Each year, the Florida Strawberry Festival® hosts world-famous headline entertainment from all over the globe. We work hard to provide our guests with a fresh festival experience each and every year by securing award-winning performers fit for guests of all ages. Gate admission is NOT included with the purchase of a concert ticket. We look forward to seeing you at this year’s event and encourage you to purchase your tickets soon!
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PLEASE CALL 813.719.6680.
performing on the
2024 Headline Entertainment Lineup
or call (813) 754-1996
Thursday, February 29, 2024 · 10:30 a.m.
& HIS ORCHESTRA
FREE w/ paid gate admission
At the time that rock was reaching its crescendo, and in the era when Country was dazzling the nation, a strange phenomenon was taking place. In essence, this phenomenon was the rising popularity of JIMMY STURR as the hottest musical attraction in the polka music field.
The reigning king of the field is a good looking, smiling charmer with brown hair, blues eyes and charismatic rays emanating from his presence. Sturr is the fellow in front of the orchestra.
And what an Orchestra it is! JIMMY STURR AND HIS ORCHESTA has over 106 recordings; the excellence of these recordings has been recognized and rewarded throughout the very competitive music industry. The fact that JIMMY STURR AND HIS ORCHESTRA is on the Top Ten list of the All-time Grammy Awards, has won eighteen Grammy Awards and has received more consecutive Grammy nominations that anyone in the history of musical awards has made the music industry sit up and take notice. Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) has awarded JIMMY STURR & HIS ORCHESTRA its most valued award, the Commendation of Excellence. The only one ever awarded in the polka music field.The band constantly attracts crowds of screaming, adoring fans wherever their travels take them. Their tremendous popularity has resulted in not only numerous Grammy Awards, but also being voted The #1 POLKA MUSIC BAND IN THE COUNTRY for the past ten years.Many great things have happened to JIMMY STURR AND HIS ORCHESTRA, but none has been more exciting than just completing their Fourth recording with country superstar WILLIE NELSON. In addition they have recorded with other artists such as THE OAK RIDGE BOYS, CHARLIE DANIELS, BOOTS RANDOLPH, MEL TILLIS, BRENDA LEE, plus banjo virtuoso, BELA FLECK, and folk legend ARLO GUTHRIE.One of the major events in Jimmy’s career came when the Orchestra was asked to appear on The Grand Ole Opry. They were not only the only Polka Music Band to all appear, but the only band to appear with brass.A question on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? television show hosted by Regis Philbin, was Who is Americas polka Music king? The contestant won $250,000 by correctly answering Jimmy Sturr. Sturrs music has been heard on the TV show JEOPARDY and articles have appeared in print throughout the nation including a front page story on The Wall Street Journal and full length story in US World and News Report.The incredible popularity and success of JIMMY STURR AND HIS ORCHESTRA has caught the attention of many networks, including appearances on CNN, ABC, NBC, FOX NEWS and a fifteen-minute segment on CNN Headline News that aired worldwide.The band has made several appearances on Saturday Night Live. The quality and appearance of JIMMY STURR AND HIS ORCHESTRA makes them sought after for television commercials such as Budweiser, Pontiac, and Mrs. T’s Pierogies, who signed Jimmy to be their National spokesperson.Jimmy can now be seen on his national television show on the RFDTV network on Direct TV Channel 345, Dish Network Channel 231 on Friday’s at 7PM EST and on Family Net Sunday’s at 5:30PM EST. Jimmy Sturr syndicated radio show will now be heard on Sirius XM rural/radio Channel 80 on Saturday at 6PM EST.Due to the great demand for live appearances by The JIMMY STURR ORCHESTRA they have an extensive road schedule of 165 dates per year. They crisscross the country and make several international trips yearly. While on the road they travel in Jimmys forty-five foot customized tour bus. The Bands travels have taken them to some of the most prestigious venues in the world, including seven Sold Out concerts at Carnegie Hall and four Sold Out concerts at Lincoln Center in New York City and a sold out concert at The Palace of Culture in Warsaw, Poland where the band received seven standing ovations.The Band appears annually at many of the top casinos in the country including Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, CT; The Tropicana and Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, NJ; Patowatomi Casino, Milwaukee, WI; Soaring Eagle, Mt. Pleasant, MI; The Presidents Casino in Biloxi, MS; Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort, Chester, WV and Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas where Jimmy was the first polka music band to be booked by a major casino. The sellout crowds at these popular events keep coming back for more wherever they see the band scheduled.Today, JIMMY STURR lives in the house he grew up in, his office is across the street from the high school he attended in the upstate village of Florida, New York with a population of 1,800. His hometown recently honored Jimmy by placing a Star of Fame in the walkway on Main Street. They also display HOMETOWN OF POLKA KING JIMMY STURR signs at each entrance to the village. Five gold albums, each representing five million dollars in sales, are displayed on his office walls where he runs his various businesses which include United Polka Artists, Starr Record Company, Jimmy Sturr Travel Agency, a publishing company and his syndicated radio show.A full scholarship gave Jimmy the opportunity to attend and graduate from Valley Forge Military Academy. Among his many accolades, and something Jimmy is very proud of, is his selection by The Valley Forge Military Academy as Man of the Year, he was honored with a full-dress parade in front of the Corp of Cadets at VFMA.No one has done more for the polka field than this young Irishman from the little village of Florida, NY. Seeing is believing. When you see JIMMY STURR AND HIS ORCHESTRA in person, you know why they draw the huge crowds, have been voted #1 in the country and considered THE BEST IN POLKA MUSIC
or call (813) 754-1996
Thursday, February 29, 2024 · 3:30 p.m.
The Oak Ridge Boys American Made Farewell Tour
Theirs is one of the most distinctive and recognizable sounds in the music industry. The four-part harmonies and upbeat songs of The Oak Ridge Boys have spawned dozens of Country hits and a Number One Pop smash, earned them Grammy, Dove, CMA, and ACM awards and garnered a host of other industry and fan accolades. Every time they step before an audience, the Oaks bring four decades of charted singles, and 50 years of tradition, to a stage show widely acknowledged as among the most exciting anywhere. And each remains as enthusiastic about the process as they have ever been.
“When I go on stage, I get the same feeling I had the first time I sang with The Oak Ridge Boys,” says lead singer Duane Allen. “This is the only job I’ve ever wanted to have.”
“Like everyone else in the group,” adds bass singer extraordinaire, Richard Sterban, “I was a fan of the Oaks before I became a member. I’m still a fan of the group today. Being in The Oak Ridge Boys is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.”
The two, along with tenor Joe Bonsall and baritone William Lee Golden, comprise one of Country’s truly legendary acts. Their string of hits includes the Country-Pop chart-topper Elvira, as well as Bobbie Sue, Dream On, Thank God For Kids, American Made, I Guess It Never Hurts To Hurt Sometimes, Fancy Free, Gonna Take A Lot Of River and many others. In 2009, they covered a White Stripes song, receiving accolades from Rock reviewers. In 2011, they rerecorded a thirtieth anniversary version of Elvira for a Cracker Barrel Old Country Store project.
The group has scored 12 gold, three platinum, and one double platinum album—plus one double platinum single—and had more than a dozen national Number One singles and over 30 Top Ten hits.
or call (813) 754-1996
Thursday, February 29, 2024 · 7:30 p.m.
Out of The Woods
Country singer-songwriter Oliver Anthony made music history this year by becoming the first artist in history to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard charts without previously having a song on the charts. He is also the first living male songwriter to chart 13 songs simultaneously in Billboard’s Top 50 Digital Song Sales.
A musical poet of the people, Anthony became an overnight national sensation with the release of “Rich Men North of Richmond,” which has been dubbed the nation’s “blue-collar anthem.” But it resonates powerfully with Americans from all walks of life around the world.
The song has been streamed more than 77 million times on YouTube and more than 115 million across streaming platforms. Five of his other songs have made iTunes’ Top 10, with “I’ve Got to Get Sober” reaching No. 3. “Ain’t Got a Dollar” claimed the No. 1 spot on Spotify’s Viral 50 list and No. 2 on ITunes.
Anthony is quickly changing the way musical artists release music and engage with their fans. He speaks directly to his fans through videos shot in his truck or surrounded by his dogs whenever the mood strikes. He doesn’t rely on others to tell his story or interpret his intentions.
Earning comparisons to Bob Dylan, he is a truly authentic artist who speaks the truth for those who don’t have a platform to reveal their struggles.
His passionate voice, featuring a unique and emotional rasp shaped by his personal battles, captures the despair of those living without hope, especially those who live in small-town or rural America. His songs address the nation’s wealth gap, suicide rate, high taxes, and imbalance and abuse of power. Variety says, “It almost seems as if Oliver Anthony hadn’t come along, someone would have had to invent him.”
“Rich Men North of Richmond” has been embraced by people on both sides of the political aisles. For instance, “Rich Men North of Richmond” was recently played at the beginning of the first Republican presidential debate, which was ironic given that some of the people onstage were the same people Anthony addressed in the song.
“‘Rich Men North of Richmond’ touches on my time in Western North Carolina working in the factory. It talks about some people that live north of Richmond, Virginia, who I’m sure you’re very aware of, who make life a little more difficult than it should be,” he said.
Of course, he knows of which he writes and sings. Anthony, 31, lives off the grid in a camper in Farmville, Va., with his wife and two children (with another one on the way in November). He’s been public about overcoming addiction and depression.
He dropped out of school at age 17 and later earned a G.E.D. before working industrial jobs in Virginia and North Carolina. He was unable to work for about six months in 2013 after an accident at a North Carolina paper mill fractured his skull. More recently, he worked in outside sales in manufacturing before his music career exploded.
“I found an outlet in this music,” adding that he “started getting messages from people saying how much the music was helping them with their struggles in their lives.”
or call (813) 754-1996
Friday, March 1, 2024 · 3:30 p.m.
The Beach Boys
You can capsulize most pop music acts by reciting how many hits they’ve had and how many millions of albums they’ve sold. But these conventional measurements fall short when you’re assessing the impact of The Beach Boys. This band has birthed a torrent of hit singles and sold albums by the tens of millions. But its greater significance lies in the fact that The Beach Boys’ songs have forever changed the musical landscape, profoundly influencing countless performing artists to follow.
The band is led by Mike Love, who, along with longtime member Bruce Johnston, musical director Scott Totten, Brian Eichenberger, Christian Love, Tim Bonhomme, John Cowsill, Keith Hubacher and Randy Leago, continue the legacy of the iconic group. Grammy-winning songwriter Bruce Johnston joined The Beach Boys in 1965, replacing Glenn Campbell, who filled-in for Brian Wilson, on vocals/bass, when he retired from touring. Highly regarded in his field, Johnston’s vocal work with such legendary artists as Elton John and Pink Floyd firmly established him among rock’s elite artists.
Captained by Mike Love, The Beach Boys play an astoundingly busy schedule of concerts, averaging 150 shows a year, ranging from sundrenched ampitheaters to intimate performing arts centers and special events across the globe.
The band continues to create and perform with the same bold imagination and style that marked their explosive debut over 50 years ago. In 2013, their Capitol Records release, Sounds of Summer (RIAA certified triple platinum with over three million in sales and climbing), and its companion The Warmth of the Sun marked a resurgence in Beach Boys interest that again rocked the world.
The Beach Boys found through their music the key to unfading youth— and they made copies for everyone. To these guys, the beach isn’t just a place where the surf comes to play— it’s where life is renewed and made whole again.
