Corey Smith Ends A 10-Day Run At George’s. This past Saturday, May 4, Corey Smith played George’s Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville. It was the day after dead-day for the University of Arkansas and the last show of Smith’s 10-day run on the road. Of course the crowd wasn’t strictly Razorback co-eds, as George’s pulls fans from all over Northwest Arkansas, the River Valley, Oklahoma and Missouri. But no matter where people came from, they were all there to have a good time and enjoy Smith’s music. Andy Frasco opened the show and definitely had the crowd pumped and ready to go. Smith took the stage a little after 10:30pm and entertained with his hits “If I Could Do It Again,” “Twenty-One,” “Maybe Next Year,” “Drinkin’ Again,” “Party” and more! The best part of seeing one of Smith’s shows, in my opinion, is singing along and dancing with your friends (and usually some complete strangers, or “friends for the night” as I like to call them). Everyone suddenly has a kinship when yelling “and they wonder why folks don’t trust ’em no more.” Before the show, I had a little time to talk with Smith about his upcoming Grand Ole Opry debut. He will perform Saturday, May 18. “I’m excited, it’s a feather in my cap, a milestone,” Smith said. “It was always a dream of mine to play the Opry and my grandparents see it.” Y’all be sure to watch and see which two songs Smith will play with the Opry band in a few, short weeks!
Stoney LaRue At George’s Majestic Lounge. Last Thursday Stoney LaRue played George’s Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville, Arkansas. It was a fun time, with great music and awesome company! LaRue played some of his classics, some songs from Velvet and a few covers. I have been a fan of LaRue for many, many years now, and I believe he has one of the best voices there is. He is one of those that you can see again and again, and still be impressed by his talents. His set list that night included “Texas Moon,” “Look At Me Fly,” “One Chord Song,” “Down In Flames,” “Feet Don’t Touch The Ground,” “Velvet” and more! It’s hard for me to pick a favorite song performance from the night, but he obviously never disappoints with “Oklahoma Breakdown.” But as far as I’m concerned he KILLS it when he does “Te Amo Mas Que La Vida!” I’m not sure if it is his Spanish skills or what, but I always have the best time dancing and singing to it! I definitely recommend everyone catch one of his shows soon. It is sure to be a night full of singing, dancing, laughter and fun! If you’re in or around the Fayetteville area, come out to George’s for Corey Smith this Saturday (5/4)!
Eric Church Brings His Rock and Roll Country LIVE to London – Show Review. If you are a country music fan living in the UK, or know any, it will have been hard to escape the buzz that has been building leading up the Eric Church live show for months. But it was no ordinary country gig buzz; this is the first time he has ever played in the UK, following the fast increasing line-up of acts who have suddenly visited this side of the Atlantic in the past twelve months. Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, The Band Perry, and the inaugural Country to Country festival; yet for many Church was the first less commercial (but still mainstream) country artist to visit, and that was important. There was no support act, so excited fans filled the theater, waiting (perhaps impatiently), until 8:45pm when Eric graced the stage, although they enjoyed screaming at the various sound guys who milled about beforehand. Eric began with ‘Creepin’’, which really got the crowd going, singing along enthusiastically and holding their hands and drinks in the air. About half of the songs played were from his award-winning 2011 album Chief, but he made sure to include older tracks from his previous two albums, like ‘Pledge Allegiance To The Hag’, ‘Lotta Boot Left To Fill’ (which was a huge crowd pleaser in particular), ‘How ‘Bout You’ and ‘These Boots’. During this song half the standing section of the audience took off one boot and held it in the air, two people even throwing theirs on stage. Continuing in the revelry, Eric held the boots in the air during the remainder of the song, and then signed them before throwing them back, no doubt really making someone’s day! Eager and fully enjoying themselves, the crowd were really behind Eric during the show, getting 100% involved in tracks like ‘Keep On’, ‘Sinners Like Me’ and ‘Drink In My Hand’. In response, Eric barely stopped grinning, and seemed genuinely surprised and ecstatic when the audience were screaming every word, a sea of movement as they danced. Although deciphering his Southern drawl was difficult at times when he spoke to the crowd (the microphone blurred his words) he was very interactive, riling everyone up into a huge party, although he kept simply talking to the crowd a minimum, focusing on the music and getting as many songs in as possible. The band disappeared for the acoustic set, that included the 2013 ACMs version of ‘Like Jesus Does’, which was beautiful, and ‘Two Pink Lines’. It really showed Eric’s prowess as a genuine country musician behind all of the crashing guitars and drums, that sometimes gets lost. The atmosphere throughout was incredible, and was brought to an absolute peak when he performed the final song of the night, ‘Springsteen’. I have known nothing like it at any gig I have been to, and many I spoke to afterwards said it was the best show they’d ever seen. Every member of Continue reading
