Events

KMLE @ 107.9 Acoustic Christmas

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Dec 14, 2012

Fri 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM

400 West Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85003

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Performers:

  • Maggie Rose
  • Randy Houser
  • Brett Eldredge

More Info

Event Details

Benefitting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, with country artists Randy Houser, Greg Bates, Maggie Rose and Brett Eldredge at Comerica Theatre in Phoenix on Friday, Dec. 14.
Show starts @7pm

Cost

Payment required - Tickets, $20-$38, go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 16, at livenation.com, the Comerica box office or 800-745-3000.

Performer Info

Maggie Rose: Music is a powerful means of expression and rarely has a young performer displayed better command of the vehicle than Maggie Rose. Possessing a strong, warm voice that is alternately playful or poignant as the subject matter dictates, Maggie has a gift for penning insightful songs and delivering them with emotional punch. Working with legendary producer James Stroud, Maggie has crafted a debut album filled with potent songs, each one anchored by her riveting vocals.

With one listen to her impressive voice, it’s obvious Maggie could have chosen any musical genre and found success, but country seemed like home. “I did have a lot of influences,” the Maryland native says recalling her childhood. “My mom exposed me to great female artists like Mary Chapin Carpenter, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt and Trisha Yearwood, really powerful female voices.”

Always passionate about music, she embraced a variety of different artists and styles, but felt a particular kinship with country artists, especially those with the ability to share compelling stories in their songs. “The first concert I ever went to was a Shania Twain show,” she says. “While I also admired many of the pop singers that were so popular when I was younger, when it got down to my becoming an artist, country always spoke to me. I connected with country music more than any other genre.”

By the time she was 16, she was performing regularly with a Bruce Springsteen cover band called the B Street Band. “I would do my own little introductory set and then they’d play the Bruce Springsteen cover songs,” she recalls. “They were such a good band, so it was a great experience to be backed by great musicians.”

While majoring in vocal performance at Clemson University, Maggie got a phone call that changed her life. A friend had sent some of her demos to music mogul Tommy Mottola, well-known for launching Celine Dion, Destiny’s Child and Mariah Carey, among others. “I remember getting the call from Tommy’s assistant as I was walking with my friend to economics class,” Maggie recalls. “She said, ‘Tommy wants you to come to his office and sing some original songs for him.’ It was so surreal. I didn’t go to class that day. I went back to my dorm room and tried to process everything.”

When Mottola learned of Maggie’s desire to pursue a country music career, he helped her connect with James Stroud and his wife Laura, a successful Music Row publisher, who Maggie describes as her “Nashville Mom.” Laura introduced Maggie to some of the community’s top songwriters who became friends and collaborators. James was so impressed with the demos he began hearing, he took Maggie in the studio to begin work on her debut. “I’m so much more sure of the artist I want to be today than I was when I first moved here,” Maggie says, “Moving to town, I became aware of the reality that there are so many talented people here. It gives me so much perspective. One of the reasons people move here is to be around other creative people.”

Maggie first gained a national audience with the engaging single “Maybe Tonight,” which was accompanied by a charming video that spotlighted her performance skills. Previously known as Margaret Durante, the young artist felt she really wanted fans to know her as Maggie Rose, the name all her family and friends call her. She felt it was time to hit the reset button. “Sharing the name that I’ve been called by my family and friends with my fans is just another way to open up a part of me to them that they haven’t seen yet,” she says. “I was not being untrue to myself going by Margaret Durante, but I’m giving my experiences and my stories to my fans and I wanted them to call me by my nickname. I think it’s just a nice way to honor where I’ve been and where I’m going.”

Becoming more confident in her musical gift ignited a particularly creative period for Maggie that fueled the songs on her debut album. Co-writing with some of Nashville’s most noted tunesmiths, Maggie delivers a diverse collection that examines the intricacies of life. “I feel like this music is unapologetic,” she says. “I want women to hear this and be like, ‘Yeah! Right On!’ It gives women empowerment definitely, but also I want people to be entertained by it. A lot of the music, for me, is very coming-of-age. It’s about finding out who I am, not just as an artist, but as a young woman growing up, being on my own in Nashville.”

Maggie is thoughtful, articulate and intelligent yet has a playful streak that is endearing and a dry sense of humor that will sneak up on you. Her songs have the ability to move an audience with their depth and intensity, yet she’s equally capable of delivering a light-hearted romp that will make audiences want to get up and dance. “‘Fall Madly In Love’ is just a catchy, infectious, flirty, confident song,” Maggie says. “There’s something about that song. I couldn’t stop singing it once I heard it once and it just came alive. When we recorded it in the studio with James, it just took on a life of its own. It’s an undeniable song with lots of energy and confidence, which is what I feel like my music is about right now, just being confident and sassy and having fun.”

