Due to the COVID 19 restrictions, nearly all concert venues, pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes and other places that employ New Mexico musicians have been shut down until at least May 31st and further restrictions may continue after that date. We urge all of our friends to contribute to your favorite local musicians via their social media or to contribute to one of the many funds that are assisting musicians at this time. For information on how you can help, go to http://newmexicomusicawards.com/news/covid-19-creative-economy-relief-info/ and learn what programs are in place for these struggling artists.
Chris Stapleton All American Road Show
Thursday, June 4th 2020 7:30 PM Isleta Amphitheater, Albuquerque
Chris Stapleton’s “All-American Road Show” will return this summer and fall with an extensive new run of shows including stops in Albuquerque.
Born and raised in Kentucky, Chris Stapleton is an American musician who spent years in Nashville as a sought-after songwriter, furnishing songs for numerous artists. Easy to spot due to his signature long hair and prodigious beard, he became a major star in the autumn of 2015 when his debut solo album, Traveller, practically swept the CMAs. Traveller subsequently went platinum and Stapleton followed it up by drawing on his own vast repertoire of songs. In May 2017, he released From a Room: Volume 1, which won the CMA award for Album of the Year. In November 2017, he released From a Room: Volume 2.
After meeting some local songwriters in his hometown, Stapleton discovered that songwriting was a viable profession. In a 2016 interview with CBS News, he said: “I always thought that George Strait was singing a song, he made it up, and that was the end of it. But the instant I found out that that could be a job, I thought, ‘That’s the job for me.’”
In the fall of 2015, Stapleton became the first artist to ever to win Album of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year and New Artist of the Year at the Country Music Association Awards, where he and Justin Timberlake performed a show-stealing duet of the George Jones classic, “Tennessee Whiskey” and Timberlake’s “Drink You Away.” In 2016, the Grammy committee took notice, granting him four nominations and then two awards: Best Country Solo Performance and Traveller won Best Country Album.
In 2018 he won three more Grammys for From a Room, Volume 1: Best Country Album, Best Country Song for “Broken Halos,” and Best Country Solo Performance for “Either Way.” He also performed “Wildflowers” with Emmylou Harris to honor the late Tom Petty during the awards show broadcast.
While consistently working as a songwriter from 2001-2015, Stapleton also led the progressive bluegrass group the SteelDrivers for two years, starting in 2008. The band released two albums (a self-titled debut and Reckless) and earned three Grammy nominations. He then formed the Jompson Brothers rock group in 2010 — the group released one album and toured briefly as an opening act for Zac Brown Band.
Last year, Sir Elton John personally called Stapleton and asked him to record “I Want Love” for a recently released record, Restoration: Reimagining the Songs of Elton John and Bernie Taupin. The 13-song collection also features Little Big Town, Miranda Lambert, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Dierks Bentley, Vince Gill and Don Henley.
Thursday, June 18th, 2020 7:30 PM Isleta Amphitheater, Albuquerque
To hear Jennifer Nettles tell it, it’s a brand new day in Sugarland. Despite winning multiple Grammy, CMA and ACM awards—and selling more than 8 million records—the country-music duo of Nettles and Kristian Bush is embracing a creative rebirth, a musical awakening.
In fact, the pair found shared inspiration in the iconic music and films of the 1980s, their growing-up years.
Fans flock to Jennifer’s knack for finding the voice of everywoman—or even everyman. One of Sugarland’s many gifts is their ability to write lyrics that transcend gender, like in their 2004 breakout hit “Baby Girl.” On The Incredible Machine, the proof is in the acoustic “Little Miss,” a profile of a woman who tries to handle everything, all by herself. “I saw my mom as that person. I see pieces of it in my own daughter. Jennifer is certainly one of those women,” Kristian says.
Aside from the powerhouse rocker “Wide Open,” written specifically for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, “Little Miss” is one of the record’s earliest penned tracks. “We were at a festival over a year ago and I was on the bus doing my makeup while Kristian was warming up,” recalls Jennifer. “I was wearing a checkered dress and he started playing this lick and singing, ‘Little Miss checkered dress.’ I popped my head out and sang, ‘Little Miss one big mess!’ The way that song was discovered was fun and really beautiful.”
And the band is confident that fans, old and new alike, will have a similar experience as they discover the gears and cogs of The Incredible Machine—a country record, a pop record, an anthem record, a ballad record, but above all, an authentic record.
Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020 8:00 PM Sandia Resort Amphitheater, Albuquerque
A nine-time GRAMMY AWARD recipient, Sheryl Crow is an American music icon. Her nine studio albums have sold 35 million copies worldwide; seven of them charted in the Top 10 and five were certified for Multi-Platinum sales. In addition to such No. 1 hits as “All I Wanna Do,” “Soak Up the Sun” and “The First Cut Is the Deepest,” Crow has lofted 40 singles into the Billboard Hot 100, Adult Top 40, Adult Contemporary, Mainstream Top 40 and Hot Country Songs charts, with more No. 1 singles in the Triple A listings than any other female artist. Many artists have collaborated with her on special projects, including the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Smokey Robinson and Tony Bennett. She is known as well for her passionate support of multiple charities, including City Of Hope, Stand Up To Cancer, The World Food Program, Feeding America, ADOPT A CLASSROOM, the TJ Martell Foundation, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, MusiCares, the Special Olympics and many other worthy causes.
Following a whirlwind of star-studded collaborations, the wait for Sheryl Crow’s highly-anticipated final album is over. The nine-time GRAMMY Award-winner unveils timeless anthems with prolific artists and new generations of storytellers throughout THREADS, available everywhere NOW on The Valory Music Co.
Saturday, June 27th, 2020 7:30 PM Isleta Amphitheater, Albuquerque
By his 34th birthday, multi-platinum RCA Records Nashville entertainer Chris Young has accumulated an impressive list of accomplishments, including membership in the iconic Grand Ole Opry, 2 Billion on-demand streams, 12 Million singles sold, 11 career No. 1 singles, 17 R.I.A.A. Gold/Platinum/Multi-Platinum certified projects, 2 Grammy nominations, 3 Country Music Association nominations and 4 Academy of Country Music nominations. As a prolific creator, Chris has given fans 7 studio albums in 12 years including Losing Sleep, his third project in less than two
years. The title track is certified Platinum while “Hangin’ On” is his ninth No. 1 as a songwriter. Losing Sleep (2017) and I’m Comin’ Over (2015) debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums Chart with “I’m Comin’ Over” becoming Young’s first 2x Platinum single.
