Tag Archives: Country Music

JT Hodges Lays it Down at the Wolf Den

 

JT Hodges
JT Hodges

Show Dog-Universal recording artist, JT Hodges brought his eclectic sound to the Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun Casio in Uncasville, CT on Thursday April 3rd. Hodges has been hitting it hard since his 2012 self titled debut release and brought a selection of new songs that he has been hard at work on to incorporate into his live show. Sticking true to his roots, Hodges continues to write from the heart, the way song should be written.

The 90 minute show consisted of crowd favorites such as “Goodbyes Made You Mine”, “Sleepy Little Town” and his first single “Hunt You Down” with a great mix of covers such as

JT Hodges
JT Hodges

“Hurts So Good” by John Mellencamp and the ever popular “Sledgehammer” from Peter Gabriel. Hodges has picked more of the unique covers to add to his set rather than some of the mundane ones that you hear every band play. I feel that this sets JT apart at brings out who he is as a musician.

 

JT Hodges
JT Hodges

Hodges brought the rockin’ beat of his new single “Lay It Down” that was released just the week before this show. This edgy new track, co-written by Eric Paslay is a perfect opening into what JT’s sophomore album is going to bring and if this is the direction, big things are about to happen for JT Hodges.

If you have not seen JT Hodges live, check out his website, jthodges.com and find a show near you. You can also go to iTunes and get the new single “Lay It Down” here

JT Hodges
JT Hodges
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JT Hodges Kicks Off The Fall Season

The fall season was kicked off at the Washington County Fair in Richmond Rhode Island. This typical fall fair has all that you could ask for; Fried dough, tractor pulls, animals and live entertainment. Many acts grace the stage over the 4 day long fair. To close out the fair was Nashville recording artist, JT Hodges.

JT Hodges, along with his 3 piece band, entertained the ever growing crowd with not one, but two shows on the fairs last day. There were some big fans of Hodges at the fair that claimed their spot early to get that prized viewing spot. There were some fans that stayed for both performances.

Hodges has been hard at work, working on the follow-up to his 2012 release “JT Hodges” Along with playing favorites such as “Hunt You Down” and “Goodbyes Made You Mine”, JT gave the audience a preview of some of his new material. After listening to his new material, I am eager to hear the entire album when it gets released (No release date as of yet).

Still a relative newcomer to the scene, Hodges has an old school vibe to his voice. Seeing him perform, you get a sense of some of Hodges idols; Elvis, Buddy Holly and The Eagles…….just to name a few. Having had the privilege to see and work with JT on several occasions, he just keeps getting better and better. This is one performer to keep an eye on.

So keep your eyes and ears open for those new songs from Hodges, including the November 5th holiday release “Joy To The World.” Also catch JT Hodges in the Hallmark Channel’s “Finding Christmas” on December 15th. This is just the start of the next big thing from JT Hodges.

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Summer Nights in Hartford

The Live & Loud tour featuring Rascal Flatts, The Band Perry and Cassadee Pope played to a sold out Comcast Theater in Hartford Connecticut in June. With a line up such as this, you are in for a real treat and a perfect summer night made the night even better.

For those of you that watch the TV show, The Voice may remember Cassadee Pope. This young 24 year old was the winner of season 3 of The Voice. This was my second time in a matter of weeks seeing and photographing Pope, and I can see why she was crowned the winner of The Voice. She is such a natural and has a voice that just carries over the summer air.

Once the crowd was warmed up, Neil, Kimberly and Reid, better known as The Band Perry hit the stage. Only having signed to Republic Nashville during the summer of 2009, this is one band that just keeps getting bigger by the day. Having just turned 30, Kimberly, the oldest of the three siblings makes the stage her home along with her brothers. You might think the Perry’s have been doing this for far longer. Their high energy shows are filled with their hits such as “You Lie”, “If I Die Young” and their latest hit “DONE”.

Then came the band everyone was waiting for all night, Rascal Flatts. This is a band that you could say has stood the test of time. Having been together for more than a decade, Rascal Flatts might be bigger now than they ever have been. Having seen Rascal Flatts many times over that last few years, their shows continue to pack a punch every time. Drummer and bandleader, Jim Riley lays the foundation down to a “T”. Rascal Flatts entertains the audience with their catalog of hits like “Prayin’ For Daylight”, “Fast Cars and Freedom”, and “Me and My Gang”.

If you have not done so, or even if you have seen them a dozen times, get out this summer and catch Rascal Flatts.

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Dirt Road to Mansfield

What makes for a great summer night? Put Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan on the same stage. The ComcastCenter in MansfieldMA did just that to kick off the month of June. Some of the biggest songs in country music filled the night air. The crowd was given a powerhouse of a show by headliner Luke Bryan with support from Florida Georgia Line and opener Cole Swindell.

Cole Swindell took the opening slot, filling in for Thompson Square who was sidelined due to vocal chord injuries. Swindell, Luke Bryan’s former merchandise guy hit it hard to get the crowd fired up. Cole has been hard at work on and off the stage writing songs for Luke and also Scotty McCreery. This is one guy to keep your eyes and ears on in the coming years!

