Saturday, August 25, 2012

Girls Night at The Nashville Tribute Band concert!

Taking a break from doing rehearsals and performances of our own, we drove down to the Sandy Amphitheater to sit in the audience and watch The Nashville Tribute Band perform. A perfect girls night! Strangely enough, I'd never even heard of The Nashville Tribute Band, let alone seen them perform. I was expecting a country group covering well known country songs. So I was rather surprised when out walks Katherine Nelson, a gal who actually lives in our own stake, singing songs about strength and hope and family...songs that were very decidedly LDS. And even more surprised when Jason Deere, Due West and the rest of the group that make up The Nashvhille Tribute Band joined her and started singing songs about the Restoration of the gospel and missionary work! (Albeit, with a redneck, country twang.) I got chills when I realized that this is exactly what we want to do! They are singing to sold out audiences not only in Utah but all over the country and into other countries as well...some of their audience most likely not even members of the church but people who enjoy uplifting country music. We are doing the same thing but on a much smaller scale, obviously. And equally as obviously...not country style.  :)

Jason Deere had a big line-up of people waiting to get autographs, take pics or just shake his hand after the concert. We were actually just passing by when he grabbed us and pulled us in for a photo-op. I felt a little bad for all the people who were already waiting in line but we took the opportunity and handed the camera to a nearby person. It was dark outside and the lighting was a bit funky so the picture didn't turn out stellar. Still, we're thankful to have it because it brings back some fun memories.
(Julie....we missed you!!)

 See below for a bio on The Nashville Tribute Band if you are interested. I found their beginnings and how they have and continue to organize their group rather fascinating...but maybe that's just me.


Award-winning songwriter and Nashville record producer Jason Deere regularly invites a revolving cast of talented artists and musicians that he calls the Nashville Tribute Band to join him in touring the world performing the stories and songs from the albums Joseph: A Nashville Tribute To The Prophet, Trek: A Nashville Tribute To The Pioneers and THE WORK: A Nashville Tribute To The Missionaries.  Over the years Dan Truman (of the Grammy Award-winning country group Diamond Rio), Brad Hull, Matt Lopez and Tim Gates (of the country group Due West), entertainer David Osmond, actor and recording artist Katherine Nelson, country artist Billy Dean, Ron Saltmarsh, pop artist Mindy Gledhill and Dyer Highway are all among those who have often joined the stage with the band.  The band has done over 500 shows for audiences in the U.S., Canada, Australia and China since 2004.  They have performed in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City as well as several performances in the Tabernacle on Temple Square.
“In 1989, four months into my mission in Las Vegas, Nevada, my companion and I rode our bikes home to our wretched little pink trailer house on Boulder HWY. After getting settled that night, I walked out on the porch with my guitar and wrote a song about Joseph Smith called ‘Lamb To The Slaughter.’ That moment on that porch was truly the beginning of these projects.
Trying to make a living in Nashville, I didn’t write another religious song until 2003, when I was called to teach early morning Seminary. We were covering the Old Testament that year, and I immediately had this crazy fascination with The Restoration. I was teaching Exodus in the morning and reading everything I could get my hands on about The Restoration in the evening. I was immersed in both subjects and something started to change in me. Suddenly, songs about the Restoration started coming out of nowhere. I wrote two or three, and then called my friend Dan Truman, of the country supergroup Diamond Rio. I went to his house and played him the songs. We knew we had to do something. We had no idea what the world would think of redneck Mormon songs, but we knew that we had to make an album – for us, if for no one else. In a few weeks, I had written all but one of the rest of the songs for the album (the last song, a song about Hyrum Smith, came as songs sometimes do – on the morning recording sessions were to begin).
In June of 2005, the first album with this project was released: ‘Joseph: a Nashville Tribute to the Prophet.’ The release, to our amazement, has been one of the best-selling LDS albums ever, leading to hundreds of concerts for thousands of people all over the United States, Canada, Australia and China. It’s also led to another album, ‘Trek: A Nashville Tribute to the Pioneers,’ and in 2011 yet another, ‘The Work: A Nashville Tribute to the Missionaries.’
We love our history. We love our religion. We love the way we feel each time we look out at a group of people and sing songs about people who we know lifted the fullness of the everlasting gospel from the dust of the earth with their own sweat and blood so we could be so blessed today. We love to meet you after the shows and hear how you love the “main characters” of the Restoration as well. These years, and these songs, have changed us all forever.
That’s how it all began, and I hope that this is truly the beginning of many more opportunities for all of us who live at the end of this dispensation to connect with those at the beginning of this dispensation. We are one dispensation. We are strong. We are blessed. May we be forever thankful.”
Jason Deere

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Singing the National Anthem for Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband...

The Davis Arts Council...the organizers of the Broadway Talent Show that we sang in this past June....asked if we would be willing to sing the National Anthem at the Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband concert at the Kenley Amphitheatre in Layton. It just so happens that we had a pretty rockin' arrangement of The Star Spangled Banner that we had worked up for our Cherry Hill concert. Frosting on the tickets for the actual concert for each of us plus one. Can you say "date night?" So our answer was, ABSOLUTELY!

Meeting Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband and hanging out with them for a bit in the green room was a lot of fun. The high-fives we received from them as we traded places on coming off, them moving on...was a highlight.

Lots of "way to go's," "good job's," and "you sounded amazing's"...from the organizers back stage and members of the audience as we made our way back to our seats for the actual concert...were really gratifying and humbling. One lady even came over personally and said, "I voted for you!" referring back to the talent show in June. Another, at intermission, asked if we did concerts of our own. When I told her about the Cherry Hill performance we had just finished, she was disappointed that she hadn't known because, she said, she would've really enjoyed hearing more from us. I only document these comments and compliments...not to brag...but to acknowledge how much they meant to us. That maybe it's a small sign that all of our time, work and sacrifice has not been in vain, and that it is indeed, worth it to continue on.

Doesn't it figure that even with our husbands in the audience, we didn't think to assign one of them to take pictures of us singing? That we didn't even pull out our cameras until after the concert was well underway? Well,'s a few shots of Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband performing. What a thrill to be able to share the same stage as these talented guys!