Posted tagged ‘Steve Miller Band’

Artist Spotlight: Trailer Choir

May 31, 2016

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

Ladies and gentlemen…I bring you Trailer Choir!


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

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

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


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

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

Now, let’s get onto the music!

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

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

As Fortney states:

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


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

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

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

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

Can’t Drink All Day

Last Man Standing

Love Me First

The Joker

Better With a Beer

Homemade Mexico

In My Next 5 Beers

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

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

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

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

CD Review: Trailer Choir “Off The Hillbilly Hook”

June 18, 2009

If you haven’t heard of Trailer Choir yet, get ready, you soon will.

Signed by Toby Keith’s Show Dog Nashville in 2007, the band consists of three members: Butter, Crystal and Big Vinnie.

From their Web site:

Trailer Choir started as a loose association of musicians and singers, usually including Butter and Big Vinny, traveling the Southeast playing private parties and frat houses.

Not long after they began performing together, Crystal jumped on stage adding the finishing harmonies to the group. Soon they were having so much fun that folks started to notice. Quotable lines and good time songs only touch on the Trailer Choir experience.

Full effects can only be felt live and in-person, where we find master of ceremonies, comic ringleader and front man Butter, smooth and soulful Louisiana girl Crystal and worm popping small town big boy Big Vinny. Because you just haven’t lived until you’ve seen a 400-pound man do the pop worm in the middle of a country show.

On June 9, Trailer Choir released their new album “Off the Hillbilly Hook.” The CD features the radio favorite ballad “What Would You Say” the title track, “Off the Hillbilly Hook” (which was featured in Toby Keith’s movie “Beer For My Horses) and what is sure to be a highly requested summer anthem, “Rockin’ the Beer Gut”.

From beginning to end, the 6 song album is a crowd pleaser. There is a little something for everyone on this album, and I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

“Rockin’ the Beer Gut” is an ode to those ladies at the bar who might not always get the attention they deserve. With lines such as “The first thing that caught my eye…she was rockin’ the beer gut” and “it’s just some extra love around her waist” well, you know how this one will turn out.

“Rollin’ Through the Sunshine” is a fun, happy song, that just makes you feel good. This tune brings me back to my early college days when Len had their own hit “Steal My Sunshine”. While the two songs are completely different, you still get that “life is good” feeling listening to them.

“In My Next Five Beers” demonstrates that you don’t need to think about the future, where you’re going, or where you need to be in the next five years. What you need to do is think about where you’re going to be five beers from now, whether it’s out and about, or sitting right there in the same chair you’re already in.

“What Would You Say” hit the radio a few months back and has been a mainstay since, at least on KRTY in the Bay Area and other stations that frequently play the amazingly well written song. A tribute to those men lost in the West Virginia mine tragedy a few years back, this song makes you truly think about your life, if you have lived it to the fullest, and if you only had a few minutes left, and just a pad of paper, what would you say.

The title track to the CD, “Off The Hillbilly Hook”, is the first Trailer Choir song I ever heard. I first heard the tune at a concert at the Shoreline Ampitheater in the Bay Area when the band opened for Montgomery Gentry and Toby Keith. Rumor has it that KRTY’s own Indiana Al is the man behind the title to this country/rap hit and if you don’t think that these two genres of music can mix, then you must listen to this song. You’ll be “Hillbilly Hooked!”

Overall, “Off the Hillbilly Hook” is an album for everyone. It has a great mix of country, rap, ballads and more. You can listen to the tracks on the bands Web site or MySpace page but I recommend shelling out the money and buying the album as soon as you can. These guys may not be big just yet, but they have the talent to make it in the business and you better get on the bandwagon before it’s too late!

My only hope is that the band will come out with a Live CD/DVD soon. The music on the CD is good, but it’s the stage show that truly makes the band who they are. If Trailer Choir comes to your town, be sure to check out the show. You’ll have a set list which includes Trailer Choir material as well as songs by the Steve Miller Band, John Mellencamp, Sublime and more! Do I need to add a country version of “Baby Got Back”? It’s true!

Buy the album, check out a show. You won’t regret either!