Named “one of his era’s finest traditionalists” by the Associated Press, Chris has quickly become an international ambassador for country music, performing to capacity crowds around the world including the sold-out C2C Festival in the UK. With a hit-packed set that highlights his eleven chart-toppers — including back-to-back No. 1s “Losing Sleep,” “Sober Saturday Night,” “Think Of You,” and “I’m Comin’ Over” — the Grammy and ACM nominated vocalist headlined the Chris Young Losing Sleep 2018 World Tour including his first hometown headlining stop at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena playing to a capacity crowd of nearly 14,000 fans, friends and family.
Forigner Jukebox Hero 2020 Tour
Thursday, July 9th, 2020 7:00 PM Isleata Amphitheater, Albuquerque
With ten multi-platinum albums and sixteen Top 30 hits, Foreigner is universally hailed as one of the most popular rock acts in the world with a formidable musical arsenal that continues to propel sold-out tours and album sales, now exceeding 75 million.
Responsible for some of rock and roll’s most enduring anthems including Juke Box Hero, Cold As Ice, Hot Blooded, Waiting For A Girl Like You, Feels Like The First Time, Urgent, Head Games, Say You Will, Dirty White Boy, Long, Long Way From Home and the worldwide #1 hit, I Want To Know What Love Is, Foreigner continues to rock the charts more than 40 years into the game with massive airplay and continued Billboard Top 200 album success. Foreigner also features strongly in every category in Billboard’s Greatest of All Time listing. Catalog sales often eclipse those of Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, the Rolling Stones, the Who, Def Leppard, Van Halen, Aerosmith and most of their Classic Rock peers. (Source: Nielsen SoundScan week ending 8/3/17).
Founded in 1976, Foreigner’s debut album produced the hits “Feels Like The First Time,” “Cold As Ice” and “Long, Long Way From Home.” The album Double Vision followed, as did a string of hits like “Urgent,” “Juke Box Hero” and “Waiting For A Girl Like You.” Those songs helped give Foreigner’s next album, 4, its impressive run at #1 on the Billboard chart. At the zenith of 80’s sound, Foreigner’s fifth album, Agent Provocateur, gave the world the incredible #1 global hit,” I Want To Know What Love Is.” This musical milestone followed the record-breaking song “Waiting For A Girl Like You.”
At Foreigner’s core is the founder and Songwriters Hall of Fame member Mick Jones, the visionary maestro whose stylistic songwriting, indelible guitar hooks and multi-layered talents continue to escalate Foreigner’s influence and guide the band to new horizons. He reformed the band after a 2002 hiatus and selected lead singer Kelly Hansen to help write an inspired new chapter in the history of Foreigner. One of rock’s greatest showmen, Hansen is known for his innate ability to connect with the crowds. As a front man and lead vocalist, Hansen is among the most respected, consummate professionals in rock and roll. With a 35-year career that spans almost every area of music, from the role of lead vocalist to producing and engineering, Kelly has the unique ability to advance and excel when faced with new challenges.
In June 2013, Mick Jones was inducted to the Songwriters Hall Of Fame. A multi-talented and multi-dimensional “musician’s musician,” Jones has also written songs such as “Bad Love” with Eric Clapton and “Dreamer” with Ozzy Osbourne, and produced records for others including Billy Joel’s Storm Front and Van Halen’s 5150. A Grammy and Golden Globe-nominated songwriter, Jones is the winner of the prestigious British Ivor Novello Songwriter Award for “The Flame Still Burns”, the soundtrack music for the film Still Crazy.
In May 2014, Atlantic Records Chairman Craig Kallman presented Mick Jones with RIAA gold and platinum digital awards for six Foreigner songs. These awards signify 500,000 and 1,000,000 downloads of Foreigner hits. That is more individual awards than any other heritage rock band, and an illustration of Foreigner’s resonance in the digital era.
2017 marked the celebration of Foreigner’s 40th anniversary. It commenced with a European tour that included Foreigner performing orchestral versions of the hits with the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra in Lucerne, Switzerland. The Warner Music Group released a double CD set ‘40’, which includes 40 songs recorded between 1977 and 2017. The album features two tracks recorded especially for this release, ‘Give My Life For Love’ and a new version of ‘I Don’t Want To Live Without You.’ The album spent nine weeks in the Billboard Top 200 chart. The US anniversary headline tour played 40 shows across the United States where the band was supported by Cheap Trick and Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience.
Foreigner is one of the most viewed YouTube artists with anywhere between 700,000 and 900,000 weekly viewings of their songs (Source: Next Big Sound).
Megadeath and Lamb of God
Monday, July 20th 2020 6:00 PM Isleta Amphitheater
Formed in 1983 by guitarist/vocalist Dave Mustaine after an acrimonious departure from Metallica, Megadeth became one of the most acclaimed and successful thrash metal bands of their era and beyond. Mustaine expanded on the typical metal blueprint by speeding up the tempos and putting an emphasis on his lightning-fast technical guitar skills. His nihilistic lyrics and unrelenting musical attack resulted in a series of thrash metal classics from Megadeth throughout the 1980s and into the early ’90s. Along with being considered high water marks of the metal genre, 1986’s Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying? and 1992’s Countdown to Extinction sold in the millions and influenced the next generation of speed metal bands.
In the years immediately following the release of So Far, So Good…So What!, Mustaine was impaired by his drug addictions. In early 1990, he was arrested for driving under the influence and entered a rehabilitation program. By the end of the year, he was not only sober, but he had reconvened the band, firing Young and Behler and replacing them with guitarist Marty Friedman and drummer Nick Menza. This lineup recorded Megadeth’s fourth and most progressive album, Rust in Peace. The record peaked at number 23 on the American charts and went platinum. Metallica broke through to the mainstream in 1991, and sensing the possibility for similar success, Mustaine followed suit in stripping down Megadeth’s sound, though it remained as technically perfectionist as Rust in Peace. The result, Countdown to Extinction, was released in 1992, entering the charts at number two; the record went double platinum and became the band’s biggest hit, confirming that they had retained their audience in the wake of grunge.