Had this remarkable band been less committed to its art and its fans, it could have retired from the field with honor at dozens of points along the way, confident that it had made a lasting contribution to world culture. It could have rested on the success of the epoch-shifting Pet Sounds masterpiece in 1966… or after Mike Love’s concept album Endless Summer ignited a second generation of Beach Boys fans and stirred a tempest that rocked the music world… or after recording Love’s co-written Golden Globe nominated “Kokomo” in 1988 and seeing it become its best selling single ever… or after being inducted that same year into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame… or after watching its worldwide album sales blow past l00 million… or after winning the NARAS Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001 [along with The Who, Bob Marley, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Jr. and Les Paul]. And still, The Beach Boys continue to have fun, fun, fun, with no end in sight.
In 2012, The Beach Boys scheduled a 74 concert date limited 50th Anniversary Reunion Tour in which the original members reunited and released “That’s Why God Made the Radio.” The album debuted at #3 on the Billboard charts, their highest chart position in 37 years and an unprecedented milestone.
In 2016, The Beach Boys celebrated the 50th anniversary of the hit “Good Vibrations” – which is widely considered one of the greatest masterpieces in the history of rock and roll – with a 50 Years of Good Vibrations tour. Additionally, to commemorate this prolific time in the band’s life, Love released his highly-anticipated memoir titled GOOD VIBRATIONS: My Life as a Beach Boy, which made its way to the New York Times Best Seller list immediately following its release.
Few, if any, acts can match The Beach Boys’ concert presence, spirit and performance. They were center-stage at Live Aid, multiple Farm Aids, the Statue of Liberty’s 100th Anniversary Salute, the Super Bowl and
the White House. On one day alone— July 4, 1985— they played to nearly 2 million fans at shows in Philadelphia and Washington, D. C.
Love’s role as the band’s front man sometimes overshadows his stature as one of rock’s foremost songwriters. “Surfin’,” The Beach Boys’ first hit came from his pen. With his cousin, Brian Wilson, Love wrote the classics “Fun, Fun, Fun,” “I Get Around,” “Help Me Rhonda,” “California Girls” and the Grammy nominated “Good Vibrations.” Years later, he showed he still had the lyrical chops by co-writing the irresistible and chart-topping “Kokomo.”
Presently, he continues to bring new, creative projects to his dedicated fans year after year. In 2020, he debuted his latest single, “This Too Shall Pass,” featuring special guest John Stamos. Released at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, he wrote the song to remind everyone that better days are yet to come. In 2019, Love released 12 Sides of Summer, a collection of original songs, covers and fresh takes on hits including George Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun,” The Dave Clark Five’s “Over and Over and Over Again,” as well as updated renditions of The Beach Boys’ “Surfin,” “Surfin’ Safari” and “It’s Ok,” featuring Hanson. The song marked Love’s second recording with Hanson, after previously collaborating on “Finally it’s Christmas” for Love’s 2018 holiday album, Reason For The Season, which also features vocals from Love’s children: Ambha, Brian, Christian, and Hayleigh Love. In 2017, Love released a special double album entitled Unleash the Love featuring 13 previously unreleased songs and 14 re-recordings of Beach Boys classics to positive acclaim.
or call (813) 754-1996
Friday, March 1, 2024 · 7:30 p.m.
Multi-Platinum, CMA award-winning entertainer Jordan Davis recently earned his sixth career #1 at country radio with his 2X platinum hit, “Next Thing You Know.” The record marked the Shreveport, Louisiana native’s third consecutive #1 off of his album, “Bluebird Days,” which also featured his Platinum-selling single, “What My World Spins Around” and the CMA and NSAI Song of the Year winning single, the 2X Platinum multi-week #1, “Buy Dirt.” Having earned “comparisons to Keith Whitley” (The Tennessean) with music that will “knock the wind out of you” (Taste of Country), Davis has solidified himself as one of the industry’s top singer/songwriters. Awarded Best New Country Artist (2019) at the iHeartRadio Music Awards, he was named Billboard’s Top New Country Artist of 2018 and earned back-to-back ACM New Male Vocalist nominations. With more than 4 BILLION streams worldwide, Davis celebrated a breakthrough year in 2022-3. The CMA and iHeart Award winning artist earned numerous nominations at the Billboard, AMA, and ACM awards-including his first nomination for ACM Male Vocalist of the Year- won CMA and NSAI Song of the Year, and became one of the most in-demand hitmakers in the industry through a combination of new tracks and fan-favorites. Featured by American Songwriter, The Tennessean, Billboard, and more, Davis’ latest album, the GOLD-certified Bluebird Days, debuted to rave reviews in February 2023, with Billboard noting “Davis soars on ‘Bluebird Days’” and Entertainment Focus echoing, “Jordan Davis comes of age on new album ‘Bluebird Days’ and shows the world the type of mature, meaningful and melodic songwriter he is.” The “rich, deep, meaningful album” (Entertainment Focus) digs deep into Davis’s personal experiences and offers a wide range of emotions and memories, matched by his signature sound blending traditional and contemporary genres and style, with Taste of Country noting, “It’s not just the lyrics…it’s the way he summarizes life, love, family….….anyone can be excused for feeling a bit breathless by the time he finishes what we’re going to predict will be the 2023 CMA winner for Song of the Year.” His headlining arena tour, the 2023 DAMN GOOD TIME Tour will kick off this August (8/31) in Atlanta at the Roxy before heading to Nashville on Labor Day Weekend (9/1), Philadelphia (10/5), New York (10/6) and Boston (10/7) before wrapping in Las Vegas in October (10/21). For a full list of tour dates and ticket sales information, visit www.jordandavisofficial.com.
or call (813) 754-1996
Saturday, March 2, 2024 · 7:30 p.m.
Black Eyed Peas
Over 25 years, Los Angeles trio Black Eyed Peas —will.i.am, Apl.de.Ap, and Taboo—have earned six GRAMMY® Awards and achieved sales of 35 million albums & 120 million singles. One of the era’s biggest acts, they emerged as “the second best-selling artist/group of all-time for downloaded tracks,” (Nielsen), landing on Billboard’s “Hot 100 Artists of the Decade.” Their 8th studio album, 2020’s TRANSLATION achieved staggering success, featuring collaborations with J Balvin, Ozuna, Maluma, Shakira, Nicky Jam, & Tyga. The album scored 8 nominations at the Billboard Latin Music Awards, including ‘Crossover Artist of the Year” & “Hot Latin Song of the Year” for “RITMO” and a nomination at the 2021 Latin Music Awards for ‘“Favorite Artists – Crossover”. Singles “RITMO (Bad Boys For Life)” [feat. J Balvin] & “MAMACITA” [feat. Ozuna and J.Rey Soul] achieved #1 status on three Billboard Charts, numerous award nominations, & gold, platinum, & diamond certifications globally. “GIRL LIKE ME” [feat. Shakira] continued this streak, scooping “Best Latin” award at the MTV VMAs; ‘HIT IT’ with Saweetie & Lele Pons racked up 5.8M global audio streams, 1.1M US audio streams & almost 10M YouTube views in its first week alone. In 2022 the band reunited with Shakira & David Guetta for DON’T YOU WORRY, the first single from 9th studio album ELEVATION, swiftly followed by Anitta & El Alfa collab SIMPLY THE BEST and with Daddy Yankee BAILAR CONTIGO, opening up yet another brilliant chapter in the continuing story of the Black Eyed Peas.
or call (813) 754-1996
Sunday, March 3, 2024 · 7:30 p.m.
Singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Parker McCollum releases Never Enough, a statement album that cements his status as one of country music’s undeniable new stars, on May 12 via MCA Nashville. The follow-up to his 2021 major label debut Gold Chain Cowboy, Never Enough arrives with the momentum of the Gold-certified single “Handle on You.” McCollum earned his first-ever No. 1 hit with his Double-Platinum-certified debut single, “Pretty Heart,” and his follow-up Platinum-certified single, “To Be Loved By You,” another No. 1 hit. Along with headlining his own tour this summer, McCollum will play stadiums with Morgan Wallen on Wallen’s One Night at a Time World Tour.
McCollum has been named an ‘Artist to Watch’ by Rolling Stone, Billboard, SiriusXM, CMT, RIAA, and more with American Songwriter noting, “The Texas native teeters on the edge of next-level superstardom.” MusicRow listed McCollum as their 2021 Breakout Artist of the Year and Apple also included him as one of their all-genre “Up Next Artists” Class of 2021. A dedicated road warrior, McCollum made his debut at the famed Grand Ole Opry in 2021 and he already sells out venues across the country (over 40 sold out shows nationwide in 2021) including record-breaking crowds in Dallas (20,000), The Woodlands (16,500), Austin (7500+), Lubbock (7700+), Jackson, MS (5000+), Kearney, NE (3000+), Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, and three nights at Fort Worth’s iconic Billy Bob’s Texas. In March 2022, McCollum made his debut at RODEOHOUSTON to a sold-out crowd with over 73,000 tickets sold, returning to perform at the Opening Day celebration in 2023. He recently made a dream come true with his first-ever Austin City Limits performance, kicking off their 2023 season. In 2022, McCollum earned his first ACM Award for New Male Artist of the Year, took home “Breakthrough Video of the Year” (a fully fan-voted honor) at the 2022 CMT Music Awards, and scored his first-ever nomination in the New Artist of the Year category at the 56th CMA Awards. For more information, visit ParkerMcCollum.com
or call (813) 754-1996
Monday, March 4, 2024 · 3:30 p.m.
The Bellamy Brothers
Howard and David continue to prove that the trail they’ve ridden to fame has been as unique as their music itself—music that is now celebrating over 40 years of success.
The road that started on the pop music charts in the ‘70’s, took a winding turn into country music in the ‘80’s, paving the way for duos to come, such as Brooks & Dunn, Montgomery Gentry, Big & Rich and previously—The Judds. But before the road forked into country, the musical odyssey of brothers Bellamy started creatively smoldering in their home state of Florida, before exploding nationally amidst the ’70’s pop music culture of L.A.
The brothers first official gig was in 1968, playing a free show with their father at the Rattlesnake Roundup in San Antonio, Florida. They honed their early skills playing Black clubs throughout the south, and singing backup for artists such as Percy Sledge, Eddie Floyd and Little Anthony & The Imperials. Within a few months, the brothers moved north, immersing themselves and their rock/country sound in the Atlanta market, where the Allman Brothers were the emerging kings of the music world.
With the dawning of the Age of Aquarius on the horizon, and America embroiled in a smoke haze of drugs, civil unrest and an unpopular war, The Bellamy’s music picked-up the hard driving edge that bespoke the times. Songwriting had become David Bellamy’s drug of choice during the long road gigs he and Howard were regularly pulling bodies and equipment to and from. It was his songwriting that was posed to soon provide the duo a national breakout.
The break came in the form of the hit, “Spiders & Snakes,” written by David and recorded by Jim Stafford. The song became a smash, eventually selling more than three million units worldwide. It became the catapult that rocketed the brothers onto the L.A. music scene. Young and impressionable, Howard and David fell into the musical circle of the greats of the day: Bob Dylan, James Taylor and Van Morrison, as well as West Coast based country rockers like Poco and the Byrds.
It was a creative shoe that fit.
Now known by their music and the company they were keeping, The Bellamys officially lifted off the launch pad in 1976 when their single, “Let Your Love Flow,” became an instant smash in both the U.S. and Europe. It stayed on the international charts long enough to build a huge international fan base for the hip young brothers that endures to this day. In Germany alone it perched at No. 1 for more than two months. The love was indeed flowing as The Bellamys jammed for audiences on their sold-out concerts and shared stages with the likes of Loggins & Messina, the Doobie Brothers and the Beach Boys with their patented blend of rock/country music. True to their musical roots, their style and their songwriting was moving steadily more towards their raising.