Poets & Pirates Tour Review: Kenny Chesney at AT&T Park, June 8, 2008

August 7, 2008

You don’t get to be a multiple “Entertainer of the Year” award winner for nothing, and the Poets & Pirates tour, which came to San Francisco’s AT&T Park on June 8 did not disappoint! When you’re Kenny Chesney, you can bring along Luke Bryan, Gary Allan, Leann Rhimes and Brooks & Dunn (Not to mention special appearances by Steve Miller and Sammy Hagar!!!) and you know you have something special. On this night, the 70,000+ in attendance did not leave unsatisfied!!

All My Friends Say

Luke Bryan: All My Friends Say

Watchin' Airplanes

Gary Allan: Watchin

Forget the Internet search for the Kenny Chesney set list, or the Brooks & Dunn set list. With these acts, you can be sure that no matter what songs they play, you are in for a special evening. June 8 at AT&T Park will long go down in Bay Area history as one of the greatest nights ever in country music.

First things first: my award for best cooler of the day goes to the kid on Caltrain who used the motor oil box because “it keeps the beer cold”. Haven’t heard that one so I’ll have to take your word for it. I’ve got to say that the train was far more enjoyable than usual. I mean granted you always get your fun, but yesterday, it was an interesting group of people, especially in our car at the front of the train. Drinking, drinking and more drinking until we got to the stadium.

Can't Fight the Moonlight

Leann Rhimes

We got to AT&T about 2:30 p.m. following a quick stop at Subway for a few $5 footlongs. Can’t see paying $7 for a hot dog inside right? Outside we were greeted by members of 95.3 KRTY and 95.7 The Wolf who are the local country stations in the Bay Area. We picked up our souvenir tour shirts at the concession stand and made our way to our seats just in time to see the Bell Brothers. They were involved in the MySpace “Next Big Star” contest and performed four songs. Not bad for the opening act of the show. Loved their song “Yard Sale” about taking your former loved ones things and selling them off! We’ve all been there I’m sure.

Luke Bryan followed up. Until this show, I never knew that he wrote Billy Currington’s “Good Directions” if only he had played that last night! He played a standard set list and closed with his trademark “All My Friend’s Say” (Which by the way is playing on KRTY right now) and Country Man. He puts on a great show and really gets the crowd into it.

Gary Allan came on next. He is an amazing live performer and he has a great set list. He kicked off the show with “Watching Airplanes”, a favorite of mine as my daughter loves to point out everytime she sees an airplane and won’t stop until you acknowledge her. His set was filled with classic hits and new cuts from his latest album. Songs About Rain, Smoke Rings in the Dark, A Feelin’ Like That, Life Ain’t Always Beautiful and the touching Best I Ever Had were scattered throughout the set and got the crowd ready for the rest of the show.

Brooks & Dunn

Brooks & Dunn

As it got towards 6:30, Leann Rhimes took the stage. She had a long, silver dress on which was very eye catching to the crowd and got quite a few whistles and hollers from the men (and a few women as well). “Nothin’ Better to Do”, the first single from her new album Family kicked things off and got the crowd to their feet. She follwed up with Coyote Ugly’s “Can’t Fight the Moonlight”, “Big Deal” and other of her greatest hits. She took it down a bit later with “Blue” and “How Do I Live” and even brought in some Janis Joplin. It was fun to end the set with the classic Cheap Trick song “I Want You to Want Me” which was a crowd favorite and a great sing along. By this time she had thrown a SF Giants jersey on which of course was a great play on the crowd. Leann has a decent set list but needed to play “Because I Can (One Way Ticket). I mean come on, the video was filmed in San Francisco.

It took a while for the set change so my wife ran to the bathroom and concession stands. Unfortunately this did not go as planned!!! She came back to her seat after she found out that AT&T Park had lost all water and the toilets throughout the stadium were backing up and beginning to overflow!!! They also didn’t have drinks anymore at the concession stands unless you wanted bottled beer. We looked out the gates and saw good ol Rotor Rooter fast at work but they didn’t get the problem fixed before the concert concluded at a little after 11:30. I’m sure you can read about this online on a local news publication.

Anyways, she got back to our seats just in time for Brooks & Dunn to kick off their set list with “You Can’t Take the Honky Tonk Out of the Girl” which brought the crowd to their feet. Other classic hits followed including “Neon Moon”, “My Maria”, Red Dirt Road” and “Ain’t Nothing About You” and songs from the new album “Put a Girl In It” and “Proud of the House we Built”.