Now one of the most popular metal bands in the world, Megadeth moved further toward the mainstream with Youthanasia in 1994, which entered the charts at number four and, like its predecessor, went platinum. The following year, the group released Hidden Treasures, a rarities collection that featured some of the soundtrack tunes that had helped expand the group’s MTV audience in the early ’90s. Released in 1997, Cryptic Writings found Megadeth fully embraced by album rock radio, which formerly would never have touched the band.
While on break from touring, Mustaine suffered a serious injury in January 2002 while staying in Texas. During his time off, Mustaine prepared an elaborate reissue campaign, remastering each album and reissuing them all with bonus material. This campaign set the stage for a Megadeth revival, which came in 2004-2005 with a surprising comeback album, The System Has Failed, and some heavy touring.
In 2018, the band unveiled a deluxe reissue of their debut, Killing Is My Business…And Business Is Good! The Final Kill. The set included a remastered edition of the original album; live cuts recorded in England, Germany, and the U.S. between 1986 and 1990; a three-track demo from 1984; and a rare cover, “These Boots.” The next year Mustaine hand selected 35 tracks from the band’s massive studio discography to be compiled into an anthology/greatest-hits collection entitled Warheads on Foreheads. The epic collection was released in March of 2019.
Wednesday, July 29th, 2020 7:30 PM Isleta Amphitheater, Albuquerque
Contemporary country star Kenny Chesney didn’t have the immediate breakout success that many of his peers enjoyed upon signing with major labels, but gradually built up a significant following via hard work, pop-friendly ballads, and a likable “Average Joe” persona. Chesney was born in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1968 and raised in the nearby small town of Luttrell, best known as the home of Chet Atkins. He grew up listening to both country and rock & roll, but didn’t get serious about music until college, when he studied marketing at East Tennessee State University. He received a guitar as a Christmas present and set about practicing, and was soon performing with the college bluegrass band. He soon started writing songs as well and played for tips in local venues — most often a Mexican restaurant — every night he could; additionally, he managed to sell 1,000 copies of a self-released demo album. After graduation in 1991, he moved to Nashville and became the resident performer at The Turf, a rough honky tonk in the city’s historic district. While he gained experience, it wasn’t the sort of place where he’d be discovered, and in 1992 he moved on to a publishing deal with Acuff-Rose. From there he landed a record contract with Capricorn and released his debut album, In My Wildest Dreams, in late 1993.
All I Need to Know Unfortunately for Chesney, Capricorn wasn’t much of a country label; not only was the album underpromoted, but the label’s country division shut down completely not long after its release. Still, it sold 100,000 copies and caught the attention of several major labels. Chesney ended up signing with RCA subsidiary BNA, which released All I Need to Know in 1995. The album gave him his first two Top Ten hits in the title track and “Fall in Love.” His follow-up, 1996’s Me and You, became his first album to go gold, thanks to two number two singles in the title track and “When I Close My Eyes.” Released in 1997, I Will Stand was another gold-selling effort that gave Chesney his first-ever number one hit in “She’s Got It All,” plus another number two with “That’s Why I’m Here.” His big-time breakthrough, however, came with 1999’s Everywhere We Go, which sold over two million copies and spawned two number one hits with “You Had Me from Hello” and “How Forever Feels”; it also featured another Top Ten single in “What I Need to Do,” and another, “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy,” that just missed. In 2000, Chesney issued his first Greatest Hits compilation, and two newly recorded songs — “I Lost It” and “Don’t Happen Twice” — went to number three and number one, respectively.
No Shoes, No Shirt, No ProblemsGreatest Hits became Chesney’s second straight double-platinum release and topped the country LP chart. He followed it with the all-new No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem in early 2002, which gave him his strongest commercial performance yet. It, too, hit number one on the country album chart and spun off four Top Ten singles in “Young,” the number one “The Good Stuff,” the Bill Anderson co-write “A Lot of Things Different,” and “Big Star.” A Christmas album plugged the gap for 2003, and he had a strong return with 2004’s When the Sun Goes Down, which won in the Album of the Year category at the Country Music Awards. He repeated the win, this time as Entertainer of the Year, with Be as You Are (Songs from an Old Blue Chair).
The Road and the RadioChesney found himself the subject of much tabloid fodder in 2005 with his surprise marriage to actress Renée Zellweger (he had composed 1999’s “You Had Me from Hello” after watching Zellweger in the 1996 film Jerry Maguire). The pair split that same year, citing irreconcilable differences, and Chesney released the chart-topping The Road and the Radio in November. In the years that followed, Chesney kept busy, releasing Live: Live Those Songs Again in 2006 and Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates in 2007. In April 2010, Chesney and director Joe Thomas released the 3-D concert film Kenny Chesney: Summer in 3-D. Taken from his 2009 Sun City Carnival Tour, the film included 23 songs from six stadium shows, shot in 3-D, interspersed with interviews and home movies. A completely new studio album, Hemingway’s Whiskey, named after a Guy Clark song, also appeared in 2010. His 13th studio album, Welcome to the Fishbowl, arrived in 2012.
Life on a RockWelcome to the Fishbowl performed respectably, debuting at number two on the Billboard 200 and generating the number one country single “Come Over,” along with the Top 20 hits “Feel Like a Rock Star” and “El Cerrito Place.” Following its release, Chesney’s label BNA shuttered and he jumped over to Columbia Nashville, which released Life on a Rock in April 2013. The album hit number one, and the single “Pirate Flag” reached the country Top Ten. Chesney quickly followed Life on a Rock with The Big Revival. A conscious shift toward a brighter sound, The Big Revival was Chesney’s liveliest work of the decade, as evidenced by its first single, “American Kids,” a singalong that peaked at number two on the country chart.
