Posted tagged ‘Vegas’

Artist Spotlight: Hillbilly Vegas

May 21, 2016

Today’s spotlight artist is a group that I’ve been keeping my eye on for about two years now. Their name: Hillbilly Vegas.

The name just screams country music and rock & roll, right?

I first discovered these guys a couple years ago, and as I looked at the name, I imagined Duck Dynasty meets the guys from Pawn Stars. In reality, after checking out their website, and listening to a ton of their music over the past two years, I’ve found them to be more of a mixture of Blackhawk, Bon Jovi and John Mellencamp.

Sound good?

Vegas

Many may consider these guys new, but in reality, they are far from it! Blasting intensity right out of the gate, Hillbilly Vegas got a ton of traction with their debut album Ringo Manor, moving more than 10,000 copies (not bad for an emerging indie band) and scoring traction with its first single “Little Miss Rough and Tumble”. As it turns out, the song was on the national country music charts for more than 25 weeks!

Now on to the band, which is led by Steve Harris (vocals and rhythm guitar), Stacy Thornburg (lead guitar, vocals), Johnny Reed (guitar, vocals), Robb Edwards (bass) and Troy Hollinger (drums). I first caught wind of these guys prior to the release of the song “Long Way Back”, which ended up being one of my Top 10 songs of 2014.

“Long Way Back” has been a very special song for the members of Hillbilly Vegas. According to the band, the video has been used by Battle Saint, an organization who works tirelessly raising money to build treatment facilities for PTSD and traumatic brain injuries in returning veterans.  The Zac Brown Band and the creators of HBO’s Band of Brothers are also supporters of the organization.  The video for “Long Way Back” features the great things Battle Saint does along with a number of veterans and their families.

By the way…it’s also a GREAT song!

Now, since I first discovered the band in mid-2014, they have grown a few years older and have come back with a deeper attitude and sharper edge. They’re currently out on the road promoting their new EP, 76’, and getting everyone to “Shake It Like A Hillbilly” with their new single and high energy music video. Their momentum is bound to continue with the game plan in place for their future singles, including the party anthem “High Time For A Good Time” and “2 Gun Town,” a hard rock tune that was originally written for a National Geographic TV show. I also have a special love for “Can’t Go Home”, which might be my favorite song on the EP.

76

In Harris’ own words:

“We’ve taken more control this time around as far as our sound and direction. We’ve always been a rock band sort of dabbling in the country market and that’s even more evident this time around, recording with Alex, who’s worked with many major label bands in Texas. We’re grateful for the success of Ringo Manor, but it was a learning experience as was all of our time recording it in Nashville. Our fans kept telling us they loved our giant live sound and that while they liked our album we’re more exciting live. That’s the power we went for on 76’, which we named after Johnny’s 76 Gibson Firebird guitar. We loved the way Alex got those big drum sounds and the cool atmosphere he created for us to do the hard work. He was the perfect co-producer.”

I know there’s more that I could talk about here, but I’ll let you check out the rest of their music, for yourself. Here’s a sample of songs off the new EP, as well as a few older ones:

Little Miss Rough and Tumble

Mason Jars and Moonlight

Oklahoma 3.2

From an Empty Room

Helluva Night

“We’re all about creating fun, high energy, memorable music that gives people a good feeling,” says Harris. “I love hearing tunes on the radio that stir up feelings that take me back to special times and places – and if Hillbilly Vegas can do that for people, it’s a wonderful thing. We know we’re not doing socially groundbreaking material, but it’s real. Each song chronicles the experience and influences of the guys who wrote them.”

If you are anything like me (note the tagline for my blog) and are a huge fan of traditional and modern country, mixed with rock and a little hillbilly, then Hillbilly Vegas is definitely a band you need to take a listen to. When you get the chance, check them out on Facebook and follow them on Twitter at @hillbillyvegas. Also, don’t forget to check out their music on iTunes.

Hey guys, how about a date out West at the Rodeo Club in San Jose or Duke’s in Portland???

