Posted tagged ‘Toby Keith’

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!

Trailer

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”.

Vinny

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.”

IceCold

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.

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Artist Spotlight: The Springs

May 19, 2016

There are a lot of country music acts out there. You’ve got solo artists, groups, trios and more. But to me, nothing says country music quite like a duo. And when that duo is a husband and wife team…you’ve got something special. That’s what you have with today’s featured spotlight: The Springs.

Springs1

First, a little background for you. The Springs is composed of Stewart Halcomb and Holly Helms who were married on September 12, 2015, in their home state of Alabama. The ceremony took place in front of their families, band members and some of their closest friends. While they were unable to invite all of their fans to the wedding (see later about their love for their fans), Halcomb and Helms wanted them to be a part of the wedding, which was streamed over Periscope to more than 1500 viewers.

Welcome to the future, right?

So what I love about the Springs is their harmonies, their high energy concerts, and what you would hope for from a couple…chemistry. A husband and wife team (similar to the likes of Thompson Square) brings together both male and female vocals, which really gives the songs a life of their own. Not to mention that the versatile, award winning duo delivers a great mix of country, southern rock, pop and traditional favorites. How can you not like that?

The Springs have shared the stage with country music royalty over the past couple years. they have shared the stage with some of country music’s top recording acts including Florida Georgia Line, Thompson Square, Jake Owen, Josh Turner, Gary Allan, Hunter Hayes, Love and Theft, Mark Wills, Little Big Town, Eric Church, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, Charlie Daniels and Easton Corbin. Not bad company to be associated with, that’s for sure.

springsband

Credit: thespringsband.com

But outside of the company they share on stage, the company they seem to enjoy most is that of their fans.

One thing that I absolutely love about The Springs is how much they enjoy interacting with their fans. Get this. Their fans have taken on the name “Springsters”, and have truly become more than just fans to The Springs. After each show Halcomb and Helms stay as long as it takes to make sure they sign autographs and take photos with everyone that comes to the show to let each fan know how much they truly mean to them.

You’ve got to love artists who do this. I am starting to see more and more of this these days and it always makes me feeling good. Seeing artists making personal connections with their fans.

In terms of music, their new EP “Dance With Me” is set to launch soon. You can pre-order it online through their Pledge Music page.

Preorder

I, for one, really enjoy Pledge Music campaigns. With The Springs campaign, the group is offering exclusive content and packages to all pledgers. Basically, anyone who pledges will walk away with something. Exclusive packages will include things like a concert in your living room, a songwriting session with us, unreleased (not on our EP) song and even more cool experiences and packages.

Definitely some cool items for fans. Personally, I’d love a signed 8X10 and the EP. I may have to go pledge…

Don’t feel like pledging? Fine. But you’re missing out on some cool stuff! Alternatively, they’ve got some pretty cool merchandise to go along with their music. You can also find additional music on iTunes.

Speaking of the music, here are a few links to some of The Springs songs that I’m sure you’re going to enjoy.

Hey Time

I Went There

Somethin Somethin

Crank it Up

Somethin’ Bout a Woman, Somethin’ Bout a Man

Don’t Tell Him That

I know there’s more that I could talk about here, 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 The Springs, make sure you follow them on Twitter at @TheSpringsBand and on Facebook.

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

Red Starbucks Cup…I Fill You Up!

November 9, 2015

With all the Starbucks controversy, I figured it was time to write a parody of it all to the tune of Toby Keith’s “Red Solo Cup”.

Mind you, I’ve had about 6 hours sleep in the last 3 days so I’m a little tired and it’s probably not as funny as I think it is!

Maybe I should just leave this up to a professional like “Weird” Al Yankovic.

Red Starbucks Cup

Now a red Starbucks cup is the best receptacle
For libraries, grocery stores, drives to work and festivals
And you sir do not have a pair of testicles
If you prefer drinking from a glass

A red Starbucks cup is cheap and disposable
And just like my Christmas Tree they are decomposable
And unlike my home they are not fore-closable
Santa Claus can kiss my ass

Red Starbucks cup, I fill you up
Let’s have a party…let’s have a party
I love you red Starbucks cup, I lift you up
Proceed to party…proceed to party

Now I really love how you’re red and beautiful
My addiction to you it is inexcusable
Everytime I hold you it is indisputable
Your bland redness shows off my class

But I have to admit that the ladies get smitten
Admirin’ at how sharply my misspelled name is written
On you with a Sharpie when I get to sippin’
Your holiday goodness while I’m pumpin’ my gas

Red Starbucks cup, you’re more than just a paper cup
More than amazing, you’re more than fantastic
And believe me that I’m not the least bit sarcastic
When I look at you and say:

‘Red Starbucks cup, you’re not just a cup (No, no, God no)
You’re my friend, yeah
Thank you for being my friend this holiday season’

Red Starbucks cup, I fill you up
Let’s have a party…let’s have a party
I love you red Starbucks cup, I lift you up
Proceed to party…proceed to party

Do You Know Trailer Choir?

May 12, 2010

If you don’t, you should!

It’s a Wednesday morning and I just feel the need for playing some Trailer Choir.

One of my all time favorite bands and they’ll be within two hours of here this weekend! King City, California!!!

Be sure to check them out on Twitter at @TrailerChoir

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

April 18, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Taylor Swift Takes Top Honors at CMA Awards

November 12, 2009

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

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

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

From the Los Angeles Times:

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

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

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

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

From Newsday:

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

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

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

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

George Jones Calls Out Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift

November 3, 2009

Seems like George Jones still fears change. The country music legend is speaking out against up and coming stars such as Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift and others, saying that they need to leave country music and find a genre that better suits them.

Yes, today’s country music isn’t the same as traditional country music, but what “The Possum” needs to learn is that people change, styles change and music changes.

Sorry George. I’ve been a fan of both traditional and modern country music and if it reverts back, I think you’ll lose at least one fan (me). I enjoy a lot of the country songs on the radio today, but when I hear new music by George Strait, and even Alan Jackson lately, I have to turn the station. Their songs just don’t do anything for me anymore.

These days, I’m more of a fan of singers such as Kenny Chesney, Billy Currington, Toby Keith and Brad Paisley and bands like Trailer Choir and Montgomery Gentry. These are artists who can reach across different genres of music and reach a larger audience. In Jones interview, he said that he had no intention of collaborating with any musician of another genre.

We’ll see what happens! I have a lot of respect for Jones, but right now, he’s coming off like a grumpy old man.

From The Boot:

George Jones says he’s been robbed. Not of his personal belongings, but of something perhaps even more valuable: his role as a country singer.

Referring to some of today’s biggest stars, including Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift, the country legend tells the Associated Press, “they’ve stolen our identity.” And, he maintains, they need to give it back and move on to another genre. “They had to use something that was established already, and that’s traditional country music. So what they need to do really, I think, is find their own title, because they’re definitely not traditional country music.”