Wednesday, January 22, 2020

TRAVIS TRITT BRINGS MEMORIES, MUSIC AND LAUGHS TO ROANOKE RAPIDS THEATER

ARTIST: TRAVIS TRITT
VENUE: ROANOKE RAPIDS THEATER
CITY: ROANOKE RAPIDS, NC
DATE: 1/18/2020
REVIEWER: JENNIFER SMITH
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One of country music's biggest icons, Travis Tritt, brought his acoustic tour to the Roanoke Rapids Theater in Roanoke Rapids, NC on Saturday, January 18. This was by far one of the best shows I have ever had the pleasure to review, not only from a media perspective, but through the eyes of a fan. This show was a bucket list check mark for me, having been a huge fan of Travis and his music from day one. I've never had the chance to see him until now and I can't even begin to tell you the level of excitement I had leading up to this show. To put the cherry on top, this was an acoustic show, just Travis and his guitar. Those shows are the best because you not only get the music, you get the stories, emotion and the memories that go along with it. I wish I had been able to secure an interview and have a few minutes to talk with Travis before the show, to be able to simply thank him in person for the years of smiles he's brought to my face and to get his perspective on today's industry and how to help up and coming artists and share that with you, but unfortunately I wasn't able to get a final approval, but you can be sure it wasn't for lack of trying.

First, I need to say thank you to Julie and Allison of BarnBurner Promotions. I've dealt with many promotion teams over the past ten years while attending and reviewing shows at various venues and these girls deserve a pat on the back for the handling of this sold out show. I watched how they handled the "day of show" aspects from the ticket booth, the concession area, the merchandising area, the beer tables, the stage area, interaction with the patrons and their assistance of Travis and his band. This went off perfectly from what I observed - there was no obvious stressing out, no running around looking like things were out of control like you see at a lot of shows. These girls know their stuff and they handled it like true professionals. I always enjoy working with them and after a brief absence, am very glad to see them back in the game. I know when they're at the helm, it's always gonna be a great night. They're also so pleasant to deal with. They really are a huge asset for the Roanoke Rapids Theater.

The venue itself is always such a great place to see a show. It's a beautiful theater, with a huge accommodating lobby, an upstairs dining area, great selection of food and beverages (both non-alcoholic and "over 21."), the restrooms are always clean, parking is more than sufficient and the staff is always very kind and easy going. The seating area is not too large, but not too small. It's the perfect size for a comfortable crowd with cushioned theater seats. The front row seats are not pushed right up against the stage like a lot of places, the stage is the perfect size and it's just comfortable. There are also VIP booths available for special guests and groups.

Finally it was showtime. The lights went down, the magic began ...

Travis took his seat on his stool and started 2+ hours of some of country's best music and most memorable songs. He had only one request and that was when he played a song that was a crowd favorite, please sing along as loud as you can. I also had one request for those around me, don't talk through the show or be on your phones. It's not only disrespectful to those around you who paid money or drove a long distance to listen to the artist, but when you're in the front row, it's even more disrespectful to the artist because they can see you much better than if you were 10 rows back and sends the message that you're not interested. Save your conversation for either before or after the show and keep your texting to a minimum. It's just common courtesy.






He brought the house down with a GREAT set list, not leaving much of anything out and adding in some that we weren't expecting. He accompanied each song with a retrospective video to compliment the tune. His stories included:

- His childhood memories of his parents and listening to the Grand Ole Opry on the radio.

- How it felt to be part of the "Class of '89 which included in addition to Travis, Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks and Clint Black. Wow, how cool that must have been. If he'd only known how far that class would go, the accomplishments they'd make and the history they'd leave for future generations of country music fans. This really hit home for me and I admit, I got misty.


The "Class of '89" - Alan Jackson, Travis Tritt, Garth Brooks and Clint Black

- His first record deal with Warner Brothers and how his deal wasn't the standard "3 album" deal, his was a "3 single" deal. If he released 3 singles and none of them made it to the Top 10, he was out. He blew that concept out of the water with his very first single, "Country Club" in August 1989. The single spent 26 weeks on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts, peaking at number nine. His next 2 singles, "Help Me Hold On" and "I'm Gonna Be Somebody," hit number one and two respectively. I guess Travis found a home.

- He told of his fond memories of filming the emotional video for "Anymore" in which he portrayed a disabled American veteran. Everyone else in that video was an actual disabled veteran. By the end of that shoot, he knew every one of those on set by name and formed a friendship. This affected Travis so deeply that he reached out to his state representatives, Congress and senators and asked to let him know how he could help the veteran's cause. He became an official spokesman and representative for those serving the country and he has received many honors since, including a Public Service award from the Department of Veterans Affairs in April 2003. To this day, Travis continues to be a voice for those heroes.

