2014 Musical lineup
In 2004, The Long Players began packing Nashville clubs and theaters with faithful front-to-back renditions of classic albums. The combination of The Long Players as "house band" with the amazing variety of guest artists they have enlisted over the last six years to bring these classic LP's to life has become a staple of Nashville's local music scene and has garnered national attention with feature news stories from NPR's All Things Considered, the AP Wire Service and Reuters / Billboard Magazine.
At each of the band's public shows, The Long Players have chosen to take a portion of the proceeds and donate it to charity. On more than a few occasions, the money has gone directly to musicians to supplement health care expenses when insurance wasn't enough. At other times the money has been donated to organizations like Music Cares, The Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, Alive Hospice and others.
How do you describe this band from Nashville, Tennessee? Joe Guercio, Elvis Presley’s longtime music and orchestra director, calls Savannah Jack “the absolute best band I’ve seen in music today.” Savannah Jack, comprised of Don Gatlin, Jay Darby, and Matt Schumacher, is the preferred opening act for the legendary Kenny Rogers, having performed onstage with him in excess of 60 shows during the past few years, to include a 21 city tour of England, Scotland, and Ireland in the spring of 2009. The band’s live show was recognized as one of the “Top Ten Concerts of 2010” in the Greater Pittsburg area by Beaver County Times writer, Scott Tady. Other top ten selectees included Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen and Lady GaGa.
The creative spark that turned into Blue Sky Riders was struck as two veteran singer/songwriters worked on their first song together.
“The best part,” says Kenny Loggins of that meeting with Gary Burr as he wrote for “How About Now,” his well-received 2008 release, “was that when we sang together, we sounded like brothers. The last time I experienced that kind of blend was with Jimmy Messina in 1971.”
Loggins, one of the premiere voices in modern popular music, called Burr, one of Nashville’s most accomplished writers, afterward and asked if he’d like to form a band. Then he suggested they look for a third, female voice.
“I’ve got the perfect person,” said Burr. “Georgia Middleman. She’s the best I’ve ever worked with.” Loggins flew to Nashville and the three sat down to write.
Kenny Loggins has been many things to many people over the past three decades — “a moving target” as he’s put it. In his time, Loggins has been a guitar-slinger with a psychedelic rock band, a hot young songwriter with a publishing deal, half of a legendary country-rock duo, a massively successful and accomplished solo artist, a sonic pioneer in the smooth jazz genre, a reigning soundtrack superstar, a rocker, a seeker, as well as an enduring recording artist and live performer whose most recent works have spoken deeply to both young audiences and decidedly adult and worldly concerns. At the heart of it all, there remains a brilliant singer-songwriter and guitarist with a lifelong passion for exploring the endless power of the song to communicate.
By any standard, Loggins’ commercial impact has been extraordinary; twelve of his albums have gone platinum and beyond. In a world of one hit wonders and fifteen minute sensations, Loggins has enjoyed hit songs in four straight decades — a remarkable testament to his exceptional craftsmanship and stamina. Yet the true measure of this man cannot be weighed in platinum and gold. Through it all, Kenny Loggins has earned the faith of those who’ve followed him along the way. To this day, Loggins continues to write and record at the height of his powers as a singer and a songwriter. This is something that Loggins proves every time he takes the stage to sing his soulful songs straight from the heart.
The 31st Annual Country Showdown is designed to find the most promising country music talent in America and to give these performers a chance to launch their professional music careers.
The Country Showdown begins each Spring with over 450 local talent contests sponsored by country music radio stations throughout the US. Winners advance to their respective State competitions held at leading fairs and expositions. Acts then compete for a $1,000 prize, the State Title and the opportunity to advance to one of five Regional Finals. It's the last step before the prestigious National Final held at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN. The audience cheers on the Regional Winners, as they compete for the Grand Prize of $100,000 and the National Title. A uniform judging system is used at all levels of competition to help ensure fairness.
Five-time Grammy winner and New York Times bestselling author, Wynonna has always revolved her career around telling stories. Whether performing alongside her mother as one half of the legendary duo The Judds, or pushing the boundaries on her own mega-successful solo path, Wynonna’s ability to reach the heart of the human spirit through her bold and unflinching honesty, is the entertainer’s true gift.
Respected by the millions of fans who are drawn to her music and her undeniable talent, Wynonna’s rich and commanding voice has sold over 30 million albums worldwide spanning her epic 30-year career. Charting countless singles including 20 #1 hits and over 60 industry awards, the iconic performer was once dubbed by Rolling Stone as “the greatest female country singer since Patsy Cline.”