Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Terry Fator Has Talent And His Own Theatre!

Things have sure changed for Terry Fator, winner of season 2 of America's Got Talent, in the past few years.  The struggling ventriloquist went from playing fairs and schools to signing a multi-million dollar contract with the Mirage Hotel and Casino and performing in a theatre bearing his name. 




His story is quite fascinating and I am glad I had the chance to talk to him about his incredible journey.  Fator says that he "could not have been more stunned" when he won America's Got Talent.  He says that he was convinced that he was not going to win and didn't think that America would vote a ventriloquist as the #1 act.  He tried really hard to make his act appeal to the masses, though, by using songs that people really liked and by adding puppets that he thought people would find entertaining.  He says he could never have prepared , however, for how he seemed to capture America's heart and is still amazed that people "really, really" enjoy his show.  Enjoy they do!  His show is sold out almost every night in Vegas. 

The coolest thing about Terry Fator is that he truly seems grateful and thankful for his success.  Don't think that success has come easy though.  Fator spend twenty plus years working his act before he won the popular TV show contest and the hard work didn't stop when he won.  In fact Fator says that if you think "that success is when you can start taking it easy, it's exactly the opposite.  Success is when the work really starts."  Being a self described workaholic, however, Fator seems to be handling that work load just fine. 

Terry first started to sing when he was only 3 years old and started doing impressions at the age of 6.  Then at the age of 10, he found a book on how to do ventriloquism.  That's right.  He taught himself from a book!  That's when he got a puppet and started touring with a band for about 15 years.  He broke out on his own in 2002 and started to focus on how to do a routine that people would really want to see.  His repertoire has since expanded into impersonating country acts Garth Brooks, Brooks and Dunn, and Big and Rich.  He also throws in some Cher, Justin Timberlake, and Pussycat Dolls in his Vegas act. 

Fator also believes in giving back.  All of the proceeds from the merchandise he sells in Vegas goes to various charities that support our troops.  Mainly those that help the wounded or help children that have lost a parent in combat.  That is something that is very important to Fator.  So important, that he also donates a portion of those proceeds when he heads out on the road.  You can catch him on the road when he performs at the Allegan County Fair in Allegan, Michigan on September 17th. 

America got it right.  Terry Fator is living the American Dream and what a humble entertainer he is because of it all!

Not A Belt!

It seems that my five-year-old doesn't want to go to Kindergarten anymore.  You can imagine my concern when he announced this to me yesterday.  What could have happened?  Is he missing me too much, or his baby brother?  Daddy?  Is it hard for him?  Was someone mean to him?  All kinds of scenarios raced through my head and I was wondering how in the world I was going to handle this one. 

"Why don't you want to go back to school, sweetie?"  I carefully asked.  He replied with, "because you have to wear a belt!"

The relief rushed out of me as a crisis was diverted.  At least for me, the belt crisis still exists for Jonathan.  You see, he must wear a uniform to attend his public school.  The shirts must be tucked in, and a belt must be worn with dress pants or khakis.  I bought him a dress belt to go with his cute little dress shorts when we were school shopping, but that proved to be a little too difficult for him to master.  It was too hard to figure out how to get off.  So, Daddy took things into his hands over the weekend and bought him a belt "he used to have as a kid" thinking the sliding device would be easier for Jonathan to operate. 

I guess we have both failed on the belt buying front, because Jonathan came home from school yesterday with his new belt broken.  I guess it wasn't as easy to get off afterall. 

If he could tie his shoes, I'd just throw some rope around his waist and call it good.  In the meantime, he'll have to keep shimming his pants off with a very loose dress belt around his waist. 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Taylor Swift's "Mine" Hoopla

Okay, so did you watch the "big reveal" of Taylor Swift's video "Mine" on Friday night? I have to admit that I got caught up in the hoopla, even though I complained about it as I was glued to CMT. I hadn't seen the Dateline interview that aired prior to the big special to premier the new video, and it really intrigued me. I laughed pretty hard a couple of times. Especially the "wax in my eye, wax in my eye" ranting Taylor did after blowing out candles in the "chill tent" backstage when the fire marshall was on his way.

