Saturday, October 24, 2015

Maddie and Tae at Cains Ballroom

Thursday Oct. 22 Maddie and Tae's #StartHere tour came to Tulsa's Cains Ballroom

Like many other music fans "Girl in a Country Song" caught my attention and turned me into a fan. When their debut album Start Here came out I bought it to see what else this duo had up their sleeves. The album has some great songs on it. The album feels so real with many different songs in which people can connect from "After the Storm Blows Through" to "Seirra". So when the stop at Cains Ballroom was announced I bought my tickets the day they went on sale.

My concert buddy and I were at the front of the line behind a very excited little girl and her mom. Abby, the little girl, was very excited to see Maddie and Tae. When a local radio employee came out looking for the winners of meet and greets, lil abby said "I would eat vegetables to meet Maddie and Tae." Her mom was a bit shocked cause apparently lil Abby HATES vegetables. So when the radio employee came back out looking for stragglers, we told him. Abby even made the offer again to him and when asked the vegetable she'd "stomach"  for the chance to meet her favorite duo, she replied carrots. 

When the doors finally opened, the radio employee stopped Abby and her mom to ask if they really wanted to meet the duo. Of course their answer was yes and when they got back lil Abby was smiling from ear to ear. We had saved their spots and were front row. I'm honestly not sure what was more fun to watch, the great show put on by Maddie and Tae or their young fans.

It was extremely amazing to watch these little girls sing along to every song. It was nice to see music is an inspiration for all ages. Plus it was great seeing women show these young girls as females there's more to country music than adding cowboy boots to a barely there outfit. Thank you Maddie and Tae for setting great examples!!! Now on to the music part: The opening act for Maddie and Tae was a gentleman named Tucker Beathead.

While women were literally screaming "you're hott" from the crowd, I was waiting to hear him sing and my mouth fell open when he did. He's got a great voice! He told us to give him a listen on Spotify. So I'm passing that along. Then Maddie, Tae and a pretty great band hit the stage.

I learned a lot about Maddie and Tae that night including that one is from Texas and the other from Oklahoma! The coolest thing is their also songwriters! As it turns out they both contributed to the writing of EVERY song on their debut album! They sang several songs from said album including their singles "Girl in a Country Song", "Fly" and "Shut Up and Fish".

This amazingly talented duo also pulled out some great covers including "Cowboy Take Me Away" by the Dixie Chicks and Rihanna's song "Umbrella"! They ended the show in a great way, one I've only seen one other artist do (Dustin Lynch).

They took a bow with their band! I've always thought that it was a cool way to show respect for the band that performs with them every night. These ladies have great voices, amazing song writing talent, and an incredible stage presence not to mention a great band on stage with them. I definitely see a bright future ahead for them!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Ladies Lock-In with Canaan Smith

Ladies Lock-In is an acoustic show put on by the Tulsa country station 106.1 The Twister.

The Twister is a great station and not just because they give free shows or have one of my FAVORITE radio personalities, Kristina Carlyle. I say they're a great station because they're actually true to they're tagline! They play some of the best new music including the newest single by Canaan Smith "Hole In a Bottle"!

So about the Ladies Lock-In. As mentioned it was an acoustic show and the way in was you had to win your invites. There was several different ways you could do this including the way I won. I was within a certain number of people who responded to a Facebook post. It was actually quite amazing because I had just said to a friend maybe I should give up going to concerts. Because I'm always getting canceled on and losing money on the extra ticket and Lyft rides. Then I sign into Facebook and bam I won invites to what I've dubbed a 2nd chance concert. You see I have a bucket list of musicians I'd love to see live before I go all the way blind.

Canaan Smith is my favorite solo artist and he was on my list. The first time I saw him, thanks to health issues, I passed out. I missed a large portion of the show. Honestly I remember hearing the last 2 songs. Then meeting Canaan and his guitar player Stephen Whitfield at the end and getting autographs from both. So the thought of getting to "see" Canaan Smith live again was my very own dream come true. All I had to do was get through my visit to a new retina specialist right before!
I proved yet again that night you don't need vision to enjoy live music. My tiny RP affected vision tunnel was blurred out thanks to having way to many tests and my eyes dilated.

Myself and Kayla 

But thanks to an AMAZING concert buddy named Kayla when we got to the awsome Riverbend Area I got inside with no problems! While waiting for the show to start there was food and drinks available for order. Yummy and once again thank you Kayla! Before the show I got to see one of my favorite radio personalities Kristina Carlyle and got a picture with her.

Me and Kristina Carlyle

Such a nice lady! I had met her before back in January and she remembered me.. by name! Kristina was not the only before show meet up that I was excited about. On Twitter I have two concert buddies that I had never met, but after the fact (several times lol) discovered we had been at the same shows. This time we figured out we'd all be at the same show BEFORE hand and agreed to meet up. They were so sweet!

