The Beat: Lonestar aims to amaze in Meadville on Sunday
Michael Britt is still amazed by the past 24 years.
The guitarist and his fellow Lonestar bandmates -- Richie McDonald, Keech Rainwater and Dean Sams -- have been able to make music, play shows around the country and have all kinds of fun since they formed in 1992.
And they're nowhere close to being done.
"We enjoy this now just as much as we ever did," said Britt, 49.
Even now, the hit-making country band keeps on truckin'. Britt and his bandmates, who just wrapped up recording their new "Never Enders" album that will drop later this spring, will play a two-show event presented by the Meadville Fraternal Order of Police on Sunday, 1 and 6 p.m., at Allegheny College in Meadville. Special guest Larry Frick will also perform during the shows.
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Lonestar to serve up country staples at Stark County Fair
Courtesy - IndieOnline.com
Lonestar will perform 8 p.m. Sunday at the Stark County Fair.
WHEN: Sunday, 8 p.m.
WHERE: Grandstand, Stark County Fair.
TICKETS: $15 for reserved seats on the track and in the grands...
While “Amazed” was a crossover smash for Lonestar in 1999, hitting the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s country and Hot 100 charts, the band is hardly a one-hit wonder.Lonestar, which will appear in concert Sunday night at the Stark County Fair, topped the country charts eight more times — with “I’m Already There,” “No News,” “My Front Porch Looking In,” “Mr. Mom,” “Tell Her,” “What About Now,” “Smile” and “Come Cryin’ to Me” — and scored more radio hits with “Tequila Talkin’,” “Everything Changed,” “Let’s Be Us Again” and “Walking in Memphis.”These days, 23 years after Lonestar formed in Nashville, the band remains a popular live act, playing up to 80 concerts a year. And while the string of hit country singles has ceased, the band continues to release albums, the most recent one being “Life As We Know It” (2013). Guitarist Michael Britt phoned Monday from Nashville to talk about his life with Lonestar.
Q. Is it a challenge to be touring a lot and keep things going on the home front?
A. “Typically, our weekends are when we work. For the most part we’re home through the week having normal lives. We’re at home as much as most people, maybe more than some.”
Q. What do you guys do for fun when you’re out on the road?
A. “We had two back-to-back, two-week runs out west recently. We went to Moab, Utah, rented Jeeps and drove through the trails. That was really cool. We’ve got a cornhole board. We have grills on the bus to cook out and make it like a camping trip.”
Q. Is your career in a comfortable place these days?
A. “It’s really is. We’re kind of off the rat wheel. We’re not on a major label, not on the typical album cycle, we make music as we want to. We wish we had more airplay, but we have great fans, we’re still working, we still enjoy playing and making new music.”
Q. Are you working on songs for the next Lonestar album?
A. We’re actually finishing up a new project. We have two more songs to cut, then we’re hoping to have a new album out by the end of the year.”
Q. For people who have never seen Lonestar, what can you tell me about the concert you’ll be playing in Canton this weekend?
A. “The response we get from people who’ve not seen up before is they couldn’t believe how many songs they recognized. Most know ‘Amazed’ and ‘I’m Already There,’ but we have a lot of songs people know that they might not know were by Lonestar.”
Q. You four guys have spent so much time together. Do you play certain roles in the band?
Lonestar 'Amazed' the audience Sunday night
Courtesy - Examiner.com
Lonestar has been writing and performing for more than 20 years now. They had already released nine singles, which included two No.1 hits by the time they released the song “Amazed” in 1999. “We heard the song at a song meeting at RCA. We thought it was a very passionate song. A beautiful song. We had no idea what it would do on the country chart.” These were the words spoken by band member and lead singer Richie McDonald. The song spent eight straight weeks at the No.1 spot on the Billboard country charts. A remixed version held the No.1 spot on the Billboard Top 100 for two weeks. And tonight, Lonestar shared their music with the fans at The Hudson Gardens And Event Center in Littleton, Colorado to a sold out crowd.
