Country music trailblazer, Granger Smith, is the flagship artist on BBR Music Group’s imprint, Wheelhouse Records. With sold-out national tours, a social media following of more than 6.5 million, and YouTube views exceeding 100 million, Granger Smith has amassed a rabid audience, while building a truly groundbreaking career. Granger’s current album, Remington, released March 2016 via Wheelhouse Records, claimed the No. 1 spot on the iTunes country album chart on release day and garnered him the No. 1 debut for first week sales via Nielson Soundscan (3/14). The album, produced by Granger Smith and Frank Rogers, features the hit single “Backroad Song,” which landed the No. 1 spot at country radio (Billboard Country Airplay, Mediabase and Music Row charts). Granger also received a BMI Country Award for writing, producing, publishing (Climbing Windmills) and performing “Backroad Song.” The follow up smash, “If The Boot Fits,” reached the Top 5. Granger was nominated in the Best New Country Artist category for the 2017 iHeartRadio Awards taking place from the Forum in Los Angeles on March 5, 2017. Granger was also included in the 2017 crop of artists honored to perform at the CRS “New Faces” show in Nashville in February 2017. It was just announced that Granger will go on tour with Luke Bryan on the “Huntin’, Fishin’, And Lovin’ Every Day Tour this fall. Granger’s “YEE YEE NATION” headlining national tour has consistently sold out and broken attendance records and merchandise records at nearly every venue over the past two and a half years. He performs at some of the country’s biggest festivals throughout the year and was recently on tour with both Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan. Granger’s comical country boy alter-ego, Earl Dibbles Jr., has its own fanatical following and garnered him a weekly segment called “Dip ‘Em and Pick ‘Em” on CBS Sports Network’s “Inside College Football,” in which he has appeared for the past four seasons. Granger has even been recognized by Variety for being the brainchild behind Earl Dibbles Jr. (among other character alter-egos including Donny Cowboy and Live with Lionel) and named one of their annual and lauded “10 Comics to Watch for 2016.” Accolades continue to pour in for the fast-rising star. Granger has been lauded by outlets like New York Times, Variety, Forbes, MusicRow, Rolling Stone, Billboard, Huffington Post, Taste of Country, Rare Country, among many others. He has also appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the Today Show and Fox & Friends.
LOCASH is a Country music duo made up of singer-songwriters Chris Lucas and Preston Brust, natives of Baltimore, Maryland, and Indianapolis, Indiana, respectively. With a sound that fuses modern Country and classic heartland Rock with an edgy vocal blend, the independently-minded partners are revered as “one of Nashville’s hardest-working acts” (Rolling Stone) whose live show “has consistently been among the most energetic and entertaining in the country music genre” (Billboard). With two albums and eight charting singles to their credit, LOCASH broke out in 2015 with their gracious GOLD-certified hit, “I Love This Life,” and followed up with the flirtatious #1 smash, “I Know Somebody” – their first trip to the top of the Country radio airplay charts – and 2017’s fun-loving romantic anthem “Ring On Every Finger.” All three singles were part of their Reviver Records album debut, THE FIGHTERS, which was released in the summer of 2016 to Top 15 success. As songwriters, Lucas and Brust have scored two undeniable hits (Keith Urban’s #1 “You Gonna Fly” in 2011 and Tim McGraw’s PLATINUM-certified “Truck Yeah” in 2012). In 2017, they earned their first round of awards show recognition, nominated at the ACM Awards for New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year, the CMT Music Awards for Duo Video of the Year (“I Know Somebody”), and the upcoming CMA Awards for Vocal Duo of the Year.
(Saturday) 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Divots Event Center
4300 WEST NORFOLK AVE NORFOLK, NE
The Purple Xperience is a five-piece group hailing from Prince’s birthplace, Minneapolis, MN. They have been touring around the country since it’s inception in 2011 by Dr. Fink and front-man Marshall Charloff – bringing the greatest and most authentic production of Prince and The Revolution in the world to audiences of all generations. Since 2011 Purple Xperience has entertained well over 300 thousand fans and has shared the bill with The Time, Cameo, Fetty Wap, Gin Blossoms, Atlanta Rhythm section, and Cheap Trick.
FEATURING MARSHALL CHARLOFF
Lead singer, Marshall Charloff, not only styles the magic of Prince’s talent in an uncannily unmatched fashion with his appearance, vocal imitation, and multi-instrumental capacity on guitar and piano, but Marshall performs nationwide fronting world-class symphonies in most major cities in the US and Canada. Recently, Marshall Charloff teamed up with the famous jazzman Marcus Anderson (New Power Generation, 3rd Eye Girl sax player) in Raleigh, NC to perform with the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra.
Marshall recorded with Prince on the album 94 East, (where Marshall plays both, keyboards and bass guitar and Prince is on lead vocals). Pepe Willie, who discovered Marshall, was also responsible for getting Prince’s career up and running. In 2009, Marshall teamed up with Doctor Fink from Prince and the Revolution and Pepe Willie from the band 94 East to perform at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame benefit concert (On the same bill were Cheap Trick, Atlanta Rhythm Section, and the Georgia Satellites).
