Monday, August 12, 2013

Kenny Chesney Sells Out the Meadowlands

Kenny Chesney Sells Out the Meadowlands

Rocks 53,416 @ Met-Life Stadium, “Good Morning America” Concert
Kenny Chesney hit Manhattan hard – with a bring on the sun “Good Morning America” Summer Concert Series performance in Central Park Friday morning, followed by a sold out show for 53,461 shrieking country fans at Met-Life Stadium on Saturday night. With two appearances on and a photo session with iconic rock photographer Danny Clinch, Chesney made the most of his time in New York.
“There is so much history here, in terms of the music,” Chesney said of his 100th stadium show in less than eight years. “This is my third time playing the Meadowlands, and every time I hit that stage, I think of all the people who’ve played there – and I listen to that crowd all day, getting fired up and you have no idea the way those fans inspire us! You just wanna get out there – and give them everything you’ve got. To me, that’s what it’s all about.”
Taking the stage at just after 8:30, it was an almost two hour set that included old favorites, songs from his #1 Billboard all-genre Top 200 Albums debut Life On A Rock and a intimate man-and-his-guitar rendition of the Grammy nominated “You & Tequila” that found the crowd singing the chorus unaccompanied back to the 8-time Entertainer of the Year. Eric Church joined him for a particularly heartfelt “When I See This Bar,” a song that celebrates the people we are and the places we come of age.
In addition to giving a youngster in the crowd a signed acoustic guitar, Chesney paid homage to the two NFL teams that play in Met Life Stadium – bestowing a team helmet for the Giants, and another for the Jets to two more eager fans. Equally eager was the female fan who climbed on stage towards set’s end and danced with the sweat-soaked singer for almost an entire song.
“The fans are unbelievable,” Chesney said after. “They come early, they rock hard and they throw down a gauntlet. You need to measure up, and it’s awesome when you hurl everything at them, and you feel even more energy coming back at you”
Though rain plagued the soundcheck for Chesney’s 4-song mini-set for “Good Morning America,” the weather cleared for the nearly 5000 who showed up. In addition to performing, the show featured Chesney’s Spread the Love Fund, established to help the amputee victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. With heart-shaped signs sprinkled through the crowd, many wearing Spread the Love shirts (, it was the single greatest visibility hit the charity has had since its inception.
“What people don’t realize,” Chesney says of his commitment to the fund named for his Wailers’ collaboration, “is that just because the tragedy isn’t in the news, it’s not over for the people who lost limbs – or their families. They need physical therapy, more equipment as time goes on, new limbs and continued care, and that won’t change because other bad things happen… I want to try, and appreciate ‘Good Morning America’ for their help, to not let these people be forgotten: not in terms of the help they might need, or the love and support.”
Chesney heads into Detroit’s Ford Field this weekend, then wrap up his No Shoes Nation tour with two nights at Foxboro, MA’s Gillette Stadium August 23-24.