Thomas Rhett-Center Point Road Tour
Saturday, August 8th, 2020 7:30 PM Isleta Amphitheater, Albuquerque
Thomas Rhett spent most of his teens figuring out what, other than music, he could do for a career. Kinesiology, business, anatomy, media – anything but music. None of those rather ordinary pursuits seemed to work out. But a songwriting deal? Heck, Thomas Rhett stumbled into that. And nine months later, he had a song on Jason Aldean’s My Kinda Party, a double-platinum project that became the best-selling country album of 2011. A recording contract? Thomas Rhett auditioned for at least seven record companies, and every one of them wanted to sign him.
Valory – the home of Reba McEntire, Brantley Gilbert, Jewel and Justin Moore – won out, and now it’s seemingly just a matter of time before the general public discovers the quirky word jumbles and infectious grooves that had Music Row salivating over Thomas Rhett’s. The one that, in retrospect, seems as if it were always supposed to happen. Even Thomas Rhett doesn’t completely understand it.
Thomas’ full name – Thomas Rhett Akins Jr. – forever connects him with his dad, Rhett Akins, who earned a trio of Top 20 hits in the mid-1990s. Those songs – including the Top 5 “That Ain’t My Truck” and the No. 1 single “Don’t Get Me Started” – made an indelible impression, inspiring several other southern Georgians, such as Luke Bryan and ace songwriter Dallas Davidson, to pursue their own country ambitions.
Concert tours took Rhett Akins away from home often, beginning just a year or two before Thomas Rhett enrolled in school. But there was no father-son rebellion in the Akins household. Despite his tour schedule, Dad made it a point to be there for his son’s football games. And Thomas Rhett loved his father’s music. Thomas Rhett went on the road with the elder Akins. Sometimes his dad would bring the kid out to play drums during the encore at his shows. And there was a period when Thomas Rhett was eight or nine that he popped on stage to cover Will Smith.
There were other perks. Thomas Rhett went to Reba McEntire’s Halloween parties. And he once got help on his English homework from some guy named Blake Shelton. Seems glamorous from the outside, but the entertainment business can be ruthless. And the good times soon soured for his dad. Rhett Akins eventually rebounded, but in the meantime, that period in his dad’s career soured Thomas Rhett on that pursuit.
In February 2010, Thomas Rhett signed with EMI and soon had his first co-writing session with his dad and Bobby Pinson, who’s written songs for Toby Keith and Sugarland. In short order, he was writing with the likes of Craig Wiseman (“Live Like You Were Dying”), Luke Laird (“Undo It”), Lee Thomas Miller (“You’re Gonna Miss This”) and Chris Stapleton (“Love’s Gonna Make It Alright”).
Things happened quickly. Aldean cut Thomas Rhett’s “I Ain’t Ready To Quit” for My Kinda Party, which was released in November 2010 – just eight months after Thomas Rhett signed his publishing deal. Even then,
Vaughn was already taking Thomas Rhett around Music Row to play acoustic auditions as an artist in record-company conference rooms. And they always got some interest.
When he played for the Big Machine Label Group, which includes The Valory Music Co., it took only three songs before President and CEO Scott Borchetta announced he wanted Thomas Rhett on the roster.
“Scott doesn’t mess around,” Thomas Rhett says. “The next day, my lawyer called and said Big Machine had made an offer.”
That also gave Thomas Rhett the reins to make an album. They teamed him with producer Jay Joyce, who’s worked as a producer and/or guitarist with Eric Church, Cage The Elephant and Miranda Lambert. The results on Thomas Rhett’s debut are a rhythmic, grooving, infectious amalgam of styles that appreciates country’s roots and challenges its perceived limitations at the same time.
Tim McGraw-Here on Earth f/ Midland & Ingrid Andress
Thursday, August 13th, 2020 7:30 PM Isleta Amphitheater, Albuquerque
Born in Delhi, Louisiana, Tim McGraw was one of the most popular “Young Country” stars to emerge in the 1990s. With his high-pitched, rather growly voice, he became known for his ability to stir up a range of emotions with everything from jumping dance tunes to heartfelt ballads.
The son of Betty Smith (now Betty Trimble) and Tug McGraw, Tim grew up thinking that his mother’s husband, Horace Smith, a trucker, was his father. The couple divorced when McGraw was nine, and after that, he and his mother were often forced to relocate around Richland Parish. One time after moving, McGraw, then 11, opened a box that contained his birth certificate, which had his father’s name scribbled out but listed the occupation as “baseball player.” His mother eventually divulged that she had a brief summer romance with Tug McGraw, a minor league pitcher at the time. He quickly left her, though, and she married Smith when her son was seven months old.
Tug McGraw went on to make his name with the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies. By the early 1970s, he was the highest-paid and most popular relief pitcher in professional baseball. McGraw met him once at a game in Houston, but his biological father showed little interest in maintaining a close relationship. The baseball star had married and had two other children by then, though he and his wife divorced in 1988.
McGraw was initially angry at his father for not supporting him, but later forgave him, telling Steve Dougherty and Meg Grant in People, “He was 22 and immature when it happened.” Ironically, McGraw had his father’s baseball card taped to his bedroom wall even before he knew he was his father.
As a freshman at Northeast Louisiana State University, McGraw took pre-law courses after seeing the film And Justice for All, starring Al Pacino. But he ended up enjoying parties more than classes, and became more interested in music. He bought a guitar at a pawn shop, and within a year, he was singing in clubs around Monroe, Louisiana.
Soon, he decided to quit school and try his luck in Nashville. His father told him to finish school first, but McGraw reminded him that he had quit college for baseball. Besides, as McGraw noted to Dave McKenna in the Washington Post, “The only thing I learned in college was how to float a keg, and I didn’t figure that was going to get me too far. So even though it was kind of scary, I wasn’t giving up much. I thought I could make it.” His dad continued to support him while he tried to rev up a career.
In February 1994, McGraw released the infectious single “Indian Outlaw,” and it quickly raced up the country charts and became a radio hit.
Shortly after this, McGraw’s second album was released. Not a Moment Too Soon became the number one country hit in its first week on the charts. Not a Moment Too Soon hugged the top spot on the country album chart for 26 consecutive weeks and sold about eight million copies over the next few years. Immediately, McGraw was catapulted from playing honky-tonks to embarking on a major headlining tour.