Marshall Charloff is a celebrated producer and recording artist. He produced, wrote and recorded for the Multi Platinum and Grammy award winning Commodores. Produced, Wrote and recorded for Hall of Fame Inductee Little Anthony (Little Anthony and the Imperials). His skills paved the way for Marshmallow Fields: a 1990s production team consisting of Marshall, Grammy winner John Fields (The Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, and Switchfoot), and Steven “Funkytown” Greenberg and their single charted on the Billboard Top 100 dance charts and is still in rotation amongst DJs around the country. Marshall is also an inductee in the Mid America Music Hall Of Fame as a member of the band Westside.
WORLD CLASS PLAYERS
Marshall Charloff’s band, Purple Xperience, hosts a number of world-class players, including: Tracey Blake on Lead guitar (played with New Power generation, Sons of Almighty featuring members of NPG, Tracey Blake Project, Westside: inducted in the Midwest hall of fame), Ron Long on Bass guitar (played with Christina Aguilera, The Backstreet Boys, 98°, also recorded with John L, Larry Blackman of Cameo, and Spike Lee), Ron Caron on Drums (played with the Rembrandts, Tina and the B sides, The Melismatics). Cory Eischen on Keys (played with New Power Generation, Prince’s protégé group: Mazarati, Soul Asylum’s Dave Pirner and Dan Wilson from Semisonic).
(Friday) 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Divots Event Center
4300 WEST NORFOLK AVE NORFOLK, NE
It’s the kind of story
It’s the kind of story you read about in books and watch on the big screen at the movies. For the band ALABAMA, it’s not just a story; it’s their life. It is a classic American tale of rags to riches. From humble beginnings picking cotton in the fields to international stars that went on to sell 73 million albums while changing the face and sound of country music.
It’s been over 40 years since Randy, Jeff and Teddy, left the cotton farms of Fort Payne, Alabama, to spend the summer playing in a Myrtle Beach, South Carolina bar called The Bowery. Having grown up working in the fields, the cousins were no strangers to hard work. They didn’t flinch when it took six long years of working for tips and living hand to mouth playing in the bar.
Of the early days and their humble beginnings, Jeff says, “I don’t think we thought too far ahead. We were more concerned with paying our bills at the end of the week and playing music.”
Finally, word of mouth earned the major label deal they’d been dreaming of. In 1980 the band broke through with their first Top 20 hit “My Home’s In Alabama.”
ALABAMA is the band that changed everything. They brought country music to the mainstream and from side stage to the main stage. ALABAMA introduced rock style guitars, lights, pyrotechnics and sounds to the country audience.
“We were renegades in sneakers and T-shirts,” says Teddy. “We had long hair and played loud and some of the country folks resisted us for a while. But then of course they did accept us and then after that, our success made it lots easier for other bands to try it in country music,” concluded Gentry. Bands benefitting from that breakthrough include Zac Brown Band, Florida Georgia Line and Eli Young Band.
They have also inspired many of today’s brightest country stars including Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan as well as pop and rock stars from Ed Sheeran to Jon Bon Jovi.
“I was part of a benefit concert at the Ryman,” he says, “and I look over there’s Jon Bon Jovi. He walked over and said hello and it turns out he’s a fan of our music.”
ALABAMA’s reach goes far beyond their impact on other artists; their music is timeless and can be heard today as a part of every cover band’s set list in nearly every college town in America.
Not long ago, Teddy was witness to a scene that reminds us that their legacy of song remains as fresh as it ever was.
“I was in Nashville,” he says, “walking by this club full of young people–I’m talking 18 or 20. The band started playing ‘Dixieland Delight’ and everybody in the place started singing and sang all the way through. I had to smile at the longevity of the songs. Half the crowd at our shows is young people, under 25 years old. So I think that’s a tribute to the fact that we spent a career putting out good songs that stand the test of time.”
While their music continues to stand the test of time, their numbers and stats are beyond compare. They have charted 43 #1 singles including 21 #1 singles in a row, a record that will likely never be surpassed in any genre. They have won over 178 CMA Awards, Grammy Awards, ACM Awards and counting. They’ve earned 21 Gold ®, Platinum ® and Multi- Platinum ® albums and were named the RIAA’s Country Group of the Century. They are members of the Country Music Hall of Fame and have a start on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They are also world-class philanthropists who have raised over 250 Million dollars for charity.
But the boys from Fort Payne are not content to rest on past glories. To much acclaim the band released a new studio album SOUTHERN DRAWL in 2015 landing on the cover of USA Today, in People Magazine, Rolling Stone and Country Weekly. Adding a new chapter to an already iconic legacy can be a little tricky, but the album skillfully walks the line between the fresh and familiar, featuring a potent collection of songs for a new generation of Alabama lovers while also giving longtime fans plenty of reasons to rejoice.