“Preacher’s Daughter” spotlights Maggie’s ability to pen a great story song. Co-written with Connie Harrington, the eerie lyric recounts the murder of two young lovers. “We had a blast writing it,” Maggie says. “We wanted it to be sultry and a little dark, but also have a deep South, funky country sound like Bonnie Raitt. I love how she has that cool vibe about her. We were trying to channel that for ‘Preacher’s Daughter.’ I love singing it. Every time I perform it I can’t help but just to come alive because it’s a great story.”

“Better” is a compelling song that finds Maggie channeling the pain of a past break up. “I was telling James Stroud and Stephony Smith the story of this person who had just broken my heart,” she recalls. “They said, ‘Boy, have we got a song for you!’ They played me ‘Better’ and I was so moved by it. I was right there in the trenches of everything that was going on in the song in my own life. Even now when I sing ‘Better,’ it just takes me back to that feeling that I had emotionally when I first heard the song. It’s really powerful and totally honest. We didn’t compromise anything on that song.”

Uncompromising, unapologetic and unexpected--these are just a few of the words that come to mind in describing Maggie Rose. Whether she’s opening for Jason Aldean or Lady Antebellum in a large arena or performing an intimate set in a local club, Maggie has the ability to transport the listener through her music. “I love connecting with people,” she says. “There’s no feeling like it. When I go to a concert, I won’t know the person sitting next to me, but if someone puts on a great show, by the end of the night I feel connected to complete strangers because the person on stage has made us all relate to what they are saying. We all feel that common ground that we’ve bonded on. It’s incredible and magical for me. As an artist and songwriter, that’s the thrill--to be connecting with a group of people by sharing your stories. It’s pretty remarkable.”

Randy Houser: “People are ready for real country music again,” says Randy Houser, and there are few people in a better position to give it to them.

Blessed with one of his generation’s great voices, he is also a world-class songwriter, penning hits for artists including Trace Adkins and Justin Moore, and a seasoned entertainer known for the passion and energy he brings to every performance.

His debut album, Anything Goes, introduced him as an exceptional artist, someone with both a cutting-edge sound and a deep respect for classic country. Fans, media and peers alike recognized that he possesses an artistic vision equal to his formidable talent.

The strong reaction to his music was evident when David Letterman heard the album’s powerful first single, “Anything Goes,” and invited Randy to perform on the Late Show, introducing him to an even broader nationwide audience. A searing portrayal of emptiness and loss, “Anything Goes” rose quickly into the Top 20. Randy followed it with one of the rowdiest songs and coolest videos of recent years—“Boots On,” which rocketed to #2. Randy was named Country Aircheck’s No. 1 New Country Artist in terms of airplay for 2009, and was a presenter and a nominee at both the ACM Awards (Video of the Year for “Boots On”) and the CMA Awards (New Artist of the Year and Music Video of the Year), as well as garnering a nomination for the 2010 CMT Music Awards’ Nationwide® Insurance On Your Side® Award. At the awards show he helped host Kid Rock kick off the festivities with a surprise appearance on stage during a medley of "Cowboy," "Bawitdaba" and "Good Ol' Boys."

With one of country music’s most promising young careers, Randy is taking a major step forward with his sophomore album, They Call Me Cadillac.

“I wanted to make a record I wanted to hear,” he explains. “I put my heart into this, and the result is something I’m really proud of.”

From the beginning, Randy and co-producers Cliff Audretch III and Mark Wright agreed on a straightforward approach that focused on the meaningful lyrics of the songs.

“I want to catch people’s ears not just with a guitar hook, but with the words. I didn’t want too much going on around it.”

The result, recorded with Randy’s own band, rather than studio musicians, is a stark and straightforward effort that does full justice to an artist heavily influenced by the classic works of idols like Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, George Jones and Waylon Jennings.

The album covers a great deal of musical and thematic ground. Randy includes pure fun, rowdy, foot-stomping tracks like “Out Here in the Country” and “Whistlin’ Dixie,” but also manages to capture the ups and downs of love on other tracks, demonstrating his artistic range. The manic and mile-a-minute declaration of “I’m All About It” contrasts sharply with the naked need of “Addicted.” The poignant look at love and longing that is “Here With Me” is a great compliment to the clever, rough-edged nod to love’s losers in “Lowdown and Lonesome.” “Man Like Me,” with its straight-ahead country approach and lyrics steeped in love and gratitude, is heavily reminiscent of the best of Don Williams and Randy Travis.