The following year, in September 1995, McGraw released All I Want. Though it was an attempt to show more serious musicianship, the first single released was the jaunty “I Like It, I Love It.” The song stayed at number one for five weeks and the album sold three million copies, but McGraw was largely passed over at the 1996 awards ceremonies.
Still, 1996 saw the successful Spontaneous Combustion tour, which featured country singer Faith Hill as the opening act. By the end of the tour, McGraw’s personal life was sizzling as well, and he asked Hill, who has a laundry list of country music awards herself, to marry him. Hill later accepted McGraw’s proposal by writing “yes” on a mirror in his trailer while he was on stage, and the couple married on October 6, 1996. Their first daughter, Gracie, was born in 1997, second daughter, Maggie, was born the following year, and youngest daughter Audrey was born in 2001.
Also, in 1998 he won awards from the Academy of Country Music for single of the year, song of the year, video of the year, and top vocal event, all for “It’s Your Love,” as well as winning Billboard’s country single of the year for “Just to See You Smile.” In 1999, McGraw’s hot streak continued after the release of A Place in the Sun that May. It debuted at the top of Billboard’s album chart and spawned a number one country chart hit, “Please Remember Me.”
The awards continued to pile up as McGraw won Academy of Country Music Awards for male vocalist of the year and vocal event of the year (with Faith Hill) for “Just to Hear You Say that You Love Me,” and Country Music Association Awards for male vocalist of the year and album of the year as artist and producer, for A Place in the Sun, among others. In addition, for the second year in a row, a Radio & Records country radio readers poll award voted Everywhere the best album.
The accolades and hits kept coming for this country music superstar. Both Live Like You Were Dying (2004) and Let It Go (2007) hit the top of the country and pop album charts. “Live Like You Were Dying” netted McGraw his second Grammy Award in 2004 for Best Male Country Vocal Performance. The following year, he and his wife received their second shared Grammy for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for “Like We Never Loved Before.”
In recent years, McGraw has remained one of country music’s most popular and enduring stars. He released Southern Voices in 2009 and Emotional Traffic in 2012. Around this time, McGraw fared well with “Feel Like a Rock Star,” his collaboration with Kenny Chesney. The following year, McGraw received positive notices for Two Lanes of Freedom. “Highway Don’t Care,” recorded with Keith Urban and Taylor Swift, received two CMA Awards in November 2013.
Steel Pulse with the Green, Kenamdi and DJ Mackle
Wednesday, August 19th, 2020 7:00 PM Sandia Resort Amphitheater, Albuquerque
Bearing witness to the accelerating negativity of global affairs, Steel Pulse emerges with musical vengeance to halt the disarray of humanity. The bands twelfth studio production, titled Mass Manipulation, reflects four decades committed to bettering mankind through music. Steel Pulse continues to be revolutionary in engaging controversial topics of racial injustice and human rights on a global scale. Their musical stance and conceptualizations are as potent and relevant today as they were at the beginning of their career. The album’s uniquely thematic approach provokes thought as it presses forward, toward humanities unification. A manipulation of our minds has been influenced by a New World Order currently dominating humankind. Steel Pulse reappears at a fated moment, armed with compassion, encouraging all people to reject false ideals, set higher goals, and demand more from themselves to further this unification.
The album comes full circle as Steel Pulse’s legendary musical abilities aim to achieve a greater community for all. The promise of mankind’s salvation is prominently positioned with vocals offered to still calm in “The Final Call.” Stunning harmonica jousts invoke inward reflection and set free courage to conquer. “Higher Love (Rasta Love),” a beautiful Hinds reggae reinterpretation of Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love,” exudes charisma and energy hailing for love across humanity. The album crowns with “Nations of the World.” Stabilizing lyrics, enforced by a commanding rhythm, beg freedom fighters, leaders, and citizens from all nations to come together in peace.
In the midst of today’s strife and turmoil, Mass Manipulation is Steel Pulse’s indispensable musical gift, as their forty year legacy continues to define the magnificent power and beauty of reggae music. As reggae revolutionaries, Steel Pulse is revered by the younger generation of artists and remains a powerhouse on stages around the globe. Through the example of Mass Manipulation, Steel Pulse demonstrates the endless possibilities that come from breaking down the walls of systemic greed and nurturing the fellowship of mankind.
Marco Antonio Solis
Friday, August 28th, 2020 8:00 PM Santa Ana Star Center, Rio Rancho
Feeling, passion, creativity and an innate professionalism that has prevailed over the years; These are just some of the words we can use to define the most important Latin artist today: Marco Antonio Solís.
With more than 30 years of successful career, Marco is going through his best artistic moment, the Latin multi-winner GRAMMY ®, has become one of the most influential singer-songwriters of Latin music in the world.
Marco as an interpreter, has redefined the direction of Hispanic music throughout the world. In his role as a composer, his songs are and have been part of the repertoire of renowned performers, regardless of the musical genre. The songs of Marco Antonio Solís have been heard in ranchero, cumbia, salsa, merengue, bolero, duranguense and even reggaeton, demonstrating that music has no borders.
Success is not free … Marco Antonio has found the perfect formula, talent coupled with human quality, have taken him to the place where he is currently, something that few artists have managed to combine. His creativity and musical intuition allow him to continue reaping successes, now with this new musical proposal of more Pop cut, he aims to conquer even more followers around the world. Once again Marco Antonio Solis shows that his talent and versatility has no limit of musical genres.
Disturbed-The Sickness 20th Anniversary Tour
Saturday, August 29th, 2020 7:30 PM Isleta Amphitheater, Albuquerque
After announcing a “hiatus” in 2011, Grammy Award-nominated, multiplatinum hard rock titans Disturbed knew that their imminent return would happen during such a moment. The members—David Draiman [vocals], Dan Donegan [guitar], Mike Wengren [drums], and John Moyer [bass]—put a plan into play. In 2010, the group’s gold-certified fifth offering, Asylum, became their fourth consecutive #1 on the Billboard Top 200, an accolade shared only with Metallica and Dave Matthews Band. They had sold out arenas everywhere on the subsequent tour, and it was time for that calm to commence.