Quality songs that have become the soundtrack for American life are the foundation for Alabama’s stellar career. That standard of excellence continues on Southern Drawl. Whether it’s a wistful ballad about a musician missing his lover on the road such as “Come Find Me,” the emotional honesty of “I Wanna Be There,” their heartfelt tribute to working class America in “American Farmer” or just the rowdy, groove-laden fun of “Hillbilly Wins the Lotto Money,” each song on Southern Drawl is a snapshot of life vividly brought into focus by three masters of their craft.
The band recently announced their 2017 SOUTHERN DRAWL tour where the band will perform to legions of loyal fans, selling out 10,000 to 15,000 seat venues night after night. They were honored with the ACM Career Achievement Award at the Ryman Auditorium in the Fall of 2015 and were named “Album Of The Year” at the 2015 Dove Awards for ANGELS AMONG US” HYMNS & GOSPEL FAVORITES.
As they have for over forty years, ALABAMA continues to “Roll On.”
(Sunday) 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Divots Event Center
4300 WEST NORFOLK AVE NORFOLK, NE
Having served as a full-time youth pastor for over 25 years, Casting Crowns’ front man, Mark Hall, continues to draw inspiration from the well of real life. “Because we have the honor of walking with people in our churches, we get to see what people are going through – the issues that are impacting everyone now,” shares Hall. “It’s in these situations that ideas are born for what we all need to hear right here and right now.” The local church has been the base for Casting Crowns’ music since their label debut release in 2003. With more than 10 million records sold and the title of Billboard’s top-selling act in Christian music since 2007, it’s still where the music is created. Hall and his bandmates – Juan and Melodee DeVevo, Megan Garrett, Brian Scoggin, Josh Mix and Chris Huffman – continue to work in ministry in their respective churches. The local church is the heartbeat of the band and the songs are an outpouring of that. The Very Next Thing, Casting Crowns’ latest offering, is a collection of intimate songs as well as upbeat, fresh sounding tracks with impactful lyrics centered around identifying and acting on what’s right next to you.
“I think we all believe the gospel,” says Mark Hall, “we all want it, we’re just not sure what we’re supposed to do next. We’ve got this idea of an awesome walk with Jesus out there somewhere, and we’re looking for the bridge to get over to it. Serving God isn’t this giant dream a year from now. It’s not this thing He’s going to have you do in a month. It’s right now. Following God is the next word of love that I need to speak to somebody, the very next heart that needs to be encouraged. Ministry isn’t on Sunday; it’s not on a stage. It’s you, where you are, doing the next thing God tells you to do.”
Along with this over-arching message, there’s also a deeply personal element to the record. Hall wrote the poignant and powerful “Oh My Soul” after being diagnosed with cancer in 2015. His first worry was about his family and he turned to the scripture in Psalms – Why so downcast oh my soul, put your hope in God.
“I remember this scripture from David – it was just repeating in my head over and over,” Hall says. “The song “Oh My Soul” is really an argument with myself. I’m speaking truth to myself. The roots of my faith are talking to the storm in my life. For me, one of the most special moments in the song is the bridge because you hear the argument happening. I really wanted to paint the picture of that inner struggle that we’re all dealing with. We know what the verses say and we know how the storm feels. It’s hard to bring those together. But one thing about digging deep in the word is that when your roots are deep, they can’t be ignored. Even when the storm comes, and as shaken as I was, it felt like the storm kept just slamming up against something solid inside of me that wouldn’t let it control me. It was the roots of my faith. It was the truth that I had been soaking in and pouring into others for so many years. I got to speak scripture to myself.”
Casting Crowns has produced some of the most compelling songs of his generation. Songs like “Voice of Truth,” “East to West,” “Lifesong,” “Until the Whole World Hears,” “Courageous” and “Thrive.” On The Very Next Thing, the band continues to encourage and inspire believers with songs that help strengthen their relationship with God.
“You can follow God from right where you are,” Hall says of the new album’s central theme. “In the condition you are in right now, you can follow Him and He will make you His.”
For Jordan Feliz, 2016 has been an incredible and breakout year for the talented singer/songwriter. He received major awards nominations from the GMA Dove Awards in August (New Artist of the Year, Song of the Year and Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year – “The River”) and at the K-LOVE Fan Awards in June for Breakout Single of the Year (“The River”). Feliz also released his first full album, The River, in April and it debuted at No. 4 on Billboard’s Christian Albums chart. The first single from the project, “Never Too Far Gone,” became his second No. 1 song. His mega-hit tune, “The River,” released in 2015 and was the first single from his debut Centricity project, Beloved. The song remained No.1 for ten weeks on Billboard’s National Christian Audience Chart and seven weeks on the CHR/Hot AC Chart. It remains in the Top 30 on iTunes Christian Singles chart. Feliz hails from Central California and began his professional music career as the frontman for a mainstream rock band, before becoming a solo Christian artist, moving to Nashville and signing his first label deal with Centricity Music in 2015. For updates on Feliz: www.jordanfeliz.com, www.facebook.com/jordanfelizmusic, www.twitter.com/jordan_feliz.
(Saturday) 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Divots Event Center
4300 WEST NORFOLK AVE NORFOLK, NE