Friday, June 2, 2017 at Pub Station (2502 First Avenue North, Billings, MT 59101)

General Admission/All Ages, Doors at 7PM / Show at 8PM

$13 Advance/$18 Day of Show, Tickets on sale Friday, 4/7 at 10:00 am

Ticket price includes base Ticketfly service charge. Additional fees may apply depending on purchase method.

Music is best when it’s authentic, when it comes straight from an artist’s heart and bursts from the speakers. It makes a connection with the listener that forms an immediate bond.  Drew Baldridge creates music with that kind of impact.  The happy-go-lucky guy looking to get his groove on in his debut single “Dance With Ya” is the same Drew that enjoys visiting with fans after a show, and it’s that kind of down home charm combined with a powerful voice and constantly-honed songwriting skills that make Baldridge one of country music’s most promising new talents.

“It’s really who I am. I love to dance,” Baldridge says of his debut single. “Sirius XM jumped on it. CMT loved the video and they put it on. I was kind of scared at first about how people were going to take to it because it is really different, but it has taught me to not to shy away from my influences and to just do what I love.  I think that’s what people like about it is they can see when I’m singing it on stage that I love it.”

 “Dance with Ya” isn’t a song that just happened by accident. Baldridge was very intentional when he went to collaborate with co-writers Chris Yarber and Jake Mitchell. “I had a plan for what I wanted to write. I saw the outcome before we even wrote it and it’s been really cool to watch it take off,” Baldridge says with an infectious smile.

“Guys like Michael Jackson created moments within their song structure that allowed them to interact with the audience and dance. It was kind of signature to them and I always looked forward to those musical breakdowns. I knew I wanted to write a song where I could create moments like that. I even wanted my band to get into it. They hated me at first, but now it’s one of the biggest parts of our show. People just freak out and love it. It’s been exciting to see that this is the song that’s been the one to open doors for us.”

Baldridge’s plan is paying off.  The horn-infused party anthem works because it captures a facet of the Illinois native’s talent that has been part of his life since he was a child in the tiny town of Patoka. “I love to perform. I always did talent shows growing up,” he recalls.  “I have so many home videos that are really embarrassing. We watched them back-to-back a couple months ago and just died laughing.  It starts out when I was in second or third grade and I did a ‘Thriller’ dance. I had a couple of buddies dress up as monsters and I was Michael Jackson and then we did ‘Men in Black,’ ‘The Blues Brothers’ and ‘Grease.’ When I was older, I started singing in church. My dad sang too and we performed in a quartet together.”

He grew up soaking up a variety of musical influences — Southern gospel greats The Cathedrals, country superstars Alabama and even Earth, Wind & Fire. Though he loved performing, the 6’1” Baldridge was also a natural athlete and earned a college scholarship to play baseball, but a birthday gift from his mother changed his plans.

“I went to a Josh Turner concert when I was 18. Mom bought me tickets for my birthday and surprised me with a trip to Nashville,” Baldridge says.  “I’ll never forget sitting there watching his concert and thinking, ‘You know what? I REALLY want to do this. If he can do it, I can do it.’ It was the night I decided I was going to move to Nashville.  At 19, I moved here and just started in diving in.  Even though I was going to go to college and play baseball, I just told my mom, ‘Hey I think God is calling me to do something different,’ and that’s when I turned down my scholarship and moved to Nashville.”

After arriving in Music City, he threw himself into the local scene — writing songs and performing at local nightspots.  “I met some of my best friends through playing those writer’s nights,” says Baldridge.  “I went to the Bluebird Café, which ended up being great for me. Its where I first met my publisher, Rusty Gaston, who turned out to also be a champion and a mentor.”

Baldridge has grown as a songwriter and performer since those first nights at the Bluebird Café. His buoyant personality and gift of penning slice-of-life songs that connect with his audience has led him to tour extensively, opening shows for Cole Swindell, Jerrod Niemann, Eric Paslay. Dustin Lynch and others. Yet, it’s his versatile and powerful vocals that take center stage on his debut EP.