That album, Immortalized [Reprise], initially became the best-kept secret of the group’s career. In 2013, Draiman released a top 15 record with Device’s self-titled debut, while Donegan and Wengren launched Fight or Flight with A Life By Design? Following the success of both, Draiman and Donegan decided to have dinner back in their hometown of Chicago during January 2014. Without notifying their families, friends, or label, that’s the moment they stirred the sleeping beast. However, instead of simply emailing ideas, they actually flew back and forth to each other’s respective home studios for every writing session. This is the first time they collectively wrote together since 2001.
In June 2015, the group revealed themselves creatively with a big bang, their first new single “The Vengeful One.” Disturbed was officially back. “The Vengeful One” served as the perfect clarion call for this next chapter. Beginning with a bombastic drum beat and jarring riff, it bares its teeth with an unabashedly metal refrain that’s instantly unshakable.
The instrumental opener “The Eye of the Storm” bleeds into the infectious and incendiary title track bolstered by deft rhythms and scorching leads. In the middle of this roller coaster, “The Light” tempers a haunting keyboard and robust guitars with a towering vocal.
Following a tradition of outside-the-box covers, Disturbed tackled Simon & Garfunkel’s classic “The Sound of Silence” for Immortalized. Rather than amplifying it, they went the other direction, tapping into Draiman’s classical training and Donegan’s knack for arrangement. With an orchestral expanse, acoustic leads, and chilling delivery, it’s unlike anything in the group’s catalog.
Disturbed have made good on every promise since their genesis. Their quadruple-platinum 2000 debut, The Sickness, formally announced their arrival as hard rock leaders. Throughout their career, they received a Grammy Award nomination in the category of “Best Hard Rock Performance” for “Inside the Fire” in 2009 and churned out nine No. 1 singles at Active Rock Radio, while eventually selling over 12 million records globally. However, Immortalized will live up to its title and fortify their legacy further.
Dave Matthews Band
Wednesday, September 16th, 2020 7:30 PM Isleta Amphitheater, Albuquerque
Dave Matthews Band formed in Charlottesville, Virginia, in early 1991 when vocalist/guitarist Dave Matthews decided to put some songs he had written on tape. Instead of simply recording himself with a guitar, he opted to bring in some instrumental help to give his musical ideas more depth.
The band continued to tour up and down the Eastern seaboard, playing a mixture of headline shows, supporting dates and festivals, including DMB’s first H.O.R.D.E. dates. The group’s fan base continued to grow at an astonishing rate. By allowing concertgoers to tape shows for personal use, Dave Matthews Band created what remains to this day a highly interactive community. In September, DMB played its first show at Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre, opening for The Tragically Hip and The Samples. Two years later, DMB would headline the legendary venue.
On November 9, 1993, DMB released its first album, Remember Two Things, on its own Bama Rags label. The album, which had been recorded live at The Muse Music Club on Nantucket Island in August of 1993, debuted on the College charts as the highest independent entry – a significant accomplishment for an independent album. Remember Two Things was subsequently certified Platinum.
Crash, Dave Matthews Band’s second RCA studio album, was released on April 30, 1996. It debuted at number two on The Billboard 200 and was subsequently certified seven times Platinum. Entertainment Weekly praised the GRAMMY-nominated album as “rootsy yet exotic.” “Too Much” was a Top 5 hit at Modern Rock radio, the first in a series of singles from the album.
In February, Dave Matthews Band won the GRAMMY® Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for “So Much To Say.” RCA reissued Remember Two Things on June 24, 1997.
The band continued to tour steadily, headlining sold-out amphitheaters across North America. Though having achieved national prominence, DMB continued to do things precisely as it had from day one: organically, with a grass roots mentality.
2016 was a year of celebration as Dave Matthews Band marked its 25th anniversary. The band’s first performance of the year was in San Francisco, where DMB played a sold-out “Super Thursday Night” show as part of the festivities leading up to Super Bowl 50.
In July, RCA Records and Legacy Recordings issued the first-ever vinyl edition of Crash, the band’s best-selling second studio album. Three volumes of Live Trax were released in 2016, beginning with Vol. 37, which captured one of the band’s weekly1992 performances at Trax in Charlottesville. In addition, RCA released DMBLive Trax, Charlottesville, VA 02/22/1994, the latest in the DMBLive series.
After violence erupted at a far-right rally in Charlottesville in August,2017 Dave Matthews Band joined together with Pharrell Williams, Justin Timberlake, Chris Stapleton, Ariana Grande, The Roots, Brittany Howard, Cage the Elephant and numerous special guests to perform at “A Concert For Charlottesville – An Evening of Music and Unity.” The event was free to local residents and members of the University of Virginia community. Many fans chose to make donations to a fund that provided assistance to victims, their families, first responders and organizations promoting unity and justice.
Thursday, September 17th, 2020 7:30 PM Isleta Amphitheater, Albuquerque
After almost 15 years at the top of his format, reigning ACM “Artist of the Decade” Jason Aldean has seen trends come and go. Hell, he helped bring a few out of the shadows, like a Country-music Columbus making the mainstream’s first contact with hard rock (“Hicktown”), hip-hop (“Dirt Road Anthem”) and R&B (“Burnin’ It Down”).
For 9, Aldean’s ninth studio project, he offers 16 interwoven tracks in an era of stand-alone singles and superstar EPs, holding his ground for a modern album with an old-school soul.
A three-time ACM Entertainer of the Year, Aldean’s a card-carrying member of Country’s elite headliners whose incendiary tours are nearing legendary status. Also a dominant force on the charts, he’s scored 23 Number Ones and notably all eight of Aldean’s previous studio albums have been certified Gold or Platinum by the RIAA. He’s the only Country act in history to top the all-genre Billboard 200 four times (in a row, no less), racking up four billion streams and more than 18 million albums sold along the way.
Nickleback-All the Right Reasons Tour
Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020 6:30 PM Isleta Amphitheater, Albuquerque
Over 50 million albums sold worldwide. Nine Grammy Award nominations. Twelve JUNO Awards. Two American Music Awards. Six Billboard Music Awards. World Music Award Recipient for World’s Best-Selling Rock Artist. Twelve consecutive sold-out international tours, playing to well over eight million diehard and adoring fans. Not to mention the distinguished achievement of being the best-selling foreign act of the 2000s – second only to the Beatles. Just some of such staggering statistics can only belong to Rock’s reigning giant’s of this century’s musical landscape: Nickelback.
