I would love to see a statue outside of the Hard Rock Hotel in Sioux City with the following inscription:
Give me the road weary, the airplay poor, the talented masses yearning for country music stardom….
This past weekend, three talented country artists you may have never heard about played their hearts out in little ol’ Sioux City, Iowa at the Hard Rock Casino’s Anthem stage. If you were lucky enough to be in attendance you saw their passion and rocked out to hooky melodies that would enhance any country radio station in America that would give them the opportunity (and more importantly), the airplay. You see, Sioux City IS Lady Liberty welcoming tour buses filled with artists toting Fenders and dreams.
Let me introduce to 3 musicians you may want to discover:
Courtney Cole has all the energy of an Energizer bunny that has been sipping Red Bulls before a Shania Twain concert. There’s a great vibe about her that really sets her apart from others on the charts. She reminds of the friend you want to see when you are in the dumps and need a moral lift. She’s energy personified and will transform the most dour of moods in an instant.
Download: “Loud” and “Ladylike”
Tara Thompson wears a ball cap and is backed by dudes in the band that don coveralls and / or whiskey and beer t-shirts. Now, if that isn’t country, I don’t know what is. She’s got the Bluebird Café’ legitimacy to her craft as well. She transitions from Dolly Parton to Johnny Cash to her real grit – real world lyrics that are inspired by those before this generation that made country music the soundtrack of the backbone that drives America.
Download: “Pregnant at the Prom” “White Trash Female” and “Behind Bars”
Josh Dorr segued to music from playing wide receiver at a small college in Sioux Falls – a wise move. He so eloquently pointed out that this career choice is more fun that getting my “booty” (paraphrased) kicked going across the middle. This really opens up a world of possibilities for those NFL players who were moved by the movie “Concussion”. Can you imagine “Singing Country with the Stars” as opposed to the tired formula of Dancing with the Stars? Dorr makes as solid of impression as Antonio Brown post catch moves. Driving and inspired, Dorr’s music is a breath of fresh Wyoming country air in a country world that can be dominated by songs that spell out the chorus. Ugh. How horrible is that trend? Make that S-T-O-P.
Download: “Rocket”, “So are We” and “Going where the Night Goes”.
All three stars on the rise signed autographs and took pictures WITH EVERY SINGLE concertgoer that wanted them after their shows…even dorky country radio guys! The security guards at the venue were treated with respect and you could tell all three really wanted to be in Sioux City for the night…a trait bigger stars could embrace a little bit more.
Hanging out near the merch table, I noticed the selection appeared more like a sparse college dorm room as opposed to a Taylor Swift museum of tees, sparkles, hoodies and memorabilia. I would proudly wear any one of these walking billboards on cotton. I am inspired by their music and even more inspired by their passion.
I learned after the concert, Courtney Cole’s trailer (filled with merchandise) was stolen recently. Hey, that’s ok because Sioux City knows passion. Save the next t-shirt order for the radio station programmers that won’t give you the time of day. Maybe it will get their attention. They don’t know what they’re missing.
KSUX Program Director
One of the hosts of “Friday Night Spotlight” on KSUX
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You will hear these 3 artists and many more weekly