Raised working on his grandfather’s farm, singing in church on Sunday and playing sports have provided a strong foundation for Baldridge and have given him a deep well to draw from as a songwriter. “My music comes from a real place,” says Baldridge, “and when people hear my songs, I think they’ll realize this is who I am.”

Tickets are available at thepubstation.com, Pub Station Box Office (2502 First Avenue North), or by calling (877) 987- 6487.

 



 

 

Friday, July 28, 2017, Pub Station Ballroom (2502 First Avenue North, Billings, MT 59101)

General Admission/All Ages, Doors at 7PM / Show at 8PM

$38 Advance/Day of Show

RESERVED SEATING-Limited availability, 1 table with 6 chairs = $303

Tickets on sale Friday, 4/7 at 10:00 am

Ticket price includes base Ticketfly service charge. Additional fees may apply depending on purchase method.

 

Ray Benson founded Asleep at the Wheel in Paw Paw, West Virginia 46 years ago. Now based in Austin, the band holds 10 Grammy awards, 20 studio albums and 20 singles on the Billboard country charts. The Grammy Award-winning 'Still The King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys' is the band's most recent release (2015) and marks their third full-length Bob Wills tribute album. Featuring 22 acclaimed collaborations, the all-star line up includes legends such as Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and George Strait and newcomers like The Avett Brothers, Amos Lee, Old Crow Medicine Show and many other fine talents.

Asleep at the Wheel is bringing a fresh look and sound into 2016. Now traveling as an 8-piece band, recent additions Katie Shore (fiddle, vocals), Dennis Ludiker (fiddle, mandolin) and Connor Forsyth (keyboard, vocals) have instilled a newfound energy and their own unique style within the band. Between those Texas Twin Fiddles and Boogie Piano, you can bet you'll be dancin' down the aisles and swingin' all night long when the Wheel rolls into town!

 

Tickets are available at thepubstation.com, Pub Station Box Office (2502 First Avenue North), or by calling (877) 987- 6487.



 

Sunday, August 20, 2017 at Pub Station Ballroom (2502 First Avenue North, Billings, MT 59101)

General Admission/All Ages, Doors at 7PM / Show at 8PM

$28 Advance/Day of Show, Tickets on sale Friday, 4/7 at 10:00 am

Ticket price includes base Ticketfly service charge. Additional fees may apply depending on purchase method.

Understanding the virtuosity of Reckless Kelly requires the perspective of where the band has been. Cody and Willy Braun grew up in the White Cloud Mountains of Idaho. They moved to Bend, Oregon, and then migrated to that great musical fountainhead, Austin, Texas.

The band’s co-founders and frontmen toured the country as part of their father’s band, Muzzie Braun and the Boys, as children. They performed on The Tonight Show twice. Their father taught his four sons a professional ethic – integrity, persistence, hard work and professionalism – honed over three generations. They overcame hardships, struggled for recognition, and learned the lessons of the trial and error that defined them.

In one sense, it’s remarkable in the way of any musician, athlete, or businessperson who bucks the odds.

In another, though, it’s utterly natural that Reckless Kelly, born in the dreams of the two Braun brothers and their heritage but nurtured in the bumpy road of maturity, became the very essence of Americana music in all its far-flung glory.

“We came along in that second wave of the movement,” Cody Braun says. “Son Volt’s album Trace had a major effect on us. People like Joe Ely, Ray Kennedy and Robert Earl Keen were always big supporters. Our goal was to make music that had a country vibe but a solid rock edge.”

In the end, all the recipe required was to just add water. Water facilitates life. It enriches the soul.

As Music Row magazine proclaimed, “In my perfect world, this is what country radio would sound like.”

“This” is Reckless Kelly.

The heartland gave the band authenticity. Musical lives honed its skill. Adversity instilled its persistence. Moving to Austin gave it wings to fly.

As kids, the Brauns – Cody, Willy, Micky and Gary – shared a stage with the likes of Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell and Merle Haggard. Micky and Gary Braun now helm their own band, Micky and the Motorcars. In Bend, Cody and Willy added drummer Jay Nazz, who brought with him his own unique experience.

