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Posts Tagged ‘John Ascuaga’s Nugget’

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