I'm really torn on my feelings towards Taylor Swift.  I don't think it is a secret that I find her singing less than desirable, in fact I think she is out of tune pretty much all the time.  However, I think her songwriting is amazing and she has managed to intrigue so many people and appeal to the masses.  On one hand I love her wholesome appeal and influence on young girls, but on the backside of that hand, I wonder how much of it is genuine.  I am getting a little tired of the "I can't believe you guys love me" look on her face when the crowd screams for her.  She even eggs it on, which really annoys me.  Then there is the hair flipping.  C'mon, Tay, get a new move, PLEASE before you give us all whiplash!  All that said, I can't help but sing her songs at the top of my lungs when her songs come on.  And I have mentioned many times that it is on my bucket list to sing back up for Ms. Swift (although if Reba calls, I'll drop her like she's hot) mainly because it just looks like whatever world she is in when she is on that stage looks like so much fun.  She just looks like I did dancing and singing in my room as a teenager--pretty much the reason why I think she appeals to the masses.  It is also the same reason I couldn't turn off the TV Friday night until I saw the stinkin video for "Mine."



While I think the song does not live up to all the propaganda it has been given, I liked the video.  Particularly the part where she is standing among pictures hanging from string outside.  I also liked that we get to see a glimpse of Taylor as an adult with kids.  Perhaps giving us hope that as she ages, we'll still be in love with young girl that took the world my storm. 

Maybe I'll ask LeAnn Rimes what she thinks. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

I Found The Croissanwich Commercial!

Here it is folks...from 1985!  By the way, my husband wants to know how I can remember such useless information when I can't seem to remember what I did yesterday.  I told him, that's an easy one.  It was B.C.  Before Children!!!

Enjoy the video!

Can I Get A New Jingle Package, Please?

I was talking with a co-worker a couple of weeks ago about having a certain song stuck in my head.  It wasn't a country song or a pop song, but rather a French children's song.  If you have a baby swing, bouncer, or any infant toy that plays music at all, you know what song I am talking about.  Yep, "Frere Jacques." 

That's when this co-worker complained to me about the ice cream truck that has been circling her house all summer playing the same "I can't get it out of my head even though I don't know the words" song!  Why does anything and everything having to do with kids use this song?  That's when we decided that baby gear needs a new jingle package. 

Can I get some Laurie Berkner or They Might Be Giants?  Heck even Kenny Loggin's craptapular "Pooh's Corner" would be welcomed six-months into this baby thing.  At least it would be something different! 

By the way.  Does anyone even really know the words to Frere Jacques?  I had to look it up just find out how to spell it, there is no way I could sing it all.  When I did look it up, though I learned a few things.  First of all, here are the rest of the words:

Frere Jacques, Frere Jacques, dormez vous?  Dormez vous?
Sonnez les matines!  Sonnez les matines!
Din, dan, don.  Din, dan, don.

Whatever....
 Here's the English version:

Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping?
Brother John, Brother John,
Morning bells are ringing! Morning bells are ringing!
Ding, dang, dong. Ding, dang, dong.

Uh, all this time I thought the words were "Croisan'which has more stuffin than the Egg McMuffin."  Which is exactly what has been stuck in my head all these years.  Whose to say 1980s advertising didn't work? 
 
 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Throwback Thursday!

Believe it or not, Mel Tillis used to do commercials for What-A-Burger!




Now a country music icon, Mel Tillis is probably know for his stutter more so than his music.  That's not to say he didn't make great music, because he did!  He wrote many hits songs and sang a few too.  He is also the father of country crooner Pam Tillis.  Mel has more than 36 top ten hits and is probably most know for writing "Ruby Don't Take Your Love To Town" for Kenny Rogers.  He also had a very successful film career, starring in "Smoky and The Bandit" with Burt Reynolds.     

Tillis has a new album coming out on September 21st.  It's a comedy album!  Can't wait ttttto hhhear it!

Just Call Me Mom, P.I.

Okay, so yesterday I took the day off of work in order to send Jonathan off to Kindergarten.  I wanted to be able to kiss him goodbye and take his picture in his cute little uniform and wish him the best day ever.  What I did not plan on, was morphing into a spy. 

I did not want to change his routine just because I was home, so Daddy, baby brother, and I all took him to his "Bright Beginnings" program at a very dark and early 6:30am.  He was a little hesitant to stay there, and I can't say I blame him.  He was tired and didn't know a sole in a place he had never been.  Funny, actually.  We had plenty of visits to the new school and got to meet his teacher in advance, but was not allowed to visit this program before the first day of school.  Perhaps I'll send that idea the school district's way for future kiddos....ANYWAY....as soon as I turned around to leave, the tears began to roll.  Poor, baby brother...he got more kisses and hugs than he wanted yesterday.  And some tears on the top of his head. 