Little Big Town Brings The Tornado Tour To Northwest Arkansas. Last Friday The Amp kicked off their concert season with the ACM award winning Vocal Group of the Year, Little Big Town. The night was a little chilly, but that didn’t keep the fans away! David Nail opened the show and performed “Red Light,” “Let It Rain,” “Turning Home” and more. He even threw a Brooks and Dunn cover in there that really had the crowd going. Probably the most exciting part of Nail’s set was when he played “Whatever She’s Got.” Nail said this was his new single that should be hitting radio in the near future, so y’all be sure to keep your ears open for that one. Little Big Town basically blew me away with their performance. I had never seen a show with theatrics like I did Friday. It wasn’t too much, just on one song, but it was really, really awesome! The song was “Tornado” and they really made it seem like a tornado was brewing on that stage! There was lightening and wind and fake rain and Karen Fairchild looked amazing in her black, fringed jacket, almost like a pretty tornado herself! It was awesome. LBT of course sang “Pontoon” with the help of the crowd. Everyone was singing every word, wishing it was warm enough to be on a boat right that second. They opened with “Pavement Ends” and ended with “Boondocks.” The party never settled down in between, even during the slow songs like “Your Side of the Bed,” “Shut Up Train,” “Self Made,” “Can’t Go Back” and “Bring It on Home.” LBT told the crowd about their online videos they call “Scattered, Smothered & Covered.” They are videos of songs that are NOT country, but LBT puts their own touch on them (along with some upright bass and banjo) to make them country. That night they gave us Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” and let me tell you it was pretty freaking cool! They played my favorites “A Little More You” and “I’m With the Band,” then rocked The Amp crowd with a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain.” I’m telling you, these guys are the real deal. I have always liked Little Big Town, but I walked away from this show a true fan. To me, that’s what live shows are all about…bands entertaining the crowd and proving just how talented they are. You can check out our photos from the show on Facebook! Congrats to The Amp for a successful first show! Check in with them for more upcoming concerts, and be on the lookout for more acts to be added to this concert season right here in Northwest Arkansas!
The Lone Bellow: Cry, Dance, Smile and Shout…Live From Memphis, TN! I’ve been listening to The Lone Bellow for quite a few months now. “You Never Need Nobody” is one of those songs I sing in my car on every commute home. A unique blend of country, folk and gospel, the trio’s heartfelt melodies pull you in and simply won’t leave you alone. If I had to describe this band in one word, it would be “emotional.” It’s rare to come across music that triggers such a wide range of feelings. Every song on their self-titled, debut album makes you want to cry as hard as you can, dance as much as you can, smile as big as you can and shout as loud as you can – all at the same time. I was blessed with the opportunity to see trio, made up of lead singer Zach Williams, guitarist Brian Elmquist and mandolin player Kanene Pipkin, in an intimate setting at 1884 Lounge in Memphis, Tennessee. Elmquist and Pipkin, also vocalists, harmonize with Williams in a way that makes you wonder how three people who are so musically compatible managed to find one another. My favorite concerts have always been the kind where you can literally reach out and touch the artist. This was one of those concerts. There were moments when I closed my eyes and forgot where I was. There were moments of dancing and there were moments of tears. I guess you could say I was all kinds of emotional, and I wasn’t the only one. Aside from their stunning execution, my favorite thing about The Lone Bellow’s performance was that you could feel the raw emotion radiating from their vocal chords and fingertips. What’s more, after the show, the band was much obliged to chat with their fans, sign autographs and take photos. They were approachable and relatable. It’s quite apparent that they love what they do and appreciate those who feel the same way. If you haven’t heard The Lone Bellow, please do yourself a favor and do so – right now. I guarantee you will be crying, dancing, smiling and shouting before you know it. Brittany is a guest contributor! Find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/beedab or Twitter, @BrittanyBigfish.