The Johnny Cash Museum Proves Once Again

The Johnny Cash Museum Proves Once Again to be a Polished Attraction for Music City
*Earning The AAA GEM Rating*
The Johnny Cash Museum (JCM) is proud to announce that it has received the GEM rating from AAA.   The AAA GEM rating has only been bestowed upon six Nashville attractions.
"It's very humbling to have our museum receive this incredible recognition from such a highly respected organization like AAA,” says Founder Bill Miller.  “We've worked very hard to provide a state-of-the-art, cutting edge, yet warm and personal tribute to Johnny Cash and it’s gratifying to see that those efforts are being enjoyed and appreciated by industry leaders as well as by his fans from around the world."
The tourism editor of AAA recommends that an attraction be designated a AAA GEM when requirements are greatly exceeded and the attraction is of exceptional interest.  A GEM symbol means the attraction is a must see and offers a great experience for members.
The Johnny Cash Museum experience has quickly spread around the globe with outlets like CNN, The NY Times, The NY Post, Billboard, Vogue, Southern Living, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, Yahoo, Huffington Post, London’s NME, etc. all buzzing about the attraction. One can never predict who they will see at the museum as Cash family and band members are often inside in addition to celebrities like Ashton Shepherd, Grammy and country music legend Lynn Anderson, The Mavericks, The Oak Ridge Boys, Former VP Al Gore, American Pickers’ Mike Wolfe, etc.  Located at 119 Third Avenue South between Demonbreun and Broadway, the museum is en route between the tourists circulated Broadway strip and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Schermerhorn Symphony Center. The JCM is open every day from 11 AM to 7 PM CST. General admission is $14 with discounts for students, members of the military, etc.
Many never before seen historical documents, letters, awards, costumes and instruments take the visitor on a three dimensional journey through Johnny Cash’s life with interactive technology provided by the Nashville based Griffin Technologies. The museum, designed by the Temeka Group in collaboration with Bill and Shannon Miller, unites the extensive and acclaimed collection of Bill Miller, longtime friend of Cash’s and founder of the official Johnny Cash website www.JohnnyCash.Com, and pieces from friends, colleagues and family members including his daughters, son and siblings. The collection features the earliest known Johnny Cash letters and documents as well as the handwritten manuscript to the last song ever written by the prolific songwriter, just days before his passing. Visitors also are given an extensive look into Cash’s non-entertainment related life including his childhood and early adulthood and his service in the United States Air Force.
To stay updated on the museum and Johnny Cash, visit or

CD: GREY FOX – Live in Laufen

GREY FOX – Live in Laufen
Eigenproduktion, Livekonzertaufnahme 2009
Genre: Bluegrass und Folk Music

Titel (Text)
  1. Reach (Newgrass Revival)
  2. Hickory Wind (Gram Parsons)
  3. I Can See Clearly Now (Johnny Nash)
  4. Wait A Minute (Herb Pedersen)
  5. Free Born Man (Jimmy Martin)
  6. Lonesome Rider (Hannes Piprek)
  7. Orange Blossom Very Special (instr.)
  8. Reservation Road (Hannes Piprek)
  9. Thuesday’s Gone (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
  10. With Care From Someone (Gene Clark, Douglas Dillard, Bernie Leadon)

Vier Vollblut-Bluegrasser, sogenannte „alte Hasen“, haben sich aus verschiedenen früheren Bands (Salty Grass, Nashville Greenhorns, Tennessee Special, Tennessee Five und Red Fox) zu dem gemeinsamen Projekt GREY FOX zusammengetan.
GREY FOX sind:
Hannes Piprek – Gitarre, Leadsänger
Volker Schiffkorn – Banjo, Dobro u. a.
Kurt Stangl – Mandoline
Peter Buttinger – Kontrabaß, Gesang (vor allem hohe Töne!), Bodhran
Gastmusiker: Milan Kalcu - Fiddle

Alle Titel auf dieser CD sind arrangiert von GREY FOX, ausgenommen Track 6 und 8, sie gehen auf das Konto von Hannes Piprek. Die Songs handeln von Heimweh, Befreiung von seelischem Druck, Sehnsucht (4, eine wunderschöne Ballade), Freiheit und Unabhängigkeit (5; wie lange kann Peter eigentlich den Ton anhalten???), Einsamkeit, Eisenbahn, Schicksal und Beschützen. Track (9) hat einen mehrdeutigen Text. Für mich scheint hier jemand in der Krise zu stecken und eine Auszeit zu suchen. Die Instrumente werden sehr gezielt eingesetzt, mal Banjo-Soli, Fiddle-Untermalung oder eine weinende Slidesteel (2). Hervorstechend auch der mehrstimmige Gesang. Es gibt eigentlich nur eine Instrumentalnummer auf dieser CD (7).