- He told of his appreciation for Jerry Reed, Waylon Jennings and Marty Stuart. He talked about memories of them and how their music has impacted his own.


Travis and Jerry Reed


Travis and Waylon Jennings

This was quite literally a living documentary, a friendship between a man and his guitar and there were moments during these stories and songs that you could hear audience members sniffling and see them holding back tears. It really was a special performance, the likes of one I'm sure I'll probably never be able to witness again.

The show of hits was ending and Travis said his thank you and left the stage, only to come back a few minutes later to roars of applause to wrap up the night with fellowship and some good old Southern hand clapping and foot stomping with a round of "May the Circle Be Unbroken." I hope this "Circle" does not go unbroken. I hope that today's artists get a chance to go to a Travis Tritt show or the show of another legendary country artist and re-learn what this genre is about and what really good music is. I hope they strive to leave a lasting legacy like Travis, Garth, Alan, Clint and many others are doing. I hope they really learn to appreciate the opportunities they have and make the most of them based on THEIR creativity, talent and ideas and not just what they're instructed to do. I hope they break the mold and be their own artist, truly appreciate the power of a song and know what it means to be a member of the "Country Club."


Thank you Travis. You left an impression on me the first time I ever heard your voice and your songs and that impression is even deeper after Saturday night's show. Thank you. That's all I can really say.

Connect with Travis on his website - www.travistritt.com - and on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). Be sure to check his website for tour dates and if you can, try to catch a show.

SET LIST

I'm Gonna Be Somebody

Where Corn Don't Grow

Foolish Pride

Country Club

Country Ain't Country No More

The Whiskey Ain't Workin'

500 Miles (Hedy West cover)

Drift Off to Dream / Help Me Hold On

Anymore

Help! (The Beatles cover)

It's a Great Day to Be Alive (Darrell Scott cover)

Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way / Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys / Theme from the Dukes of Hazzard (Good 'Ol Boys)

Here's a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)

Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde

T-R-O-U-B-L-E 

Encore: Will the Circle Be Unbroken?

Photo Credit: Jennifer Smith/LovinLyrics
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Tuesday, January 7, 2020

THIS WEEK'S MEDIABASE RADIO ADDS LIST ... IS RADIO TUNING IN TO YOUR FAVORITE NEW MUSIC?


Congratulations to all of the artists making this week's Mediabase Adds list. Special kudos to those representing NEW ARTISTS.

An add does NOT guarantee air play, it simply means the station has added the song to their library. Air play is based on demand and sales (among other things .. HINT HINT), so get on the phone/internet/text and start requesting your favorites now. Most major radio stations now allow you to email your requests so it's not just making a phone call anymore. If you don't request, don't complain when you don't hear your favorite artist on the radio, plain and simple. The new artists need our help, so let's show them we support them and their hard work. Don't depend on their side to do all the promoting. If you really love an artist, jump in there and work with them to get the word out. Your voice does make a difference and it shows in these add numbers each week. Just keep talking and talk LOUDLY. 

Just a friendly note, please do not bombard stations. This can hurt your artist more than help them. They do know if you're calling multiple times a day, they can see your IP addresses when you email and know when you're using multiple email accounts. Believe it or not, overzealous fans can prevent air play no matter how good the song might be. Just keep it cool, be kind and don't demand. Don't get upset if a station can't add or play. It's not their choice most of the time. If they say no, thank them for their time and move on. Likewise, if a station does play or add your favorite artist, be sure to thank them and let other potential listeners know.

