I'm a rockin' Country girl from Indiana who loves NASCAR, Food, Football, and all things music! Check here first for the inside scoop on hot new artists on the rise, and spend your nights with me, 7-Midnight, on 93.1 The Wolf!
As many of you know, I am a born & bred Hoosier, so the IN State Fair stage collapse tragedy hits especially close to home.Â I have stood right there and watched concerts in that area where people lost their lives.Â I have friends who were at the concert, and friends who lost people close to them because of those high winds.Â I've read many posts and comments from people wanting to place blame, or wondering why fans just didn't "take cover because it was obvious a storm was coming".Â My high school friend, Steve Pierson from WWBL, was there, and maybe after reading his account, you'll see just how unexpected that day's events were to everyone.
In Steve's words: "I was in Sec 8 row 19 in the grandstand. Sara Bareilles did her part of the show and it was nice outside, sunshine, little breeze, not too hot. They set up the stage for Sugarland. Off in the distance you could see some dark clouds moving in. After they were done setting up the stage, an announcer came to the stage (Hank FM 97.1 WLHK) and said that Sugarland was about to take the stage and there is a storm in the distance. They were going to try and start the show and if it were to start raining, then everyone could take cover in the Pepsi Coliseum and other buildings, then when the rain passed, they would start the show again. He walked off the stage and in less then 2 min, the winds came in and sand was everywhere, I thought immediately - tornado! People were starting to panic and running for the exits. It was too full to go anywhere so I threw myself over 2 of the people that were with me and hoped for the best because I was truly scared!! All of a sudden, the wind picked up even more and as we are looking forward, you see the top of the stage where the tarp is flip up, the stage swayed a little left then just went to the right and down forward! Then EVERYONE panicked and I thought, we have to get going before this grandstand goes down too! It was metal bleachers and just the scary thought of the stage blowing down made you feel like it could happen to the grandstand too! I felt for the first time in my life, I was a goner! We grabbed firmly and headed down the stairs to get to safety in the buildings! People were in a frenzy! The police, fire trucks, ambulances were there instantly! We got to the buildings and little girls were crying because they couldn't find their parents so we helped them find them, then there was a man in a wheel chair and he couldn't get through so we got him inside. The lightening and rain picked up for a few minutes then let up so we though we would head to the vehicles. We had to walk that direction towards the stage and around to get to it. We met the triage center and it was horrible!! I saw a lady with her foot upside down, and another with a missing limb, we got around to the tunnels and got across to where our vehicles were and saw the downed stage! I can't imagine how crazy 9-11-01 must have been if this was only a portion of that because this was crazy, scary!! There were 4 light people in the top of the stage when it went down. They reported there were 2 people crushed by the large hanging speakers that came down. There was a doctor that had been in the front row who said on television that there was a 3 or 4 year old girl beside him and he got out of the way but she didn't and he had to stop the bleeding of her compound fractured arm! I feel for the families of the lost and hurt! The youngest who didn't make it was only 23 from Fort Wayne! I was horrified in the Grandstand but can't even imagine what the people near the stage went through!"
Another friend reports that one of the victims, the spotlight operator Nathan Byrd, was a single fahter of two teenagers.Â The family is struggling to find money for the funeral, for the kids to have clothes to wear to the funeral, and money for school clothes and supplies.Â If there is any way you can help this family, the local Stagehand Union has set up a fund for your donations:
IATSE LOCAL 30
ATTN:NATHAN BYRD FAMILY
1407 EAST RIVERSIDE DRIVE
INDIANAPOLIS, IN 46202-2037
A State Fair Remberance Fund has also been set up to accept donations to help the families of those killed and those injured.Â Donations can be made online here.
I know there are lots of causes, and unfortunately lately there have been more than a few tragedies that have needed our donations.Â But if you cannot make a monetary donation,Â there's still one thing you can do...pray.
To my beloved Hoosiers, my heart aches for you all.Â Your strength will unite you and get you thru this terrifying event...just know you're in our thoughts and prayers.
He's played with the likes of Johnny & June, Charlie Daniels, and Hank Williams Jr.Â He's written songs for Rascal Flatts and Montgomery Gentry.Â He's even played for the President.Â And he's only 19 years old!!