Clint Black At The Van Buren School District Fine Arts Center. This past Saturday (March 2nd) I got the chance to watch Clint Black in Van Buren, Arkansas! The show began with Black and his guitar. He played a handful of songs, and then the band he has been touring with since 1987 joined him on stage. “It’s all about the songs and stories tonight,” Black said. “Don’t be waiting on the dance productions and wardrobe changes, cause there won’t be any.” The night was complete with some of Black’s biggest hits (“Killin’ Time,” “Like The Rain,” “Something That We Do,” “When My Ship Comes In” and more) , as well as some new material (“Better and Worse“). In between each song, Black gave the audience some background information on how each one came to be. He was also full of jokes on Saturday. He kept the evening lively and comical. Black gave Van Buren a real show when he stood up for his performance of “Been There.” He used the whole stage to sing to every corner of the room and play the heck out of his harmonica. Black ended the show with “A Better Man” and his fans, including me, thanked him with a standing ovation. I grew up on Clint Black and thoroughly enjoyed every second of the show. There isn’t another voice like his, and I can’t wait to purchase his next record, whenever that might be. “I’ve been working on a new album for about 7 years,” Black said. “It should be ready in a couple more.” Look below for more Clint Black tour dates and catch a show near you soon!
Review: The Eli Young Band & Backroad Anthem Live In Fayetteville, Ark. The Eli Young Band performed at The Fayetteville Town Center in Razorback country earlier this month, and the house was packed with EYB fans ready to belt out some “Crazy Girl” Before the main act took the stage, though, Backroad Anthem primed the crowd up good! Backroad Anthem is a local, Arkansas band who have recently gained an impressive following in a short time. They know how to get a party started in about 35 seconds and keep the energy rocking during their entire set. They do some more recent hits justice like “She’s Country,” “Wanted,” “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)” and “Cruise.” But I myself was impressed when I heard “Ain’t Goin’ Down ‘Til The Sun Comes Up” and “Devil Went Down To Georgia.” I was super excited when it came time for the Texas boys to hit the stage. I have been a fan of this band for many years, and when they played some of their older material, the memories came flooding in. You really can’t beat “So Close Now” and “Oklahoma Girl.” EYB also played “Guinevere,” “Always the Love Songs,” “Radio Waves,” and the ones that made them go from regional to stardom in what seems overnight, “Crazy Girl” and “Even If It Breaks Your Heart.” The boys ended with a very energetic performance of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Gimme Three Steps.” As soon as the concert was over, many attendees made their way to George’s Majestic Lounge on Dickson Street for the official after-party, and a special thanks goes out to the George’s crew for bringing EYB and other great acts to Fayetteville, AR! To sum the night up, “A good time was had by all.”
Lee Brice and Brian Davis Make It Hard Not To Love Em’ After Their Show! Last week Lee Brice made his way to the Natural State! He played at the Convention Center in Fort Smith, Ark. on Friday, January 25. Brian Davis opened the show and started the party with his acoustic set. He played all his rocking songs he is known for, but then tried to tell the crowd that ballads weren’t really his thing. I strongly believe he should rethink that, because I was truly impressed with his performance of “Against the World.” Like I said, this was only an acoustic set. I can’t wait to catch him with his full band! Brice hit the stage after his good friend, Davis and the party continued! He sang “Beer,” “She Ain’t Right,” “Hard to Love,” “Picture of Me,” the hit he wrote “Crazy Girl” that most have heard from the Eli Young Band, a new one that will be on his next record, “Whiskey Use To Burn” and more! Brice wasn’t about to leave the stage without singing his #1 hits and I don’t think the fans would have let him! The crowd sang along word-for-word to “A Woman Like You” and you could hear the thank you in Brice’s voice when he let out the lines “you make the best fried chicken, I love the sound of your name!” As soon as the opening notes to “I Drive Your Truck” filled the room, the mood shifted. Yes, everyone was stilled excited, but it was a different kind of excitement. Everyone had their eyes on the stage, while some pulled their loved one close. The people who stood in the back all night, moved closer. It was a great thing to see. Everyone thought the show was minutes away from ending when Brice started “Love Like Crazy,” even me! But we were wrong! He finished his breakout hit and left the stage. His drummer blew everyone away with what seemed like a 10 minute solo and then the band and Brice was back! He played a few more songs and then Brian Davis came back on stage to finish the night with Hank Jr.’s “Family Tradition!” The night was great and the show even better! Brice fully entertained his fans and I’m sure gained some more while in the process! Brice will be doing his thing on the road for a few more weeks and then he will be joining his friends Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley for the Locked and Reloaded Tour! Current Lee Brice Tour Dates and Tickets!
