Herald JournalHerald Journal, May 30, 2005

It's time for Winstock, 2005

By Ryan Gueningsman
Staff Writer

With hopes of dry weather in this unseasonably rainy spring, Winstock’s organizers are gearing up for another successful country music festival this Friday and Saturday.

The new stage is in place and ready to host some of the biggest names in country music.

Just looking at the country music charts is a testament to the great lineup Winstock officials have in place for this year’s festival. There are five artists in the top 20 that will be appearing at Winstock – including hit newcomer Sugarland, which has two songs on the charts, “Something More” and “Baby Girl.”

Winstock performers Joe Nichols and Dierks Bentley are neck-and-neck climbing for the top position on the charts with their songs “What’s a Guy Gotta Do?” and “Lot of Leavin’ Left to Do.”

Other artists currently on the charts include Craig Morgan with “That’s What I Love About Sunday,” and Darryl Worley with “If Something Should Happen.”

Winstock headliner Neal McCoy was recently named the Academy of Country Music’s humanitarian award winner, and fellow headliner Lee Ann Womack recently had success with her hit single “I May Hate Myself in the Morning.”

Thursday evening, hometown gal Connie Kappel-Sather and her About Time Band will be playing in the beer tent to coincide with the annual Winsted Fire Department spaghetti dinner beginning at 5 p.m.

The main-stage entertainment kicks off Friday with Joe McPherson.

Joe McPherson, 5:15 p.m.

McPherson, who has lived in the Hutchinson area for about 20 years, said music has always been a part of his family, and noted he is more of a “traditional artist,” doing songs along the likes of George Strait, Merle Haggard, and Alan Jackson.

He said he is honored to have been asked to play the main stage at Winstock 2005, and said playing at the festival is something he has always wanted to do.

“I don’t take the invite lightly,” McPherson said. “We want to get the crowd cranked up and get things rolling.”

Rockie, 6:05 p.m. (Emerging Artists stage)

After serving in the United States Army, experiences from which his music draws, Rockie studied guitar at G.I.T. in Hollywood, Cali.

Performing as a sideman for major artist tours, and performing with a number of bands ranging from a Christian band, Circle of Stone, to Tanya Tucker’s touring band, Rockie decided to focus his energy on songwriting and touring with his own band.

Rockie toured non-stop after the self-release of his first album “Lock-N-Key” (1996).

In 1999, Rockie self-released his second album, “A Boy Like Me.”

Charlie Pride, 6:45 p.m.

Second in sales for RCA Records only behind Elvis Presley, baritone singer Charley Pride has been making hits since the late 1950s.

The Mississippi native originally had his heart set on a career playing baseball, playing for the Negro League’s Memphis Red Sox, and trying out for the New York Mets. He continues to workout with the Texas Rangers to this day.

Pride signed a recording contract with RCA Records in the mid-1960s, and just like that, his star began to rise. Between 1969, when he hit number one on the charts for the first time with “All I Have to Offer You Is Me,” and 1984, when he made his way to the top spot once again with “Every Heart Should Have One,” Pride scored more than 36 number one hits around the world.

Perhaps his most notable song, “Kiss An Angel Good Morning,” led the way to being named the Country Music Association’s entertainer of the year in 1971.

Sugarland, 7:50 and 9:35 p.m. (EA stage)

New country trio Sugarland has had unprecedented success with its first two songs, “Baby Girl” and “Something More,” and has an album in stores now called “Twice the Speed of Life.”

Before Sugarland, each member of the Atlanta-based trio seemed headed in an opposite direction.

Jennifer Nettles, a singer with some serious twang, was working steadily on the local club circuit. Kristen Hall, a singer/songwriter, has two well-received solo albums. Kristian Bush, a local folk/rock artist, is one-half of Billy Pilgrim, a duo with a major record label deal.

Within minutes of getting together, the trio clicked, creating something completely different than anything any of them had done before.

By their fourth gig, they were selling out 1,000-seat venues. Two weeks later, they signed a contract with Mercury Records.

“We were just trying to write stuff that was fun,” Bush said, still a bit amazed by the trio’s fortunes.

Joe Nichols, 8:30 p.m.

See exclusive interview with Nichols elsewhere in this week’s Herald Journal.

Lee Ann Womack,

10:15 p.m.

The daughter of an east Texas deejay, Lee Ann Womack practically wore out her father’s vinyl record album collection when she was a child, soaking in all of the great country hits.

Womack became world-known with her crossover hit “I Hope You Dance” in 2000, which led to Academy of Country Music awards, Country Music Association awards, and a Grammy award.

She broke onto the music scene in the late 1990s with several hits, including “The Fool” and “A Little Past Little Rock,” and then hit it big with “I Hope You Dance.”

Womack followed with a greatest hits album in 2004, and her most recent release, “There’s More Where That Came From,” which to date has yielded the hit “I May Hate Myself In the Morning.”

A week after her Winstock appearance, Womack kicks off her tour with superstar Toby Keith, and Shooter Jennings, the son of the late great Waylon Jennings, for what is sure to be a wild ride this summer.

Saturday, June 4

The annual pre-show beer tent party gets underway at 11 a.m., with local favorite Chace Roberts hitting the Emerging Artists stage.

Chace Roberts, 11 a.m. and 1:50 p.m. (EA stage)

Performing extensively in the Twin Cities for many years, Chace Roberts brings with him an extensive background of great music, great vocals, and a great stage presence that makes him the quintessential performer to watch.

He strives to make each of his shows unforgettable for fans of all ages.

Having put out two successful CDs with The Chace Roberts Band, he is currently hard at work with his new stage show, as well as a new CD that will be released soon.

Roberts has also performed several times at Winstock in the past.

