By Steph Moore
The Summer Concert Series at Indian Ranch offers audiences an opportunity to see their favorite artist in an intimate outdoor setting surrounded by pine trees, a beach, and fresh country air. For many years known as “Nashville North” because of its line-up of established and up and coming country stars, Indian Ranch has expanded its musical offerings to include classic and current rock, acoustic music, adult contemporary, and an ever-increasing list of crossover stars ~ all while remaining true to its country roots.
This year’s schedule boasts Indian Ranch’s most diverse line-up yet, featuring everyone from Bret Michaels to The Charlie Daniels Band to Kellie Pickler to The Bacon Brothers (yes, you now have the chance to be one degree of separation from Kevin Bacon!). For a full schedule of performers and show times (and for information about camping at Indian Ranch, too), make sure to check out www.indianranch.com. In the meantime, check out our Pulse Picks for shows you’re definitely going to want to reserve tickets for ASAP!
Chris Isaak will take the stage at Indian Ranch on Saturday, June 30. The crooner (who has also done his share of acting) put out his first album, Silvertone, in 1985 and has released 14 records since then, including his breakthrough 1989 triple platinum record Heart Shaped World.
Isaak’s music has been featured in many films. Two songs from his debut album, “Gone Ridin’” and “Livin’ For Your Lover,” were featured in David Lynch’s 1986 cult classic Blue Velvet. In 1999, his song “Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing” was featured in Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. He also penned the theme song for The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn. In addition to Heart Shaped World, three of Isaak’s records have gone gold or platinum, including 1993’s San Francisco Days, 1995’s Forever Blue, and 1996’s Baja Sessions.
His latest album, 2011’s Beyond the Sun, is an homage to the legends of the past. Recorded through Vanguard Records, this collection is comprised of songs recorded by Sun Records artists including Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins. Tracks on this record include Cash’s “Ring of Fire” and Presley’s “I Forgot to Remember to Forget.” As a child spinning his parents 45s in their Stockton, California home, Isaak has been obsessed with the glory days of Memphis’
Sun Studio and the visionary artists who got their starts there, discovered and nurtured by the late, great Sun Records founder Sam Phillips.
“I did this because I love this music—that’s the entire reason,” Isaak explains, advising, “you gotta listen to the original ones—they’re classics – they’re awesome but you can have fun with them.These guys discovered this music for us and we had to rediscover it. There’s no way to do it exactly like they did it, so you’ve gotta give a little bit of your own take on it.”
With his unmistakable voice and earthy charm; singer, songwriter, and musician Gavin DeGraw, currently riding the success of his album Sweeter, comes to Indian Ranch on July 27. Since breaking through in 2003 with his debut album, Chariot, which sold over a million copies, earned platinum certification, and yielded three hit singles ~ “I Don’t Want To Be,” “Follow Through,” and the title-track, “Chariot ” ~ DeGraw has been winning over audiences of all ages. He followed Chariot up with his self-titled second album, which debuted at No. 1 on the digital sales chart and at No. 7 on Billboard’s Top 200 album chart in 2008 (earning Gavin his first Top 10 album and spawning the hit singles “In Love With A Girl” and the gold-certified “We Belong Together”). After releasing 2009’s Free, a gift to die-hard fans clamoring for recorded versions of his live favorites, Gavin decided it was time to shake things up. “Not only do I love a challenge, but I also wanted something new to sing. I needed to write something I found interesting both melodically and rhythmically and that meant stepping outside my wheelhouse,” he explains.
On his new album Sweeter, the New York native experimented with new sounds, thanks in part to collaborations with a host of top-notch producers including fellow groove-minded piano player OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder (Beyoncé, Adele), Butch Walker (Weezer, Avril Lavigne), Eric Rosse (Sara Bareilles, Tori Amos), and Ron Aniello (Barenaked Ladies, Matt Nathanson). Gavin took another departure from his usual way of working, enlisting co-writers for the first time, including Tedder, who co-wrote and produced the album’s hit single “Not Over You” and its title track “Sweeter,” and Andrew Frampton, who has worked with The Script and Natasha Bedingfield. “Co-writing…changed everything for me,” Gavin says. “Not only did it open my mind to new ideas, but it changed the way I wrote on my own. Although it doesn’t stray too far from what I’ve done, I think Sweeter is the first album I’ve made that has caught my true sound, and that was the result of taking risks. This is the first album I’ve made where I felt ready to explore the more sexual side of my nature in my music,” he continues. “It’s not only about my feelings of being in love, although I do tap into those elements on this album…This is the funkiest, sultriest record I’ve ever made. It satisfied a lot of things for me that I wanted to have satisfied musically.”
Sweeter’s racier moments are balanced out by more emotionally transparent moments, like those in “Run Every Time,” which addresses a reluctance to commit to a relationship, as well as romantic, uplifting songs like “Soldier” and “You Know Where I’m At,” which convey a vulnerability while still managing to feel distinctly masculine. “The question for me became, ‘How do you expose your vulnerability without seeming like somebody who gets kicked around, and, at the same time, describe your ability to get past something without sounding cocky,” Gavin says. “That’s always tricky, because you know you’re being judged on the lyrics and they’re all very personal.”
Around the release of Sweeter, Gavin hit the road with TRAIN and Maroon 5 for an extensive North American tour, playing these new songs for fans for the very first time. “I want to take people from the beginning to the end of their emotions, for however long they’re with me,” he says. “I want to woo people. I do. I want both women and men to love it, because I feel this album satisfies in a masculine way while still having a feminine touch.”
Bret Michaels brings the Life Rocks Tour 2012 to Indian Ranch on Sunday, September 23. Known to many first as the frontman of the massively successful 80s rock band Poison, which sold over 30 million records worldwide, charted 10 singles in the Top 40 on Billboard’s Hot 100 (including the number-one single “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”), Bret is, depending on the day, a rock god/sex symbol, an animal lover, a cultural icon, an entrepreneur, a TV star, a father, a supercross enthusiast, an actor, and a generous donor to an almost mind-boggling list of charitable causes. In fact, he is the face of the American Diabetes Association, working tirelessly to raise awareness about diabetes, a disease he’s battled for most of his life. He is determined to educate the public and eventually find a cure.
Bret’s solo career has been equally successful: his most recent solo album, “Custom Built,” released in July of 2010, topped the charts, reaching #1 on Billboard’s Hard Rock list. Michaels has achieved success in the realm of reality TV as well. His “Rock of Love” television series is one of the most successful in VH1′s history (and made him the envy of many a red-blooded male!), and he teamed up with the network again for his family-oriented 2010 docu-series “Bret Michaels: Life As I Know It.” He also appeared on Donald Trump’s NBC hit “Celebrity Apprentice,” blowing away the competition with his Trop-A-Rocka Snapple drink.
Recently, he partnered with legendary guitar company Dean Guitars to design his first ever signature Bret Michaels series. Michaels calls Dean Guitars “…the only guitars that can keep up with me, holding up tour after tour.” He also created and awarded the first annual Bret Michaels Rock Hard, Ride Hard Award for supercross – a cash prize for the toughest and most tenacious supercross rider of the season – on May 7, 2011. The award will be given out again in 2012.
Whether your first memory of Bret Michaels is watching him in the deliciously raucous video for Poison’s “Talk Dirty to Me” or tuning in to watch him “entertain” the bevy of young ladies on “Rock of Love,” one thing’s for sure ~ there’s no denying his appeal, so make sure to see him in the flesh this summer!
Kudos to Indian Ranch for expanding the genres included in its summer line-up while staying true to its musical roots!
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