There are some truly beautiful shots from Bucky's WGAR show in Cleveland on the way soon, courtesy of a very talented friend; in the meantime, you'll have to bear with my usual fuzzy snaps. (Sorry!) Bucky Covington sings on stage (top) and makes his way through the crowd (below) during the WGAR Jam in Cleveland yesterday. Bucky Covington's debut CD is in stores now, and his music video is available for online viewing at CMT.com and Yahoo Music. You can buy Bucky's album at Amazon, Best Buy, iTunes , WalMart Music and Target, hear the full version of his single "A Different World" at CMT and GAC, or enjoy samples of songs from the CD at Bucky's official MySpace. An autographed copy of Bucky Covington can be ordered while supplies last at his official site or via his official fan club.
Tomorrow's the day! "It's Good to Be Us", Bucky Covington's new single, is officially released to radio September 10th, although the chances are quite good that your favorite country station has it right now. And in an interesting twist, it looks like it'll occupy roughly the same spot on tomorrow's Mediabase charts that Bucky's first hit, "A Different World" held upon its release. The first single from Bucky Covington was the Hot Shot Debut at #57 back in January; "It's Good to Be Us" is currently holding the #57 spot on the Sunday a.m. weighted chart, and it's #56 on the Top 500. Off to a healthy start! If you haven't done so already, stop in at BuckyCovingtonFans MySpace blog to see which stations are already playing Bucky's next hit...hope yours is listed!
Bucky and company took the red-eye from Cleveland all the way to the West Coast to play today's Country in the Park concert for KNCI in Sacramento. Here are the details if you're planning to go. (A great lineup on a beautiful day in California--what could be better?)
Country in the Park
Gibson Ranch Park
8556 Gibson Ranch Road (off Elverta Road)
Ticket info: $23 general admission show; available at locations listed on event page and at Ticketmaster.com. "Use the 'CITP' coupon code and save $3, one discount per ticket purchased, good for up to 6 tickets. "
Directions: Available at event site
And of course, our September Concert Roundup post is full of of links and information about this month's shows. For Bucky's full fall-winter concert schedule and meet and greet details, bookmark the tour page on Bucky's official site.
Finally--yep, I went to yesterday's WGAR Country Jam in Cleveland, and it was a hoot! Bucky, Rocky, Don, Shaun and Hans really impressed the local crowd, opening the show with a spirited "Empty Handed", and winning them over bigtime with sing-alongs "Suspicious Minds" and (naturally) "A Different World". The band was as tight and well-honed as advertised--Shaun Bayles is a stylish dervish on guitar, Don Medlock plays a very mean bass (and provided some brilliant vocals, too), Hans Nelson's keyboard finesse was in full flower (especially on the aforementioned "A Different World") and of course, Rocky Covington was a killer drummer and a huge crowd pleaser. The amount of screams when he stepped up to duet with Bucky on the first part of "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" leads me to believe that both Covington brothers have a pretty big fan contingent in Ohio. These guys have been logging some major time together on the road this year and the proof is in the playing, y'all. They are awesome.
As for Bucky--he was adored by the Cleveland crowd, and don't let anyone tell you different. The last time I'd had a chance to hear him sing live was at the Grand Ole Opry in March, with the Opry house band. On the huge WGAR stage, with his own band behind him and a crowd of screaming concertgoers singing along to his Top 5 hit in front of him, he was a radiant tour-de-force. He's become exactly what you and I always knew he was going to be--a comfortable, professional, seasoned stage performer who looks as though he's been up there doing this all his life.
And even though that sweet "newbie" vibe has long passed into history, the feeling that's taken its place--the sense of a singer who truly loves what he's doing, and loves the fact that you're loving it, too--is constant. That utterly endearing eagerness to please, combined with that amazing voice, was what caught my attention from the start. Add months of road experience, a solid debut hit, a critically-acclaimed #1 album, and lots of positive affirmation from happy screaming crowds and you've got a winning combination--and the fact that he's still visibly appreciative, still joyful, still up there working as hard as he can to make sure you're having a good time too, as if it's his first day on the job, is an indication that he's gonna be doing this a long time to come. Lucky us!
It was also my first time seeing those new hip-shakin' dance moves everyone's been buzzing about all summer--gotta give Bucky a big thumbs-up on those, for sure. Wow. And I wasn't alone; the crowd seemed to really appreciate the way he worked all sides of the stage. At one point he hopped into a blocked off area that cut through the center of the audience, singing and high-fiving people as he strolled--wild cheers and pandemonium for that. (Some of the hometown folks should have heeded the words to "Keep Your Hands to Yourself" though...and if the Georgia Satellites have a long-lost b-side called "Keep Your Shirt Tucked In", I'd like to dedicate it to the woman in the bright tank top who managed to combine a lesson in both biology and the effects of gravity in two quick but unfortunate seconds.)
The show was a bit of a preview of the upcoming Raisin' the Bar tour--both Cole Deggs and the Lonesome and Jason Michael Carroll were on the bill, too, and I can say without hesitation that you'll want to get to as many of those shows as you possibly can. Cole Deggs and the Lonesome have an authentic, rough roadhouse Southern Rock flavor with an undercurrent of tenderness in all the right places. Cole is a very engaging, attractive frontman (with great hair), and that band-of-brothers tightness makes for an incredible sound. And Jason Michael Carroll packs an amazing amount of on-stage charisma along with that deep, soulful baritone voice--he had the crowd mesmerized from the first song. Here's that tour press release with the dates and cities--if Bucky, Jason and Cole are coming to your town, go! (And whoever came up with the idea to put these three acts together deserves a big ol' raise--seriously.)
Updated to add a link to the WGAR Country Jam 2007 photo gallery at the station's website--there's a beautiful portrait of Rocky Covington at #30, and Bucky's performance photos start a few shots after that. (Thanks, Laurianne!)
More later--enjoy the rest of your Sunday!