to see the difference between recorded music and live music. Chasin’ Crazy is a band that you definitely need to see live. Love their music, but their live performance takes things to a whole different level. You’ve got a band that is completely polished, who play off each other during the live show. It’s obvious that they love making music and love playing to a crowd.

Credit: Rudy Sabin Photography

Credit: Rudy Sabin Photography

“Smack Dab”, written by Parker, Drew Davis and Danny Myrick, was a highlight of the evening. It’s a fun song about being “Smack Dab” in the middle of love. Don’t get much more country than that, right? Another crowd favorite was “That’s How We Do Summertime“. I think the lyrics say it all:

“Yeah it’s gonna be a hot one, so drink em if ya got em…”

Sounds good to me!

We also got a look at some new music with “Trespassin'”, which according to the band, has a music video which will be coming out on October 1. Not gonna want to miss this one.

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Chasin’ Crazy

All in all, Chasin’ Crazy was exactly what I hoped they’d be. A group of awesome guys with the talent to take them to the next level. Really enjoyed catching up with them, both before and after the show, learning more about how the band came together, and their plans for the future. If you have the chance to catch them on the road, not miss them. They’re out with A Thousand Horses for the next few shows, but I anticipate that you’ll see them opening up on the big stage soon.

To keep up with the latest news on the band, new music and tour news, make sure you check them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter at @ChasinCrazy.

After a few line dancing lessons in between sets, it was time for the main event of the evening: A Thousand Horses.

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Credit: Rudy Sabin Photography

If you want to try to describe A Thousand Horses to someone who hasn’t seen or heard them play, just imagine if Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers and The Black Crowes had a baby. Seriously. I’m not sure how else to describe them, but they are in no way 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 time. I have a feeling that we’ll be hearing from these guys for years to come.

A Thousand Horses has their own look, their own sound, and a stage presence that captivates their audience from the first note. The entire band gives 110% every time they hit the stage, but they also take the time to engage with their fans. There is nothing else like A Thousand Horses on the radio today and that’s a damn shame! To put it bluntly: A Thousand Horses is what country music needs right here…and right now.

For a little background, the band consists of four core members (but there are a bunch more):

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

Credit: Rudy Sabin Photography

Credit: Rudy Sabin Photography

The band kicked off their set a few minutes after 9 p.m., kicking into their set with the raucous Landslide, their staple, opening song with one of my favorite guitar riffs today. On top of their number one hit, “Smoke”, the band ran through some tracks off their debut album “Southernality” (review here). Four of my favorites were included on the setlist, “Sunday Morning”, “Tennessee Whiskey”, “Trailer Trashed” and “(This Ain’t No) Drunk Dial” as well as the catchy anthem “Travelin’ Man”.

The Monday night crowd was also treated to a new song, “Up for Anything”, which I anticipate will be showing up on their sophomore album. One can only hope as it was exactly what I expected from the band, pure southern rock goodness. Finally, the  band played three great covers, including The Guess Who’s “American Woman”, Tom Petty’s “You Wreck Me” and The Black Crowes “Hard to Handle”, which closed the set, much to the delight of the crowd. These were certainly a few highlights of the evening, but as always, the entire night was a night to remember.

Credit: Jenna Johnson

Credit: Jenna Johnson

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. I’ve heard that there are rumblings of a MAJOR tour announcement coming soon, so I can’t wait to hear more. Some country artist is going to be VERY lucky to have these guys along for the ride with them!

As I sit here at the airport, thinking back 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, 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!

Also have to give thanks to one of the best photographers out there…Rudy Sabin (see his photos above and below). The guy is incredible. Be sure to check out his website for some samples of his work and follow him on Twitter at@rudyphoto.

Credit: Rudy Sabin Photography

Credit: Rudy Sabin Photography

Did you go to the show? Have you seen A Thousand Horses and/or Chasin’ Crazy live? Let me know your thoughts below.

Concert Review: A Thousand Horses, Brothers Osborne and Darius Rucker Bring the “Southernality” to San Jose, California

August 1, 2015

I’ve been to a lot of shows. I’m also a man of many words. But after last night, I’m pretty much speechless.