By the late ‘70’s The Bellamys were emerging on the country charts with another bona fide smash. “If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body (Would You Hold It Against Me),” originally scrawled on a dinner napkin by David, rocketed them to the top of the country charts the way “Let Your Love Flow,” had done in the pop market just a few years earlier. It proved to be the first of a string of fourteen No. 1 singles in the U.S. alone.
Success followed success: “Dancing Cowboys,” “Sugar Daddy,” “You Ain’t Just Whistlin’ Dixie,” “Lovers Live Longer,” “Do You Love As Good As You Look,” “Redneck Girl,” “For All The Wrong Reasons,” “I Love Her Mind,” “I Need More Of You,” “Old Hippie,” “Too Much Is Not Enough,” “Kids Of The Baby Boom,” “Reggae Cowboy” and “Crazy From The Heart,”…all have lined the corridors of the Bellamy’s musical history and their walls with platinum and gold.
Along the way, Howard and David created a patent on the newly cool “duo” category in country music. In the era of the 2000’s, The Bellamy Brothers hold the record in both the Academy of Country Music (ACM) and the Country Music Association Awards (CMA) for the most duo nominations. Numerous GRAMMY nods have also been directed toward the brothers. Internationally, the story has been the same—though the titles may be different. The Bellamys have released more than two-dozen hit songs outside the U.S. that were never released here. With a sharp eye on the songwriting skills that have been the bedrock of their success, Howard and David concur that their career is unique in their international finesse for matching their songs to the market.
“For the international releases, you have to have a strong melody,” notes David. “The lyric is very important, but internationally the melody is something fans can lock into, even if they can’t understand the lyrics.” Howard and David continue to perform and film TV specials in Europe and around the world.
These days when the subject turns to touring, The Bellamys are showing a new generation of country music how it’s done. Country superstar Blake Shelton has helped introduce a new era of fans to the hits of The Bellamy Brothers during his annual Friends And Heroes Tour, where they continue to captivate arena audiences around the country. “We’re old road dogs,” grins Howard when asked about the motivation behind the brothers 200 plus concert dates each year. Adds David: “Our live draw is bigger than it was in the ‘80’s. I think the same people that grew up with us and with our music in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s obviously have raised a whole new generation of Bellamy fans who started toddling to our music. Now they’re turning up at our concerts as college kids, who are really turned on and tuned in to us and our music….it’s a great feeling.”
On the infrequent off days from the road, Howard and David head the bus back to their 150-acre family ranch in Darby, Florida just north of Tampa. A working ranch, the spread consists of Purebred Brahman Cattle and quarter horses. The Bellamys are opening up their lives to television audiences with their hit reality show “Honky Tonk Ranch.” Each episode of “Honky Tonk Ranch” enthralls viewers with the unpredictable misadventures of the Bellamys attempting to balance their globe-trotting touring schedule while also running their sprawling family ranch in south Florida. The show was originally broadcast on “The Cowboy Channel” (a subsidy of RFD-TV) and streamed around the world. Season two of “Honky Tonk Ranch” airs now on Thursday evenings at 8:30 p.m. ET on the Circle Network and will also be available for worldwide streaming in the very near future.
The Bellamy Brothers celebrated their 40th anniversary with the release of a two-CD collection, 40 years, an ambitious project containing 20 of their biggest hits and 20 brand-new songs. In 2019, the Bellamys released Over the Moon as well as their first book Let Your Love Flow – the Life and Times of The Bellamy Brothers. The book is about two Florida cowboys who journeyed from country poverty to worldwide musical stardom because they had the talent and because it never occurred to them, they couldn’t make it.
Their most recent project, Bucket List, debuted in July of 2020 with “Rednecks (Lookin’ for Paychecks),” a timely take on the current situation, leading the EP. Bucket List also includes “No Country Music For Old Men,” a collaboration with longtime friend John Anderson inspired by the loss of Kenny Rogers, and more light-hearted songs like “Lay Low, Stay High,” which ties into Howard and David’s recent partnership with the Florida-based medical marijuana company, Trulieve, on their flower product line Old Hippie Stash
or call (813) 754-1996
Monday, March 4, 2024 · 7:30 p.m.
“That Little Ol’ Band From Texas” has been at it for well over a half century, delivering rock, blues and boogie on the road and in the studio to millions of devoted fans. With iconography as distinctive as their sound, ZZ TOP is virtually synonymous with beards, hotrod cars, spinning guitars and that magic keychain, all of which transcend geography and language. The band consists of singer/guitarist Billy F Gibbons, drummer Frank Beard (a/k/a “The Man With No Beard”) and bassist Elwood Francis, who stepped up in 2021 after the passing of longtime member Dusty Hill. With the release of each of their albums the band has explored new ground in terms of both their sonic approach and the material they’ve recorded. ZZ TOP is the same but always changing.
Their latest album RAW (Shelter Records/BMG, July 2022) was recorded at the historic Texas venue Gruene Hall as part of the filming for the 2019 Grammy-nominated documentary directed by Sam Dunn, aptly titled ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band From Texas. Billy, Frank and Dusty blazed through 12 career-spanning tunes in what their guitarist calls “a satisfying return to our roots and a very special circumstance that we’re delighted to share with the friends and fans who have stuck with us all this time.” The album is issued “in righteous memory” of Dusty, and in conjunction with their 50+ date 2022 North American RAW WHISKY TOUR. The tour’s title is partially derived from the new ZZ Top Tres Hombres Whisky offered from Balcones Distilling.
It was in Houston in the waning days of 1969 that ZZ TOP coalesced from the core of two rival bands, Billy’s Moving Sidewalks and Frank and Dusty’s American Blues. The new group went on to record the appropriately titled ZZ Top’s First Album and Rio Grande Mud that reflected their strong blues roots. Their third, 1973’s Tres Hombres, catapulted them to national attention with the hit “La Grange,” still one of the band’s signature pieces today. The song is unabashed elemental boogie, celebrating the institution that came to be known as “the best little whorehouse in Texas.” Their next hit was “Tush,” a song about, well, let’s just say the pursuit of “the good life” that was featured on their Fandango! album, released in 1975. The band’s momentum and success built during its first decade, culminating in the legendary “World Wide Texas Tour,” a production that included a longhorn steer, a buffalo, buzzards, rattlesnakes and a Texas-shaped stage. As a touring unit, they’ve been without peer over the years, having performed before millions of fans through North America on numerous epochal tours as well as overseas where they’ve enthralled audiences from Slovenia to Argentina, from Australia to Sweden, from Russia to Japan and most points in between.
Following a lengthy hiatus during which the individual members of the band traveled the world, they switched labels (from British Decca’s London label to Warner Bros.) and returned with two amazingly provocative albums, Deguello and El Loco. Their next release, Eliminator, was something of a paradigm shift for ZZ TOP. Their roots blues skew was intact but added to the mix were tech-age trappings that soon found a visual outlet with the nascent MTV. Suddenly, Billy, Dusty and Frank were video icons, playing a kind of Greek chorus in videos that highlighted the album’s three smash singles: “Gimme All Your Lovin’, “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Legs.” The melding of grungy guitar-based blues with synth-pop was seamless and continued with the follow-up album Afterburner as they continued their chart juggernaut. ZZ TOP had accomplished the impossible; they had moved with the times while simultaneously bucking ephemeral trends that crossed their path. They had become more popular and more iconic without ever having to be “flavor of the week.” They had become a certified rock institution, contemporary in every way, yet still completely connected to the founding fathers of the genre.
They stayed with Warner for one more album, Recycler, released in 1990 and switched to RCA where they debuted with Antenna and followed with Rhythmeen, XXX and Mescalero. Beyond that, both a lavish four CD box set compilation, Chrome, Smoke & B.B.Q. and a two-CD distillation of that package, Rancho Texicano, were released by Warner.
In 2012, ZZ TOP unveiled LA FUTURA, their first studio album in nine years. Produced by Rick Rubin and Billy F Gibbons, and released on American Recordings, it reflected the solid blues inspiration that has powered the band since the very beginning with a contemporary approach that underscored the group’s inclination to experiment and explore new sonic vistas. The album included the widely lauded “I Gotsta Get Paid” that has become both a video and in-concert sensation. ZZ Top’s rich history became the subject of a box set release the following year. ZZ Top: The Complete Studio Albums 1970-1990 offered no fewer than 10 of the band’s most lauded albums all with the original mixes restored.
ZZ TOP’s career retrospective The Very Baddest surfaced in 2014. It spans the entire course of their London, Warner Bros. and RCA years. Listeners can follow the evolution of the band’s sound from the early ‘70s into the ‘00s on either a 40 track double CD or a 20 track single CD. That same year Eagle Rock Entertainment released Live at Montreux 2013 on both Blu-ray and DVD formats, showcasing their live act, leaving no doubt as to why they have been such a huge concert draw for the last several decades. When it comes to the live experience, they’ve still got it.
2016 saw the release of ZZ TOP’s Live! Greatest Hits From Around The World album on Suretone, consisting of 15 songs recorded live in 13 cities across three continents. Guitar legend Jeff Beck joins the band on stage in his native London for two songs – “Rough Boy,” and a cover of Tennessee Ernie Ford’s “Sixteen Tons,” the latter of which was inspired by a hoax YouTube video claiming to be ZZ TOP and Jeff Beck playing that very song. Their rendition matches the hoax video, in what Billy describes as “a mega meta kinda thang.”
The elements that keep ZZ TOP fresh, enduring and above the transitory fray can be summed up in the three words of the band’s internal mantra: “Tone, Taste and Tenacity.” Of course, the three members of the band have done their utmost to do their part in assuring that ZZ TOP prevails. As genuine roots musicians, they have few peers. Billy is widely regarded as one of American finest blues guitarists working in the rock idiom. His influences are both the originators of the form – Muddy Waters, B.B. King, et al – as well as the British blues rockers who emerged the generation before ZZ’s ascendance. In his early days of playing, no less an idol than Jimi Hendrix singled him out for praise. Part mad scientist, part prankster, he’s a musical innovator of the highest order and a certified “guitar god.” He also had a recurring small screen presence in the hit TV series Bones in which he played a bearded, gruff, rock guitarist. No type casting problems for Billy.
Frank has also been keeping the beat in that great tradition. As both a roots and progressive drummer, he has been acknowledged as key to the band’s powerful on-stage and in-studio presence. He and Dusty, in their early years together, served as Lightnin’ Hopkins’ rhythm section which, as Frank tells it, was a life changing experience. Frank, despite his last name, is the guy in the band without a beard. But when you’re with him, you’re with a Beard. He’s a rockin’ paradox who provides the pulse of ZZ TOP.
Elwood has been part of the ZZ Top family for the better part of three decades as the band’s guitar tech. In July 2021, when Dusty took a temporary leave to deal with a chronic hip injury, Elwood was asked to step in for Dusty until his return, which unfortunately was not to be. Dusty’s untimely passing opened the way for Elwood to become ZZ’s permanent bassist. Although the absolute legend that is and always will be Dusty Hill can never be replaced, Elwood’s exceptional musicianship more than qualifies him to take over as the band’s bass player.
ZZ TOP’s music is always instantly recognizable, eminently powerful, profoundly soulful and 100% Texas American in derivation. The band’s support for the blues is unwavering both as interpreters of the music and preservers of its legacy. It was ZZ TOP that celebrated “founding father” Muddy Waters by turning a piece of scrap timber than had fallen from his sharecropper’s shack into a beautiful guitar, dubbed the “Muddywood.” This totem was sent on tour as a fundraising focus for The Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi, site of Robert Johnson’s famed “Crossroads” encounter with the devil. ZZ TOP’s support and link to the blues remains as rock solid as the music they continue to play. They have sold millions of records over the course of their career, have been officially designated as Heroes of The State of Texas, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (by Keith Richards, no less) and have been referenced in countless cartoons and sitcoms and are true rock icons but, against all odds, they’re really just doing what they’ve always done. They’re real and they’re surreal and they’re ZZ TOP.
or call (813) 754-1996
Tuesday, March 5, 2024 · 3:30 p.m.
