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Posts Tagged ‘Celebrity Showroom’

Pop-R&B Stars Boyz II Men Play Two Nights at John Ascuaga’s Nugget

Boyz II MenWith a catalog of hits and chart-toppers rivaling The Beatles and Elvis, Boyz II Men has firmly cemented itself in the upper echelon of music history. Catch Boyz II Men in the intimate Celebrity Showroom, October 22-23, at John Ascuaga’s Nugget.

Based on sales, Boyz II Men is the most successful R&B male vocal group of all time. It recorded five #1 R&B hits between 1992 and 1997 and has sold more than 60 million records. Three of its #1 hits, “End of the Road”, “I’ll Make Love to You”, and “One Sweet Day” (with Mariah Carey), set and broke records for the longest period of time a single remained at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100; the last of them still holds the record. Although “On Bended Knee” did not break any records, it was still an immensely popular song that reached #1 and made Boyz II Men the third artists (behind Elvis and The Beatles) to replace themselves at the number one spot of the Billboard Hot 100. Their early music was indebted to new jack swing, but the group quickly found their forté in lush, soulful ballads, where their harmonies could be showcased to greatest effect.

Boyz II Men plays two nights, October 22-23 in the Celebrity Showroom at 8 p.m. Tickets are just $50 and are available by calling (800) 648-1177 or (775) 356-3300 or by visiting janugget.com. Dinner and show packages are also available.

-Michael Traum

Guit’ With It! Legendary Junior Brown Plays on October 2

Junior BrownA singer and demon guitarist whose raucous blend of country and rock & roll helped make him a successful crossover act, Junior Brown is the real deal in the music world. Catch Brown Saturday, October 2, in the Celebrity Showroom at John Ascuaga’s Nugget.

After honing his guitar skills in relative anonymity throughout the ’70s, Brown became an instructor at the Hank Thompson School of Country Music, an affiliate of Rogers State College in Oklahoma. There, while teaching under the auspices of steel guitar legend Leon McAuliffe, a onetime member of Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, Brown met “the lovely Miss Tanya Rae,” a student whom he would later marry in 1988 and who eventually joined his band as a rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist. At the same time, a dream prompted him to set about creating an instrument fusing a six-string guitar with its steel counterpart. Contacting guitar maker Michael Stevens in 1985, he developed the “guit-steel,” a double-necked guitar combining the standard instrument with the steel. (A decade later, the two men reunited to update the “guit-steel,” and Brown’s cherry axe, “Big Red,” was born.)

After moving to Austin, TX, Brown and his group became the house band at the city’s Continental Club, where strong word-of-mouth eventually earned them a record deal. He made his long-awaited album debut in 1993 with 12 Shades of Brown, which featured a tribute to his biggest influence, “My Baby Don’t Dance to Nothing but Ernest Tubb.” It also showcased his often-stunning instrumental work, and blended Western swing, honky tonk, and electrified Bakersfield country. Guit With It followed later in the year, and like its predecessor, was met with considerable critical acclaim. After a five-song stopgap EP, 1995’s Junior High, Brown returned in 1996 with Semi-Crazy, which continued in the vein established on his previous recordings. The Long Walk Back followed two years later, and displayed a bit more rockabilly flavor. Brown issued his fifth album, Mixed Bag, in 2001. His next record, 2004’s Down Home Chrome, found him on a new label (Telarc) but with the same tried and true sound. Curb released a twelve-song Greatest Hits collection in June of 2005, followed by Telarc’s Live at the Continental Club: The Austin Experience later that September.

Junior Brown performs Saturday, October 2, in the Celebrity Showroom at 8 p.m. Tickets are just $22. Tickets are available by calling (800) 648-1177 or (775) 356-3300 or by visiting janugget.com.

-Michael Traum

Country Star Jo Dee Messina Performs in Reno Tahoe

Jo Dee MessinaMultiple No. 1 hits and a series of popular albums, including some pop cross-over success, has propelled Jo Dee Messina in to the music-scene forefront. This Friday, you can see Jo Dee Messina live in the Celebrity Showroom, July 30, at John Ascuaga’s Nugget.

Part of country music’s late-’90s crop of female crossover stars, Messina’s appeal nonetheless remained more with country fans than pop audiences. It seems like it only took a few short years for Messina to rise to the elite ranks of female country artists who headline their own tours. The truth is, however, that Messina has been singing and plugging away since her early teens, determined to be nothing else but a country music star. She sang in musical plays starting at age eight but discovered country music at age 12 and got hooked on the likes of the Judds, Reba McEntire, and Dolly Parton. She soon started performing live, and by 16 she was playing local clubs with a rhythm section made up of her brother and sister. At age 19, she moved to Nashville in search of greater exposure and sang regularly for prize money in local talent competitions. One win led to a regular gig on the radio show Live at Libby’s, which in turn caught the interest of producer Byron Gallimore, who helped her assemble a demo tape. Gallimore was also working with the young Tim McGraw around the same time, and Messina befriended him. Backstage at one of his concerts, Messina met an executive from his label, Curb, and jokingly suggested that they needed a redhead. Producer James Stroud, who had just heard Messina’s demo, stepped up to vouch for her, and she soon wound up on Curb, with Gallimore and McGraw serving as her producers.

Messina’s self-titled debut album was released in 1996 and gave her two Top Ten hits in “Heads Carolina, Tails California” and “You’re Not in Kansas Anymore.” The album sold well, setting the stage for Messina’s star-making sophomore effort, I’m Alright. Released in 1998, it made Messina the first female country artist to score three multiple-week number one hits from the same album: “Bye Bye,” “I’m Alright,” and “Stand Beside Her.” She nearly had a fourth, but “Lesson in Leavin’” stalled at number two. Honored by both the CMA and ACM in 1999, Messina staked out even pop-friendlier territory on her third album, 2000’s Burn. It became her first number one album, and the lead single, “That’s the Way,” her fourth number one single. Two more Top Tens followed in “Burn” and “Downtime,” and a fourth single, the Tim McGraw duet “Bring on the Rain,” also topped the charts, helping Burn sell over a million copies. Messina followed it with the holiday album A Joyful Noise in late 2002, and just months later, with only three albums to her credit, Curb released a Greatest Hits compilation. In 2005 she released her official follow-up to Burn, called Delicious Surprise, with Unmistakable coming in 2010.

Jo Dee Messina plays one night, July 30, in the Celebrity Showroom at 8 p.m. Tickets are just $50 and are available by calling (800) 648-1177 or (775) 356-3300 or by visiting janugget.com. Dinner and show packages are available.