While these songs are a fantastic representation of Randy’s songwriting prowess, the remaining songs on the project complete this impressive collection and prove why Randy deserves to stand out among his peers. He excels on the blues-drenched “Somewhere South Of Memphis” and the pure gospel loveliness of “Lead Me Home,” a song that explores, with grace and wonder, the end of the human journey. Both songs let him stretch vocally, and together they offer a stunning example of the scope and quality of his work.

Showcasing his classic country side, “If I Could Buy Me Some Time” responds to the roller coaster life of a touring musician, while, with its weepy steel resonance and its anguished introspection, Randy truly shines on “Will I Always Be This Way.”

Overall, the mix of moods and topics is the project’s appeal. “I wanted the flow to carry you up for a bit so you could have fun,” Randy adds, “and then I wanted it to come back down to where you really had to listen.”

The album’s title song is a nod to Randy’s nickname. “My buddy Dallas Davidson is the one who came up with that,” he says with a grin. “That’s my identity to my friends around here. It has to do with being relaxed and laid back and comfortable. I guess I’m comfortable in my own skin and when you think about Cadillac’s, that’s what they are—big and comfortable.”

They Call Me Cadillac is an album that proves why Randy is among the most talented of his generation and of crucial importance to the genre. With the help of his good friends and collaborators Jamey Johnson and Jerrod Niemann, he has brought a needed dose of rugged individualism to the airwaves. Together they form the core of a group of modern-day artists who live and breathe country music – road warriors who lay aside formulaic notions of commercialism and appeal to audiences with respect to traditionalism and their individual passions.

“We’re just doing what we do. We don’t strive to be something we’re not. We would be unhappy just following the status quo. If you don’t really dig into yourself you’re never going to separate yourself from the pack, so why not do it how you want to? We’re just people who do it our own way.”

Randy has been making music his own way since his earliest days in Lake, Mississippi. He was exposed to the best of the region’s rich mix of music, including country, gospel, rock, and blues. He learned to love creating and playing music from his father, a professional musician.

“The funny thing is I’ve known this is what I wanted to do since I was five or six years old. I wanted to be an entertainer, a songwriter. I didn’t know at that age I was going to have a talent for it. I didn’t know about chasing girls or good times. It was pure and simple about something I really loved, which is music.” For years Randy stayed closed to home, playing clubs all throughout Mississippi, but after his father died when he was 21, he decided to move to Nashville. His standout focal prowess voice impressed one person after another, and the connections kept multiplying. He earned a publishing deal and began turning out songs for Trace Adkins, Justin Moore, and Jessie James, among others. It wasn’t long before he began his own ascent up the charts as a recording artist.

“I spent a lot of years working my ass off to get lucky,” he says with a wry grin.

His passion for his craft shows not only in every cut, but also in every performance.

“When I go out there and sing, I cannot half-ass it. That’s just part of the way I grew up. You go at something, you want to sell it. When I’ve got something to say, especially in a song, I want you to get it, so I’m not one of those quiet singers. I can’t just lullaby you. I’m getting on it.”

The result is a mix of passion, talent, and showmanship that place him among this generation’s most compelling artists. Combine those with the integrity he brings to his music and his knowledge of and respect for country music’s traditions, and it’s clear that Randy is on his way to becoming one for the ages.

Brett Eldredge: Some life-changing moments are only apparent in retrospect. Brett Eldredge recognized his as it was happening. The Paris, IL native was at the Station Inn, an historic bluegrass/country venue, in Nashville. His cousin Terry, a veteran of Dolly Parton's band and now a member of the Grascals, was playing with a band called the Sidemen, and a mesmerized Brett was in the crowd. "He asked me to come up on stage and told me to pick a song to play with the band," says Brett. …“That was the point where I thought, 'This is it. This is something I've got to do.'"

The talent that let him turn his dream into reality—the depth of his writing and the sheer power of his smoky and expressive baritone—are both apparent in his first single “Raymond.” He has earned a reputation as much for the strength of his writing as for his world-class voice. Brett and co-writer Pat McLaughlin landed a song called "I Think I've Had Enough" on Gary Allan's latest album, Get Off On The Pain, and one of his frequent collaborators is Country Music Hall of Famer and Grand Ole Opry stalwart Bill Anderson

"As a songwriter," he says, "my aim is to portray a little bit of me and my life along with the stories of other people and turn them into something that can really touch somebody's heart and soul. We sit down on Music Row every day and write songs and every once in a while a song like ‘Raymond’ comes from such a real place. I hope it's that real to other people and that I can make them feel the way I felt when I wrote it and when I sing it."

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