“I had grown up in the Northeast, performing at clubs and weddings with my dad and brother from the age of 13,” Nazz recalls, “so, when I met Willy and Cody, we already had that in common. Both of our dads were musicians with a very similar kind of performing discipline. That helped us bond immediately.”

The band took its name from the legend of Ned Kelly, the Australian highwayman, and the three moved to Austin in the autumn of 1996, where they carved a niche of their own. Early on, Keen, a Texas legend himself, took them under his wing and became their first manager. They listened, watched and interacted with the creative dynamos of the outlaw country scene – Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, Billy Joe Shaver, Guy Clark and others – and joined them in a redefinition of what contemporary country music had become. Theirs was gritty, hard-edged, uncompromising and convincing. They turned country music real again.

Willy Braun wrote half the songs of Millican, 1998’s self-released debut, in an abandoned school bus, where he had lived for six months in Bend. The effect of that album was to emblazon Reckless Kelly with a reputation as a band of no-nonsense insurgents that could raise the rafters while still retaining a heart and soul of honesty, soul and conviction.

They evolved, adding David Abetya, a graduate of the Berklee School of Music, on lead guitar in 2000. Kansas-bred bassist Joe Miller -- who had grown up on a family farm before becoming a broadcaster at his college radio station and migrating to Austin – signed on 2012.

Reckless Kelly’s string of critically acclaimed albums – Under the Table and Above the Sun (2003), Wicked Twisted Road (2005), Bulletproof (2008), Somewhere in Time (2010), Grammy-nominated Good Luck & True Love (2011) and Grammy-winning Long Night Moon (2013) – set a standard of reliable excellence and commitment to an instinctive vision of Americana. No band exemplifies the broad genre better.

Independent? Oh, yeah. Doggedly so. Nothing demonstrates it more than the band’s path through a succession of prestigious record labels – Sugar Hill and Yep Roc, among them – en route to a label, No Big Deal, of their own.

For two decades, the band has toured coast to coast relentlessly. It has demonstrated its longevity in a world where trendy newcomers are proclaimed the Next Big Thing by spinning a couple pop hits. They disappear from the radar, doomed by the very fad that invented them. Not unlike the pioneers who preceded them on the western frontier where the Brauns were raised, they have forged their survival without compromise, combining hard work with a resolve that success is only satisfying when achieved by their own standards and definition.

The group’s new album, Sunset Motel, is, like all its predecessors, distinctive in its own way while true to form. Self-produced and recorded in Austin’s renowned Arlyn Studios (where Millican was made two decades ago) and mixed by Jim Scott (Rolling Stones, Dixie Chicks, Tom Petty, Sting, Roger Daltrey, Crowded House, et al.), it reflects Reckless Kelly’s attention to craft and continuity.

Twenty years since its founding, Reckless Kelly continues to fight for wider recognition, secure in the knowledge that fans, critics and contemporaries will continue to sing its praises.

The songs hit one emotional peak after another: the infectious “Volcano,” the urgent “One More One Last Time,” the desperate desire that comes full circle in “How Can You Love Him (You Don’t Even Like Him)” and the bittersweet title track. With steady guitar drive and a series of insistent choruses, they all ring with power and conviction that make Sunset Motel a breathtaking listening experience.

“Willy wrote 30 or 40 songs for the new album and we cut about half of them,” Cody says. “We ended up using 13 of them, but there were still some good ones left on the cutting-room floor.”

Cody, Willy and Nazz have been constants since the beginning. Abeyta and Miller add their own wrinkles to a signature sound that remains intact. The populist following grows, but the band has also moved on to play in performing arts centers and listening rooms that provide more focused encounters.

“We’re at the point where we’re not content to be categorized as simply a party band anymore,” Willy says. “We would like folks to really hear these songs, to be able to hear the lyrics and appreciate the musicianship that goes into the arrangements. Yes, we still want our audiences to have a good time, but we also want to show that this is a real band with a cohesive attitude and a muscular backbone, as well. We don’t want to be pigeonholed as simply a Texas-based, beer-drinking, rowdy bunch of party boys. There’s a lot more to it than that.”