Mark Lowry is known and loved around the world as a trusted voice in the realm of gospel music and beyond. He started making music at age 11 and now, more than four decades later, his legacy is forever sealed as an innately entertaining communicator who can, at once, make audiences laugh, cry, and think.
Mark is a singer, storyteller, humorist, author and songwriter, whose lyric to “Mary Did You Know?” resulted in one of the most loved modern Christmas songs of this century. This captivating song, which he co-wrote with Buddy Greene, has been recorded more than 400 times by artists from every genre including: Reba McEntire, Cee Lo Green, Clay Aiken, Michael English, Kenny Rogers, Wynonna Judd, The Gaither Vocal Band, and a long list of others.
Mark has spent more than 20 collective years as the baritone singer for the Grammy-award-winning Gaither Vocal Band and serves as the sidesplitting comedic sidekick for Bill Gaither through live concert tours and the best-selling Gaither Homecoming video series and television airings (now more than 150 volumes strong).
A deep thinker and student of theology with an outrageous sense of humor (for which he often credits his diagnosis with Attention Deficit Disorder), Mark’s life work includes a long list of recordings and DVDs reflecting a wide range of influences, including: Mark Lowry On Broadway, Mark Lowry Goes To Hollywood, Life Gets Loud, I Love To Tell the Story (his first all-hymns recording), Unplugged and Unplanned, Whatcha Need, Unforgettable Classics, How We Love and most recently … Dogs Go To Heaven, his first DVD in 11 years!
In spite of the broad range of musical inspiration found in Mark’s discography, there is one element that never changes: his gift for communicating profound truths through music and storytelling that keeps audiences of all ages on the edge of their seats. Mark maintains a full schedule of solo concerts with special friends such as Stan Whitmire and The Martins, Rambo McGuire and Cana’s Voice, as well as a few Gaither Homecoming tour dates across North America
or call (813) 754-1996
Tuesday, March 5, 2024 · 7:30 p.m.
Music is meant to feel “lived-in,” not unlike a favorite old jacket or a first car. At least that’s what multiplatinum two-time GRAMMY® Award-winning Arkansas-born and Nashville-based maverick Zach Williams would say. Through a fusion of southern rock spirit and country soul, Zach creates music with an exterior which is worn down in the best way, but all heart underneath rough guitar riffs and gravelly vocals. You’ll not only hear his journey in the music, but you’ll also see it in his unfiltered storytelling—how he went from a tiny town to international stardom, selling out shows, toppling charts, and collaborating with the likes of Dolly Parton. Along the way, he battled addiction, anxiety, and insecurity, coming out on the other side with a whole lot to say. After living through the lowest of lows and the highest of highs, he made a choice to trust his gut more than ever in 2021. Doing so had certainly served him well up to this point, so he wholeheartedly embraced his most formative inspirations, including rock and old school country. He also didn’t hold anything back during the writing, confronting all of those moments with a stark honesty and a sharp pen honed over the decade preceding. He ultimately needed to live through it in order to commit it to paper. Now, he’s projecting his voice like never before on his third full-length album, A Hundred Highways [Provident Label Group]. “I love music that hits me in a place where I think, ‘Man, that guy or girl has lived through it right there’,” he exclaims. “I believe you can hear it in the break and tremble of the vocals. I’m going to keep all the cracks and truth in my music.” In order to find this truth, he took stock of the trip thus far. Given the extra time off the road in the middle of the Pandemic, he dug deeper into himself. Where his 2019 album Rescue Story examined his battle with drug and alcohol addiction, seeing him arrive at his purpose, A Hundred Highways picks up where he left off. In the process, he evolved by further leaning into rock ‘n’ roll and blues, speaking as candidly as ever in the lyrics. “For the first time, I just spoke what’s on my heart,” he admits. “I wasn’t thinking of a genre or a format. We didn’t care about a radio single or fitting anybody’s expectations. I said what I needed to say, because of that this album means everything to me.” Taking his time, Zach reteamed with longtime collaborator and producer Johnathan Smith. He recorded out of his own studio as well as Sound Emporium in Nashville and the world-famous Blackbird Studio. Writing for his longest span yet, Zach placed himself in the mindset of both his darkest and brightest moments. “Over almost two years, we kept chiseling away until we felt like we had the right songs for the project,” he elaborates. “I’ve kept my past close because I don’t really want to go back to it. Keeping those memories in the rearview prevents me from returning to who I was. I don’t want to be that guy in real life, so I’ll think about him in the music. I’ve always worn my heart on my sleeve. It’s who I am.” The track “Looking For You” illustrates the scope of his songwriting. Zach’s voice echoes with grit on the refrain, “Down a hundred highways of empty pursuit, and a thousand foolish things I went through. I didn’t know it back then, but now I do. I was looking for you.” “It might be the most personal song on the record,” he reveals. “It reminds me of an old saying, ‘The first place you find something is the last place you look for it.’ I’ve tried to fill all these holes in my life. The material things I thought would make me happy didn’t. In some respects, this sums up the record. I’ve been down a lot of roads to get to where I am today.” Then, there’s “Jesus’ Fault” with Walker Hayes. It marks the first time Zach cut a song he didn’t write on, but upon hearing it, he had no choice. Inhabiting the words, he approaches the opening line from a place of wisdom and experience as he immediately proclaims, “That Bible by the bed ain’t a coaster no more. It’s still got some rings from the bottles before.” “I needed to record this song,” he smiles. “In the second verse, Walker talks about his dad and their relationship. My relationship with my dad was a lot different, so I said, ‘I’d love for you to be a part of this and sing the verse if you’re interested’. He told us to send our version. When we did, he replied, ‘Dude, I was working out at the gym, and I started crying listening to the song. I’d love to be a part of it’. It’s a country tune through and through.” Elsewhere on “Praise Opens Prisons,” Zach directly calls out to fellow addicts, “Are you bound? Lost in addiction, ya can’t seem to kick it. Well, I know a way out.” He penned the confessional “Love is a Battleground” for his wife. Punctuated by soft slide guitar and piano, he expresses gratitude, “Yeah, you kept on coming for me, ‘cause you knew love is a battleground.” “Love is a fight,” he remarks. “My story with my wife was poking its head in. When I was in my wildest and most reckless times, she was there. She stood by my side when everybody told her, ‘Man, you need to leave this dude. He’s nuts. He’s crazy. He’s a loser. He’s never going to change’. She fought for our family. I keep going back to those places in the songs, and I’m grateful she never gave up.” The single “Heart of God” explodes with emotion and feeling, coupled with a music video equally as resonant. “I know you’re hurtin’, I can see it in your eyes,” Zach sings gently with a sense of empathy and emotion that spills out of the speaker. The track has proven to be one of Williams’ fastest growing singles, and showcases Zach’s soaring vocals mixed with power, and both tenderness and grit. The album opener “Big Tent Revival” resounds with the raucous and rowdy energy of a hometown party sound tracked by rock ‘n’ roll twisted up with dusty bluegrass. It channels moments of “listening to bluegrass in the square as a kid and hanging out at my grandparents.” He goes on, “The song brought me back to all of those memories, pulling on the heartstrings with nostalgia.” “Up There Down Here” hinges on the twang of a hummable chord progression as it ponders what might be going on beyond this life. On “I Got You,” his robust vocals take hold, offering a moment of assurance in the hook. “It’s a conversation,” he notes. “It imagines hanging out or driving around and essentially talking to God about your problems with this being the response, ‘I Got You’.” It took a long time for him to get here. Zach grew up in Bono, AR—a small suburb of barely 2,000 people outside of Jonesboro. His old man led worship in church, and Zach accompanied his parents to music practice as a young kid. One day, he recalled a family friend opening up a guitar case and effectively changing his life. “I saw a red cherry burst Les Paul, and I couldn’t explain how I felt,” he remembers. Dad kept a guitar in the house with a myriad of music charts. Throughout high school, Zach spent countless hours listening to the likes of Pantera, Rage Against The Machine, Guns N’ Roses, and Soundgarden. He often mimicked Axl Rose and Chris Cornell in his car by himself. Simultaneously, he excelled on the basketball court, achieving a full scholarship to Northwest Arkansas University. During college, he attended his first blues festival, which proved transformative in its own right. Blown away by Luther Allison and Keb’ Mo, he picked up a guitar for the first time. Developing an infatuation with the blues, he immersed himself in stalwarts a la Robert Johnson in addition to The Black Crowes, Gov’t Mule, The Allman Brothers Band, and Bob Seger. “I always loved a melting pot of music,” he notes. “As I discovered my voice and sound, I took all of those influences and tried to adapt them into who I am.” After grinding on the regional scene as Zach Williams & The Reformation, he kickstarted a solo career with his debut LP Chainbreaker in 2016. The record earned a platinum certification, picked up a GRAMMY® Award and yielded platinum singles “Chainbreaker” and “Fear Is A Liar” as well as gold “Old Church Choir.” After a whirlwind tour cycle, he returned with Rescue Story. The platinum single “There Was Jesus” [feat. Dolly Parton] scored Zach his second GRAMMY® Award. In this time, Zach tallied nearly 1 billion streams and counting. Ultimately, Zach traveled A Hundred Highways to get to his most definitive body of work to date. “In the end, it doesn’t matter what you’ve done, where you’ve been, and what you’re going through,” he leaves off. “It’s not about how you start your race; it’s always about how you end it. I’m taking things one day at a time. Every day, I have an opportunity to be a better person. And that’s what I’m trying to be.”
or call (813) 754-1996
Wednesday, March 6, 2024 · 3:30 p.m.
When his musical career took off a couple decades back, Craig Morgan made the difficult decision
to leave the military a little before he’d completed 20 years’ service. In late July 2023, Morgan was performing at the Grand Ole Opry when he re-enlisted in the Army Reserve, bringing his two
worlds together and making a public commitment to see his unfinished business through.
“The Grand Ole Opry epitomizes country music and I’ve been a soldier most of my life. It just
made sense to bring these two things together,” Morgan says. “Enlisting again in the Army
Reserve was a great opportunity to finish something I started many years ago and get my 20-year letter that says I served my country.” Having previously served as a Staff Sergeant and Fire Support Specialist with the Army’s 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions, Morgan brings valuable experience to the Reserve for incoming recruits. The obligations are pretty minimal, he says — one weekend out of a month and two weeks in a year — and could mean anything from doing drills to speaking engagements. “If I can do it, anybody can do it,” he says. Just as the Army has called on Morgan, he has called on some of his talented friends to contribute to his latest project. Appropriately titled Enlisted (Broken Bow Records), the six-track release offers new takes on four of the Tennessee native’s biggest hits along with two new tracks and appearances by Trace Adkins, Luke Combs, Jelly Roll, Gary LeVox, Blake Shelton, and Lainey Wilson. The end result highlights the enduring, evergreen quality of his singles while giving them a fresh update. “Initially, I wasn’t sold on the idea of redoing my old songs,” Morgan says. “But the more I thought about it, I thought it would be fun if I could do it with some of my friends, and also do it in a way that it felt like new music.” Morgan became aware that a new generation of artists had grown up listening to his music when
he saw a clip of Jelly Roll performing his 2002 hit “Almost Home” at the Grand Ole Opry. “He was
telling this very moving story about how he’d seen me perform,” Morgan says. “I reached out and
we became friends.” Jelly Roll joins Morgan on a powerful new rendition of “Almost Home” for Enlisted, with the two men swapping verses and injecting the song with deep feeling. It’s an example of how even the most unlikely of friends and collaborators can bond over a great song. “We’re living proof that you can come from two completely different backgrounds, have two different perspectives, and get along,” Morgan says. “And not only get along but create and have a positive impact.” Morgan’s 2007 hit “International Harvester” gets a lively little twist from the presence of Lainey Wilson, who once told Morgan that she used to ride around in her daddy’s tractor listening to that song. “I love everything about what she does and who she is,” Morgan says. “And ‘International Harvester,’ it’s become a viral song with a dance. I love having Lainey bring her own personality to the song and also bring some attention to women working in agriculture.”
