Yes the Holidays are over, and you probably wonder about the title. Well they had a hold on me & have finally let go. Things have calmed down, the decorations are put away, the bad food is all gone & I can now finally sit down and recap the busy country music time in December. I am still working on my photo skills, I just need lighting to work with me! The weather was very chilly for Vegas but these shows made you forget for a time you were wearing winter gear.
It started out in Vegas on Dec 1st (that could almost be the start of a novel huh? Ha Ha) and rolled on from there. The 24th Annual Downtown Hoedown took place on Freemont St in Vegas as a pre-start to the upcoming NFR annual events. With the great line-up that included Jack Ingram I knew this was a trip I had to make. The rest of the nights artists included Stealing Angels, Kevin Fowler, Trailer Choir, Eli Young Band, Randy Rogers Band, Jason Jones & Brett Eldredge.
I was new to Stealing Angels and was glad I caught this trio of young very talented women, Caroline Cutbirth, (descendent of Daniel Boone), Jennifer Wayne (John Wayne's grandaughter), & Tayla Lynn (granddaughter of Loretta Lynn). Their sweet sounding harmony caught my attention immediately along with their strong stage presence. http://www.stealingangels.com/ These young ladies are worth a listen.
I unfortunately missed out on Kevin Fowler but did catch up with the high enery of Trailer Choir. This group is made up of, lead singer "Butter", the wonderful harmonies of the gorgeous blonde Crystal & last but not least the man known as "Big Vinny". I first saw this group when they opened up a few shows on tour with Toby Keith as members of his record label. He sure selected well with these fun loving, well blended young kids who bring you along at every show as if you were on stage with them. http://www.trailerchoir.com/
I got over to catch The Eli Young Band & are never disappointed in seeing them perform. They bring youth, passion & high energy in their music as well as in their stage presence. Performing their hits "When It Rains" & "Always a Love Song" are always crowd favorites. Do not pass this group up if they have a show near you, you will have a good time. http://www.eliyoungband.com/home.aspx
Could not get over to see Randy Rogers but I do know I will do my best to catch them if they play anywhere near me; it is worth the trip. Their new album, "Burning The Day" is in stores now. http://www.randyrogersband.com/
One of the main reasons for this Vegas trip was for the next artist, Texas born singer songwriter, Jack Ingram. How can anyone go wrong catching a show this guy throws at you? Jack has been rockin & thundering through roadhouses, theatres & stadiums since 1997, leaving behind a trail of his own sounds that can be put in a class with Willie & Waylon. The large crowds were in no way let down from the time Jack & The Beat Up Ford Band opened with "Mustang Burn", & ending with the rollicking (and actual bare footed) "Barefoot & Crazy." Filling in with some of his hits, "Keep On Keepin On", "Love You", & "Wherever You Are" added to the wild, fun, bring you along for the ride concert that is Jack Ingram. I have seen his shows many times & never know what to expect from each one, this night was no exception. http://www.jackingram.net
On Sat Dec 4th took in a show to see Easton Corbin. Catch all the info here: http://www.nashvillegab.com/2010/12/easton-corbin-is-the-real-country-deal.html
Spent time in between hanging out with friends, but made sure I went to see Grammy-Award nominated Jake Owen on Dec 5th at Harrah's Carnival Court, (an outdoor venue in between Harrah's & Imperial Palace). Now when the word FREE comes in to play anything goes. I thought I got there fairly early but obviously did not have my game plan on track. The place was packed & I was lucky to find just a chair close enough to see the stage. Talked to a few people who had been there for more than 3 hours just waiting to see Jake. Now those are FANS!!
The wait was finally over for these fans & by watching them you knew it was worth their time. I will have to agree. This young man, who gave us hits such as, "Yee Haw", "Something About A Woman", "Don't Think I Can't Love You" & "Eight Second Ride", strolled onto the stage amid screams, whistles & loud applauds. By the "grab you up & take you away" grin on his face he was loving it. His show represented how much he loves & believes in what he does. Once the first song was under way I no longer cared where my chair was. He has fun, he gives it his all & no one left there without wanting more. Do not miss Jake Owen when he does a show close enough, you will be glad you did. http://www.jakeowen.net/
Dec 6th was the 1st American County Awards (ACA) show at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. I did not attend but there were no shortage of stars in town for the event, from Toby Keith, Miranda Lambert, Reba,Trace Adkins (who hosted the show) and on and on. But I knew I just had to stay in town for one more event & it was worth the loss of sleep and being tired the next day at work. For those who missed the Blake Shelton & Friends After the Awards Show Party at the House of Blues, you missed a lot. Just seeing Blake in concert is a great time but to attend this party & not know what is going to happen & who the "Friends" are was just too good to pass up.
I can say with conviction Blake knows how to throw a party & has some great friends. As he starts out the night with "Kiss My Country Ass" it is game on from that moment. His on stage chemistry with Miranda goes really without saying, & her singing with Kelly Clarkson was a great mix of sounds. But to have Reba, Nan Kelly, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Charles Kelly all in one place rockin out was a night of all nights. Blake said it was his party & he could do & say what he wanted, and that he did. The crowd was in love with him more than ever that night & when it ended after three hours I still thought; "Anymore left?"
So thanks to all my friends who were part of this time with me, thanks to my car for taking me there & back (4hrs each way), thanks to the artist's who took time to meet up with me & thank God for giving me the energy to make it through & find a way to do it all over again some other time. Well the ACM's are not too far off huh? Happy New Year