Shannon, me, & Amanda

Now if the preshow was so awsome can you guess how great the show was? Uh, can you say fantastic?! Since it was an acoustic show it was just Canaan Smith, his guitarist Stephen Whitfield, and their guitars. 

Now don't take that "just" as a bad thing! Canaan is great on the guitar and has a phenomenal voice. Plus added bonus, Stephen is no slouch on the guitar either! They played the ENTIRE deluxe Bronco album except American Muscle and Gettin Into. Plus a few covers including a stunning rendition of "Run" by George Straight. Have a mentioned Canaan has a phenomenal voice?

A song from Canaan's album that deserves special mentioning, besides his number 1 hit "Love You Like That", is the title track "Bronco". Watch the video below

 "Bronco" is about Canaan's brother and the song is absolutely beautiful. Losing someone so close to you is life altering. (I lost my mom two years ago.) The strength to put that kind of loss into words and then share it with his fans is awe inspiring. Way to go Canaan!!

When I go to these shows I don't really see the artists performing, especially that night, my hearing is extremely good though. One of my favorite parts of shows is not just the name on the ticket/invite, but their band mates as well. Stephen is such a talented guitar player and really very sweet. It makes sense an artist of Canaan's caliber would need the same talent playing with him.

When I stepped up to ask for a photo with him he looked at me and said "Now you've been to a few of our shows before haven't you!" That took me by surprise lol. I've only had the privilege of seeing them once before. If I wasn't going blind and could drive it would be a WHOLE lot more (I'm trying to get to Lawton next month for another Canaan show, wish me luck!) They ended the show with what I'm sure was his first of many #1 hits to come, "Love you Like That". Then at the end of the night 106.1 The Twister gave everyone there the chance to not only meet Canaan, but also take a picture with him!

I was the first one in line. A little nervous but who wouldn't be?! He's very talented! He mentioned on his FB he tries to collected Starbucks coffee mugs from every place he visits and I couldn't find one. So the first time I met him I gave him a Oklahoma shot glass! He remembered it to! Such a great guy. He's headlining his own tour. Check here to see if he'll be visiting your #StompingGrounds! 106.1 The Twister's Ladies Lock-In was a night of amazing memories! A great night with great people and great music! Thanks 106.1 The Twister and Canaan Smith for the great show!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Who is Justin Adams?

If there is one thing Oklahoma is known for more than twisters, its extremely talented  country musicians. I mean Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Toby Keith, Vince Gill, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, and sibling duo The Swon Brothers are just a few that call Oklahoma home.


I have been fortunate enough to see several musicians live in the past year. In that time I've discovered one of my favorite parts is hearing the opening acts. One such show were I was completely blown away was when I saw Chase Bryant at Cain's Ballroom back in May. Side fact: Chase can really play guitar!

Back to his opening act, I had no clue who it was going to be before I got there. However, I became even more intrigued when I discovered everyone around me was there for the opening act. I was informed his name was Justin Adams, he was extremely talented, and always genuine with his fans. However the last bit of "Justin Facts" caught me completely off guard. He's from Oklahoma!

When he hit the stage and started singing, my jaw dropped and the only word that came to mind was AMAZING! When the ladies who had been educating me before the show looked at me and said "So what do you think?" all I got out was "Damn.."

Justin was absolutely amazing. His energy level was down right contagious. He engaged the audience between songs. At one point he even had a band-mate take his picture were the crowd was in the background. Because playing at Cain's was a dream come true for him (His words). He performed several songs. Some of which I later discovered were from his EP (Yes I totally bought in that night). That was my first solo concert (I try to have a buddy with me because of my eyes) and I'm very glad I didn't miss it. Adams is one of those performs that you can just feel how much they love what they're doing. Then at the end of the night I learned my educators were very much correct!

He was such a sweetheart! A true Oklahoma gentleman! I've followed this very talented artists career every since. He just announced he's coming back to Tulsa in Dec. He'll be at The Vanguard. Its going to be a great show. You should check it out and if your not in Tulsa check out his website for up coming tour dates.I totally recommend you check out his EP and his new song "Red Lights" on his YouTube channel! Justin is on Twitter (@JustinAdamsCty), Facebook, and Instagram if you want to check out this talented artist who is going to be lighting up the airwaves very soon.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Dustin Lynch ~ Tulsa State Fair

I had never been to the Tulsa State Fair before, but given my developing love of live music I decided to make exceptions this year. The first was with Parmalee and then Dustin Lynch. Lets just start by saying Dustin and his band set the Oklahoma Stage on fire Wednesday night.

Dustin is one of the artists on my 'See Live B4 I Cant See' list. I've been lucky enough to see him live three times now including when he came to town on Luke Bryan's Kick the Dust Up tour. Some day I'll tell you how special that night was! 

