Performing at “Vets Rock: A Salute to Our Veterans” at the Brookhaven Amphitheatre

On September 18th, I performed at the Vets Rock concert event at the Brookhaven Amphitheatre on Long Island, with proceeds benefiting the Vets Rock organization to help veterans in need.

Produced by JVC Radio Broadcasting’s country music station, My Country 96.1 FM, the Vets Rock concert was an all-day outdoor country music festival that boasted a turnout of 7,000 Long Island country music fans! Vets Rock turned out to be even bigger than last July’s Freedom Fest on Long Island. If this large turnout isn’t a sign that country music is taking root on Long Island, I don’t know what is!

The show began at 1PM and went until 9PM that night, with platinum selling country artist Eric Church as the concert’s headlining act. Other popular country artists who performed included: Thompson Square and The Jane Dear Girls.

I opened the show with the National Anthem, after being escorted to the stage by a local American Legion Post motorcycle group on a Harley Davidson motorcycle. I returned to the stage once again, later in the show, to do my 35 minute set. I sang 9 songs, both from the Me Time EP and from my upcoming LP, Sunrise Highway. Amazingly, there were audience members singing along with me to “Me Time,” “Sunrise Highway” and “I Don’t Feel Anything.” I have My Country 96.1 to thank for supporting my music and giving me the airplay that has allowed people to become so familiar with my music. I also want to thank the musicians I worked with on stage: Tony Bruno, Bobby Guy, Jules Radino, Simi Stone, Greg Smith, Colin Smith and Mike Dimeo. I am blessed to get to work with such a talented and accomplished group of musicians.

After the main part of my set, I read a poem written by a Vietnam Veteran named Walter Mooney. The poem was a poignant piece that expresses what freedom means from the point of view of a veteran who has fought for our freedoms. I then performed a song called “We’re All The Same,” written by songwriter Sheira Brayer who was in the audience. The Broadway Youth Ensemble, a group of young professional Broadway performers, sang backup for me and provided the harmonies during this song. “We’re All The Same” is a great patriotic song with a profound message: if danger came to our world there would be no racism, no prejudice… we would stand together as brothers and sisters and learn to love one another.

Country music has a way of bringing people together. I saw fans in the crowd line dancing together, socializing with one another, and the concert was truly a family affair with a lot of children in the crowd. You can feel a warm camaraderie between country music fans that you don’t always see at other types of concerts.

After my set I signed autographs for over an hour, signing everything from “Me Time”    T-shirts to boots, hats, posters and pictures. Fans of all ages, from little kids to Veterans in their 60s and 70s were lined up for autographs.

Becoming a Member of the CMA – Country Music Association in Nashville!

Wednesday, August 30th was an important moment in my country music career. I went down to the Country Music Association in Nashville to officially sign my CMA membership papers!

Becoming a CMA member is a great honor for any country recording artist, but it was an especially big accomplishment for me as a country artist from Long Island, New York. The CMA invited me to come back at the end of September to Nashville for a party honoring all of their new members.

The next day I went over to Renegade Radio in Nashville, right on Music Row. Renegade Radio is one of the top internet country radio stations, founded by deejay, Kaptain Jack. This was a very special reunion for me since Kaptain Jack was the very first country deejay to ever interview me when all of this first started. Kaptain Jack is a great, warm hearted man who loves to give new artists the opportunity to be heard, and he has an amazing vision for where Internet country radio is headed. After a live on-air interview and performance with Kaptain Jack we chatted and took pictures before heading to the next radio station.

Next, I went over to meet with Cody Alan at CMT Radio Live, performing for him and taking some photos. Cody and I will be meeting up again when he comes to WJVC My Country 96.1 FM on Long Island later this year for a visit. Cody mentioned that he liked how he can sometimes hear my Long Island accent, declaring that it made me stand out among a sea of southern country artists :).

On Friday, September 1st, we headed over to Cookeville, Tennessee and met up with WGSQ Country Giant 94.7 FM, which is a 100,000 watt country format radio station. I met Philip Gibbons, a real sweetheart, and Joey Sykes and I gave a live on-air performance and interview. I sang “Wouldn’t You Like to Know?” and “Somebody’s Baby,” and then Philip played “Me Time” live on the air. Having “Me Time” officially added into the rotation at WGSQ, which is such a big Nashville country radio station, was a major accomplishment for me and my team.

Next, we headed to Lawrenceburg, Tennessee to visit WLLX Power 97.5 FM, a 50,000 watt country radio station serving the Southern Tennessee area. As I walked into the radio station the feeling was like walking into the living room of a cozy little home. The women working in the office were so warm and friendly to me and I felt very welcomed.

I met with deejay Dan Hollander for the Afternoon Drive and gave a live on-air performance and interview. We spoke at length about my career and where I hope to see myself in the next year. Dan is such a sweet person and really knows his country music! He is also a proud supporter of the town of Lawrenceburg and recommended we visit a beautiful little Amish community called Ethridge when we return to Lawrenceburg. I’m definitely looking forward to doing just that when I return to Tennessee at the end of September.