Country 92.5’s 2013 Concert for St. Jude’s Kids

Country 92.5 Presents the 2013 Concert for Kids
Dustin Lynch, Jerrod Niemann, Jana Kramer,
Randy Houser & Courtney Drummey
Cadillac Ranch, Stonington, CT
February 25, 2013

Each year, Connecticut’s Country Music radio station puts together an acoustic show at the Cadillac Ranch, in Southington, CT.  The show is a benefit for St. Jude’s Children Hospital in Memphis, TN, a charity country music singers have always greatly supported.  This year’s show included Jerrod Niemann, Jana Kramer, Dustin Lynch, and Randy Houser.

Before the show, the ticket holders lined up in the cold to get entry to the Cadillac Ranch.  Jerrod Niemann appeared and walked up and down the line greeting fans, taking photos, and making jokes.  I caught up with him and cracked some jokes about the time we spent on the Blake Shelton Cruise this past October (see:  He joked with me, saying: “those were better, warmer times.  Also blurrier times”.  I thought this accessibility to the fans was a classy move by Jerrod and it made the time spent by the fans on line a lot easier. 

The show consists of a guitar pull, as each of the artists stay on stage the whole time, joining in on each other’s songs.  Jerrod carried the show’s banter, as he added numerous jokes and comments about each of the artists.  He even added a baseball themed song about an old man getting hit by a ball that had everyone cracking up. 

Jana Kramer tried to add into the banter and discussed a bit of her new engagement with Brantley Gilbert.  She got a huge round of applause when she sang her new single “Whiskey” and “Why You Wanna” became an instant sing-a-long with the crowd.  The actress (One Tree Hill, Entourage) turned singer’s live voice has improved each time I have seen her perform.

Jerrod sang his top four hits, including a slower version of his new single, “One God Can Love You More”  The slower, acoustic version added to the beautiful lyrics of the song, which he co-wrote with Lee Brice.  All throughout the show, Jerrod was making jokes, but there is no comedy when it comes to his music as he is a true hit-maker.  When he belted out “Lover, Lover” during the last pull, the crowd may not have been louder all night.

Dustin Lynch had the girls in the crowd straight giddy as I overheard numerous comments about his looks.  But his voice is most impressive about him.  Backed by a ridiculously impressive guitarist from his band, Dustin took us through four of the cuts from his debut album.  But “Cowboys & Angels”, his first #1 single, was the absolute highlight of the whole night.  One of, if not the best country song of the year had all the significant others  in the crowd holding on to each other tight.  I expect great things from him in his career.

Randy Houser has one of the best vocals in music today.  And in the intimate Caddy Ranch, those booming vocals were straight bombastic.  He soared on “Like a Cowboy”, had the place rocking during “Boots On”, and his new single, “Running Out of Moonlight” had people ready to immediately request it on Country 92.5.  The final song of the night was very fitting as his first #1, “How Country Feels” was belted out by Randy as well as every last person in the crowd.

Each of the artists was on point and were quick to acknowledge both Country 92.5 and St. Jude’s Hospital.  I am proud to have donated to St. Jude’s as well as attend this event the past five years.  There was a poster signing at the end of the night, where those who bought the posters could meet the artists and get their signatures.  An overall classy evening where it’s always great to see musicians get together for a worthy cause. 


  1. Good Time Coming On – Jana  Kramer
  2. Baseball Song – Jerrod Niemann
  3. One More Drinkin’ Song – Jerrod Niemann
  4. Dancing in the Headlights – Dustin Lynch
  5. Boots On – Randy Houser
  6. Whiskey – Jana Kramer
  7. What Do You Want From Me -Jerrod Niemann
  8. Cranks My Tractor – Dustin Lynch
  9. Like a Cowboy – Randy Houser
  10. Hope It Rains – Jana Kramer
  11. Only God Can Love You More – Jerrod Niemann
  12. Name On It – Dustin Lynch
  13. Running Out  of Moonlight –  Randy Houser
  14. Why  You Wanna – Jana Kramer
  15. Lover, Lover – Jerrod Niemann
  16. Cowboys & Angels – Dustin Lynch
  17. How Country Feels – Randy Houser


Only God Can Love You More
Cowboys and Angels
How Country Feels

Dierks Bentley Feels at Home in New York City

Dierks Bentley
Country & Cold Cans Tour
featuring Jerrod Niemann and Eli Young Band
Irving Plaza, New York City
October 21, 2011

Dierks Bentley brought his Country & Cold Cans Tour to the Big Apple for two nights this October.  I was in attendance for the second of the two shows and you could tell he felt right at home.  Last year he had a four night residency in NYC, playing a few different venues while promoting his Bluegrass album “Up on the Ridge”.  I attended two of those shows as well as two of his shows on the Jagermeister Tour, one of which he brought me and my wife up on stage (see ) – so I am very familiar with how Dierks operates.  Tonight was no different, if anything, he took the decible level up one more notch.