When Morgan’s career was first taking off, Blake Shelton and Rascal Flatts had just established
themselves as new stars and they became fast friends. Shelton even appeared in the original
“Redneck Yacht Club” video, so this time around he gets to add his voice to one of country’s
greatest summer anthems. Flatts singer Gary LeVox joins in on a soulful, hymn-like version of “That’s What I Love About Sunday,” the 2004 Number One written by Adam Dorsey and Mark
Narmore. “When Blake and I talk, we don’t talk a lot about music — we talk about everything else,” Morgan says. “Same with Gary. We’re friends outside of the music. They know they can call me any hour of the day or night and all they gotta tell me is whether I need to bring a backhoe or a shovel and I’ll be there to help.” For one of his new songs, Morgan called on superstar Luke Combs, who lives not far from him just west of Nashville. “I love his presence,” Morgan says. “Everything about this guy is country music.” They put a brotherly, working-class energy into “Raise the Bar,” in which two guys with names stitched on their shirts walk into a place looking for a cold beer and ruffle the feathers of the hifalutin clientele. “It’s funny because I’m making fun of me in this song. I’m a wine and cheese guy!” Morgan says. “So I can relate to it. But it is a very blue-collar song. As much as I’m a wine and cheese guy, I’m also a boots and dirty jeans kind of guy.” The other new song, “That Ain’t Gonna Be Me” with Trace Adkins, is a stately anthem that spells out the importance Morgan places on his convictions. “I’m gonna put my hand up, I’m gonna stand up for what I believe,” he sings. “For me it’s about God and family and country,” he says. “I am so blessed, and I recognize the enormous blessings of the freedoms we celebrate in this nation.” Morgan is always quick to acknowledge how fortunate he has been and knows not to take any of it for granted. He’s enjoyed massive triumphs and endured devastating tragedy, like the loss of his son Jerry in 2016. He wrote and recorded the 2020 song “The Father, My Son, and the Holy Ghost” as a tribute and it went on to viral success, a fact that surprised him. After all this time, new people still respond to his work. “I try to live with a sense of gratitude for everything that is happening,” he says. “The number of people we impacted with ‘The Father, My Son, and the Holy Ghost’ blew my mind. You think you’ve done all you can do and then something like that happens, and you go ‘Wow, we’re still relevant.’ As long as I’m relevant, as long as I’m having a positive impact in the industry and in general, I’m going to keep doing it. The day that I don’t, the day I can’t, I’m gonna do something else.” If Enlisted is any indication, Morgan’s still got plenty of influential years ahead of him.
or call (813) 754-1996
Wednesday, March 6, 2024 · 7:30 p.m.
Rolling Stone hailed his musical perspective as “Drinks-in-the-air Nineties Country at an Alabama vs. Auburn tailgate,” and that is just the type of energy fans have come to expect from Riley Green. Raised on the sounds of traditional Country, Bluegrass and Southern Gospel music, the Jacksonville, AL native learned the spirit of songwriting and performing at a young age while spending time with his grandfather, Bufford Green, who ran the Golden Saw Music Hall. That stage laid a foundation for the songs Riley would craft in the years to come and values learned from another generation. He fittingly shares co-writing credits posthumously alongside his two grandfathers on the 2xPLATINUM certified “I Wish Grandpas Never Died,” which People praised “might take him to a whole new stratosphere.” Evident on his debut album Different ‘Round Here (BMLG Records), featuring the PLATINUM-certified hit No. 1 “There Was This Girl,” MusicRow noted his “great Country vocal, honest presentation and true-to-life lyrics.” Riley’s Behind the Bar collection with GOLD-certified “If It Wasn’t For Trucks” and We Out Here: Live followed as the 2020 ACM Awards New Male Artist of the Year has “brought Country back to its roots: the blue collar sounds for the working man, by the working man” (Whiskey Riff). His collaboration with Thomas Rhett on “Half Of Me” earned Riley his second No. 1 at Country radio as he continues to deliver tracks directly to his loyal following as the world awaits the arrival his next single “Different ‘Round Here (Feat. Luke Combs)” on May 11. Named a CMT “Listen Up Artist,” Riley was also voted as one of the CRS 2020 New Faces and earned MusicRow’s Breakout Artist of the Year. In addition to his own headline dates, Riley is currently out on the road as part of the Luke Combs World Tour . He has previously hit the road with Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Brad Paisley, Jon Pardi and Dierks Bentley. For upcoming tour dates and more, visit RileyGreenMusic.com.
or call (813) 754-1996
Thursday, March 7, 2024 · 10:30 a.m.
Bill Haley Jr. & The Comets
FREE w/ paid gate admission
If only for the impact of “Rock Around the Clock”, Bill Haley would deserve a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (He was inducted in 1987)! Yet his impact in the early days of Rock and Roll went well beyond that milestone! Two years earlier he’d put out “Crazy, Man, Crazy” an original amalgam of country and R&B that arguably became the first rock and roll record to register on
Billboard’s pop chart! For most of the Fifties, Bill Haley was a presence on the record charts, and he appeared in several rock and roll movies aimed at teenagers. It is estimated that Bill Haley and His Comets have sold 60 million records worldwide. How important was “Rock Around the Clock”? “Before it became a hit in summer 1955 – more than a year after it was recorded – Rock ‘n’ Roll was virtually an underground movement, something kids listened to on the sly,” wrote journalist Alex Frazer-Harrison. “This changed after ‘Rock Around the Clock.’ The music was everywhere!” Bill Haley has been called “The Father of Rock and Roll” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll’s first star!” “We premiered it,” he told Rolling Stone in 1967. “We put country & western together with rhythm & blues, and that was rock. The first three years were ours, all ours, till [Elvis] Presley came along.” Bill Haley penned a song called “Rock-A-Beatin’ Boogie” – whose chorus went “Rock, rock, rock everybody/Roll, roll,
roll everybody” – that was recorded by the Treniers in 1953and adopted by disc jockey Alan Freed on his Clevelandbased Moondog radio show! Now his Son, Bill Haley Jr. & The Comets, recapture the heyday of his famous father and The Comets and carry on thetradition his father started! Re-creating the Music, the Feel, the Excitement, the Authentic Stage Costuming and the Energy, Bill Haley Jr. & The Comets will transport audiences back to the very beginning of Rock & Roll! Audiences will be on their feet, dancing in the aisles and singing along to every song during this incredible, All-Ages, Affordable Show!!
or call (813) 754-1996
Thursday, March 7, 2024 · 3:30 p.m.
If you ask any number of country singers who their favorite singer is, a large number of them will respond: Gene Watson. His music peers even named him “The Singer’s Singer” for his octave jumping range and smooth tone. Gene Watson has 34 studio albums, scored over 72 charted songs, including 23 Top Tens and 6 #1 hits over his fifty-year career. Watson’s first single, the self-penned, “If It’s That Easy” was released on Sun Valley Records in 1962.
It is safe to say that most knowledgeable country fans would point to Gene Watson as one of country music’s best ballad singers in the same league as country icons George Jones, Merle Haggard, Ray Price, and others who are the standard-bearers for honest, traditional country music. It’s no surprise to anyone but Gene that the Grand Ole Opry asked him to be a member and inducted him into that iconic group in March of 2020, just before the world shut down for the pandemic.
It’s also no surprise that such artists as Vince Gill, Lee Ann Womack, Trace Adkins, Connie Smith, Joe Nichols, Alison Krauss, and many others are not only happy but eager to record with Gene. It’s a stunning truth that at nearly 78 years of age, that Gene still sings with his clear, pure tone intact, an unmatched soulful delivery, and in the same key as 30 years ago. And that is good news for fans of real country music rooted in the timeless values of one of America’s bedrock musical genres.
“I think I’m working harder on each album to perfect what I do and still always working to be better,” Gene notes. “I don’t want anything to be so technically slick that we lose the emotion or the electricity of the moment. Each song is very personal to me and I always want the people listening to feel the emotion. Each song has a special meaning to me or I wouldn’t record it.”
Indeed Gene records the old-school way, live in the studio with a set of great musicians, and often singing literally in the same room as the musicians, eschewing the isolation booths normally used by vocalists. Gene picks all the songs for his albums and works side by side with his longtime producer, Dirk Johnson.
“I feel very fortunate,” Gene says, “that when I start to make an album I can call on the brilliant Nashville songwriting community and most of the songwriters there know my style and what type of songs to pitch to me. That makes my job easier. I try to choose songs I feel all people can relate to while at the same time trying to find a song that’s a little bit different and unique.”
Gene’s life story is a classic country life scenario. He is truly a humble man of the soil who has no idea of his own greatness. When he sings at the Grand Ole Opry, other artists gather at the side of the stage to watch him. But Gene himself seems incapable of pride or self-congratulation. Indeed despite all his success, he has never totally abandoned his auto repair business.
“I can remember singing before I can remember talking,” he relates. “Even when I was a kid, if I heard a song twice, I knew it. But I never planned to be an entertainer. I knew I could sing, but that wasn’t out of the ordinary. My whole family could.” In fact, Watson doesn’t even think he was the best singer in the seven-child household. Make that “bus-hold”. The itinerant Watson family moved from shack to shack until his father customized an old school bus for living quarters and transportation from job to job.
“Yeah, we were poor,” says the singer. “Today, people live in motor homes. Ours was yellow. We traveled to Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas until one day my dad came in and decided we were going to Phoenix, Arizona. We didn’t have the money to go to Phoenix, so we worked our way out there, stopped to pick crops and all that stuff. My dad was kind of a gypsy. He always said, ‘I’m fixin’ to leave in the morning. If there’s a dollar out there, I’m going to get 50 cents of it.’ I always kept that in mind. My dad worked hard at whatever it took to put food on the table. He worked in the log woods. He worked at the tire shops. He was a crop worker. We would cut spinach. We would pull radishes. We would dig potatoes. We would pick cotton. Whatever it took, we did it. That’s the only life I knew. I was a poor boy. But I wouldn’t take nothing for my raising–as far as my teachings, the way my mother raised me, the way my dad worked, and everything. We were a happy family. No one else around us had anything more, so we didn’t know we were poor. I think it took all that to get all this.
Born in Palestine, Texas in 1943, Gene Watson was singing in holiness churches with his family at an early age. His father played blues harmonica and guitar alongside African-American field laborers. Watson grew up loving both bluesman Jimmy Reed and honky-tonk king Lefty Frizzell. His earliest public country performance came when he was just 12 years old.