After being at home for awhile, I looked at the clock and realized that the bus should be picking Jonathan up soon to take him to his school.  So, Tyler and I decided to drive past the school to make sure big brother got on the right bus.  Boy, was the place packed.  There, among the slew of insanity, was my little Kindergartner waiting patiently in a line for his bus, sporting his cute little dino backpack.  There were no parking spaces, so I did a few laps.  After all, there were buses coming and going, so his had to be coming soon.  I figured I'd just wait until he got picked up. 

Worried that someone was going to call the police on me, I decided to stop circling and park across the street in a church parking lot.  It was the perfect view.  I got to see my boy and all the bus numbers.  All of the bus numbers except the bus number I so carefully wrote on a picture of a bus and taped to Jonathan's lunchbox so he would know what numbers to look for.  Panic started to ensue.  It was getting later and I still didn't see his bus and at times, I couldn't see Jonathan because of all the ciaos.  There were buses everywhere...all but bus #130!  Where the #$% was bus #130?  Where's Jonathan?  Oh, no.  He's not there anymore.  There is a bus leaving, he must be on that one! 

So off I went, following that bus!  Needless to say, I am not a good follower and was outrun by a school bus and I lost track of it.  Well, now I had to drive past his school to see if I can see him getting off.  What if they took him somewhere else? 

I could see a group of kids waiting by the doors, but could not see Jonathan.  I went ahead and parked in the lot, because there was actually a parking spot, but by this time school was about to start in 5 minutes.  I waited so long that Tyler decided it would be a good idea to take a nap, so I then decided I could hang out a little longer, I mean, the baby was sleeping, no need to risk waking him up by moving. 

After a couple of buses came and went the teachers waiting at the doors closed up shop and I was left sitting there alone wondering if my sweet, innocent, 5-year-old was inside or lost somewhere in a transportation nightmare. 




I debated on whether or not I should go inside to see.  Nah, then I would really be considered crazy and be labeled the whole school year as one of those moms.  So, I went and filled my car up with gas, because my low fuel light dinged on the way over to the 2nd school, and went home. 

I couldn't stand it though, and ended up calling the school just to make sure.  I could breathe easy again, he was there.  I wish that I could say that was the end of my drama for the day, but it wasn't....

When it was time for Jonathan to come home, I packed Tyler in his stroller and off we went to wait for his return.  We were outside for awhile, because I was a little eager, but it was such a beautiful day, we didn't mind.  We even chatted with a couple of neighbors. 

When I spotted the bus down the street, I got all excited.  "Here comes big brother, Tyler!  He's home from school!"  As I stepped back from the street a little to let the bus stop, I was shocked as it went right past me!!  I waved at the driver to stop, but she kept going!  If ever there was an OMG moment, that was one.  I tried to run around the corner, pushing Tyler the whole way, but again, I was outrun by a bus. (Maybe they need to slow down.)  What in the world was I going to do now?!  I ran up the other end of the street thinking that maybe he was let off somewhere down the street.  No sign of him.  I kept looking behind me, no sign of him.  This was it.  My son was going to be the one in the newspaper in the morning as the Kindergartner left on the bus. 

Just then, as I was now running down the street, I saw the yellow giant carrying my baby.  I pushed Tyler into the grass and waved like a crazy woman for that bus to stop!  When it did and the driver opened the door I believe I said, "You have NO idea the heart attack you just gave me by passing me up like that!"  Okay--NOW I have been labeled as one of those moms.  She explained to me that her route has her passing our house on her way to another stop first, then she circles back around to let Jonathan off.  Sounds dumb to me, but luckily Jonathan threw such a fit at passing his house that the bus driver turned around. 

Boy did he EVER get hugs and kisses after getting off that bus!  And the tears fell again.   

I'm going to chalk it all up to the first day back to school, but if that crazy bus passes me again, I might just have to home school!  At least put out an APB!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My Baby Started Kindergarten!

Today, my baby started Kindergarten!  While it is all very exciting, it is also a very emotional moment for me.  After all, he will always be my baby! 

whatever road you may be on,



know you're never too far gone,



my love is there wherever you may be



just remember that you'll always be my baby.



Sara Evans - You'll Always Be My Baby (Official Music Video). Watch more top selected videos about: Sara Evans

I posted earlier this week about how I wouldn't be there to capture those moments of leaving for school, but I decided to take the day off from work in order to be here. I realize that he didn't need me to, but I needed me to. This was completely for me! Have a great day, Jonathan!




Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sorry, But Glue Does Not Stick To Me

Okay, don't get me wrong.  I love Sugarland.  I do not, however, love their new single "Stuck Like Glue."  It is the lead single off the duo's new album titled, "The Incredible Machine"  and has been playing on the radio for a couple of weeks now.  While I will agree it has a catchy tune and it does get "stuck" in my head, but not because I want it to.  There is no question that Jennifer Nettles is one of the most talented individuals in any genre of music right now, but this song is a pop song, not a country one. 

I know what you are thinking...here she goes, preaching about real country music.  Not at all.  I love a little "pop in my country", to quote Tim McGraw.  But I don't like a LOT of pop in my country and I certainly don't like reggae.  That's the same reason why some of Kenny Chesney's songs get on my nerves. 


I also don't know what Nettles thinks she has to prove my transforming her voice into just plain weird noises.  Warning:  Old Lady reference coming...remember when you used to play an LP on the wrong speed to see what crazy sounds you could hear?  That is exactly what I think of when some of these almost nonhuman sounds come from Nettles' beautiful lips.  Or the crazy sounds that my son comes up with when he is trying to annoy me.

Whenever Nettles sings the words "doin it one more TIIIMMMMmmme"  it grates like nails on a chalk board to me.  Most reviews that I have read of this song have all been positive and couldn't praise Nettles enough for her unique sound and great vocals.  I say too much of a good thing is just plain ole too much....which is exactly how I would sum up this song.  I hope the album has better cuts, which is due out on October 19th.


Thank goodness the video is entertaining!




Monday, August 23, 2010

Countdown to "K" Day

The countdown is on and ticking away.  In two short days, my first born will be heading off to Kindergarten.  Needless to say, this morning I woke up very emotional and a little weepy.  I know that he is ready to go, but I am not quite ready to let him. 

It seems like we have been preparing for this day for a couple of years now.  I made sure that his preschool teacher (at daycare, of course) was on top of things...insisting that she stop showing my son how to write his name in all capital letters, but rather in both upper and lower case.  I also made sure he learned how to share with others and how to make friends--which he says is "easy."  I bought "Little Einstein" flashcards to help him learn the alphabet and numbers.  I even went around his room with post it notes, sticking the words "table" on his Winnie the Pooh table and "lamp" on his lampshade so he could begin to recognize some sight words.  We have read to him religiously and went through a time consuming application process back in February...but now that the day is here, I want to break out in tears as I write his name in his dinosaur backpack! 

How did the time go by so quickly?  How did my little red-headed baby boy born on a snowy Christmas day, almost six years ago, turn into this bright, energetic, funny and fascinating little boy ready to go to SCHOOL? 



To make matters worse, I have been raking myself over hot coals because I will not be there to see him off to school.  As the host of a morning radio program, Mommy will already be at work when he heads out the door on his first day of school.  That also means that he will need to go to the before-school program before school actually starts, because Daddy needs to be in his classroom to teach his new batch of kiddos on the same day.  This means there will be no pictures taken by Mommy.  No waves good-bye.  No kisses on the check.  No hugs.  No following the school bus in my car to make sure he gets there safely. 

I am a mess! 

I have thought about trying to make his homecoming a huge deal.  We all have the image of Mom waiting for us at home with fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, right?  I could do that.  I could meet him at the bus with his baby brother and greet him excitedly and scoop him up and hug him, right?  Daddy is capable of taking those pictures, kissing him, and waving good-bye, right?  In fact, I could get a great picture of him getting OFF the bus, right?

Or...maybe I could call off work.

Friday, August 20, 2010

On the Cob and With Skins On

Like a true country gal, I like to eat fresh produce from my garden (or other people's gardens) and I like to enjoy that fresh flavor throughout the year, which is why I tend to freeze a lot of summer's finest fruits and veggies.  I prefer to freeze things over canning because I am a busy mom with a job, so freezing just seems so much easier and less time consuming to me.



One of my favorite things to take into the winter with me is corn on the cob--so I freeze it.  You wouldn't believe the amount of people who ask me, "you mean, on the cob?"  Yes, I mean on the cob.  I thought this was normal practice, but I guess a lot of people cut their corn off the cob before freezing it.  That just seems like an extra step to me, plus it is not nearly as fun to eat!  Here's how you do it:

You'll want to select corn that is tender and is fresh from the farm.  If you purchase it from the farmer's market, you should be good to go.  Of course you will want to shuck it (that means take the corn husk off, for you laymen) and wash it.  You are then going to use a process called blanching. 