THOMAS RHETT FEATURING JON PARDI - Beer Can't Fix -  78
MIRANDA LAMBERT - Bluebird -  20
RAYNE JOHNSON - Front Seat - 15
JON LANGSTON - Now You Know - 10
ERIC CHURCH - Monsters - 9
MORGAN WALLEN - Chasin' You -  9
BLAKE SHELTON FEATURING GWEN STEFANI - Nobody But You - 7
BRANTLEY GILBERT - Fire't Up - 7
GABBY BARRETT - I Hope - 7
MATT STELL - Everywhere But On - 7
CARLY PEARCE & LEE BRICE - I Hope You're Happy Now - 6
CARRIE UNDERWOOD - Drinking Alone - 6
BRETT YOUNG - Catch - 4
CHASE RICE - Lonely If You Are - 4
CHRIS JANSON - Done - 4
CHRIS LANE - Big, Big Plans - 4
FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE - Blessings - 4
GONE WEST - What Could've Been - 4
JACKSON MICHELSON - Stay Over - 4
KIP MOORE - She's Mine - 4
SCOTTY MCCREERY - In Between - 4
CHRIS STAPLETON - Tennessee Whiskey - 3
CHRIS YOUNG - Drowning - 3
GRANGER SMITH - That's Why I Love Dirt Roads - 3
JAKE OWEN - Homemade - 3
JAMESON RODGERS - Some Girls - 3
LINDSAY ELL - I Don't Love You - 3
LOCASH - One Big Country Song - 3
MADDIE & TAE - Die From A Broken Heart - 3
MAREN MORRIS - The Bones - 3
MIDLAND - Cheatin' Songs - 3
ASHLEY MCBRYDE - One Night Standards - 2
CAYLEE HAMMACK - Family Tree - 2
DILLON CARMICHAEL - I Do For You - 2
HARDY FEATURING LAUREN ALAINA AND DEVIN DAWSON - One Beer - 2
LANCO - What I See - 2
LITTLE BIG TOWN - Over Drinking - 2
MORGAN EVANS - Diamonds - 2
RUNAWAY JUNE - Head Over Heels - 2
BILLY CURRINGTON - Details - 1
ELI YOUNG BAND - Break It In - 1
HALEY & MICHAELS - Hail Mary - 1
HOOTIE & THE BLOWFISH - Hold On - 1
INGRID ANDRESS - More Hearts Than Mine - 1
JASON ALDEAN - Talk About Georgia - 1
JIMMIE ALLEN - Make Me Want To - 1
JORDAN DAVIS - Slow Dance In A Parking Lot - 1
JUSTIN MOORE - Why We Drink - 1
KANE BROWN - Homesick - 1
LAUREN ALAINA- Getting Good - 1
LUKE BRYAN - What She Wants Tonight - 1
LUKE COMBS FEATURING BROOKS & DUNN - 1, 2 Many - 1
MICHAEL RAY- Her World Or Mine - 1
MITCHELL TENPENNY FEATURING /SEAFORTH - Anything She Says - 1
PARMALEE FEATURING BLANCO BROWN - Just The Way - 1
RILEY GREEN - I Wish Grandpas Never Died - 1
RODNEY ATKINS -  Thank God For You - 1
RYAN HURD - To A T - 1
SAM HUNT- Kinfolks - 1
TEDDY ROBB - Really Shouldn't Drink... - 1
TENILLE ARTS - Somebody Like That - 1
THOMPSON SQUARE - Masterpiece - 1
TRAVIS DENNING - After A Few - 1
TREA LANDON - Loved By A Country Boy - 1
ZAC BROWN BAND - Leaving Love Behind - 1

Source: Country Aircheck

Friday, December 20, 2019

SIXTH ANNUAL NASHVILLE SENIOR CHRISTMAS SHINNDIG INCLUDES PERFORMANCE BY 52 YEAR MEMBER OF THE GRAND OLE OPRY, JEANNIE SEELY


Country music royalty, recent recipient of an honorary Doctorate of the Arts and a fifty-two year member of the Grand Ole Opry, Jeannie Seely took the stage again on Thursday, December 19 at Lipscomb University's Allen Arena for the Six Annual Nashville Senior Christmas ShinnDig performing traditional Christmas songs, as well as a special performance of “You Can’t Make Old Friends” with her long time friend Tim Atwood. The heartwarming event was hosted by emcee, Hope Hines and also included performances by Candy Christmas, Jasmine Brady, Julie Roberts, Paul Coons, Nicole C. Mullen and Charlie McCoy.

"Jeannie Seely is what the Senior Christmas ShinnDig is really all about. Like me, she could be a guest at this event, but she chooses to give her time, talent and wit to bless all of us. I've been hosting Senior Citizens Christmas Parties around the country (in North Carolina, Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma and right here in Nashville, TN) for 40 years," exclaimed George Shinn. "Jeannie has been singing at the Nashville Senior Christmas ShinnDig since it started six years ago and I can't imagine the show without her.  Her talent continues to amaze me and I'm grateful each year when she says she will perform!"

“This event has been one thing I have looked forward to every year,” said Jeannie Seely. "It just wouldn’t seem like Christmas if I couldn’t be a part of this wonderful event. It brings such joy to so many. I kind of think George Shinn might be Santa Claus! It is such a wonderful thing that Mr. Shinn does every year and I am honored to be included.”

The special event was established to honor Nashville senior citizens by George Shinn and the George Shinn Foundation as a promise to his mother to always remember our seniors. Approximately 800 seniors from the greater Nashville area were served at the free luncheon highlighted by holiday entertainment, very special door prizes as well as a car given away to a community member in need.

Stay in touch with Jeannie Seely on her website

ASHLEY MCBRYDE DEBUTS HER “ONE NIGHT STANDARDS” MUSIC VIDEO

Video Acts as Part One in a Three-Part Series

GRAMMY-nominated artist and songwriter Ashley McBryde debuted her new music video for current single “One Night Standards,” the first of a three-part storyline that will be released over the upcoming weeks. The video made its debut on YouTube this week, along with two digital billboard counterparts in Times Square in New York City and in Los Angeles at The Staples Center.