His name is Hunter Hayes, and he scored the opening slot on one of the biggest concert tours of the summer of 2011, the Speak Now Tour with Taylor Swift, so I'm sure you'll be hearing his name alot in the coming months.Â Hunter started playing a toy accordian at age 2, and hasn't stopped since.Â He learned by ear how to play keyboards, guitar, drums and more, and plays them ALL on his debut single, "Storm Warning"!Â Some may be quick to discount Hunter because of his cute looks and young age, but his songwriting and vocals show a wisdom well beyond his 19 years.Â Plus, if you have a teenage daughter that you're trying to sway to Country music, just show her this video...she will be in love!
Find out more about Hunter at www.hunterhayes.com, and listen for his fresh Wolf track, Storm Warning, right here on The Wolf!
(Note:Â We are lucky here at the Wolf to get the jump on hearing new artists, and having them come visit the radio station before they hit the "mainstream".Â When I hear someone I think is "on their way", I'll let you guys know!Â I love to discover new artists, and if you do too, then you'll enjoy this feature!Â And if you know of a new artist that you think deserves attention, please let me know!)
I first heard of Jason Sturgeon thru friends from "back home" in Indiana on Facebook.Â When I heard there was a talented Country singer from the "next town over", I had to check him out!Â Jason grew up in Petersburg, IN, population 35oo, and just 13 miles down the road from where I grew up.Â There's not much in that part of Indiana except cornfields and cows, and weekends are spent with good friends, family, and good music.Â That's how Jason started singing...entertaining his family for quarters!
When Jason decided to immerse himself in a music career, he hooked up with Dane ClarkÂ (a member of the band of another famous Indiana boy, John Mellencamp).Â Jason learned from Dane & his fellow musicians' insight and experience, and the resulting album is called, That's Me. You can definitely hear the Mellencamp influence on my favorite track, "Simple Life"!
Jason played last month at Johnny & June's, and stopped by the Wolf for an interview with me.Â Check it out here http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1939032321532Â and listen for an acoustic performance of his latest single, "The Cover" at the end!Â Get more info on Jason at www.jasonsturgeonmusic.comÂ and keep an eye on the concert calendar for the next time he rolls thru town.
Back in the spring, Blake Shelton (or his record company, but I'll give Blake all the credit) came up with the great idea to release his new music in "Six Packs" - six-song EP's* instead of the usual 10-14 song LP's* - so he could get his music finished and released faster.Â No more waiting years between new music packages!Â I, and many others, loved the idea, as shown by the success of his first Six Pack - Hillbilly Bone. Blake is releasing a 2nd Six Pack on August 10th that includes his current single and title track, "All About Tonight".Â To get you all excited about the release, he has posted weekly features every Tuesday on his Facebook page, counting down his "Top Six" in different categories.Â I love this guy's sense of humor...
You can pre-order All About Tonight and get an exclusive bundle with poster, key chain, and T-shirt (if you so desire) by clicking here.
*for those of you too young to remember music on vinyl - back in the day, music was released as either a Single: one song on each side of the record, an EP (extended play): 2 - 4 songs on each side (hence the "six pack") or an LP (long playing): 5 or more songs on each side.Â Ask your parents.
As the year comes to an end, everyone loves to make lists of the best/worst/etc.Â I thought I'd join in the fun!Â Here are a few of my favorite things from 2009:
Favorite Country Albums
Keith Urban - Defying Gravity
Eric Church - Carolina
Kenny Chesney (twice!)
Favorite New Country Acts
(There's a lot of these! And they may not be "new" but they were new to me this year)
Love & Theft
The Band Perry
Zac Brown Band
Favorite Guests in the Wolf's Den
(what can I say, I like when the Country boys come to visit!)
Honorable Mention Events
Danny Gokey singing Happy Birthday to me
Working on the "Extreme Home Makeover" house
Chris Young's album release party in Burlington
Justin Moore's concert on the baseball field in Wallburg
Meeting 50 Cent when he came to our sister station ;)
2009 was an awesome year and I feel so lucky to be a part of all the great things that happen with The Wolf!!Â Thank you listeners so much for letting us do what we do and being a part of the Wolf family!!Â I can't wait for 2010 :)