So what did I miss? Have you seen Hillbilly Vegas live? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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What Happens in Vegas…

February 2, 2011

As we turn the calendar from one year to another, what does it make you think about? New Year’s Resolutions? Back-To-School? The Super Bowl?

Well, if you’re like me and employed in the world of tech PR, it means one thing…the annual “Super Bowl” of consumer electronics events, the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

If you’ve ever attended CES then you know that the show has grown exponentially since its early days. There’s nothing quite like getting more than 140,000+ of your closest friends together in Las Vegas for 4 days of the latest and greatest gadgets and gizmos from some of the largest consumer electronics companies in the world. Each year, months of hype lead up to the show. Who’s going to be there? What are they going to be demonstrating? What’s the big, new “it” product? And this year was no different.

Quite a few major technology trends emerged from this year’s show floor that are sure to keep me busy throughout 2011. Some of the significant topics of discussion included the launch of dozens of new tablet devices, wireless 4G LTE and enhanced connected television technologies.

And if you thought that CES had lost its luster and prestige…think again! Last year was a major down year in terms of attendance for CES. But, it was the large crowd at this year’s show that caught the attention of many in the media:

“I must’ve gotten the following question fifty times in the past few days: what’s the coolest thing you saw at CES? Every time, I’ve given the same answer: the crowd…It’s what the size of the 2011 CES signifies about the consumer electronics industry, and about the cultural centrality of a set of devices and issues that used to be the sole province of geeks.” Jon Stokes, Ars Technica

“CES 2011 is back to normal. It was packed with vendors and attendees. The overall tone was extremely up beat… It was fun to walk the floor and see what was on display.” Bill Wong, Electronic Design

There was no shortage of big names at CES. Amongst those speaking in Las Vegas this year were Steve Ballmer of Microsoft, Rupert Stadler of AUDI AG, Boo-Keun Yoon of Samsung, Alan Mulally of Ford and Ivan Seidenberg of Verizon. Each gave a Keynote presentation and Mulally used his presentation to unveil the company’s first electric vehicle, the Ford Focus Electric. Did you miss any of the Keynote presentations? Don’t worry…in this day and age you can easily go back and watch all of them online on the CES website anytime you like.

We talked trends coming out of the show earlier, and in 2011, there was no shortage of hot button topics that everyone wanted to talk about. Here’s what members of the media had to say about what they saw on the show floor:

“From the very first press conference, the main theme from the show emerged: your next smartphone will likely connect to a 4G network. For business use, 4G on your smartphone or tablet means easier Internet back-ups, smooth video chats, and snappier Web viewing.” John Brandon, Inc. Magazine

“This year, the show was all about Android. We ushered in the era of dual-core Androids with LG and Motorola, we celebrated the 4G revolution with LG, Motorola, and Samsung, and we even got a glimpse at how Android works when screen resolution is bumped beyond the all-too-common WVGA, thanks to Motorola. Oh, and a little thing called Android 3.0 Honeycomb is going to transform the way we think about not only tablets, but smartphones too.” Brandon Miniman, PocketNow.com

Larger crowds, 4G and gadgets galore! These were some of the highlights of CES this year. I think we can safely say that the recession appears to be over and if CES is any barometer for the state of the industry, then we’re in for a big 2011!

Did you go to CES this year? What was your biggest takeaway? What was your most memorable moment (at the event…not in Vegas)?

Lack of Posts…

May 3, 2010

Sorry guys. Dealing with a touch of “Vertigo”.

I’d heard of it before, but man does it knock you out when you’ve actually got it!

So, I was dealing with a cold/allergies last week and got on a flight while still being congested. Bad idea! My ears never popped on the way to Las Vegas, and on the flight back, it just got worse!

For now, I’m working to get the dizziness taken care of with medicine and rest.

Hopefully, the room will stop spinning soon so I can put up a few more, new posts!

Happy Monday everyone!

The Vegas Diaries…

April 29, 2010

It’s been a whirlwind first 28 hours. Wind storm, dust flying everywhere, Interop has been crazy and to top things off, I lost my cell phone.