Crowned Rock Group of the Decade by Billboard, Nickelback has been a force to be reckoned with since bursting onto the worldwide charts with their 2001 debut smash “How You Remind Me” – certified by Billboard as “Top Rock Song of the Decade” and “Most Played Song of the Decade” by Neilsen SoundScan – from their eight-times platinum album Silver Side Up. Thirteen years, and 23 chart-topping singles later — including such indelible classics like “Photograph”, “Savin’ Me”, “Far Away”, “Someday” and “Rockstar” — only Nickelback has remained rock-steady during the most turbulent periods in the recording industry. And true to form, the Vancouver-based quartet has beaten the odds with their hotly-anticipated and distinctive eighth studio album No Fixed Address, a title which offers a clue to the band’s enduring longevity, relevance and allure for millions of fans around the world.
It’s Nickelback’s beloved universal tongue – cunning linguistics delivered with a devilish wink and a smile – crafted with unforgettable and highly-melodic hooks and epic choruses that have consistently blazed a trail atop both the rock and pop charts, all the while blowing roofs off stadiums with their fist-pumping rock anthems and pyromaniacal stage spectaculars across virtually every continent. But while most bands of such rarified global stature are content to merely rest on their catalogue of beloved greatest hits, Nickelback is continuously revving to top themselves. It’s an inherent work ethic honed by these humble small-town boys from Hanna, Alberta who spent their early years driving themselves town-to-town across rural Canada in a busted old van playing tiny clubs for what seemed the princely sum of $300 per week and some free beer. Despite now playing to 35,000 adoring and rabid fans per night for well over a decade, Nickelback’s long road to superstardom definitely hasn’t quelled their creative compulsion. “Because we know very consciously what we’ve done in the past and where that bar has been set,” relates Chad Kroeger, “and you can phone it in – that’s very easy to do at this point – but our fans will know that immediately. So every time we go into the studio, it’s about making our fans happy and hearing them say that it’s not only a record they love, but that it’s a Nickelback record that they love amongst all the other Nickelback records. That’s what we strive for every single time.”
Sam Hunt-Southside Tour
Saturday, September 26th, 2020 7:30 PM Isleta Amphitheater, Albuquerque
Sam Hunt marked a generational shift in country music, both in music and business. Hunt slipped hip-hop phrasing and modern R&B rhythms into country-pop, signaling a progression from the boisterous bro-country that had previously defined the 2010s. “Leave the Light On” introduced this blend in 2014 and it became a country smash, the first of five number one singles — a streak interrupted only by “Break Up in a Small Town” peaking at number two, even though it sold better than either “House Party” or “Make You Miss Me.” All this success paled in comparison to 2017’s “Body Like a Back Road,” which broke the record for most weeks spent at number one in 2017. Another significant thing about “Body Like a Back Road” is that it was released independent of an album, and Hunt didn’t rush back into the studio to deliver one, either. This signaled how so much of his rise was fueled by a mastery of the digital marketplace, realizing when he should release EPs or lay back and let an LP do the work. As much as his music, it’s this Internet savviness that marked Sam Hunt as the start of a new generation.
Initially, Sam Hunt didn’t plan to sing for a living. A native of Cedartown, Georgia, Hunt excelled at sports, specializing in football. His time as a high-school quarterback was acclaimed — he earned a nomination for Wendy’s High School Heisman trophy — and upon graduation, he enrolled at Middle Tennessee State University in 2003. Hunt didn’t play much in either the 2003 or 2004 seasons, so he transferred to the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2005, where he graduated in 2007. During his time at UAB, Hunt began to teach himself how to play guitar and sing, so when his 2008 tryout for the Kansas City Chiefs didn’t go anywhere, he decided to head to Nashville to pursue a career in music.
Sam Hunt first made waves in the Music City as a songwriter, receiving his breakthrough in 2012 when he co-wrote the number one Kenny Chesney hit “Come Over.” Hunt seized on this opportunity and released the single “Raised on It” from a mixtape of original songs called Between the Pines in 2013, which helped give him momentum as a performing artist. Two big songwriting credits arrived in 2014 — Keith Urban’s “Cop Car” and Billy Currington’s “We Are Tonight” — but so did a contract with MCA Nashville. He signed with the label in January and released the digital EP X2C in August. Not much later, “Leave the Night On” — a sleek, R&B-inflected country-pop tune he co-wrote with Josh Osborne and Shane McAnally — was released as a single and it quickly became a staple on country radio, reaching the top spot on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart and getting certified as platinum twice.
Leave the Night On” was so successful that MCA decided to rush the release of Montevallo, Sam Hunt’s full-length debut. Upon its release on October 27, 2014, Montevallo debuted at three on Billboard’s Top 200, and it was a fixture on the charts for the next two and a half years. Part of the reason it stayed on the charts is because it kept generating big hits. “Take Your Time” reached number one on the Country Airplay chart early in 2015, followed by “House Party” shortly afterward. All three singles stayed on the airwaves through the bulk of 2015, which meant MCA didn’t release another single until September of that year, when “Break Up in a Small Town” became the record’s fourth single. It only peaked at two, but “Break Up in a Small Town” sold more than “House Party.” While it was on the charts, the Between the Pines mixtape was reissued on the year anniversary of Montevallo’s release.
“Make You Miss Me,” the fifth single from Montevallo, kept Hunt on the airwaves through 2016, but he didn’t release a new single until “Body Like a Back Road.” A smash upon its February 2017 release, “Body Like a Back Road” stayed on the top of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart for 34 weeks, crashing the previous record held by Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise,” which topped out at 24 weeks. It also spent three weeks at the top of the Country Airplay chart. “Body Like a Back Road” was such a hit that Hunt decided to take his time delivering a second album, or even a second single from the second album. “Downtown’s Dead” finally appeared in May 2018, winding up peaking at 15 on the Country Airplay chart.
Backstreet Boys-DNA World Tour
Sunday, October 4th, 2020 7:30 PM Isleta Amphitheater, Albuquerque
For 25 years the Backstreet Boys, one of the most successful groups in music history, has delivered the finest pop music one has to offer, making them one of pop’s most influential performers. With countless #1s, record-setting tours, numerous awards and worldwide sales in excess of 130 million, BSB has been recognized as the best-selling boy band in history.