“This is a really good place to be,” Cody adds. “We’ve built a solid fan base, which gives us a nice safety net. At the same time, we can take things at a more leisurely pace because we can control our own destiny.”

Great bands know good music. They make it the way they like, confident that what they love, what excites them, will also gain traction with thousands and thousands, perhaps even millions, of passionate fans.

Reckless Kelly is, by the best possible definition, a great band.

Freedom to pursue its own destiny has always been at the center of the band’s ambitions. Their fate is as much in their own hands as is reasonably possible 

“We’ve toured extensively over the course of our career,” Cody says. “We’ve traveled front and back, up and down, across this country. Happily, we’re at a point where we’re not killing ourselves to pay the bills.”

That point liberates them to be true to their background, their heritage and, most importantly, themselves.

“We’ve always been hands-on in terms of our marketing and our delivery,” Willy says. “The labels always gave us the freedom we asked for, but an A&R person doesn’t always know what’s best for the band.”

The fierce self-reliance and independent spirit keeps Reckless Kelly happy, appreciative and charitable. Their annual festival, The Braun Brothers Reunion, in Challis, Idaho, has been ongoing for 37 years now. They reunite with their brothers, Gary and Micky (and the Motorcars). The Brauns run it without major sponsors or outside promoters.

The band also hosts the yearly Reckless Kelly Celebrity Softball Jam to raise money for Austin-area youth charities, putting $300,000 in those coffers over the past seven years.

“It’s a great way to give back,” Cody says. “It’s great to be able to share our success in such a positive way.”

Collectively, they’ve played over 3,000 shows and traveled over 1,500,000 miles to 49 states.

Reckless Kelly is a great band with an apt name. The outlaw’s spirit pervades the ambiance. They are rugged individualists who dedicate themselves to advancing the state of their art.

They’re good guys, too. Their hearts dwell in the right places, and those are where the music follows.

Tickets are available at thepubstation.com, Pub Station Box Office (2502 First Avenue North), or by calling (877) 987- 6487.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Pub Station – Outside (2502 First Avenue North, Billings, MT 59101)

General Admission/All Ages

Starts at 5PM

No cover charge/Free

$2 cover charge for an alcohol wristband

 

 

Pinky and the Floyd calls Montana home, but has recently been called the Northwestʼs Hottest Pink Floyd Tribute Band! Pinky was founded in 2007, and has seen very few personnel changes over the years. Instead, this grass-roots effort has exploded in popularity, selling out shows across the state. They put on an amazing live show thatʼs both note-for-note and improvisational, but itʼs their superb musicianship that sets them apart from other Tribute Bands. The energy and stage presence is unprecedented!

All Pinky members are professional working musicians, assembled from genres across the board, culling their expertise to produce what has clearly proven to be a successful musical venture. All told, there are over 20 bands that the members of Pinky and the Floyd are part of, spanning genres from Americana & Vintage Swing to Hip Hop, Jazz,

Country, Salsa, Funk, Rock, Blues and on and on… They see their varied backgrounds as strength in diversity, knowing that each member “…unconsciously affects the overall sound. As players, musicians & artists, whatever youʼve got comes with you…” And between the 10 of them, they have a lot!

Pinky and the Floyd has a big sound and is an experience not soon forgotten. You can expect albums in their entirety, and a little something from every Floyd genre- from Syd Barrett to Division Bell, and everything in between! Tell your friends, itʼs a party!

Tickets are available at thepubstation.com, Pub Station Box Office (2502 First Avenue North), or by calling (877) 987- 6487.

 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Pub Station Ballroom (2502 First Avenue North, Billings, MT 59101)

General Admission/All Ages

Doors at 6:30PM / Show at 7PM

No cover charge/Free

RIGHTEOUS VENDETTA is ready for battle, driven by the fire of the classic New Wave Of American Metalcore movement, with a fresh melodic bent. They are primed to decimate the airwaves and the stage, with a unifying message of hope and inspiration, all delivered with smoldering intensity. 