Upon arriving at the Iriving Plaza, located in the heart of Union Square NYC, there was a line wrapped in front of the building and around which went on for another three blocks.  It was a quite a site to see so many hyped up country fans dressed in boots, plaid shirts, and trucker hats lined up on the streets of NYC.  The first act on the bill was the Eli Young Band.  I must admit I did not think I knew many of their songs, but once their set was off and running, I was quite familiar with most of their tunes. 

Their lead singer has a great voice and their songs are full of memories from their hometown.  Songs such as “When It Rains”, “Only the Love Songs”, and “Crazy Girl” have had a decent rotation on country radio and were very impressive live.  The band is not flashy, but not at all dull, not down home country, but not hipster – their look was very similar to their music.  I look forward to seeing them again and buying their cd collection as well.

Next up was Jerrod Niemann.  I had purchased Judge Jerrod’s cd the day it came out large in part for his remake hit of “Lover, Lover”, but this was the first time I have been able to see him live.  And he did not disappoint in the least.  He was extremely energetic and dynamic.  The crowd really responded and the New York City venue started to transform into a Nashville Honky-Tonk. 

Jerrod Niemann has a very strange look.  He has long messy hair and wears a very different hat compared to most country singers and he backed by a band mixed with predominately older gentlemen that had people raising their eye-brows.  Nonetheless, people must learn to not judge a book by its cover, because the Judge and his Jury (as he referred to them) could rock. 

He sang many of his songs off his cd including “What Do You Want”, “One More Drinking Song” and “Lover, Lover” and threw in a blues song by Stevie Ray Vaughn “Pride and Joy” and Garth Brooks’ “Good Ride Cowboy”, which Jerrod actually wrote for him.  Jerrod was high energy with a lot of drinking songs and interaction with the crowd.  He was at his best when he had just the microphone in his hand and was up in the front of the stage.  I look for big things from him in the future and really was impressed by his set.

After a brief intermission, the lights went low and the crowd started to scream.  Dierks has created quite a love affair with New York City after his four night stand last year and his double night run this Fall.  Of course, the Will Ferrell impersonator was in attendance (if you attended last year’s shows you know what I am talking about) and I saw a lot of familiar faces from the past NYC shows. 

Dierks hopped on stage and ripped into a new song called “Country Cold Cans” which is a high energy song with a lot of country references (from pick up trucks to trucker hats).  I expect this song will be on his upcoming album which is rumored to have a winter 2012 release. 

Irving Plaza was absolutely jammed packed while Dierks was on stage and people were going crazy during his set.  Dierks has a patented move where jumps straight up and down on stage and the crowd responded by bouncing up and down with him each and every time he hopped.  He brought out his full catalog of hits from “Feel That Fire” to “Every Mile a Memory” to “Sideways” and his energy level was at an all time high.

To my delight, he even sang a few songs off his bluegrass album such as “Up On the Ridge” and “Bottle to the Bottom” and sang a few new songs, entitled “5 1 5 0” and his newest single “Home”.  “Home” is a patriotic song, not in the flag waving way, but more of an ode to America and its natural beauty.  He was very controlled and passionate during this song and the crowd responded with a slew of “U S A” chants upon its finish. 

I have seen a countless number of country music concerts and Dierks is as good of a performer as anyone out there.  He has a natural interaction and energy that gives him a fun-loving vibe.  His career path is a bit confusing because he has the hits and persona to fill arenas, but yet he seems to stick to the mid-sized ballroom type venues.  I would love to see Dierks’ label allow him to embark on an Arena tour, he would have no problem selling well. 

Dierks finished off his encore with his two biggest hits to date “Free and Easy” and “What Was I Thinking” and the crowd applauded him for what seemed like ten minutes.  Dierks was overwhelmed with the applause and bowed with his band multiple times.  The speakers then played “Shipping Up to Boston” by the Dropkick Murphy’s and the entire crowd began to jump straight up and down “Dierks-style” and he, of course, responded as you would expect. 

On this night, in New York City, you could tell Dierks felt comfortable as if it was a second Home.  I expect him to keep coming back to the Big Apple as he really seems to have a great time on stage during his shows here.  Dierks, we await your new cd and cannot wait to have you back in the City that never sleeps. 


Jerrod Niemann

1) How Can I Be So Thirsty
2) Down In Mexico
3) Baseball Song
4) Good Ride Cowboy
5) What Do You Want
6) Buckin’ Song
7) Pride & Joy
8) Get What You Deserve
9) Everclear
10) Lover, Lover

Dierks Bentley

1) Country Cold Cans
2) Feel That Fire
3) Am I The Only One (with an extra verse)
4) Every Mile a Memory
5) Tried to Stop Your Leaving
6) Sideways
7) 5 1 5 0
8) Tried To Stop Your Leaving
9) How Am I Doing
10) Up On the Ridge
11) Bottle to the Bottom
12) Home
13) Lot of Leaving Left To Do
14) Come a Little CLoser
15) Wish You Were Here
16) Free and Easy Down the Road I Go
17) What Was I Thinking


Dierks Bentley – “Home”
Dierks Bentley: “Up On The Ridge”

Dierks Bentley – “Am I The Only One”
Jerrod Niemann – “One More Drinking Song”
Dierks Bentley – “What Was I Thinking”