Fill a large pot with water and heat it to boiling.  That's when you'll drop the cobs in the water and boil them for about 4 minutes.  In that time, I fill my sink with cold water and add some ice cubes.  When the corn is done boiling, dunk the cobs in the ice water.  You'll want to use tongs, obviously, because the corn will be hot.  Let the corn sit in the ice water for about another 4 minutes and remove it.  When the corn is completely cooled, you can place the cobs in large freezer bags, label them, and stick them in the freezer.  I do not add sugar or salt.  They should last about four months. 

When it is time to eat my frozen corn, I simply boil it again and eat it. 


I also like to freeze fresh tomatoes.  I hate to see the yield go to waste before we can eat them and frozen tomatoes are wonderful for soups and chili in winter months.  This is usually when I am asked if I take the skins off.  Nope.  Again, why would I want to create more work for myself?  I don't even boil them.  I simply wash them, dice them, bag them and throw them in the freezer--skins and all!

Sometimes I'll use all those tomatoes to make salsa and freeze that too.  Or, spaghetti sauce.  I also freeze blueberries, (I don't do anything to those either) jalapenos, sweet peppers, and green beans (those you'll need to blanch).    This time of year is the perfect time to stock up and fill the freezer.  Happy freezing!

Jo Dee Messina Is So-REAL


Just how down to earth is Jo Dee Messina?  Let's see...when she called in to do her radio interview with me, she was pumping gas on her way home from running errands--in a car she couldn't quite figure out.  She insisted on doing the interview outside of the car so that it's SYNC system wouldn't take over her phone and put us on speaker phone, because she hates when it does that.  This girl is just like ME!  I think that has been Messina's appeal since she first entered the country music scene.  She's like your best friend who happens to have crazy pipes. 

Not to mention, when I answered her phone call, she answered back by singing "GirrrrlllFRENd" to me.  Oh, it was on!  I was ready to take her out to lunch and then go shopping afterwards. 

JoDee hasn't had a new release in about six years.  That didn't stop her from writing, though.  By the time her record company was ready to put a new album together, she had enough songs for several albums.  That's when her trilogy project was born containing three different EPs.  Packed with 24 songs, the series is titled Unmistakable:  "Love," "Drive," and "Inspirational." 

Of those three, Messina says that the "Love" collection is the most unlike anything she has done to date.  Let's face it, she's an artist not really know for signing ballads, but rather more "what in the world are you thinking" songs.  That's not to say, however, that Messina cannot deliver when it comes to belting it out--because she most definitely can!  "Treat Me Like a Woman Today" is a song that is more Messina and still makes it into that love category.  It's pulsating beat and playfully delivered lyrics makes it one of my favorites on the EP.  Messina says she has a lot of fun performing the song at shows. 

She says that "Drive" has songs more like "Bye Bye" and that "Inspirational" is more of a collection of tunes similar to "Bring on the Rain." 

Unfortunately, Messina's record company is not releasing any singles to radio.  You can get your hands on the trilogy, though on the web and at her shows. 

http://www.jodeemessina.com/
Whenever Messina is off the road, she calls herself a home-body.  Part of that can be attributed to Noah, Messina's 16-month-old son.  Although, Messina says that motherhood hasn't really changed her.  "I'm a lot more tired," Messina laughs, "but he's sleeping through the night now, so I hope that changes." 

She has also started running again--something that was put on the backburner as a busy new mom.  Messina has participated in many marathons in the past, but is only (let me repeat that--only) running about six miles a day now. 

Messina loves to stay "plugged into" her fans, so she has started podcasting through her website.  She calls it "a show for the fans, by the fans" and it takes place every Tuesday and Thursday at 8pm Central time.  The topics?  How about "Where Does That Lost Sock Go From the Laundry?" or "Do You Believe In Regifting?"  I told you--she's REAL! 

http://www.jodeemessina.com/podcast/index.php

Country Music Inspired Crafts

Country music is very much a part of me and my lifestyle, so naturally, I am drawn to styles and fashions inspired by country music. 

A few years ago, I was at a local craft fair and saw the cutest picture frame.  It was made of wood and had the saying "Life is not measured by the amount of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away."  I just had to have one...until I saw the price tag, so I passed on it. 