Following the big show at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California, which featured Darius Rucker, Brett Eldredge, Brothers Osborne and A Thousand Horses, those who were lucky enough to find their way to the Rodeo Club in San Jose were in for a treat. Let’s just say that some great country music rolled into like a “Landslide”.

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Hanging with A Thousand Horses

KRTY listeners had been hearing for quite some time that there were “A thousand reasons to come to the after party at the Rodeo Club”. Who knew that it was more like a thousand…and three! On this night, a capacity crowd had the privilege of not only seeing A Thousand Horses and Brothers Osborne, but they were also joined by the headliner himself, Darius Rucker, live on the Rodeo Club stage. What a thrill for the crowd!

A Thousand Horses kicked off their set a few minutes after midnight, kicking into their set with the raucous Landslide, their staple, opening song. On top their number one hit, “Smoke”, the band ran through some music off their album “Southernality”. Three of my favorites, “Sunday Morning”, “Trailer Trashed” and “(This Ain’t No) Drunk Dial” were featured on the set as well as the catchy “Travelin’ Man”. The Friday night crowd was also treated to two great covers of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down”, which they performed with the Brothers Osborne, and The Black Crowes “Hard to Handle”, which they performed with Darius Rucker, much to the delight of the crowd. These were certainly a few highlights of the evening, but as always, the entire night was a night to remember.

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ATH with Darius Rucker

I have said this many times before, and will say it again now, A Thousand Horses is THE band you need to watch, follow and support in 2015 and beyond. For a little background, the band consists of four core members (but there are a bunch more):

Michael Hobby – Lead Vocal
Bill Satcher – Lead Guitar
Zach Brown – Guitar and Vocal (not THAT Zac Brown)
Graham Deloach – Bass and Vocal

A Thousand Horses can only be described as a mix of Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers and The Black Crowes. Not sure how else to describe them, but they are in no way a copycat act. The band has their own look, their own sound, and a stage presence that captivates an audience from the first note. They truly bring together their classic rock talents with a modern-country sound. There is nothing else like them on the radio today and A Thousand Horses is what country music needs.

To keep up with the band, new music and tour news, make sure you check them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter at @AThousandHorses.

I didn’t get a chance to talk about them much, since they only joined A Thousand Horses for one song, but let me tell you this: the Brothers Osborne are talented. VERY talented.

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A Thousand Horses and the Brothers Osborne

As background, brothers John and T.J. Osborne once performed in a cover band called Deuce and a Quarter, where they played cover songs from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Dwight Yoakam, Merle Haggard and Bob Seger. The duo released their debut single “Let’s Go There”, which reached Top 40 on Country Airplay at the end of 2013.Their second single, “Rum”, debuted in early 2014. The single also reached Top 40 on Country Airplay, and is included on their five-song, self-titled EP. Their third single, “Stay a Little Longer”, originally appeared on the EP, but it has since been re-recorded as a single and is currently their third consecutive top 40 country hit.

If you haven’t heard “Stay a Little Longer”, go check it out. It’s on my playlist every hour on the hour and one of the best songs on the radio today! They’re album Pawn Shop comes out in January so don’t miss that when it’s available.

To keep up with the band, new music and tour news, make sure you check them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter at @brothersosborne.

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, Danika Gurley, etc…for once again bringing the best in up-and-coming talent to the South Bay. Not to mention bringing Darius Rucker to the Rodeo Club! I’d love to say any other station in the Bay Area try to do that!

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A Thousand Horses and Darius Rucker

The Bay Area is lucky to have a station like KRTY. I’ve lived up and down the West Coast, and you won’t find a harder working “family” than these folks. I say family, because that’s what they are. You can tell when you meet the staff that they are more than co-workers. They love going to work each and every day with each other and bringing you, the listener, the best in country music. And most importantly, they keep it local. That’s what it’s all about. Radio stations come, and radio stations go, but in the end, it’s the local stations that truly care about their listeners that have staying power. Other stations may claim to be local, but there is only one true, LOCAL country station in the Bay Area, and that’s KRTY. While I may not live full time in the South Bay anymore, I truly thank you guys from the bottom of my heart for sticking to your roots. Don’t EVER change!

Well that’s it! What a night!