Backroad Anthem Explodes Onto The Country Scene with Performance at Georges Majestic Lounge, Headed Somewhere Fast! I have a feeling that sometime soon, I’ll be telling everyone how I met the boys from Backroad Anthem before they made it big. I first stumbled across this group of local talent when they opened for Dustin Lynch at Georges Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville, AR at the beginning of January. I didn’t even know they were on the night’s bill until I got to the show, and I was immediately blown away by the energy in their performance, their original sound, and how they had the fans on their feet and grooving in a matter of seconds. I thought maybe Dustin’s fans were just particularly exuberant, but I caught Backroad again just a little over a week ago when they headlined at George‘s and sold out the venue. For the second time, I was taken aback by these guys, especially considering that, as I later learned, they’ve only been together a short time (less than six months!). No matter the short time frame, these talented young men have hit just the right note, and they’re headed in the right direction. The Energy The first thing you’ll notice about Backroad Anthem is the raw, no holds barred energy that they put into their performances. according to lead vocalist frontman Craig Strickland this is exactly what they’re aiming for. “We want to offer people somewhat of a country power band, where everyone is incredibly talented at their instrument. When people walk out the door from a live show we want them saying ‘That band had something that other bands don’t have. Their crazy energy on stage is addictive.’” – Craig Strickland For his part, Strickland never stays in one spot for long as he’s constantly jumping, running around on stage, dancing on an amp or interacting with the crowd. At the same time the extraordinarily talented fiddle player, Eric Dysart, isn’t taking any breaks either and keeps things upbeat and sizzling with his superb skills. Meanwhile, Isaac Senty kills it on the drums, Toby Freeman‘s smooth vocals balance out Craig’s more rocker vibe while adding to the overall sound with his rhythm electric, and Josh Bryant keeps a cool demeanor without holding back as he fires away as lead guitarist. Every single one of them is constantly giving it their all, and the result is a loud, well-performed, high energy show that has the audience on their feet, dancing, singing along, and cheering for more the entire time. Bottom line, one thing is for sure, the crowd won’t leave without having a great time. The Sound Besides the high energy of their shows, Backroad Anthem has an interesting and original sound, and is sure to draw folks back for more. Granted, at this early stage, they are still filling their set with a lot of covers of popular country hits, but even still, they demonstrate a pretty wide range in the process. They cover classics Continue reading
Dustin Lynch Proves He’s The Real Deal with Live Performance at George’s Majestic Lounge In Fayetteville, AR. When I first heard Dustin Lynch‘s debut album, I knew I just had to see him live. I was primarily curious to see if he would be as good live as he is on his record. After seeing his recent performance in front of a packed crowd at George’s Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville, AR, I can honestly tell you that Lynch is even better in person! This talented young man has charisma coming out of his ears, and he really knows how to work a crowd. The audience that night came for a good time, and boy did they get it! Well-Rounded Set of Great Music! Of course it really doesn’t hurt that straight out of the gate, Dustin has an album of fourteen tracks that are sure to please a crowd. Playing upbeat tunes like his current feisty single, “She Cranks My Tractor,” and the sassy “Wild In Your Smile,” and then slowing it down with songs like the bittersweet “Hurricane” and the subtly sexy “Sittin’ Pretty,” Lynch had a song for everybody. Besides playing his own music though, he had a few covers to offer up like a great rendition Garth Brooks’ classic “Friends In Low Places.” He kept the energy in the high straight through the end, and finished things up with his hit “Cowboys and Angels” that had everyone singing along, and all the young women in the room swooning (though to be fair, they were pretty smitten during the entire concert!). Concert Had a Great Energy! Besides having a well rounded set though, Lynch didn’t hold back on interacting with audience members which added to the energy of the show. Whether he was handing out cold beer from the stage or pulling guys and gals from the audience on stage for an impromptu dance contest of sorts, Dustin made sure the whole concert felt like a party! From beginning to end, things never lagged and it was a night that fans were sure to remember. As a matter of fact, I was in line at George’s just this past weekend for another show, and folks were still talking about Lynch’s show. I’d say he left some kind of a good impression! All Signs Point to a Great Guy! Besides all that, even after the concert had finished up Dustin was still willing to give his time to his fans. Guys and girls lined up to take pictures and greet their new favorite country artist, and he took the time to meet each and everyone of them. I’m talking over an hour of taking photos and shaking hands after giving such an energetic show, and this country newbie was just as warm and friendly to the last as he was to the first. I can’t promise that fans will get similar chances after every show, but it’s clear the Lynch cares about his fans and is willing to repay Continue reading