One of the hottest acts in country music took the middle slot of the show, Florida Georgia Line. Tyler and Brian, the two front men for FGL are on fire right now. I had the pleasure of photographing these guys back in May of 2012 on the Country Throwdown tour when not many people even knew who they were. I can tell you now that I think everyone knows Florida Georgia Line. Playing their singles such as “Get Your Shine On” and “Cruise”, made the crowd blow up. You would have thought these guy were the headliners! Get out and check Florida Georgia Line this summer!

To close out, Luke Bryan wowed the sold out crowd. This is one guy that is right at home on the big stage sharing his music with thousands each and every night. I have been photographing Luke for about two years now and I can tell you that he and his band have come a long way. Bryan’s current production, “Dirt Road Diaries Tour” has a bit of everything. From massive video screens flashing graphics, to the band gathering at the front of the stage for an acoustic set part way through the show.

Luke gave the audience everything he had playing all his hits such as “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye” and “Someone Else Calling you Baby”. His list of hits just keep growing and growing including his newest single “Crash My Party”. Bryan’s chemistry with his band is one of the best I have seen. Each member brings 110% to the stage each night and combine that with Bryan’s energy, you get one of the best show money can buy!

Cole Swindell
Cole Swindell
Cole Swindell
Cole Swindell
Cole Swindell
Cole Swindell
Florida Georgia Line
Florida Georgia Line
Florida Georgia Line
Florida Georgia Line
Florida Georgia Line
Florida Georgia Line
Florida Georgia Line
Florida Georgia Line
Florida Georgia Line
Florida Georgia Line
Florida Georgia Line
Florida Georgia Line
Florida Georgia Line
Florida Georgia Line
Florida Georgia Line
Florida Georgia Line
Florida Georgia Line
Florida Georgia Line
Luke Bryan
Luke Bryan
Luke Bryan
Luke Bryan
Luke Bryan
Luke Bryan
Luke Bryan
Luke Bryan
Luke Bryan
Luke Bryan
Kent Slucher
Kent Slucher
Luke Bryan
Luke Bryan
Luke Bryan
Luke Bryan
Kent Slucher
Kent Slucher
Luke Bryan
Luke Bryan
James Cook
James Cook
Kent Slucher
Kent Slucher
Luke Bryan
Luke Bryan

The Band Perry Live at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook

June got off to a great start at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook when The Band Perry brought their live show to the stage. This year has been a big year for Perry’s with their new album “Pioneer” that was released in the spring and a slot on the Rascal Flatts tours this summer. “Pioneer” is a bit more hard edged then their self titled debut album “The Band Perry”. Siblings, Kimberly, Reid and Neil Perry bring that hard edge to their live shows. This is the third year in a row that I was able to catch and photograph this band and I can say that they have grown into their roles on stage. Seeing them for the first time in 2011 opening for Tim McGraw and in 2012 opening for Brad Paisley, they have had great experience and exposure to build their craft to where they are now.

Opening the show was season 3 winner of the Voice, Cassadee Pope. There is good reason why Cassadee was the winner on the Voice……….What a voice she has. As a new act to the stage, Pope seemed to have a pretty big fan base already. I think this is one talent to be on the look for.

The Band Perry played most of the tracks of that new album “Pioneer” such as “Better Dig Two” and “Done” which have been huge singles for them. The Perry’s and the entire band put everything they have into their live shows. This is one band that can keep you on your feet for the entire show as they did this night at Meadowbrook. They also included their hits from their first album such as “You Lie” and If I Die Young” which the crowd sang and over powered the band at times.

Do yourself a favor and catch The Band Perry live this summer. You can catch them on tour with Rascal Flatts this summer.

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Gary Allan Heats up The Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom

It may have been on the cold side at the beach, but it was nothing but hot inside the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom for country star Gary Allan. This is one performer that does not disappoint. While a country singer, Allan’s shows are more of a full on rock production. Backed by a  7 piece band, the sound was more of an arena sound in a venue that holds less than 3000 people. The backbone of the band is powerhouse Mitch White on drums laying down the solid foundation of songs such as “Pieces” and what has been a huge hit this past year for Gary “Every Storm (Runs out of Rain)”.

Gary Allan packs something for everyone into his shows including a cover of the Del Shannon hit “Runaway” which I’m sure the older generation can appreciate. Judging by the reaction of the crowd, what seemed to be the biggest hit of the night and possibly the biggest hit of Allan’s career “Watching Airplanes” brought the Casino Ballroom to its feet. Be sure to check out Gary Allan on the road this summer. You can find tour dates at http://www.garyallan.com

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History Made At The State Theater

History was made at the State Theater in Portland Maine as the Eli Young band along with JT Hodges played the first country show to grace the stage. With a packed house, JT Hodges was well received as he warmed up the crowd. Playing his songs such as “Goodbyes Made you mine”, “Sleepy Little Town” and his first single, “Hunt You Down” the audience was singing much of the lyrics right back at Hodges. This is a powerful new act. Be sure to catch JT Hodges on the road.

Headliners, The Eli Young Band kept the crowd pumped up from the first to the last note of their set. Eli Young has been hitting the road hard, touring with Rascal Flatts during the summer of 2012, to launching their own tour along with JT Hodges for the fall of 2012. They are not about to stop either. You can catch Eli Young this summer on the road with Kenny Chesney. A show not to be missed.

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