Did you go to the show? Have you ever seen A Thousand Horses, Brothers Osborne or Darius Rucker live? Please share your thoughts and comments below. Feel free to share this review as well!

Concert Review: Just Another “Friday Night” with Eric Paslay and Waterloo Revival

May 23, 2015

OK. The headline is a little misleading because this wasn’t just another Friday night with Eric Paslay and Waterloo Revival. It was a night of good times, good friends and of course, good music. What else would you expect from KRTY?

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I’ve been looking forward to this show for a few weeks now. Partially because I’m a big fan of singer/songwriter Eric Paslay, but also because I have been trying to see Waterloo Revival for months. Unfortunately, I’m always just missing them by a day or two wherever they play on the West Coast. This wasn’t going to happen again.

Before we jump into the show, here’s a little background on Waterloo Revival. Back when Cody Cooper met George Birge in their Austin, Texas middle school, he inspired him to express himself through music. Good thing because this took them down a path that affected both of their lives. Later, Waterloo Revival began sampling tunes during Nashville songwriter showcases, adopting the town as their new home. They soon caught the attention of Scott Borchetta, President and CEO of Big Machine Label Group, and signed a deal with Big Machine Records just one week later.

Talk about a whirlwind!

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Anyways, let’s get to the show, which was certainly worth the wait. Waterloo Revival took the stage around 8:50 p.m. and, after a few technical difficulties with their sound, began their set. They had a nice mix of ballads and uptempo country music.

If you know me, you know that one thing that I enjoy most is when the entertainers interact with the audience. This wasn’t an issue with Waterloo Revival as they spent time between each song telling stories about how they wrote a song, or just chatting with the audience.

While “Hit the Road” is currently finding it’s place on country radio, and has received an overwhelming positive response from programmers, critics and listeners, Waterloo Revival has a few additional songs they played that could certainly find their way on the radio. Songs like “Slow and Steady”, “Two Shots” and “I Love You, I Hate You, I Miss You” are two that immediately come to mind.

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If you see Waterloo Revival on the bill anytime soon, make sure you’re there early. You don’t want to miss your chance to see this band, like I did so many times before. Make sure that you check them out on Facebook and follow them on Twitter at @WaterlooRev.

Following a brief intermission, it was time for the man who I believe is right up there with Phil Vassar as one of the best singer/songwriters in country music today, EMI Records recording artist Eric Paslay. As background, Paslay graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 2005, but his passion was always music. Heck, he began playing guitar and writing music when he was just fifteen years old. From what I’ve read, the first song he wrote was a poem he wrote for a girl which he eventually put to music. Awww…

I’ll admit, one thing I didn’t expect was how tall Paslay was. This was obvious when Randy Jones of KRTY took the stage to introduce him, and had to do some nifty mic work. At 6’4″, the singer is the man behind the number one single “Friday Night”, which naturally he closed his set with. But what the average country music listener might not know is that he has also written huge hits for Jake Owen (Barefoot Blue Jean Night), Rascal Flatts (Rewind), Love and Theft (Angel Eyes) and the Eli Young Band (Even if it Breaks Your Heart).

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His debut, self-titled album Eric Paslay has been extremely well received and features a collection of songs that cover a wide range of emotion. In addition to the before mentioned, up tempo single, “Friday Night”, it includes the ballad “She Don’t Love You”, as well as “Deep As It Is Wide” and “Song About A Girl”, which was a Top Ten hit for Paslay in 2014.

I’m happy to report that Paslay didn’t miss any of his hits during the show, and also treated the crowd to some new music. Judging by the reaction of the crowd, his next album will be just as big, if not bigger, than his first. I, for one, am very much looking forward to hearing more from this artist in the years to come. Be sure that you give him a follow on Twitter at @ericpaslay.

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What else can I say. Every time I make my voyage to the Rodeo Club, I don’t leave disappointed. While there was no “full band” show, with the speakers bumping and guitars blazing, it was still a great, intimate evening in San Jose. Thanks again to the folks at KRTY, Nate Deaton, Julie Stevens, Tina Ferguson etc…for once again bringing the best in up-and-coming talent to the South Bay.

What did you think of the show? Please feel free to leave your thoughts on the show in the comments below.


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