Craig Morgan, 1 p.m.

Broken Bow Records artist Craig Morgan is about as close to home as he can be when he is on stage in front of thousands of people.

“Somebody told me not too long ago that whenever they hear a song that visually paints a picture, they think of me because that’s the kind of writing I’ve come to do best,” Morgan said.

He must be doing something right. Morgan received a songwriter achievement award from the Nashville Songwriter’s Association for the song “Almost Home,” which went on to become one of his biggest hits.

The former military paratrooper, sheriff’s deputy, construction worker, and Wal-Mart employee has found a home at his new record label. His hit “That’s What I Love About Sunday,” climbed the charts for him, and his latest single, “Redneck Yacht Club,” is doing the same.

Darryl Worley, 2:30 p.m.

Country music fans probably think they know the music of Darryl Worley. With hits like “I Miss My Friend,” “Have You Forgotten,” and “A Good Day to Run,” Worley has certainly made a name for himself in the business.

Now, he has taken that to the next level. His latest album, appropriately self-titled, “picked up the tempo” a little bit.

“This almost feels like my first album,” Worley said. “The other records got me ready to make this one. We did some things in the studio very differently this time. I wanted this album to have more of an edge.”

His first release, “Awful, Beautiful Life,” takes a look at the simpler things in life, and the second song “If Something Should Happen,” is something all of us may need to think about from time to time.

Born and raised in the hills of Tennessee, Worley enjoys touring in Minnesota at places such as Winstock.

“I grew up in Hardin County, Tennessee,” Worley said. “It’s a real rural area – my hometown is Savannah –and it’s just a real laid-back kind of country place, and man, do I miss it – it makes me feel good when I get to come to places like this.”

Keith Anderson, 3:35 and 5:35 p.m (EA stage)

His first song “Pickin’ Wildflowers” took radio by storm, and now, watch newcomer Keith Anderson on the new Winstock Emerging Artists stage.

Anderson, from Oklahoma, has already made a name in Nashville as a songwriter, co-penning the George Jones and Garth Brooks hit “Beer Run.”

Now, Anderson is looking to make a name for himself on stage and with his music.

Glen Campbell, 4:15 p.m.

From numerous hit songs, to starring in a movie with John Wayne, to having his own popular television show – there aren’t many things Glen Campbell hasn’t accomplished.

The Arkansas native has toured the world, made more than 75 trips up the music charts with his songs, won Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association awards, and was key to launching the careers of many fledging artists with his television show “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.”

During his more than 40 years in show business, Campbell has released more than 70 albums, sold 45 million records, and had 27 top 10 hits. He also released a gospel music collection in the early 1990s, and an autobiography called “Rhinestone Cowboy,” which went to the best-seller list.

Currently spending much of his time in Phoenix with his wife and three children, Campbell has the luxury of picking his tour dates and appearances and being able to spend more time with his family, and more time on another love of his – golf.

“I’m just enjoying life,” Campbell said, “playing guitar, playing golf, and being a dad.”

Dierks Bentley, 6:15 p.m.

Dierks Bentley exploded on the country music scene with a self-titled debut album that led to multiple critics naming him the new artist of the year, a judgment ratified by his ACM Top New Artist award and his CMT Flameworthy Breakthrough Artist Award.

“Modern Day Drifter,” his follow-up record, solidifies Bentley’s standing as one of country music’s most exciting new artists, with Billboard magazine comparing the first single, “Lot of Leavin’ Left To Do,” with “Waylon Jennings at his charismatic outlaw best.”

In his first full year as a major-label act, Dierks spent 300 days on the road, becoming a true “modern day drifter.”

Hanna-McEuen, 7:20 and 9:05 p.m. (EA stage)

It’s no surprise that these two cousins have music in their blood – their fathers are founding Nitty Gritty Dirt Band members Jeff Hanna and John McEuen.

Taking a life of their own, the duo, Jamie Hanna and Johnathon McEuen, has an album in the works, scheduled for release this summer on MCA Records.

Their first single, “Something Like a Broken Heart,” is on the radio now.

SHeDAISY, 8 p.m.

Honest songs and the fact they have been singing together since their childhood have formed a bond between Utah sisters Kristyn, Kelsi, and Kassidy Osborn to become one of the most popular bands in country music today – SHeDAISY.

As children growing up in Utah, the sisters would sell tickets to shows that they put on for their neighbors. Later, Kelsi and Kassidy performed at local retirement homes and country fairs as a duet. After graduating from high school, older sister Kristyn joined her siblings, making them a three-part harmony group.

SHeDAISY’s career got off to a quick start five years ago. The group’s first four singles all went top 10.

Their latest album, “Sweet Right Here,” has yielded several hit songs, and is bouncing the girls right back to where they belong in the industry – on the top. Winstock is honored to have Kristyn, Kelsi, and Kassidy debuting on its stage.

Neal McCoy, 9:45 p.m.

Being named the Entertainer of the Year by the TNN/Music City News Awards for two years in a row, it is quite obvious that Neal McCoy knows how to entertain a crowd.

Fans will remember McCoy’s past Winstock performances in 1998 and 2001, in which he had everyone on their feet.

He had a string of good luck with five number 1 hit singles, and over 5 million albums sold. He was also named Arista Records’ biggest selling artist for 1997.

More recently, McCoy has focused his efforts on developing his own record label, 903 Music, and is working on a new CD to be released this summer. His first single, “Billy’s Got His Beer Goggles On,” was sent to radio stations in March.

Odds and ends

• The annual Winstock volunteer meeting will take place Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Winstock grounds.

• Tickets and camping passes for the event will be available at the gate.

For more info: www.winstockfestival.com

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