When I found out Dustin was going to play at the Tulsa State Fair, I jumped at the chance to see him live again and picked up 2 VIP rickets. After seeing him as an opener I had no doubt a full show all Dustin and that band of his was going to be amazing! 

I didn't let my ride canceling on me stop me. I grabbed my ticket and called a cab! I was a little nervous sitting alone before the show. However if there's one thing I've learned, it's one does not need their eyes to enjoy great music. This was no exception! I was blown away at this concert and not just by Dustin. His band was amazing!! I think I took more videos of Dustin, Chris, Mitchell, Colin, and Billy (drummer) just jamming on their instruments then I did of Dustin singing. That is not taking away from Dustin's incredible vocal talents at all though. 

A perk of being from Oklahoma is of course Garth Brooks. I love hearing different acts break out some Garth covers. Dustin Lynch absolutely killed it with his covers of "The Thunder Rolls" and "Rodeo". Garth was not the only thing in his bag of tricks though! He also pulled out Joe Diffie's "John Deere Green", Brooks & Dunn's "Boot Scootin Boogie", and an all time favorite of mine Diamond Rio's "Meet in the Middle"! 

His covers had nothing on the amount of original Dustin Lynch material we were blessed with. He played "Cowboys and Angels", "Hurricane", "She Cranks My Tractor", and "Wild in Your Smile" all from his first album. Then he played "All Night", 'Halo", "Hell of a Night", "Mind Reader", "Sing It to Me", "To The Sky", and "Where Its At" all from his sophomore album titled Where's It At.

Any Dustin Lynch is a guaranteed hell of a night, but a full Dustin Lynch set is something to behold! If you have the chance to see him headlining his Hell of a Night tour take it!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Parmalee ~ Tulsa State Fair

     The Tulsa State Fair has live music acts every day its open. The shows are free with entry to the fair or you can purchase a VIP ticket which puts you directly in front of the stage. This is exactly what I did when I discovered my favorite band Parmalee was coming back to Oklahoma. 

     This was the 3rd time I saw this family band live and my first outdoor concert. In case your not familiar with these guys I'll give you a brief background before the concert rundown.They are North Carolina natives. Matt Thomas is the lead singer, his brother Scott is on drums and sometimes bass, their cousin Barry Knox plays bass and sometimes drums, their brother from another mother Josh McSwain is on the guitar and keys. They have a great album out called Feels Like Carolina. On it you can hear their singles "Musta Had a Good Time", "Carolina", "Close Your Eyes", and their newest "Already Callin You Mine" as well.

     I purchased meet and greets for the show and with the passes I discovered two spare VIP tickets. So I went out to the back of the venue and gave them to an elderly couple so they could move closer to the stage. The couple looked soo happy! Parmalee had a female act, Alaska and Madi, opening up for them. I was excited to hear them given how much I enjoyed their opening act, Backroad Anthem, the last time I saw them. The meet and greets were scheduled for right after they took the stage though :/ However what I heard of their song Tattoo I was pretty impressed! It was so fun getting to meet the guys again and their manager Mike! Josh shook my hand while saying "Hi I'm Josh and I absolutely love that shirt!" I was nervous we lost our front row seats to go meet them, but the security guard saved them for us!

     Once the guys took the stage it was impossible to stay seated. They started with one of my favorite songs from the album "I'll Bring the Music" so yea I could not stay seated. Then came their chart climbing newest single "Already Callin You Mine". Getting a smile from one of the band because they see you singing along word for word is such a great feeling! They sang all their singles. Plus "My Montgomery", "Back in the Day", "Day Drinkin", "Move", and "Dance" (all of which you can hear on their album). One of the coolest parts of their live shows is when they talk about how/where they grew up and then sing some of the music they grew up on. As they put it, its the music you could hear drifting through the back window of their dad'a truck. I also managed to record their parody of "Wreckingball" which they titled "Fireball". It was such a fantastic show. 

When watching these guys live you can just feel how much they love what their doing and that makes what you take home from these shows even better! I included a few links throughout to their website, their album, and a few YouTube videos! Enjoy and definitely check these guys out if you ever get the chance!

Welcome Everyone

I just wanted to start out this new blog experience with a welcome and an explanation. I am losing my eyesight to a rare condition called Retinitis Rigmentosa or RP. However, I don't let being legally blind stop me from enjoying things I love like country music and concerts. In fact my friends often tell me I love talking their ear off about it. The E.A.R. in An E.A.R For Music stands for enthusiastic appreciative reviewer. I'm enthusiastic about music. I appreciate the gift artists give us when they share their talent and I absolutely love reviewing music ☺ I can't wait to start sharing my reviews of amazing artists, great music, and  cocerts with you.