On January 25th, BSB released their new 10th studio album “DNA” on RCA Records. The album features the 2019 GRAMMY nominated Top 10 hit Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, plus other singles Chances and No Place. On May 11th, the Backstreet Boys will kick off “The DNA World Tour” – the group’s biggest arena tour in 18 years. On March 1, 2017 Backstreet Boys kicked off their Las Vegas residency “Backstreet Boys: Larger Than Life” in The AXIS at Planet Hollywood, which has become one of the fastest-selling shows in Las Vegas history and is hosting the biggest audience in the history of Las Vegas headlining residencies
The Doobie Brothers 50th Anniversary Tour
Wednesday, October 7th, 2020 7:30 PM Isleta Amphitheater, Albuquerque
Born out of Northern California’s chaotic, late-1960s musical stew, The Doobie Brothers’ rugged, real and authentic approach to rock and roll made them biker bar stalwarts. But their self-titled debut album in ’71 went beyond just leather and motorcycles, revealing even more musical layers; sweet three-part harmonies and rootsy, introspective, acoustic flavors.
It all began in 1969, when a drummer named John Hartman arrived in Northern California. He was there to meet Skip Spence from the band Moby Grape and become part of a supposed band reunion that never quite got off the ground. But it wasn’t all for naught. Spence (who had also played in the Jefferson Airplane) introduced Hartman to his friend Tom Johnston, a local singer/songwriter/guitarist -and they connected. Hartman and Johnston began playing local Bay Area bars. They soon met singer/guitarist Pat Simmons, whose finger-style playing richly complimented Johnston’s R&B strumming-style, and the foundation for The Doobie Brothers was set.
Their second record, Toulouse Street, became a breakout sensation. Producer Ted Templeman helped the band craft a sound that was organic, yet radio friendly, and brought in Little Feat keyboardist Bill Payne to add unique musical textures. They established themselves with a breathtaking run of hits on Warner Bros. Records that tapped into a myriad of American styles. “Listen to the Music,” “Jesus is Just Alright,” “China Grove,” “Black Water,” “Rockin’ Down the Highway,” “Long Train Runnin’” and other anthemic singles confirmed their status as fine craftsman who could also rock arenas.
In 1974, Steely Dan co-lead guitarist and session legend Jeff “Skunk” Baxter joined the band as third guitarist, one of many unique and talented players who would revolve in and out of the band over the years. The group’s expanded lineup was augmented in 1975 by Michael McDonald, whose soulful vocals and songwriting led to the hits “What a Fool Believes,” “Minute by Minute,” “Takin’ It To The Streets,” and “You Belong To Me.” Multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, John McFee, joined in 1978 bringing his wide range of musical styles and experience recording with Van Morrison, Steve Miller, Elvis Costello, and The Grateful Dead to The Doobies’ sound.
The collaborative, almost communal sense of family within the band allowed them to stay fresh and unpredictable over the years, while never forsaking their deep American musical roots, boogie-jams and all.
The Doobie Brothers were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004, have won four GRAMMY® Awards and sold more than 48 million records worldwide (including three multi-platinum, seven platinum, and 14 gold albums).
The ability of The Doobie Brothers’ music to connect with the essentials of people’s lives in tuneful, affecting songs has developed an audience that spans generations today. Known for their dynamic live performances, the band plays close to 100 shows a year touring worldwide, delighting concert goers of all ages.
Tuesday, October 8th, 2020 Sandia Amphitheater, Albuquerque
One of the originators of heavy metal, with Rob Halford’s lead vocals notable for their high-pitched screams, they also feature an innovative two-lead-guitar sound and are particularly noted for their complex guitar duets courtesy of K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton.
Judas Priest’s 1980 album British Steel was perhaps the first heavy metal album to be recorded in a concise format with radio-friendly songs with pop hooks, pioneering an approach used by others (Quiet Riot, Dokken, Iron Maiden, Twisted Sister, Accept, Def Leppard) to taste commercial success. Overall, the band has sold in excess of 35 million albums globally.
Halford left the band in the 1990s and was replaced by Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens, who was plucked from obscurity having previously sung in a Judas Priest tribute band. These events were the inspiration for the film Rock Star, although Owens did not actually participate in the production of the movie.
Judas Priest have released fifteen studio albums to date, the first being Rocka Rolla in 1974 and the latest being Angel of Retribution in 2005.
After more than twelve years apart, Judas Priest and original lead vocalist Rob Halford announced in July 2003 that they were reunited, with a hugely successful live concert tour having taken place in 2004. The reunited Judas Priest also co-headlined the Ozzfest in 2004, being named as the ‘premier act’ by almost all U.S. media covering the event. Judas Priest and ‘Ripper’ Owens parted amicably. ‘Ripper’ is now the singer of Iced Earth. A new studio album, named Angel of Retribution is scheduled for release in early 2005 (on Sony Music/Epic Records) and a global tour is in the works.
Friday, October 9th, 2020, 7:00 PM Isleta Amphitheater, Albuquerque
Hailed as one of the most influential groups in modern country history, Rascal Flatts are a chart-topping trio created by vocalist Gary LeVox, multi-instrumentalist Jay DeMarcus and guitarist Joe Don Rooney. Since their founding in 2000 and subsequent breakout with the Top 5 hit, “Prayin’ for Daylight,” the band has gone on to infuse country’s traditional mainstream with smooth-pop textures, arena-rocking energy and faithful positivity, impacting countless fans and fellow artists along the way. They’ve racked up 17 Number One hits, over 23.4 million albums sold, 35 million digital downloads, 2.2 billion streams worldwide and 4.4 billion streams solely on Pandora, while also selling over 11 million concert tickets and earning more than 40 trophies from the ACA, ACM, AMA, CMA, People’s Choice and more, making them the most awarded country group of the past decade. The Grand Ole Opry members will bring an unforgettable chapter in country’s long story to a close in 2020, celebrating their 20th anniversary with Rascal Flatts Farewell: Life Is A Highway Tour – the nationwide farewell tour of their celebrated career.