Originally formed in Nashville in 1992, Lonestar played over 500 shows before landing a recording contract. By the time they released their self-titled debut album in 1995, they had a fan base that was amazing. Following this group since day one and the fans loved what they heard. Their first single “Tequila Talkin’” went to Top ten on the country charts. It was followed up by “No New” which would be the first of many No.1 hits singles for Lonestar. The band is still going strong and Sunday night proved it. The current members are: Richie McDonald – Lead vocals and piano, Michael Britt – lead guitar and backing vocals, Keech Rainwater – drums and Dean Sams – keyboards, acoustic guitar and backing vocals. Lonestar performed for a little over 2 hours and sang a lot of their No.1 hits and some that were newer. They introduced the audience to some of the new songs on their new CD and the response was overwhelming. The lyrics that this group writes are meaningful and the vocals and harmonies are incredible. Even with all this talent and fan appreciation, this band has never lost sight of where they came from. They continue to work hard and strive to bring their love of music to millions. Instead of the five star hotels along the tour route, this group would rather stay at a campground and enjoy some peaceful time fishing, or just chilling by the fireside.
During the concert, the Examiner wondered through the crowd to speak with people about their favorite song, a lot of the ladies love the song ‘Amazed’. But we did speak with different ladies and got some different reactions to their favorite songs. Young Caelan Debolt said her favorite song is ‘Come Crying To Me’. Sarah Costin loves the song amazed. There were several in the audience who have never been to Hudson Gardens and Examiner caught up to one of those newbie Amanda Gunton. She has a lot of songs that are her favorite by Lonestar. But her top two songs are ‘Amazed’ and ‘Mr. Mom. Down in the front row were more new audience members who were huge fans of Lonestar and stated that they will be coming back to The Hudson Gardens and Event Center for more shows. They said this was one of the most gorgeous places to see a show. Jennifer Moleateau said her all-time favorite is ‘I’m Already There’. Party girl and longtime follower of Lonestar said her favorite song is ‘Tequila Talkin’’ because it gets her moving and she just has a great time every time she plays the song.
Lonestar Plugs In For Finale
Country group Lonestar has given all-acoustic concerts in the past but, for its regular shows, keeps the instruments mostly plugged in, according to lead guitarist Michael Britt.
“Every time we throw in an acoustic section in a regular show, it throws off the momentum,” he says.
That's not to say the group won't find a way to incorporate some acoustic material.
“This is the time of year to think about about how to make the show more unique and fun for us,” Britt says.
Guaranteed to make the setlist will be an ever-changing rock medley during which Lonestar lets the guitars rip for eight to 10 minutes. The group has tried everything from Pink Floyd and KISS to Kenny Loggins and the Eagles.
“The rock medley is so much fun to do,” Britt says.
Lonestar’s Richie McDonald Says the Band Caught a Lot of Flack for “Amazed”
Courtesy - CountryWeekly.com
Lonestar had already released nine singles, which included two No. 1 hits, by the time they released “Amazed” in 1999. But while the four-man group knew the ballad written by Marv Green, Aimee Mayo and Chris Lindsey was something special, they were ill-prepared for the impact the tune would have on their career.
“We heard the song at a song meeting at RCA,” lead singer Richie McDonald recently recalled to reporters. “We thought it was a very passionate song. We thought it was a beautiful love song. I don’t think we had any idea it was going to do what it did on the country chart.”
The song, from their Lonely Grill album, stayed in the top spot on the country charts for eight consecutive weeks, with a remixed version holding the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Top 100 for two weeks as well.
“It’s a universal song,” Richie said. “Sometimes when a song like that comes along, it needs a little pushing and prodding, but something like that was kind of a natural evolvement.”
Not all of the reception for the song was positive, however.
“We caught a lot of flack for it over the years, saying we sold out,” Richie added. “Of course, we had to have the pop mix, and the Hot AC mix. I was driving home from Nashville one day, and I swear I had no idea. I hear the four on the floor,” he says, stomping his feet and singing the hook, “I was like, ‘Where’d that come from?’”
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