Watson worked from the time he was six, working in the fields, to age 12, when he’d jump off the school bus to work at the local salvage yard. He dropped out of high school to work full-time. In his late teens, he supported his family by doing auto body repair, so by day he worked on cars, and at night he sang in clubs. “But doing music professionally was never a goal of mine,” he confesses. I always wanted to work on cars. I always say I never did go looking for music. Music found me. Before I ever made a record, The Wilburn Brothers heard me sing down in Houston at a nightclub one night. They said they’d like for me to go with them and do a couple of shows. So I came up to Nashville and traveled to North Carolina with them. They got me on the Grand Ole Opry, and I got a standing ovation and an encore singing the Hank Williams song ‘I Can’t Help It If I’m Still In Love With You’ and ‘It Is No Secret What God Can Do.’ After that, they carried me down to the Ernest Tubb Record Shop and I got on stage and broadcast on The Midnight Jamboree. That was my first experience with the Big Time. I was 21.”
In the mid-70s, while on Capitol Records, he enjoyed success with a string of national hits, “Love In The Hot Afternoon,” “Where Love Begins,” “Paper Rosie,” “Farewell Party,” “Should I Come Home (Or Should I Go Crazy),” and “Nothing Sure Looked Good On You.” Before signing with MCA in the 80s, Gene recorded “Any Way You Want Me,” from the soundtrack of the Clint Eastwood movie “Any Which Way You Can”, a song personally requested by the legendary actor/director. Somewhere along the way, Clint Eastwood had heard the song as a demo recording by its writer, L. Ofman, a recording produced by Gene -but Eastwood insisted that Gene should record the song. Other songs by Watson that have been used in for TV and movies include “Paper Rosie” in the movie Another 48 Hours, “Cowboys Don’t Get Lucky All The Time” in the movie Convoy, and “Should I Come Home (or Should I Go Crazy)” in television’s WKRP in Cincinnati.
Shortly after moving to MCA, Watson recorded “Fourteen Carat Mind” which hit #1 in 1982. A parade of Top Ten hits followed during the early ’80s, including “Speak Softly (You’re Talking To My Heart)” and “You’re Out Doing What I’m Here Doing Without,” “Sometimes I Get Lucky,” “Drinkin’ My Way Back Home,” “Forever Again” and “Little By Little.”
In 1985, Gene moved to Epic Records and returned to the Top 5 with the western swing-influenced Memories to Burn, which was also the title of his first album on the label. Subsequent albums with Epic included Starting New Memories in 1986 and Honky Tonk Crazy in 1987. The following year, Gene Watson made his Warner Bros. debut with Back In The Fire which was followed by At Last. Leaving the label in 1991, Gene recorded the album In Other Words which was initially released only in Canada on Gary Buck’s label, Broadland International Records. It was later released in the US in 1993. The same year, Gene made his debut album for Step One Records Uncharted Mind and followed it with the albums The Good Ole Days, Jesus Is All I Need, and A Way To Survive. A brief stint with the RMG (Row Music Group) Records label yielded the title From The Heart which was followed by the recording Gene Watson….Sings on Intersound Records in 2003. In September 2007 Gene recorded his highly anticipated Shanachie Entertainment debut In A Perfect World. The Associated Press said “Gene Watson has never sounded better, which is saying something” while The Boston Herald claimed the album as “The Country Music Sleeper of the Year ” and USA Today called Watson “One of country’s finest, and most underrated singers.”
After two albums with Shanachie, in 2012, Watson established his own label Fourteen Carat Music, and released the ultimate re-recorded album, his own Best of the Best, 25 Greatest Hits. Each track was painstakingly recorded as close as possible to the original, updated sonically, and released to great critical acclaim.
In 2015, Gene enjoyed working on a TV show for the RFD-TV Network, produced by Larry Black’s Gabriel Entertainment company. The show was called “The Gene and Moe Show” and featured Gene with his longtime friend and country music star, Moe Bandy, as they interviewed various legends from Gene’s favorite truck and car world to Moe’s heroes on the rodeo and bull riding circuit.
Watson has released three other albums on his own label, My Heroes Have Always Been Country, Real.Country.Music. and a Gospel album, My Gospel Roots which garnered 4 consecutive #1 hits. He also recorded a duet album in 2011 with the “Queen of Bluegrass,” Rhonda Vincent for Rhonda’s label. The album titled “My Money And Your Good Looks” pleased both Country music fans and Bluegrass fans. Watson is currently working on a new album of country music titled “Outside The Box.”
Gene Watson says “ I have been on top. And I’ve been just as low as you can go.” All of those ups and downs have kept Watson always searching for his next project and never giving up. He concludes, “There’s a tremendous number of people around the world who continue to come out to hear some fiddle and steel and songs about heartbreak and real life,” Gene says. ” I think there is still such a hunger out there for traditional country music. So I’d like to stay out there as long as I’m able to do the job and do it well.
or call (813) 754-1996
Thursday, March 7, 2024 · 7:30 p.m.
With a celebrated career spanning 30 years, Kirk Franklin continues to make a profound mark
on the music industry. The eclectic 19-time GRAMMY® Award-winning artist, songwriter, music
producer, and television and film producer has successfully bridged the gap between gospel,
R&B, hip-hop, and pop as he continues to take his career and craft to new levels. It’s no doubt
that Franklin’s God-given talent and deep faith have helped him remain the influential, relevant,
and visionary he is today.
Franklin is back with his 13th and most personal and reflective album yet, titled Father’s Day.
The album, which will be released on October 6th, 2023 from his RCA-distributed label, Fo Yo
Soul Entertainment, is a collection of 10 inspirational, beautifully curated tracks (all written by
Franklin) with the constant theme of love, faith, and resilience flowing through them. Father’s
Day is accompanied by a short film which was released a few weeks before the album on his
YouTube channel, and provided a deeper context to what Father’s Day means for Franklin.
Making the album wasn’t exactly easy for the artist. While creating Father’s Day, the man
Franklin grew up thinking was his father (whom he didn’t have the best relationship with) passed
away, and shortly after that, he discovered his real biological father after a series of DNA tests.
This was one of the most traumatic experiences Franklin had to go through, and someone else
in the same position might have faltered. But for Franklin, who had his fair share of ups and
downs throughout his life, his music and heavenly father God helped him get through this latest
storm and also helped him come up with the name of the album. “I have no idea how I was able
to finish this album with all that was going on at the time. But I know that I would have been in
an even worse troubling state if I wasn’t working on it. Father’s Day gave me an escape and an
emotional outlet,” he admits.
The lead single, “All Things,” released in May 2023 with an official video, is a bold, upbeat,
soul-stirring track that is a reminder that God is what makes everything and all things possible.
The second single, “Try Love,” which was released in late August, is an uplifting song with a
rousing chorus that goes: “This is your day love/This is the day that you can’t give away love/
I’ve been waiting all day love/Waiting for your embrace love,” before switching gears midway
into a funky R&B throwback. “Needs” is an authentic, comforting gospel ballad that delves into
the need of God in one’s life. Gospel royalty such as Chandler Moore, Tori Kelly, Jonathan
McReynolds, and Jekalyn Carr join Franklin on the exhilarating track “Again,” while Kelontae
Gavin and Maranda Curtis lend their vocals to its sequel “Again & Again,” with both songs
rejoicing in how no matter what, God will continuously move mountains for you. Franklin closes
out the album with “Somebody’s Son” a deeply moving and touching song where he candidly
expresses the heartbreak and pain he’s felt throughout his life (especially most recently) due
to the familial trauma he’s endured.
Franklin hopes the album resonates with people and gives them permission to accept the highs
and lows of life while still understanding that God is always there for them. “For many people,
the image of God is Him always keeping score of their wrongdoings. So there’s some fear when
it comes to their relationship with God,” he says. “I hope this album is a stripped-down, honest
conversation about the difficulty of the life journey and how life can be messy, nuanced, and a
matter of trial and error even for those who subscribe to faith. But it’s all wrapped in a bow of
love, and that love doesn’t always make sense, but is always constant.”
Since bursting onto the scene in 1993 with the release of his critically acclaimed debut album
Kirk Franklin & The Family, Franklin has blessed the world with hit after hit, a bevy of
award-winning, lauded albums (in addition to multiple GRAMMYs, he has garnered nearly 40
Stellar Awards and is a 22-time Dove Award winner), and a plethora of epic collaborations with
artists such as Mariah Carey, Lil’ Baby, Chance the Rapper, Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber,
Demi Lovato, Khalid, and Michael Jackson. His most recent album, Kingdom Book One (Tribl
Records, Fo Yo Soul Entertainment, and RCA Inspiration), a live, collaboration album with the
gospel group Maverick City Music, was recorded at the Everglades Correctional Institution in
Miami-Dade, Florida, to raise awareness on the injustice of mass incarceration and debuted at
number two on Billboard’s Top Christian Albums chart and the Top Gospel Albums chart. The
album also received three GRAMMY Awards, a BET Award, and NAACP Image Award. In
March 2023, Franklin made history by spending 100 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Gospel
Songwriters Chart and becoming the first person to reach the 100-week milestone on a
In addition to his music awards and accolades, Franklin’s 2022 tour with Maverick City Music
broke records as one of the highest-grossing tours in the history of gospel and Christian
contemporary music. This fall, Franklin will hit the road again with The Reunion Tour, which will
feature Israel Houghton, David and Tamela Mann, Tye Tribbett, and The Clark Sisters, and kicks
off in Bridgeport, CT with stops in 30+ cities across the country.
Making hit records and selling out concerts isn’t the only thing Franklin has mastered. He has
served as an executive producer for two popular holiday films such as Kirk Franklin’s The Night
Before Christmas in 2022 and Kirk Franklin’s A Gospel Christmas in 2021 and also served as an
executive producer for the BET+ television series “Kingdom Business” in 2022, which was
renewed for a second season. In addition to that, Franklin and his wife, Tammy Franklin,
premiered their new dating series “The One,” on TV One this past May and served as co-hosts
and executive producers. Franklin is now shopping a few more projects around and plans to
continue working on unscripted and scripted programming. “I’ve been very excited about being
part of these projects,” says Franklin. “I still enjoy doing music, but I’m very grateful to be used
by God to bring his name to the conversation and use the vehicle of entertainment to do it.”
For Kirk Franklin, his iconic songs, unforgettable verses, and undeniable showmanship have
made him the star and household name he is. Still, he remains humble and extremely grateful to
be blessed to share his passion for music with the world. Right now he is in the healing process,
and the music gives him the strength to persevere. And yes, the past several months have been
a trying time for the renowned artist, but at the same time he is excited about the release of
Father’s Day. “The Lord has been super kind to me. This album is an opportunity for me to
escape and an opportunity to communicate what I may not always emotionally be able to say,”
he says. “This album has been a lifesaver God has blessed me with, and I am truly grateful.”
or call (813) 754-1996
Friday, March 8, 2024 · 3:30 p.m.
The Commodores want you to know that their friend and comrade, Lionel Richie, left the band
nineteen years ago in 1983. They want you to know that the Commodores, despite a string of
monster hits and massive tours in the late ’70s and early 80’s, won their first Grammy Award for
the multi-platinum smash single and LP “Night Shift” in 1986. Most of all, they want you to know
that the Commodores are alive and well in the new millennium, with their own label, and six
new albums in stores.
From the beginning at Tuskegee Institute in 1968, the Commodores were known as ‘smart guys’.
But they were funky, too. Smart and funky enough to open for the Jackson 5, to be discovered
by Berry Gordy in the process, and to sell more than 60 million records for Motown. They were
its largest selling act for two decades, the 70’s and 80’s. The Commodores racked up a string of
hits including “Machine Gun”, “Brick House”, “Easy”, “Three Times A Lady”, “Sail On”, “Oh No”,
“Slippery When Wet”, “To Hot Ta Trot”, and many others that literally moved an entire
generation. Success, however, was not enough to save them from the changes in the music
scene, or most especially, the music business. The departure in 1983 of Lionel Richie, co-lead
vocalist along with Walter “Clyde” Orange, might have sunk a lesser group. The Commodores
continued onward, and entered the studio to begin recording “Commodores 13”.