"Only in America"

The most moving moment of the show would be when during “Only in America”, Brooks & Dunn brought members of our armed forces out to salute the crowd during the final chorus’ and the crowd went wild. Streamers of red, white and blue filled the lower bowl of the stadium and the crowd was electric! They came back for an encore of “Believe” which was much slower than anything played all night and finished with the timeless classic “Boot Scootin’ Boogie”. Nice! The crowd loved it and there was line dancing in the aisles at AT&T Park.

Oh, a quick side note here. So the girls in front of us met Chesney before the show! They showed us pictures of him on their boat which he mentioned during the show! He signed each of their shirts and he even signed their boat! Totally awesome!

Kenny Chesney

Kenny Chesney

The lights came on for about 25 minutes as the crew prepared for Kenny Chesney. When the lights went out, the intensity in the crowd began to build and build. By this time, everyone down on the field were standing on their seats cheering and clapping. After 6+ hours, it was time for the main event!

Chesney did not disappoint in any way during this show. He came up through an elevated platform in the middle of the field and led off with “Live Those Songs”. The crowd was crazy and Chesney was playing off everything the audience had. He followed up with “Summertime”, “Keg in the Closet” and “Beer in Mexico”. The crowd was eating out of his hand by this time.

Chesney can sure work a crowd and the women love him (a few of the men did too!) A great rendition of “Big Star” followed and the crowd really got into “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems” which led to a rash of bras being thrown at Chesney which ended up in a carefully organized pile on the rear of the stage near the drum kit. The guys joined in all over the crowd by taking their shirts off! Just a note, some of you should NOT do this!

“Shiftwork” followed and this song angered the guy next to me who I had been talking to for the entire show. As a huge George Strait fan, he was hoping Strait would be there. When Chesney announced “Ladies and gentlemen, George Strait!” he and the rest of the crowd went nuts. This was soon followed by a “got you guys!!!”. We should have known that Strait wouldn’t actually be there but for just a moment…

Kenny with Steve Miller

Kenny with Steve Miller

“Living in Fast Forward”, “Young” and “Never Wanted Nothing More” were up next then the special guest began to show up. Chesney announced that he had a San Francisco favorite to bring out on stage and it was STEVE MILLER!!!! WOW!!! The crowd was really excited when they kicked into a great version of the classic “The Joker”. By this time the “toking” behind us had begun and there was no doubt that this was going on all over AT&T Park. They continued with “Rockin Me” which also was a wonderful sing-a-long. While Steve Miller has gotten older, he’s still rockin!!!

Chesney played the new single off the album and also had a duet with Kix Brooks with “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone” and a crowd favorite “Back Where I Come From”. The crowd loved that Chesney had lots of pictures of San Francisco during this song and even talked about his bike ride across the Golden Gate Bridge which he said was one of the greatest experiences of his life.

More Kenny

More Kenny

The show began to come to a close following this but not before one more guest: The Red Rocker himself, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer SAMMY HAGAR!!! They did a great rendition of “I’ll Fall in Love Again” and really got the crowd going during the final song of the set “I Can’t Drive 55”. In all my years of going to Giants games, I don’t know of AT&T Park ever being so loud!

The crowd chanted for an encore and Chesney of course obliged. “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy” came on which always is enjoyed by all! When it comes to live songs, this is one which Chesney brings out all of his game. It can be dragged on forever.

The crowd wanted more but by this time, there was nothing left to give. We had been at AT&T for over 8 hours and it was finally time to go home. There was nothing bad I could say at all about this show other than the problem that AT&T Park had with their sewer system.

This is NOT a tour to miss. Kenny Chesney lived up to his billing as the “Entertainer of the Year” and there was not one bad act on the bill. It seems that everytime you leave a show, you fell that it was the best concert you ever saw. I can say that I have been to a lot of shows and there is no doubt in my mind that this is a top 3 concert of all time for me.

The Red Rocker Sammy Hagar!

The Red Rocker Sammy Hagar!

I cannot wait for the show to come back around to the Bay Area again. Bravo to all of the acts and especially and to the crowd! This was one wild night in San Francisco! Pictures are up on my MySpace page.