Arising from humble small town origins, Righteous Vendetta offer positivity and encouragement against adversity, with a sound of defiance and power. 

The band’s new album for Century Media Records, Cursed, arrives after a long season of writing, rewriting, honing, shaping and refining. It was a process that resulted in a definitive mission statement for the quintet, laying the blueprint for the band’s evolving creative identity. Cursed was produced and mixed by Mitch Marlow (In This Moment, Stitched Up Heart). 

They effortlessly combine the diverse melodic Swedish death metal of vintage In Flames with the spirit-filled pop-melodicism of Anberlin, easily appealing to fans who grew up listening to albums like The End of Heartache by Killswitch Engage and Shadows Are Security by As I Lay Dying. There’s even a bit of the SoCal hardcore-meets-Pantera fury of Throwdown, not as much in overt sonic thunder as in energetic, steadfast perseverance. 

This is a band that knows what it means to fight for everything they’ve got, to earn respect with integrity, to standup and be counted, to surpass and defy all expectations by delivering the goods on an awe-inspiring scale. This is metalcore for the underdog, a new collection of anthems for a generation hungry for music that’s authentic and pure. Righteous Vendetta is reverent to the greatest strengths of the scene’s past, yet equally forward-thinking. 

Gestated in a small town in rural Wyoming (population: 3000), these five young men have beaten the odds against isolation, outside pressure, and the daily grind to conjure a ridiculously catchy and relentlessly fierce metalcore sound to rival the genre’s titans and light up the world’s stages.

“There was no music scene, really, which forced us to tour,” explains vocalist Ryan Hayes, who first formed Righteous Vendetta after discovering his college piano teacher could shred on guitar. “The closest ‘big’ market to us was Denver, which is about nine hours from where we live. By the time we were signed, we already had over a thousand tour dates under our belts. It really helped to shape us as musicians and who we are as a band.” 

The lineup shifted a bit (“we’d have to find new members on YouTube or wherever else we could”) before it solidified as Hayes, guitarists Justin Olmstead and Carl Heiman, bassist Riley Haynie, and drummer Zack Goggins. After opening for Hatebreed, Righteous Vendetta caught the attention of Jamey Jasta, who encouraged them to explore more of the melodic side of their already crushingly heavy, breakdown-friendly music. 

Songs like “The Fire Inside,” “With Love” and “What You’ve Done” helped grow the band’s fanbase, through hard-touring, social media, online videos, and a series of independent releases and material issued by Red Cord Records, with the 2014 Defiance EP cementing the group as a rising force. 

The two years Righteous Vendetta spent crafting Cursed was time well spent. “We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to write ‘hits’ at one point,” the band’s frontman confesses. “If you get too much into that mentality, you can start to lose yourself. So as we made Cursed, we focused on what we were when we started: a metal band. And we wrote a metal album.”

Which isn’t to say the album is without hooks. “Doomed” is the heaviest song on the record (inspired by the classic video game, Doom), yet its chorus is unabashedly melodic. “The video game is about killing demons and ripping their faces off,” notes Hayes, with a laugh. “It’s a super metal game.” Lead single “Weight of the World” is a radio-ready banger, co-written by the group with Atreyu drummer/melodic vocalist Brandon Saller.

The band poured their frustrations into both “Weight of the World” and the album’s crushing title track, “Cursed,” taking the uncertainty and struggle of the long album making process and putting it to good use in an empowering way. There is plenty of darkness to be found all over Cursed, but it’s designed to work less as a burning poison and more as healing oil. 

Cursed is the soundtrack to Righteous Vendetta’s overall mission statement. “We’ve always wanted to have a positive influence on people’s lives, but in a real way,” Hayes explains. “We want to connect with people, find common ground, and develop real relationships that aren’t superficial. 

“There are some bands that are very manufactured. Everyone in our band is fully invested in our music,” he adds. “That passion comes out onstage and on the record. It’s something we strive to put across every single day.”

Tickets are available at thepubstation.com, Pub Station Box Office (2502 First Avenue North), or by calling(877) 987- 6487.