Text: Elisabeth Kölbl für Country Music News International

Country Music News International August 12. 2013

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BULLETIN August 12. 2013

Quite a bit of 'reaction' to Tom Petty's statement when asked what he thought of today's country music.  He said, "it's bad rock and roll with a fiddle."  Another rocker, and I forget his name but he's apparently pretty popular seemed to agree with Petty saying also that he sure didn't see any Hank Williams or George Jones in today's line-up, nor did he expect there to be anyone that good in 'country' music today.
Country music legend Loretta Lynn will be among 16 people that President Barack Obama will venerate later this year with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  The White House made the announcement this week.  Loretta Lynn was born in the coalfields of eastern Kentucky and chronicled her life in an autobiography and song, both titled "Coal Miner's Daughter."  President John F. Kennedy created the medal 50 years ago.  It's the highest honor the U.S. bestows on civilians.  In the five decades since, more than 500 people have been recognized for contributions to society of all stripes.
Had a lady in California look at our website and became quite critical about it.  She thought perhaps we needed a whole new website, and she had a ton of suggestons, but quite frankly I only have so much time, and I don't spend a lot of it on a website.  I also kind of like the website the way it is, with a real "Iowa' farmland scene, with trees, corn, etc growing, and then a lot of brown earth beneath that photo.  That is where the 'roots' of everything is, and that's what I am all about.  I probably antagonized her by telling her I wasn't interested in flashing lights, photos jumping in and our up and down, or anything that distracts from the reason for the website in the first place.  She dropped out, and I didn't mean to sound unappreciative, but I think I'll just leave it as it is.
I'm sure I've clued you in that Dale Eichor can't play and Local, Statewide, or Regional recording artists that are not already in the 'computer' at KWMT Fort Dodge radio.  I complained a little when I placed our advertising for this year's LeMars Festival, and my accountant there called me to tell me that she thought I had a good case, and had forwarded my letter to the general manager.  I don't really expect much to happen, in today's America everything is sort of 'we'll do it our way whether you like it or not.'  Anyway the song I wrote "Dear Grand Ole Opry" created a bit of stir through the whole ordeal, and though you can't hear it on KWMT you can hear it here.. hope you like it, Sheila put the whole thing together. 
We're inducting Boxcar Willie into America's Country Music Hall of Fame this year, his son Marty Martin will be accepting for his dad on Sunday, September 1, which is Boxcar's birthday, he would have been 82 years old. Anyway, I received a nice little 'memory' from Lucy Jackson about Boxcar.  This is where I think 'true' real-deal country artists are so different than other genres of music, and even in so-called country of today....."While I didn't know Boxcar Willie personally, only met him a couple of times, I knew a young man from Shipman, Illinois, who was about 30 years old, and mentally retarded to the point that he was about 10 years old in reality and his ability to do anything.  Boxcar Willie was his hero.  He absolutely idolized Box, and had learned to do the train whistle, just as Box did it.  His parents took him to Branson, to see Boxcar's show.  They had front row seats, so that the little guy could see his hero, up close and personal.  When Boxcar saw him sitting there, he went down and got him and brought him up on stage, talked to him, finding out that he could do the train whistle, and did a song featuring this young man doing the whistle.  this was the highlight of the trip, and probably his entire life.  At our jams in Arkansas, we would always do a train song, so this slow learner could do the special Boxcar Willie train whistle.  Box's little friend passed away several years ago, but all the way to his death, he loved to tell about his experience on stage with his hero.  What a blessing Boxcar Willie was to this young person, who loved him so."
One of Sheila and my favorite mandolin pickers and bluegrassers is Jesse McReynolds.  He's still a member of the Grand Ole Opry and also a member of the Bluegrass Hall of Fame as well as America's Country Music Hall of Fame.  anyway, this bluegrass performer par excellence, is at home and wearing a heart monitor after being diagnosed recently with an irregular heartbeat.  He still maintains a touring schedule, after celebrating his 84th birthday in July.  His doctors have asked him to keep a low profile while they determine whether he needs to have a pacemaker installed.  Jesse's wife Joy tells us that he is feeling well.
While on the subject of bluegrass, our favorite young grassers is the Roys.  They took their high-lonesome sound to the 2013 Wisconsin Country Thunder Festival in July, where over 30,000 'country' music fans and lovers were introduced to the traditional as well as contemporary sounds of bluegrass music.  Festival organizers tapped Lee and Elaine Roy as Bluegrass Ambassadors and had invited the talented brother/sister duo to host the inaugural "The Roy's Pickin' Porch Stage."  According to Lee, "Turns out 'country' music lovers are bluegrass music lovers too, and we love it."  I think so too, perhaps a blend of traditional country, you know 'real' country blended with bluegrass will find the real-deal country music back in the mainstream.  Where it's at today is just about at the bottom of the pit.
Sure hated to see Sharon Kenaston stop her quarterly newsletter.  She has access to a lot of folks, especially those that still like to dance, that I can't get close to, so we will definitely be missing that source of information.  In the meantime we will be looking forward to hearing the Kenastons as they perform on their own at LeMars, as well as backing LuLu Roman, Kenny Seratt, Barbara Fairchild, Joanne Cash and Dr. Harry Yates.  Mickey Gilley is bringing his own band, and what a 'chore' that was to get him to do this acoustically, but I think we have it worked out.  Don't get too angry with me if he won't do what he's supposed to do.
The LeMars Festival is looking especially good this year, the scheduling is now done, we always have some TBA's some of which I place in specific locations just to take care of over-run by an act, or the need for a spot by a late comer.  With the incredibly high number of performing artists with us, there inevitably are no-shows popping up when someone can't make it.  So, we just fill them in at the festival.  Our one 'hole' this year stage-wise is the Dobrotorium.  The Swatzells will not be with us this year due to surgery, but they will definitely be back next year.  We have a couple of ideas on how to use that stage, like a 'sign-up' for a couple of shows, maybe an 'original music' show or two, or just about anything we can think of.  If you have some ideas, let us know, it's a nice comfortable room, not large, but there's a neat stage.  We don't have any 'sound gear' for it, so if there is still someone out there who might want to do that, please let us know.
We're sure looking forward to the adventure this year, so come early stay late, and bring all the friends and relatives you can.  We just signed a new 5-year contract so that means we have to keep attracting more and more fans.  So, with the baby-boomers coming on the scene, this is the place you need to direct them.
Bob Everhart for Country Music News International


