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Courtesy of MassLive.Com
By Donnie Moorhouse, The Republican

Lonestar capped off a full night of country music with a solid 90 minute set at the MassMutual Center onnews-lonestar-2012 Monday night, taking over the venue’s Exhibition Hall and performing for close to 500 fans. Colt Ford and Kristen Kelly both chipped in with 45 minute sets.

It was the first of two significant country shows in the span of five days sponsored by local country station KIX 100.9 FM.

Lonestar once again featured its original lineup with Richie McDonald returning to the lead vocal spot after a four year hiatus to join Dean Sams (keyboard) Keech Rainwater (drums) and Michael Britt (guitar).

The group set up across the stage “unplugged” style giving the event an intimate feel and opened with the chart topping hit “My Front Porch Looking In,” followed by “Everything Changes.”

The intimate setting allowed for some interesting give and take between the performers and the audience (who were encouraged to shout out requests) and seemed to energize the band. When McDonald and Sams switched instruments for Marc Cohn’s “Walking in Memphis” a delay in the process caused by Sams re-tuning a guitar prompted an impromptu version of Styx’s “Come Sail Away.”

Lonestar has had a history of Number One country singles and offered up perhaps their biggest to date with “Amazed.” The group also worked up The Beatles’ “Get Back” as part of their set-closing “No News” and seemed surprised by the call for an encore.

McDonald responded by running out to the keyboards to plink away at Billy Joel’s “Piano Man,” while his mates grabbed the nearest instrument and played along.

The encore rolled on with their original “Mr. Mom,” a cover of Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville” and a follow up cover of Loggins and Messina’s “Danny’s Song.” The group closed out the night with a new song due out on a spring release.

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Lonestar has helped raise $50,000 to benefit breast cancer research in honor of October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. They–along with Randy Houser and The Farm–are performing this Friday, October 5 at 94.9 FM Star Country special charity show, the 9th Annual Pajama Jam in Roanoke, VA. In less than one hour the ladies-only show sold out with all proceeds going to the American Cancer Society.

“It’s as if they never left,” exclaims Brett Sharp, program director at the station. “Lonestar’s fan base is as ravenous as ever. With them as our headliner, we sold out the Pajama Jam in less than one hour. 900 screaming, pajama clad ladies can’t be wrong. Thank you Lonestar for helping the American Cancer Society, for helping us spread the word about getting mammograms, and for being such a great partner with 94.9 Star Country.”

“We’re really looking forward to this show,” says lead guitarist Michael Britt. “Just about everyone knows someone affected by cancer and this has to stop! We’re happy 94.9 Star Country has asked us to be a part of their efforts and do our part for a better, healthier tomorrow.”

Lonestar’s new single, “The Countdown,” is currently spinning nationwide at country radio. The melodically sparkling and lyrically urgent track is available for purchase now on all digital retailers and will be featured on Lonestar’s forthcoming yet-to-be-titled album due out early 2013 on their own 4 STAR RECORDS, in partnership with The Orchard. Download “The Countdown” now here: http://bit.ly/lonestar_countdown.

2012 has been a big year personally and professionally for Lonestar–Michael Britt, lead guitar & backing vocals; Richie McDonald, lead vocals & piano; Keech Rainwater, drums; and Dean Sams, keyboards and backing vocals–as they celebrate their 20th anniversary as a band and the return of revered original vocalist Richie McDonald.

Lonestar Tour Dates through the end of the year:
Sat 10/6 Cherokee, NC Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds
Sat 10/13 Memphis, TN Fall On Beale @ Handy Park
Thu 10/25 Hot Springs, AR Finish Line Theater
Sat 10/27 Gravette, AR Horton Farms
Fri 11/16 Jim Thorpe, PA Penn’s Peak
Sat 11/17 Warren, MI Andiamo Celebrity Showroom
Fri 11/30 Charenton, LA Cypress Bayou Casino
Fri 12/7 Las Vegas, NV Orleans Hotel & Casino
Sat 12/29 Spokane, WA Northern Quest Casino