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Gretchen Wilson at Wild Bills

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This Multi-Platinum artist took Wild Bills by storm….. literally…..tornado watches and warnings were in full effect outside when Gretchen Wilson started her set, but that didn’t seem to stop her fans in what appeared to be close to a sold out show at Wild Bills! I must say, Gretchen seemed to be genuinely touched by the huge crowd that made it out to see her in spite of the bad weather. Gretchen is a success story that should be inspiring to not only any musician following their dream, but to kids that don’t have the easiest childhood. –  She was born and raised by her young single mother, moved from trailer park to trailer park staying one step ahead of debt collectors, dropped out of high school in the 9th grade and worked hard earning money (started bartending at the age of 14 along side her mother) and at the same time she was following her dream of music.  The exciting part of the story is she not only she picked up 2004 CMA Horizon Award, 2004 Grammy Award winner for Best Female Country Vocal Performance, 2005 CMA Female Vocalist of the Year and a slew of other awards for her talent, but all through the years of building her career, she didn’t forget about her education –Wanting to teach her own daughter the importance of education, she received her GED in 2007 at the age of 34.  She still today is involved in the importance of Adult Education with one of her biggest awards coming when she was honored with the 2009 National Coalition for Literacy Leadership Award.

Ok, Forget the storms, forget her background and forget the fact that she had been sick and almost didn’t perform.…. she was ‘Here for the Party’…….and that is exactly how she started out the set! The crowd was there for her party too – the place was packed out with cowboy hats and big belt buckles!  One thing about Country Music that is endearing is the proud sense of patriotism that surrounds it  – they proved that to be true with an electric guitar version of ‘The Star Spangled Banner’.  She didn’t keep it low key for long….Gretchen and her talented band continued the set with Foreigner’s ‘Hot Blooded’  and a musical “tease” of songs like ‘Barracuda’ and ‘Pretty Woman’.  Showing her wild, rocker side, she took a shot of Jack Daniels during her 2005 hit, ‘All Jacked Up’ ending that song with a strong drum solo that drummer, Ron Gannaway nailed.  One song that was missing during her set was the song that broke her career wide open, Redneck Woman, which of course ended up being the Encore.  I don’t think there was one person in the crowd that didn’t know the words to that song…..the crowd sang as they held up their beer bottles to salute this beautiful Red Neck woman and her music.   Gretchen Wilson fans are obviously loyal and with her to stay….. can’t wait to hear what her next chapter in life sounds like!  She’s not just Country, she is Southern Rock-n-Roll![nggallery id=517]

Artists to Watch

Cry With Us! Puddles Pity Party in Orlando

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Ange Alex

I owe him a poem:

Here’s a story of a sad clown who one night in February was traveling through O-town. 

He brought a suitcase and a lot of gum, he brought music and videos and tons of fun.

He sang high but mostly he sang low, and he put of one hell of a good show.

He gave a bearded guy a cupcake and danced with a lady, a wolf he would make

There is no doubt he is a boss sir, he even got love from Kevin Costner.

Fans filled the plaza for a night of delight as the 7 foot clown gave us some real insight.

He sang Bowie and Queen and even some Who, also Cash, Lorde and “Let it go” too

Videos played of pets and babies crying, also beautiful artwork and people smiling.

Last night Orlando was anything but mad as we showed much love for a clown that is sad.

Ok, I’d cry too after that poem. Here’s some more info:

If you haven’t been to see a Puddles Pity Party show, you are missing out. 

The show had me smiling and laughing so hard my stomach hurt, but I was also moved so many times by the range of Puddles voice. True entertainment never gets old and I have a feeling he is going to last forever.

I loved the interaction he had with the crowd. He pulled numerous people up to help him on stage and all of them were good sports, one man even singing the entire song, “All by myself” karaoke style! The show was so well thought out and planned but with room for some hilarious improv. Especially at the end when he pulled the 3 fans from the audience dressed like clowns. At the end of them performing together, Puddles suddenly remembers that he is scared of clowns! Genius! 

Hands down one of the best performances I’ve seen in years.

 

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Holiday Fun

Kingsized Holiday Fun! Big Mike is Back at the Variety Playhouse!

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Big Mike Geier and his Kingsized Rock ‘n Roll Orchestra, along with the Dames Aflame Dancers, Lil’ Santa and other special guests, bring tidings of comfort and joy with their signature glitz and glamour in what has become a tinsel-time tradition at the Variety Playhouse. The all-ages 90-minute show features your Holiday favorites by the likes of Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Andy Williams, Heat Miser, The Grinch and more!

Photo: Emily Butler

We caught up with Big Mike to ask a few questions.

TBB: Big Mike! It’s been a couple years since we had the pleasure of seeing you perform live. We are so excited to be back in Atlanta and we are ready for this show. What can you tell us about this years event?

Big Mike: Welcome back to Atlanta, Ange! We’re also excited to be in town for another wild and wonderful Holiday Jubilee. We like to honor the tradition that the Jubilee has become and don’t mess too much with the format. You can expect the always magnificent sounds of the 12-piece Kingsized Rock ‘n Roll orchestra performing your favorite holiday classics and the dazzling Dames Aflame dancers providing the glamour. The show is all about holiday nostalgia, whatever that means to you: Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, Donnie Hathaway, The Grinch, Rankin Bass, Peanuts, the Dreidel Song? It’s all in there.

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Music Gallery

Turkuaz at Aisle 5

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Brooklyn based funk band Turkuaz played at Aisle Five in Atlanta last week and here are some shots from the show!

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