     "We just finished five shows on the road with Terry Smith."  Bob & Sheila are in their 'busy' time as they prepare for the granddaddy of all the acoustic music festivals in the upper Midwest, their '38th annual old-time music gathering' in LeMars, Iowa, Aug. 26-Sept. 1.  "We had a grand time with Terry," Bob added, "and we just finished another neat concert with just Sheila and myself at the Nelson Farm Museum near Oskaloosa.  They have a remarkable old-time farm there, a beautiful old brick house, even a log cabin.  They've managed to save all of their out buildings, including a wonderful old red barn.  They also have a brand-new air conditioned performance center called Bradbury Hall, which seats right at 400 people.  There weren't that many folks at the show, I suppose we could blame part of that on the Iowa State Fair.  We had to drive right past the fair grounds going and coming from Oskaloosa, but even though there were thousands and thousands of cars parked all over the place, we didn't get stalled once.  Also the Carson & Barnes Circus was playing in Oskaloosa the same time we were, and I have to tell you if we weren't performing, we would have been at the circus.  This is one of the last tent shows that still is a circus.  We've seen it a number of times in Atlantic, and it's a good one."
     "Those who were in attendance at our show," Sheila added, "really had a nice time, so we felt it was all worthwhile. We are trying to advise them on things they could do in the future.  The lady who hired us wanted to know if we had any suggestions on how they could get more people to come see their 'history farm,' and my first thought was maybe a mini-festival of old-time music like we do in LeMars, but it's so hard to get anything started these days, especially with older music.  The economy is just a killer.  They have lots of space for campers, even under shade trees, but no hook-ups, so I'm not sure that would be a plus or not.  It's a paved road all the way to the farm, and it's only one mile from Oskaloosa which is a pretty good sized town."
     "At last at last," Bobbie Lhea piped up.  "It wasn't a budget lunch.  Marge Lund, one of our regulars that will be appearing with Roger Tibbs, the incredible country singer and yodeler from New Zealand on August 16th at the Oak Tree in Anita, was telling us that she had lunch at 'Mimi's' a French café  at Jordan Creek in Des Moines, and really enjoyed it, so dad pulled off, and we had a nice evening meal there.  I had beef broullais or something like that, mom had chicken crepes, and dad had a little sirloin steak with potatoes au grautin and corn with asiago cheese.  I know I can't spell those words right, but dad sure blew the budget lunch for this week."

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