In 1984, before recording “Night Shift”, the Commodores decided to re-establish the co-lead
vocal formula that had catapulted them to the top of the R&B and Pop Charts in the past.
After interviewing over fifty candidates, the Commodores chose J.D. Nicholas. J.D. was a
vocalist for the British band Heat Wave, the Commodores opening act on their previous
European tour. The match was perfect. The success of “Night Shift” proved it.
Rounded out by the world renown rhythm section the “Mean Machine”, the Commodores hit
the road in support of their new record. The tour had sold out shows with both new and old
fans on their feet, singing and dancing to new Commodores songs and classic hits. The
Commodores had silenced the critics and climbed to the top of the pop charts once again.
After the release of “Night Shift”, the term of the Commodores recording agreement with
Motown came to an end and the band entertained offers from every major record label in the
business. The best offer came from Polydor, which was in the process of forming it’s own Black
Music department. After 2 fruitless LPs in the late ’80s, and a growing confusion and lack of
direction at the label, the Commodores asked for and received a release from their obligations
The old saying, “Things happen for a reason”, was especially true for the Commodores during
the period that followed the departure from Polydor. Their change in status to an ‘unsigned’
group focused their attention and talents. Together with their manager David Fish, the
Commodores set about taking control of their career in an unprecedented fashion.
The first step was to regain control of their material. Motown’s refusal to grant master use
licenses to the Commodores for their planed greatest hits records turned out to be a blessing in
In late 1991, the Commodores, Walter “Clyde” Orange, William “Wak” King, and James Dean
“J.D.” Nicholas, began the mammoth undertaking of creating all new digital recordings of the
Commodores classic hits. Using the best digital recording technology available, the first step in
assuming total control of their future was accomplished.
Recording sessions from late ’91 through ’92 produced enough material for four new albums.
The first is a two disc, separate volume set entitled “Commodores Hits Vol. I” and “Commodores
Hits Vol. II”. This will be the first truly comprehensive hits package available on the
Commodores in that it will include all the band’s highest charting singles in chronological order
from their early days through “Night Shift” and the Polydor period. The new digital recordings of
such classics as “Three Times A Lady”, “Still”, “Lady (You Bring Me Up)”, and many others sound
impressively like the original cuts with J.D. and Clyde alternating on vocals.
An LP’s worth of Christmas material entitled “Commodores Christmas”, filled with covers of
traditional Yuletide songs and soon-to-be-classic original songs for the season, was also
completed during the extensive recording sessions. But perhaps most importantly, the sessions
resulted in an album of all-new material entitled “Commodores XX – No Tricks”, which is the
bands twentieth studio album. It includes a new musical and vocal arrangement of the smash
hit “Brick House” entitled “Brick House ’93”.
With four records ‘in the can’, there was only one thing missing – a label. Rather than relinquish
control of their careers to the ‘one hit wonder’ major label and distribution system of today
where priorities change hourly, and perhaps suffer the same fate that befell the band at
Polydor, the Commodores decided to form their own record company. Announced in August
of 1992, Commodores Records and Entertainment came into being. It was the final step in
maintaining full and total control over their music and career that the band had desired for
Signing a series of domestic and international publishing, licensing, and distribution agreements
through the new Company, the Commodores released “Commodores Hits Vol. I”,
“Commodores Hits Vol. II”, “Commodores Christmas”, and “Commodores XX – No Tricks”.
The group recorded and filmed during their 1997 U.S. tour. The resulting efforts have produced
“Commodores Live” CD and TV special which was released in December of 1998 in CD, VHS &
DVD formats. Also in December of ’98 the Commodores released their first ever CD single
“Brickhouse Cuts”, featuring the live version, a hip-hop flavored dance track and the radio
version of the classic hit twenty years after it first charted.
The Commodores are currently working on new material for their next studio CD.
With the new discs, new tour, and a new label, the Commodores have maintained their place
among the most successful entertainers in the world. Their new careers as entrepreneurs, as
well as performers bring the boys from Tuskegee full circle. Bringing the talent and experience
of three decades of writing, producing, and performing hit music to a whole new generation of
fans, the Commodores are proving once again that their future is as bright as their past.
or call (813) 754-1996
Friday, March 8, 2024 · 7:30 p.m.
With 10 multi-platinum albums and 16 Top 30 hits, FOREIGNER is universally hailed as one of the
most popular rock acts in the world with a formidable musical arsenal that continues to propel
sold-out tours and album sales, now exceeding 80 million.
Responsible for some of rock and roll’s most enduring anthems including “Juke Box Hero,” “Cold
As Ice,” “Hot Blooded,” “Waiting For A Girl Like You,” “Feels Like The First Time,” “Urgent,” “Head
Games,” “Say You Will,” “Dirty White Boy,” “Long, Long Way From Home” and the worldwide #1
hit, “I Want To Know What Love Is,” FOREIGNER still rocks the charts more than 40 years into the
game with massive airplay and continued Billboard Top 200 album success. Audio and video
streams of FOREIGNER’s hits are approaching 15 million per week.
With more Top 10 songs than Journey and as many as Fleetwood Mac, FOREIGNER also features
strongly in every category in Billboard’s “Greatest of All Time” listing. At times, the band’s weekly
catalog sales have eclipsed those of Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, the Rolling Stones, the Who, Def
Leppard, Van Halen, Aerosmith and most of their Classic Rock peers (Source: Nielsen
SoundScan). FOREIGNER‘s catalog sales were recently celebrated in Business Insider as hitting
the Top 40 among the Best Selling Music Artists of All Time.
Founded in 1976, FOREIGNER‘s debut album produced the hits “Feels Like The First Time,” “Cold
As Ice” and “Long, Long Way From Home.” The album Double Vision followed, as did a string of
hits including “Urgent,” “Juke Box Hero” and “Waiting For A Girl Like You.” Those songs
helped give FOREIGNER‘s next album, 4, its impressive run at #1 on the Billboard chart. At the
zenith of 80’s sound, FOREIGNER‘s fifth album, Agent Provocateur, gave the world the incredible
#1 global hit,” I Want To Know What Love Is.” This musical milestone followed the recordbreaking
song “Waiting For A Girl Like You.”
FOREIGNER‘s founder is Songwriters Hall of Fame member Mick Jones. A visionary maestro
whose stylistic songwriting, indelible guitar hooks and multi-layered talents continue to
escalate FOREIGNER‘s influence and guide the band to new horizons.
Jones reformed the band after a 2002 hiatus and selected lead singer Kelly Hansen to help write
an inspired new chapter in the history of FOREIGNER. One of rock’s greatest showmen, Hansen
is among the most respected, consummate professionals in rock and roll. With a 40-year career
that spans almost every area of music, from the role of lead vocalist to producing and
engineering, Hansen has led FOREIGNER into the digital age while inspiring a whole new
generation of fans.
FOREIGNER’s lineup also includes noted Dokken bassist Jeff Pilson, Michael Bluestein on
keyboards, guitarist Bruce Watson, Chris Frazier on drums and guitarist Luis Carlos Maldonado.
An unprecedented new level of energy led the group to a re-emergence of astounding music that
speaks to FOREIGNER‘s enduring popularity.
With renewed vitality and direction, FOREIGNER hit the Billboard charts again with the 2005
release of their live Greatest Hits album, Extended Versions. Can’t Slow Down followed in 2009
and entered the Billboard chart in the Top 30, driven by two Top 20 radio singles, “In Pieces” and
“When It Comes To Love.” To follow was the release of the band’s three-disc set, Feels Like The
First Time, which included an acoustic CD with an intimate and unique re-interpretation of
many FOREIGNER classics, studio re-records by the new lineup and a live performance DVD
showcasing the group’s exceptional live energy.
FOREIGNER’s music experienced another surge in popularity in recent years thanks to usage in
primetime television, major motion pictures, video games, advertising, and digital content. Films
such as Rock of Ages, Bad Moms, Angry Birds, Magic Mike, Pitch Perfect, Good Boys and The
Eternals, and television shows Orange Is The New Black, Stranger Things, The Late Show with
Stephen Colbert, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Tacoma FD have all strongly
featured Foreigner’s songs. Advertisers including Toyota, Google, Molson, and Ford have turned
to FOREIGNER’s music to engage their fans.
In May 2014, Atlantic Records Chairman Craig Kallman presented the band with RIAA gold and
platinum digital awards for six FOREIGNER songs. These awards signify 500,000 and 1,000,000
downloads of FOREIGNER hits. That is more individual awards than any other heritage rock band,
and an illustration of FOREIGNER’s resonance in the digital era.
In recent years, FOREIGNER has headlined several Live Nation tours, rocking across the country
and the world with contemporaries and friends. In 2014, FOREIGNER headlined The Soundtrack
of Summer US amphitheatre tour with Styx and Don Felder. A hits compilation album of the same
name was released to coincide with the tour and immediately hit the Billboard Top 200 chart. In
2015, FOREIGNER joined Kid Rock on his “Cheap Date: First Kiss Tour.”
In October 2016, FOREIGNER hit a major milestone when the band performed for the very first
time at New York’s iconic Carnegie Hall with a sold-out acoustic show. The concert highlighted
the band’s ongoing relationship with the GRAMMY Museum’s initiative to promote music
education in our nation’s schools. It included an a cappella contest among New York high schools
who competed for a $5,000 prize donated by the band.
The year also brought the release of FOREIGNER‘s first ever live acoustic album In Concert:
Unplugged, recorded at a once-in-a-lifetime private concert hosted by Edsel B. Ford II at the Ford
Motor Company Conference & Event Center in Detroit, MI. The band’s royalties were donated
to JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) and the album is available exclusively via
The year 2017 marked the celebration of FOREIGNER‘s 40th anniversary. The Warner Music
Group released a double CD set “40,” which includes 40 songs recorded between 1977 and 2017.
The album spent several weeks on the Billboard Top 200 chart and it features two tracks recorded
especially for this release, “Give My Life For Love” and a new version of “I Don’t Want To Live
Without You.” The album spent nine weeks in the Billboard Top 200 chart. The US anniversary
headline tour played 40 shows across the United States where the band was supported by Cheap
Trick and Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience.
In April 2018, FOREIGNER topped the Billboard Classic Album Charts for the first time with
FOREIGNER WITH THE 21ST CENTURY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA & CHORUS, a live recording of FOREIGNER’s first-ever orchestral shows in Lucerne, Switzerland. The band went on to headline orchestral shows in the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand throughout the year including sold-out appearances at London’s Royal Albert Hall and the iconic Sydney Opera House. In the summer of 2018, FOREIGNER starred in a thirty city Live Nation US summer tour with Whitesnake and Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening in support.
The excitement continued in 2019 with the premiere of Juke Box Hero, the Musical in Canada.
Following a series of sold-out workshops in Alberta and Calgary, the musical premiered in Toronto
in February and a Broadway run is on the horizon.
The November 2019 release of Double Vision: Then & Now is a DVD/CD package that celebrates
the 40th anniversary of the iconic album. It features a stunning reunion concert that brings
together the current and original band members playing all the hits at the top of their game.
2020 kicked off with a three-day run at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center with the Nashville
Symphony Orchestra in mid-January. Another highlight was a sold-out January/February
residency at The Venetian, Las Vegas. The Covid-19 nightmare forced the band to postpone
almost a hundred shows all over the world including a sold-out show with Whitesnake at the
18,000 seat London 02 Arena.
