VENUE: Sudan Shriners Auditorium - New Bern, NC
DATE: March 21, 2015
REVIEWER: Jennifer Smith
Follow Jenn on Twitter at @Lovinlyrics
His break came in a HUGE way, by being chosen for #TeamBlake on NBC's hit vocal talent show, "The Voice" and taking it all the way to the winning title with a couple of near misses including a steal from #TeamGwen and then being stolen again back to #TeamBlake. He's gone from a local fringe wearing honky tonkin' cowboy and now walks the path to country super stardom all in a matter of less than a year. He is only the second artist other than Garth Brooks to debut a single ("My Baby's Got a Smile on Her Face") at #1 right out of the gate on the Billboard chart. He started out playing for bar crowds and now he's entertaining an entire worldwide fan base of dedicated, hardcore fans called the "Yallers". If you're on social media, you've seen his name virtually everywhere.
Up next was local artist from Wilmington, NC, Emily Minor. I'd heard her name for the past few years around town and through other artists so I was anxious to hear what she had to offer. What a strong voice in a tiny package! She can belt it with the best of them. She performed her own music and there were 3 songs that I liked so much that I went right to iTunes and bought them - "Good Luck Finding Me", "What You Might Say" and "Highway Habit." Great set and well received by the crowd. She's got a new EP coming out soon, be on the look out!
His band is top shelf at the very least. I knew Jeff Jenkins from his days of playing guitar for Brian Davis and knew he was a quality musician but wasn't familiar with the rest of his band, they ALL proved they had what it takes to make a show kick ass. Craig's voice was smooth, he interacted with the crowd and was smiling most of the performance. When he performs, you can see that he not only takes his talent seriously, but that he takes the fact that everyone in that room paid for a five star performance seriously. It's obvious that he loves music and that he loves performing for others and man do they love having him do it. He sang his own music like "Blood, Sweat and Beer", the new single, "My Baby's Got A Smile on Her Face", a couple of new songs "Nothing Looks Good on You" and what I hope will be his next single, his auto-biographical song "I'm Still Here", his personalized emotional tribute to his late friend Wayne Mills with "I Walk The Line", incorporated covers like "Tush" by ZZ Top, "The Whiskey Ain't Workin' Anymore" by Travis Tritt, a fantastic duet of "Dust on the Bottle" and "The Fireman" with David "A-DAYYYUM" Byrnes, "Workin' Man Blues", "You Look So Good In Love" and a few others and ended the night exactly how it should have ended, with a song of appreciation and gratitude, "The Old Rugged Cross", the song that was a huge breakout moment for him on The Voice. There weren't too many dry eyes in the house. I honestly hated to see it end but it had to because he had 5 days off and it was time to get home.
Thank you to Craig, David and Emily for a great night - for keeping it real and keeping it country. If any of these artists are in your area, it's worth your time and money to grab a ticket and hit the show. I don't just recommend it, I'll put a boot in your ass if you don't. So there!
Thank you to Thunder Country and the Shriners for hosting a great night of music and getting to know our community. We appreciate your efforts!
Craig Wayne Boyd
Official Website: www.craigwayneboyd.com
Twitter - @CWBYall
Instagram - @CWBYall
Facebook - @CraigWayneBoyd
Facebook Street Team - @CWBStreetTeam
Twitter Team - @TeamCWBYall
David Adam Byrnes
Official Website - www.davidadambyrnes.com
Twitter - @DavidAdamByrnes
Facebook - @DavidAdamByrnes
Instagram - @DavidAdamByrnes
Official Website - www.emilyminor.net
Twitter - @EmilyMinorMusic
Facebook - @EmilyMinorFanpage
Instagram - @emilyminormusic