Now, George Strait has come out with a song inspired by this quote!  While I haven't been able to confirm the original author of the quotation, it has been rumored to be written by a Canadian greeting card writer back in the 70s.  The song is the latest release from Strait's "Twang" album and is his 91st single! 

I have also found a similar picture frame...for a fraction of the cost I saw at the craft fair!  I will be adding one of these to my collection.  Enjoy!


http://www.etsy.com/listing/54013934/life-is-not-measured-by-the-number-of

My nephew has an uncanny resemblance to Zac Brown and unfortunately, is balding a little early, so he is always wearing a hat.  So, I have decided to get him a "Zac Hat" for his birthday coming up on Labor Day weekend.  Wouldn't all 24-year-olds love to have one of these?



Thursday, August 19, 2010

Eric Church and The Charlie Daniels Band Hit BCYF!

The Berrien County Youth Fair has done it again...they have managed to pull off yet another great country concert!  This year's double act of Eric Church and The Charlie Daniel's Band had people on their feet and boots in the air.  Yes, I said boots!



During Eric Church's performance of "These Boots," the crowd decided to show their love by taking off cowboy, work, and military boots and waving them in the air.  The song appeared on Church's debut album and is, what we are becoming to know, as "pure Eric Church." Church's lyrics and sound are straight-forward, gritty and rowdy.  I thought of him as a "man's man" during his performance and he was constantly pounding his fists to his chest to emphasize those anthem-type lyrics.  At times he even kicked up his heels and stomped them almost like a bucking bull antsy to get out of the gate. 

Church definitely has a cult following developing, which was well represented at the show.  It seems as if everyone in the crowd knew all the words to the songs whether it was a radio single or not.  And when his set was over, you could tell that the back- to- basics artist was the reason some folks came to the show. 



It's no wonder...this guy is rockin!  Church is serving up country and doing it with a modern twist.  I fell in love with "Smoke A Little Smoke," "Pledge Allegiance to the HAG," "Two Pink Lines," and "Before She Does." 

It is no wonder why he has been joining Hank Williams, Jr. on his "All My Rowdy Friends" Tour.  He even looks like a young Hank, Jr.!



The icing on the cake, however, was the legendary Charlie Daniels Band.  Charlie Daniels has been making music for over 50 years and when he took the stage, his presence was KNOWN and so was his fiddle!  I was on my feet and screaming to "Drinkin My Baby Goodbye" as it has been one of my favorite CDB songs.   His vocals were as good as ever and his playing is untouchable.  Charlie Daniels could give anyone a run for their money, whether it be musically or expressing his political views. 



Daniels put a spotlight on the American flag and recited the Pledge of Allegiance right before he dedicated "In America" to the U.S. troops.  He also shared his opinion on rednecks and on having the right carry arms--and use them!  He even paid tribute to the late Johnny Cash. 

It was amazing to me to see Daniels hold his bow behind him and have his stage manager take it out of his hands and then hand him a new one...all without Daniels skipping a beat or missing a lyric.  It was also fascinating to hear the band--particularly drummer, Pat McDonald.  What an amazing solo he played during one of the two instrumental songs played!  With classics like "Redneck," "Long-Haired Country Boy," and "Legend of Wolly Swamp," I didn't want his set to end.  But end it did, but with a rousy performance of his most famous song yet, "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." 

At the end of the song, he blew on his fiddle and up came smoke!  He was literally smokin

As a life-long country music lover, it was great to finally see CDB live in concert.  It is absolutely a memory I will not forget anytime soon. 

What a GREAT show!






Throwback Thursday!

Remember Matraca Berg? 

Well, she's "Back in the Saddle" folks! 

The song, "Back in the Saddle" was a hit for the Nashville crooner back in 1999, but we haven't heard much from the artist since.  Berg is working on a new album and this photo is a recent one, taken for her Facebook page...check it out at

Berg started out songwriting at the age of 18 and has remained a very successful writer in Nashville for years.  She has penned hits like:  Reba's "The Last One To Know," Martina McBride's "Wild Angels," and Deana Carter's "Strawberry Wine."  Numerous artists have recorded Berg's songs including Keith Urban, The Dixie Chicks, and Faith Hill.

I look forward to hearing her new album, which she says is the album she has always wanted to make.  It's titled, "South of Heaven."

When you visit her Facebook page, make sure to watch the Back in the Saddle video!  Hair was a totally different creature back in 1999!