Posted tagged ‘Nascar’

Artist Spotlight: McKenzies Mill

May 23, 2016

I’ve been on a major southern rock kick the past couple of days. Sometimes I find that I just need to step back from listening to new music and revert to the classics. Listening to some Lynyrd Skynyrd, Allman Brothers etc…

That’s probably how I stumbled across my latest Artist Spotlight: McKenzies Mill,  two brothers from North Carolina, now based in Nashville, Tennessee, that absolutely know how to rock!

Founded by Justin and Ryan Harris, and backed by the a few of the best musicians around, McKenzies Mill brings its audience what has been described as “Southern Fried Rock & Roll.”

From Ryan’s own words (via Wrangler Network):

“Southern Fried Rock-n-Roll” is definitely the way that we most often describe our music. For the people that see us live, I like to think that most of them walk away thinking, “man, those country boys can rock!” If they are, then we’re doing it right.”

There you have it! A little bit country, a little bit southern rock and a little bit rock and roll. Take three of my favorite genres, wrap them up in a package, and put them out on the road. Just what I love…and that’s what these brothers give you night in and night out!

While you might not be familiar with McKenzies Mill (yet), the duo is in no way a newcomer to the music scene. They’ve been featured at NASCAR’s Speed Street Fest in Charlotte, North Carolina, and at BayFest in Mobile, Alabama. They’ve also been featured alongside artists such as Brad Paisley and Kenny Wayne Shepherd.

In terms of music, McKenzies Mill has released two albums, “One Hell of a Ride” and a self-titled album, “McKenzies Mill”. In 2014, they were named a Band to Watch by CMA Close-Up magazine back and the duo also won Bud Light’s National Battle of the Bands back in 2012.

In addition, last September, the duo released two new singles, “Middle of Nowhere” & “Willie“.

I know there’s more that I could talk about here, but I’ll let you check out the rest of the band’s music for yourself. Here’s a sample of their own songs, as well as a few great covers:

Fishin’ in the Dark

My Heaven is a Small Town

Dirty Things

Country Born & Raised

Yee Haw

If you see McKenzies Mill on the bill anytime soon, make sure you’re there early. You don’t want to miss your chance to see this band. I said it before and I’ll say it again: they can flat out rock.

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

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

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

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Artist Spotlight: Halfway to Hazard

May 18, 2016

“Just’a good ol’ boys
Never meanin’ no harm.
Beats all you never saw
Been in trouble with the law
Since the day they was born.”

Wait. I thought I was going to talk about the Dukes of Hazzard today. You mean I’m not?

All kidding aside, I’m here to continue my Artist Spotlight series with another up-and-coming group that goes by the name Halfway to Hazard. Heard of them? Maybe a few years back? More on that later…

H2H

As background, Chad Warrix and David Tolliver, better known as the group Halfway to Hazard, can only be described with the same words I’ve used here on my blog for years, “a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll.” Nothing wrong with that. In fact, that’s two of my favorite things when it comes to music. And they live up to that descriptor. From what I’ve seen, the group holds nothing back in their music. In fact, if they were in NASCAR, I’d say that they put the pedal to the metal and don’t look back until they cross the finish line.

So before I get to the music, you’re probably wondering where the band’s name came from? Well, it seems that Halfway to Hazard are the opening words of the song “Cold,” which it so happens was the first song Warrix and Tolliver wrote together several years after they left their home state of Kentucky. Eventually, they wound up where many aspiring country music groups find themselves…in Nashville. So much for my assumption that they were huge fans of Bo and Luke Duke. Side note: I probably should have known since the name was missing an extra “z”.

Now let’s get to the most important thing that I’m here to talk about today: the music. Plain and simple, it’s good. It’s really good.

Their debut single, “Daisy“, was a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts way back in 2007. That same year, the band toured as the opening act on Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s Soul2Soul Tour. In 2008, they went on tour with McGraw and a youngster by the name of Jason Aldean. They were also nominated by the Academy of Country Music (ACM) for the Duo of the Year award. Not a bad two year stretch, right?

Sadly, in January of 2010, the duo went on an extended hiatus. After some ups and downs over the next few years, Tolliver and Warrix decided to officially reunite Halfway to Hazard in late 2014…and I for one am glad they did!

Released earlier this year, the song from Halfway to Hazard that I’m absolutely hooked on is “American Outlaw“. Oh, the video isn’t too bad either. In fact, it’s really good!

According to The Rowdy:

The video is being used as a tease for the upcoming spanking new record that’s still in development that has HTH returning to the studio after their personal hiatus was declared in 2009, and will put them back in the tour bus for their 2016 REDEMPTION TOUR.

Penned by Tolliver and Warrix with the aid of Matt Alderman, the single will be featured as the theme for a documentary about the song’s subject, which gives Halfway To Hazard a chance to see the back story of their old stomping grounds.

You’ll definitely want to check it out on iTunes.

Here’s to hoping that they get their new album out this summer. I’m really looking forward to it! Until then, take a listen to some more of their music. You’ll find links to a few additional Halfway to Hazard songs, both old and new, that I’m sure you’re going to enjoy, below:

Meet Me in Vegas (Potential next single)

Heaven on Down the Highway

Countrified

I Know Where Heaven Is

Country Til the Day We Die

I know there’s more, but I’ll let you check out the band, and the rest of their music, for yourself. If you’re interested in keeping up with Halfway to Hazard, make sure you visit their website and follow them on Twitter at @HalfwayToHazard and on Facebook.

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

mBlox Powers “In Stadium Solutions” to Improve Security and Safety Via Text Message

October 7, 2009

Client mBlox, the world’s largest mobile transaction network, today announced that the company is powering In Stadium Solutions’ rapidly growing security and marketing fan text messaging service for sporting events held in prominent venues such as Dolphin Stadium, Notre Dame Stadium, Dodger Stadium, Daytona International Speedway. The service has also been active at major sporting events such as the Super Bowl and BCS National Championship Game.

From the release:

ISS’ text messaging system reduces the number of incidents and improves security at venues by allowing fans to simply and discreetly text a shortcode with a keyword and a brief description of the issue and its location. Ushers, public safety personnel, first aid and event staff can then quickly and efficiently take action as needed. This has helped reduce the number of unruly incidents and dramatically increased the response time to any type of issue such as medical situations, housekeeping and other guest service issues.

In addition to security and safety issues, ISS enables venues to engage directly with fans both while they are at the venue, through mediums such as quizzes and special offers, and after the event with incentives for the fans to return. The system can also be used to generate sponsorship revenue.

“In Stadium Solutions is a highly innovative company which has taken SMS and turned it into a service that enables stadium ushers and security personnel to address incidents before they turn into problems,” said Brian Johnson, senior vice president of sales and marketing for the Americas and Asia Pacific for mBlox. “Billions of SMS are sent each month so consumers know and trust the format. Clearly, the major sporting venues have seen the value in enabling spectators to alert staff inconspicuously with no danger to the fans themselves.”