Posted tagged ‘Trailer Choir Review’

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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CD Review: Trailer Choir, Tailgate

September 3, 2010

What can I say about Trailer Choir that I haven’t said before. You can go back to the very first time I ever mentioned this talented trio back in July of 2008 and my last concert review of their show in San Jose, California, at the Rodeo Club.

Their new album, Tailgate, came out earlier this summer and I can guarantee that I was one of the first people to pick it up (my local Wal-Mart of course). At a more than reasonable $10, this is one of the top CD’s that I’ve purchased in recent memory. Yes, I still buy CD’s!

The track list is a mix of new music and familiar favorites. If you don’t have the album in front of you, and you should, here’s what you’ll find on the CD:

1. Shakin’ That Tailgate

2. Rollin’ Through the Sunshine

3. Can’t Drink All Day

4. Last Man Standing

5. Homemade Mexico

6. Wal-Mart Flowers

7. In My Next 5 Beers

8. Girls Love to Go Dancin’

9. Rockin’ the Beer Gut

10. Off the Hillbilly Hook

In the maybe 75-80 times I’ve listened to the CD already, I can tell you that there are already some instant classics on this CD. From the energetic “Shakin’ That Tailgate”, which you currently hear on country music stations across the country, to classics such as “Off the Hillbilly Hook” and “Rollin’ Through the Sunshine”, the CD has a perfect mix of fun and sun!

My own personal favorite new song on the CD is “Can’t Drink All Day”. If I had to make a recommendation for their next single, this would have to be it. Nothing sums it up better than the lyrics “you can’t drink all day, if you don’t start early.”

Of course, it wouldn’t be a party without “Rockin’ the Beer Gut.” This was the first song that I ever heard the band play and it was the song that got me hooked. To this day, my son STILL requests that I play this every time we get in the car and my daughter pretty much knows all of the lyrics by heart. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing, or a bad thing 🙂

So in summary, Tailgate is one of those ‘must have’ albums that’s in stores today. From top to bottom, there isn’t a song that I find myself needing to hit the “next” button on. I was a little surprised that “What Would You Say” didn’t make it on the album, but if that’s my only complaint, we’re doing pretty good!

4 1/2 stars out of 5 on Tailgate…

If you’ve got the album, please feel free to share your comments below.

If you love the band, please feel free to share your comments below.

If you’re with the band, please feel free to come back to San Jose soon (and share your comments below).

Concert Review: Trailer Choir is “Off the Hillbilly Hook” in San Jose, California

May 15, 2009

All I can say is that this show was “Off the Hillbilly Hook”!

I’ve seen Trailer Choir before, but not in a venue as small as the Rodeo Club in San Jose, California. It hasn’t even been an hour since the show ended, but the vision of the crowd singing along to a trio of talented musicians is still running through my head.

I was happy that I got the chance to meet with Randy Jones and Indiana Al of KRTY both before and after the show. Great guys who work for a great, local country music station. 95.3 in the South Bay Area!

Here’s a little background on the band:

The group’s building momentum reached new heights when, after yet another packed show, Toby Keith introduced himself. “And then it was off to the races,” Big Vinny says. Trailer Choir were soon on a tour bus headed out on Toby’s Big Dog Daddy tour, where they played side stages, beer stands, parking lots – anywhere they could find fans to listen. “Toby said get your stuff, get the band, just get out there and introduce yourselves and play,” Butter says.

Keith’s fans enthusiastically embraced the band and their good-time sound. Songs “Off The Hillbilly Hook,” “My Next Five Beers,” “Rollin’ Through The Sunshine” and “Rockin’ The Beer Gut,” as well as their “did you see that?” stage show, led to a multitude of accomplishments.

These included 49 shows opening for Keith, performances at the CMA Music Festival and National Finals Rodeo, “Off The Hillbilly Hook” featured in the movie and soundtrack of the feature film Beer For My Horses, and the original song “Last Man Standing” used by ESPN & ABC in a national NASCAR promotion. And all this activity culminated in the November 2008 release of the four-song EP Trailer Choir, produced by Keith himself.

And all this activity culminates in the June 9th album release “Off the Hillbilly Hook.” The CD features the singles “What Would You Say” the title track, “Off the Hillbilly Hook” along with the crowd pleasing highly requested summer anthem, “Rockin’ the Beer Gut” just to name a few.

The show was opened by the California Cowboys, a local band that had some really great tunes! I’ve seen them before at the Sonoma-Marin County Fair and they’re playing the San Jose Flea Market this weekend.

Before Trailer Choir began, the band was seen wandering through the audience. The nice thing about still being a relatively unknown band (what am I saying, these guys are about to be huge) is that you can still walk around, unnoticed. Except by me I guess 🙂

I had a few minutes to sit and talk with Big Vinny as he made his way through the crowd. The guy is not a small man but he is one of the nicest, down to Earth artists I’ve ever met in person. He wrote their new hit “What Would You Say” and has dance moves that a man his size shouldn’t be making! I asked him if the band is starting to get noticed when out and about and he said that they’re just starting to get used to it. Just wait guys, you’re time is coming!

As the final preparations were taking place, I had a few seconds to talk to lead singer Butter. Very nice guy who, like Big Vinny, is very down to Earth and a class act. When I told him that we’re ready for a great show he said that “It’s about time for the fun to begin. We’ve got a lot planned so hold on to your hat!” Yeah, I had my trademark North Carolina hat on. Thanks for noticing! I knew the show would be good, but boy did I underestimate!

Trailer Choir hit the stage just after 10 p.m. tonight and it was a party atmosphere from the moment they hit the stage. An eclectic mix of their own songs, and cover songs from bands of every genre of music.

The crowd really got going with the second song of the evening, “The Joker” by the Steve Miller Band. A great sing along tune and you know everyone in the audience knew every word!

Have I mentioned yet that Big Vinnie is 380 pounds and he was a dancing machine…complete with a reverse worm!

My personal favorite “Rockin’ the Beer Gut” was next and lived up to the expectations I had hoped. The crowd was into it and Butter mentioned once again that this will be the bands next single…sweet!

More covers including “I Will Survive” by the stunning Crystal herself…Referred to by the band as Fergie May Clampet 🙂

“Jack and Diane”, “Baby Got Back ” and more followed!

Gotta love the happy go lucky “Rollin’ Through the Sunshine” followed by more covers including a stirring rendition of “Sweet Home Alabama”. The crowd had a choice between that and “Ice Ice Baby”. Either would have been a winner!

The show concluded with a great live version of “Off the Hillbilly Hook”. The crowd was going wild by this time and  Indiana Al, who coined this phrase years ago, could be seen dancing in the crowd with the spotlight (a small flashlight) over him.

A show wouldn’t be a show without an encore, which was gladly brought to us by the band. How many times can you say that you went to a country concert and left with Sublime’s “What I Got”. A perfect finish to a great show!

What really surprised me was that Trailer Choir did not play their current hit “What Would You Say”, a tribute to the 13 miners killed in West Virginia. I guess that the song didn’t fit into the party of the set list that was being used but it would have been great to have fit the song in.

Overall, what can I say. I had high expectations, and they were easily met. This is a band that is on the cusp of stardom and I’m proud to say that I got to meet them before they took that final leap to the big time. In my mind though, they’re already there!

Come back to San Jose soon y’all! Best show I’ve seen in quite some time. Top 5 for sure all time!