“My manager John Peets and I had this idea to listen to the record and see what stories appeared…what threads of ideas were consistent in the songs we had gathered and what characters stood out,” McBryde shares. “Low and behold, one night on the bus Chris Harris (acoustic guitar, mandolin, harmonies) and I were having a few beverages after a show. I got out my sketch pad and we wrote down each song from the record and each character. It looked like a crazy road map. It looked like a child had drawn it.

“But there it was,” McBryde continues. “A way to connect every song and every video. I showed it to Peets, and we put it in (director) Reid Long’s hands. And the rest is history.”

Directed by Long and shot in Nashville at the Drake Hotel, “One Night Standards” is the first of three videos in the series as she prepares her highly-anticipated sophomore album for Warner Music Nashville.



“One Night Standards” has already made its way into NPR’s Best Songs of 2019, stating, “Gender equity isn't merely about celebrating strengths; it's also about allowing for the human frailties that don't discriminate by sex. So let's raise a glass to the low women, like the no-strings-attached narrator in McBryde’s lone 2019 song ‘One Night Standards,’” and described in Rolling Stone’s 25 Best Country and Americana Songs of 2019 as “vividly honest,” and “in stark contrast to so many of the fantastical puppy-love songs that get played on the radio or further the genre’s squeaky-clean image.”

Upon its release, The New York Times praised, “McBryde sings and writes with a high degree of emotional acuity, and this song … is clear-eyed, unsentimental and a cold jolt of tragical realism.”

The CMA New Artist of the Year, ACM New Female Artist of the Year and CMT Breakout Artist of the Year was also nominated for two GRAMMY awards for Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance for her breakout hit “Girl Goin’ Nowhere” (the title track from the album that previously received a nomination at the 2019 GRAMMY awards for Best Country Album).

McBryde will embark on her second headlining tour, 2020’s One Night Standards Tour, on Jan. 30 in Birmingham, Ala. with over a dozen dates until April 23 in Helotes, Texas. For more information and tour dates, visit ashleymcbryde.com.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

CLAY WALKER WRAPS UP 2019 WITH HUGE ANNIVERSARY


When award-winning singer/songwriter Clay Walker plays Oroville, CA on New Year’s Eve, he will wrap up one of his busiest years in recent memory highlighted by the 25th anniversary of his “If I Could Make A Living” hitting #1 on the Country charts. He played over 80 shows, including several shows with Toby Keith, signed with powerhouse management company TKO Artist Management and released Clay Walker – The Complete Albums 1993-2002. Clay will kick off 2020 by headlining Basin Strong, a concert benefitting the victims in the August Odessa, Texas shooting.

Clay was performing at Tracy Lawrence’s Mission: Possible Turkey Fry concert at Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon last month, when he informed the sold-out crowd that 25 years ago on that very night his smash hit, “If I Could Make a Living,” hit #1 on the  Billboard Country chart. Written by Alan Jackson, Keith Stegall and Roger Murrah, Clay thanked Jackson publicly for passing on the song.

Also last month, Clay Walker – The Complete Albums 1993-2002 was released. The compilation of 76 songs recorded on Warner Brothers Nashville includes his #1 hits like “What’s It To You,” “Live Until I Die,” “Dreaming With My Eyes Wide Open,” “If I Could Make A Living,” “This Woman And This Man,” “Rumor Has It” and more. Also included are all 11 cuts from his critically-acclaimed holiday album, simply titled Christmas. Check out the entire collection HERE.

A lifelong Houston Astros fan, Clay was honored to sing the National Anthem at game six of this year’s World Series. He was joined on the field by his two young sons, and the announcer introduced him saying, “We’re very happy to welcome back a Minute Maid Park favorite…and Houston favorite, Clay Walker.” View the performance HERE.

Earlier this year, Clay signed with TKO Artist Management, home of friends Toby Keith and Mac McAnally. The relationship has reinvigorated Walker’s career and his enthusiasm for bringing fresh new music to his fans.

Clay travels to Midland/Odessa on January 16 to host Basin Strong, a concert at the La Hacienda Event Center that offers hope, healing and support to those affected by the August 31, 2019 shooting rampage. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to those impacted through The August 31 Fund of the Odessa Community Foundation, a 501c3 Odessa-based non-profit formed by the Odessa Chamber of Commerce.

Clay’s 2020 touring schedule will launch February 13 at the Historic State Theatre in Elizabethtown, KY and criss-cross the country at amphitheaters, arenas, fairs, festivals and casinos. Keep up with dates, and purchase tickets at: http://claywalker.com/tour/.

Keep up with Clay Walker at:

www.ClayWalker.com
https://www.facebook.com/officialclaywalker
https://www.instagram.com/officialclaywalker
https://twitter.com/Claywalker
https://www.youtube.com/user/Claywalker