The Covid impact on the live concert business continued through much of 2021, although by
careful observation of health protocols, Foreigner was able to execute a limited, but highly
successful touring schedule breaking box office records in many markets. Following spectacular
shows at LA’s Greek Theater and the Santa Barbara Bowl, the band embarked on a run of theater
and major casino dates and other special events. These included appearances at Detroit’s Fox
Theatre and the Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena in Atlantic City. Another highlight was an
appearance at the Annual Gala of the American Turkish Society, which celebrated the life of Mick
Jones’ and Foreigner’s guiding light at Atlantic Records, Ahmet Ertegun. The year culminated with
FOREIGNER’S appearance at the spectacular Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
2022 commenced with a three-week residency at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas and the
rescheduled co-headline UK tour with Whitesnake, and solo headline shows across Europe. The
year continued with an exciting schedule of headline appearances that included the New York State Fair, where Foreigner’s 38,888 plus audience broke the Classic Rock attendance record, and
a run of sold-out amphitheater shows with Kid Rock. In the fall, Foreigner returned to
international touring with sold out shows in France, Holland, Israel, and South Africa.
FOREIGNER announced the beginning of their Farewell Tour on national television on November
14th, 2022. The tour commenced on July 6th, 2023 in Alpharetta, GA and we expect that it will
take two years or so to complete. The goal is to get to all the cities that the band has played since
its reformation in 2004
or call (813) 754-1996
Saturday, March 9, 2024 · 3:30 p.m.
Jo Dee Messina
Jo Dee Messina kicked off her notable career with “Heads Carolina, Tails California,” a single that immediately made her a household name. Following the success of her debut, Jo Dee posted nine No. 1 hits and sixteen Top 40 songs and was honored by the ACM Awards, CMA Awards, and GRAMMY Awards. As Jo Dee’s résumé grew, she proved to be a trendsetter and history-maker, becoming the first female in country music history to celebrate three consecutive multi-week, chart-topping songs. Over the years, Jo Dee has amassed over half a billion streams on Pandora, hundreds of millions of album and single streams on each Spotify and Apple Music, and millions of views on YouTube. Her impressive listenership recently earned her acknowledgment for having one of the Top 20 country albums of the 1990s on the Spotify platform. Additionally, her social media accounts are collectively followed by over one million fans.
or call (813) 754-1996
Saturday, March 9, 2024 · 7:30 p.m.
Born Tramar Dillard on September 17, 1979, FloRida was raised by a single mother in Miami’s rough neighborhood of Carol City, Florida. Music helped FloRida stay on the straight path. His father was a talented musician who encouraged his son to express himself through music. Growing up, FloRida was exposed to all kinds of music, thanks in large part to his sisters, some of whom formed a local gospel group. When he was a teenager, FloRida found local success rapping with a group called the Groundhoggz. At 18, he became the hype man for Fresh Kid Ice from 2 Live Crew. Eventually, FloRida caught the attention of DeVante Swing, formerly of famed R&B group Jodeci and spent a few years in Los Angeles working with him. Unable to land a record deal, FloRida returned home to Miami and in late 2006 hooked up with Poe Boy Entertainment and its CEO, Elric “E-Class” Prince.
In December 20, 2006 FloRida inked a deal with Atlantic Records and in 2009 started his own management company, Strong Arm, with longtime friend and manager, Lee ” Freezy” Prince. With the success of his management company FloRida and Lee “Freezy” Prince launched their own record label, IMG, in June 2011. With his musical success FloRida got back to his roots of giving back and started “Big Dreams For Kids” a nonprofit foundation that is committed to inspiring future leaders.
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Sunday, March 10, 2024 · 7:30 p.m.
It might be daunting to launch a massive endeavor like a double album, but not for country superstar Cody Johnson, an artist MusicRow predicts “just might be the future of real country music.” For him, it was quite the opposite. “I literally felt like I was just window shopping. Like I was a millionaire in a diamond shop. I was like, ‘I want that one. I want that one, I want that one,’” he says. “And then when we added all those songs up, we had 18 that we knew we had to record.”
The brand new 18-track double album Human, which debuted at the top of the country albums chart the week of its release, is stacked top to bottom with songs that Johnson considers ones that were originally dubbed too country for country. When the songwriters told Johnson and his team that the tunes, they’d penned were being rejected by other Nashville artists, he said, “Bring those to me.”
“It’s so hard to watch the fight to get the cowboy back on the radio. Because that’s who I am and the lifestyle I live. And I can’t sacrifice my integrity for who I am. I’m just kind of just being myself,” Johnson says, having established a following of loyal fans by doing just that. Known as CoJo Nation, they regularly sell out shows across the country and have helped him earn multiple ACM and CMA Awards nominations as well as numerous RIAA platinum and gold singles and album certifications that now tally 14. In fact, those fans increased Johnson’s worldwide streams by nearly One Billion in 2021, growing from Two Billion to over 3.7 Billion streams, averaging 35 million streams per week.
And he’s won the fight as “’Til You Can’t” landed as his first #1 radio single taking the top spot on both the Billboard Country Airplay and Mediabase charts and is a RIAA Platinum and gold certified single. The song remained at the top for two consecutive weeks; five weeks in Canada; 9x #1 on Billboard Hot Country Songs six weeks in a row; Top 20 on Billboard’s all-genre Hot 100 chart; multi-week Country Aircheck #1 radio single; #1 spots on SiriusXM’s HOT 30 Weekend, the MusicRow CountryBreakout chart and Shazam’s Country Chart.
To date “’Til You Can’t” has logged over 330 million global streams and counting since its release with nearly 2 million US track equivalents to date. Cody performed the song on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Kelly Clarkson Show & CMT Awards where it was nominated for two awards, winning Male Video of The Year.
At the close of 2021, Human received tremendous media praise making ‘best-of’ year-end lists with All Music (Favorite Country Albums of 2021, Human), Billboard (15 Best Country Songs of 2021, “’Til You Can’t), Holler (Country Records of the Year, Human), New York Times (Best Album of 2021, Human), Saving Country Music Best Mainstream Country Albums of 2021, Human), Taste of Country (Best Country Albums of 2021, Human and Top Country Songs of 2021, “’Til You Can’t), Yardbarker’s (Country Music’s Biggest Breakout Stars of 2021) and more.
Human follows his first major-label release, Ain’t Nothin’ to It, which skyrocketed to No. 1 on both the Billboard Top Country Albums and All-Genre Digital Sales charts, also reaching Top 10 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart. It also made history as the third-highest pre-added album of all time in the country music genre on Apple Music at the time of release and has since been certified Gold.
Johnson re-recorded one of the project’s standout tracks, the RIAA certified gold-selling “Dear Rodeo,” as a powerful and emotional duet alongside country music icon, Reba McEntire. Described as “a beautiful piece of work” by MusicRow. The song inspired his autobiographical award-winning, feature-length documentary Dear Rodeo: The Cody Johnson Story. The film includes guest appearances by McEntire, Navy Seal Chris Kyle’s widow Taya (Kyle) and more. It opened in theaters across the nation last summer and onto streaming services with rave reviews offering fans an intimate look into his real-life journey from the dusty rodeo arenas of rural Texas to some of the biggest musical stages in America. Dear Rodeo: The Cody Johnson Story garnered numerous awards at independent film festivals like The Telly Awards, The Wild Bunch Film Festival and The Wild West Film Festival.
When he began working on his second CoJo Music/Warner Music Nashville project, Johnson had enough undeniably country songs in his arsenal to make not one but two albums. Instead of trying to pare down the selection, he decided to record all of them and go old-school with a double album. The concept of two albums — each with a side A and a side B – added up to Human. And what that meant for Johnson is a listening experience that should feel like you’re at one of his unprecedented live shows. “What I did was put the songs together in sequential order as if it was a set list, and I was going to play you this album live. If there’s a theme to this project, it’s that the album is a set list.”
Johnson adds that he created this constellation of songs by choosing each one for its own reasons. “There are ones I wrote on, there are ones I didn’t write on, and there are ones that I wish I’d written. There was too much good out there to let go of, so I just said, ‘We’re going to cut all of them.’”
Then when it came time to choose a name for the double album, produced with longtime collaborator Trent Willmon, Johnson landed on the title track “Human.” He did so, he says, because he spent more time at home in 2020 than he has since he started riding bulls as a teenager.
“I addressed things personally with this music. I addressed things in my marriage, and I said a lot of things that I had never said to my wife, we started over, and I made a vow to be a better husband, a better father, and a better leader. There were a lot of things that I was going through when I heard ‘Human.’ I was just like, ‘Man, that’s exactly what I’m doing. We ride into town, strike a match, and ride out. I show up for a show and act like I’ve got all this stuff figured out for 90 minutes,” he explains, “and then I get back to myself and I have just as many things to worry about as everybody else. So, we’re all human. We’re all going to be learning to be human until the day that we’re not human. I don’t think anybody figures it out, and when we do figure it out, maybe that’s when we go.”
The title also reflects how Johnson feels about releasing an album that he calls the most vulnerable one he’s ever recorded. One of the songs he wrote on his own – “By Your Grace” – is the best example of just how vulnerable he was feeling throughout the pandemic. “I was having a really rough time with a lot of things I was dealing with. And my bus was parked at my house, so I went out there, got my guitar out, and I started playing. What came to me was, ‘I’m aware of everything that’s wrong with me but still you accept me either way. And I’ll live with the past I can’t get past, and it still haunts me, so I’m asking for the courage to make a change.’ Now, I could have written that down in my journal or said that to a therapist. But as a song, it’s a reminder that God gives us grace, and how you repay the gift of grace is faith. It’s reminder that by His grace, I have been set free.”
Johnson hopes to see that song change people’s lives, even his own. “I need to remember that God gave me this talent. This ain’t Cody,” he says. “And I have an opportunity with my microphone to touch people.”
Another stand-out track off the ambitious album is the lead single, “‘Til You Can’t.” As Johnson has slowly but surely been getting back out on the road, the song elicits a crowd reaction that’s the boldest he’s ever seen. “After the year we’ve all been through, there’s a division in this country. But songs like this one have the ability to unite us all. We can all relate to the fact that life starts, and it ends. All we’re given is time. Every day, every minute and every second is valuable. I always point to my guitar when I sing the line ‘cause a dream won’t chase you back.’ We are only here for a short time.” The earnest song from Ben Stennis and Matt Rogers has an infectious tempo that starts quietly then builds along with Johnson’s advice: take the chances, chase the dreams, bait those lines, put that diamond on her hand, and take those calls from your mama as long as you can. Until you can’t. It’s the quintessential why-not-now song that calls Johnson’s loyal fans to action. CMT was the broadcast premiere partner for the song’s music video.
Not all of the 18 country songs on Human are brand new. Johnson has covers of classics from Vince Gill (“Son of a Ramblin’ Man”) and Conway Twitty (“I Don’t Know a Thing About Love”). Johnson also recruited country music icon Willie Nelson to join him for a new version of Nelson’s honest and witty “Sad Songs and Waltzes” from 1973.
After an hour of non-stop cowboy country music — backed by the welcome sounds of pedal steel guitar, fiddle, piano and his distinctive vocals — what Johnson hopes are that his fans will feel like they know him a little bit better. “I love the fact that when you listen to this album, you’re gonna hear all the facets that are me, personally and musically. Whether it’s something bluegrass, something a little bit rock, something gospel, or something a little bit more Texas.
“When people listen to Human, they are going to hear a lot more of me being me, because I am finally comfortable with myself and able to share that with my fans.”
Johnson also released his first-ever Christmas album, A Cody Johnson Christmas. The ten-song project, which includes many of Johnson’s holiday favorites, also features two new original songs penned by producer Trent Willmon. Johnson and Willmon also created newly imagined arrangements for the beloved Christmas carols “Away In A Manger” and “Silent Night.”
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