I had a friend text the phone saying who to return it to. Unfortunately, the gentleman who found it doesn’t speak English so I’m hoping it gets back to our booth before I leave at 2 p.m. this afternoon.

Great trip and a great experience! The conference was at the Mandalay Bay Hotel which is incredible. It has it’s own beach! I stayed at the Luxor which was nice, but wish I would have upgraded to a nicer room. If you have the chance, be sure to spend the extra money for a view!

Looking forward to seeing the family tonight, though!

Las Vegas…Here I Come!

April 27, 2010

Well, the time is upon me to head to Las Vegas for two days to attend the Interop Las Vegas show.

I’ll be leaving early Wednesday morning and returning late Thursday night. Hopefully the kids will still be able to pick me up at the airport!

Take care everyone and see you in a few days!

Joe Cada Becomes Youngest WSOP Champion

November 10, 2009

Joe Cada, a 21 year old college dropout, has outlasted nearly 6,500 participants to defeat Darvin Moon and become the youngest Main Event champion in World Series of Poker history.

From TIME:

On the final hand, Darvin Moon, 45, called an all-in bet from Joe Cada, 21, and with $150 million in chips in the pot — 70% of the chips in play — none of the last five cards paired Moon’s queen-jack; Cada’s pair of nines held up, and he had outlasted 6,494 participants who began play more than four months ago at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

From the Associated Press:

Joe Cada bet on gambling instead of college and started playing poker full-time after winning enough to buy a house and justify playing tournaments in far-off places.

The 21-year-old’s wager paid off Tuesday in a way many players only dream when he became the youngest champion ever at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

Cada, from Shelby Township, Mich., says the win and $8.55 million top prize gives him a lot of freedom.

From the AFP:

A 21-year-old college dropout won the World Series of Poker early Tuesday, completing the biggest comeback in the tournament’s history to earn a 8.5 million dollar jackpot.

Joe Cada, the youngest champion in the 40-year history of the game’s richest and most prestigious event, won with a pair of nines after about 90 hands head-to-head against second-place finisher Darvin Moon.

Moon had a queen and jack, and none of the other cards drawn in the Texas Hold ?Em hand improved it.

“I’d like to thank all my fans and my friends,” an emotional Cada told a raucous theater full of supporters in bright-yellow T-shirts bearing his name. Later he told reporters: “It’s really surreal right now.”

Cada squandered a huge lead at the start of play late Monday against 46-year-old Moon before barreling back in a finale of constant betting in which he moved strongly ahead for a time.

It was played before an audience of more than 1,500 people at the Rio Hotel-Casino at a table stacked with bricks of cash. A diamond-encrusted championship bracelet gleamed on the side of the table.

Cada’s triumph was particularly stunning because he was down to just two million chips out of 194.8 million on Saturday but came back to finish as the chip leader.

Snowfall Hits Las Vegas

December 17, 2008

Say it ain’t so. A rare snowfall has snarled ground and air traffic in Las Vegas. I stayed at the Venetian in September and it was 110 degrees. What a difference a few months makes.

From the Associated Press:

A rare snowfall blanketed Las Vegas on Wednesday, canceling flights, snarling traffic and dusting palm trees and marquees along the Las Vegas Strip with accumulations that were expected to reach 3 inches overnight.

Other locations were forecast to receive as much as 8 inches of snow in the second winter storm this week to drop snow on the desert city.

Snow piled up around the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign on the south end of the Strip, as visitors parked and posed for pictures wearing hooded jackets. In other parts of the Las Vegas valley, snowfall toppled trees, blanketed rooftops and delighted residents who rarely get to see winter weather.

“Sometimes you have to travel to the mountains to see the snow, and now you don’t have to,” said Jose Villeda, 38, as he stuck his tongue out to catch snowflakes outside of Lavo, a restaurant and nightclub at the Palazzo hotel-casino.

Snowfall is common in nearby mountains hills, but not on the Strip or surrounding neighborhoods.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Andrew Gorelow said 3 inches of accumulation on the Strip would break the December record of two inches set in 1967, but wouldn’t match the Las Vegas winter record of nine inches set in 1974.