Behind the Scenes at Golf and Guitars – Day 1

I will freely admit that Golf and Guitars is my favorite event each year at Haggin Oaks. KNCI does an outstanding job of bringing the best and brightest talent into Sacramento each year and 2012 marks our 5th year hosting this awesome fundraiser.

On Monday, May 21st, I headed out to Haggin Oaks for the Pairings Party Night which also included a new artist showcase concert for the tournament players, their guests and VIP ticket holders. Golf and Guitars is all about raising money for charity and this year’s event is expected to raise close to $75000 for the Morton Golf Foundation and JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). Simply stated: WOW!

The gates opened at 5pm and a scrumptious dinner was served by Chef Blanca from MacKenzie’s Sports Bar & Grille at Hagggin Oaks. The dinner was perfect! Fried chicken, pulled pork, potato salad, cole slaw and dinner rolls and a dessert bar that left me speechless! So many choices and so little time! Yum!

At 6pm, the concert opened with Summerlin Road, featuring Chris Roberts and Johnny Bulford. Chris has been at Golf and Guitars all five years that we have held this event. You may know him best from One Flew South and he’s back with a great new duo that you’re sure to hear on the radio soon! They played “Get Outta My Bed” and “If He Loves Her Like I Do” before introducing the crowd to “I Didn’t Count on This”. Talk about new music! “I Didn’t Count on This” was played for the first time in front of a crowd tonight and I absolutely LOVE this song! Hopefully it is destined to hit the radio waves soon. (Are you listening KNCI?)

“This is a fantastic event. It just gets better year after year!” – Chris Roberts

This talented duo also features Johnny Bulford who blew the crowd away with his rendition of “A Woman Like You.” Johnny was the writer for this #1 hit by Lee Bryce and it is easy to see why this song went all the way to number one!

The lovely and talented Jana Kramer took the stage and opened her set with a song called “Whiskey”. Mark your calendars, because Jana will be back in town in early July when she opens for Brad Paisley. She calls herself Sassyfrass, because “I don’t want to kill any of my ex-boyfriends, I just want them to suffer a little bit.” She also belted out “Why Ya Wanna” – I look forward to catching her later this summer during Brad Paisley’s tour.

The crowd was fantastic tonight!

During Jana’s set, I looked over to see the guys from Summerlin Road doing an impromptu meet and greet with fans while watching the music with the crowd. As the night continued, many of the artists interacted with the guests. It was fun to experience.

Between sets, Kodiak from KNCI 105.1FM named pairings for Tuesday’s tournament.

James Wesley was next to take the stage sporting his new Adidas shoes and definite golf gear – I’m guessing James had already put in a round out there on the course today. He started his night on stage with one of the very first songs he found after moving to Nashville. He dedicated “Real” to the members of the military serving our great United States of America.

Before singing “You Should Be Here with Me”, James introduced it to the crowd with “If I was a woman, this is the song I’d want someone to sing to me.” After listening to the song (and as a woman) – I couldn’t agree more! He rounded out his set with “Walking Contradiction”.

I glanced outside during James’ music to see the guys from Love and Theft doing a meet and greet. They were surrounded by many lovely ladies.

I wandered back stage and was pleasantly surprised to see that Chuck Wicks had stopped by. He wasn’t originally expected tonight and it just shows how great these musicians are. I simply had to take my picture with him (for the purpose of this blog… of course!)

I also met a Super Fan who made a scrapbook with all the artists appearing at Golf and Guitars this year. I think she was planning on getting some signatures to fill her book.

Dustin Lynch took the stage to sing “One More Lap Around This Town”. Interesting fact: Dustin grew up not far from the Jack Daniels distillery. Dustin has an amazing voice and I was very impressed when he sang “You’re Amazing Just the Way You Are.” He ended his set with “Cowboys and Angels” which was inspired by his parents and grandparents who both childhood sweethearts. Great song!

I headed out back to see what was going on behind the scenes with the artists. I caught Frank LaRosa shooting an interview with Jana Kramer.

My own daughter, Heather, and her cousin, Evan, took the stage for tomorrow’s concert event and were having a blast dancing and singing.

Frank LaRosa interviews Chuck Wicks.

The Farm takes the stage and blew the crowd away. The Farm features Damien Horne (who started with the Music Mafia – you know – Gretchen Wilson, Big and Rich, etc), Krista Marie (who told the crowd she is “a dirty girl” meaning she is a motorcross champion – you go Girl!) and Nick Hoffman who was the fiddle player for Kenny Chesney for the past 12 years. This group knows how to rock a crowd. They were awesome and certainly brought the house down. They have a new record coming out July 17th and I strongly urge everyone to pick it up as soon as it hits the shelves.

A surprise add-on to the night took place when Chuck Wicks walked on stage and performed several of his classic hits and introduced us to a few new ones coming out soon too! He started with “Old School” and then performed “I Don’t Do Lonely Well”. Look for this song on Jason Aldean’s new album that debuts in September.

The next song, Chuck told us that he’ll “sing this to my wife, when and if I do get married” before dedicating it to Jason and Nicole – two random strangers that Chuck was trying to hook up for the night. This is truly where Chuck shines. He has a great sense of humor and knows how to get the crowd behind him. 2012 marks Chuck’s fourth year at our Golf and Guitars event, and I sincerely hope he’ll be coming back for many years to come.

Chuck sang another new song that he’ll be releasing in the near future called, “Whole Damn Thing” (or at least I think that is going to be the title!) It is a sexy song, but what else would you expect from Mr. Wicks? He continued to engage the crowd with his quick wit… “I love you guys… not you guys [addressing the rest of the audience]… just you guys [addressing Jason and Nicole again].”

Chuck played two more hits, “All I Ever Wanted” and “Stealing Cinderella”. You can catch Chuck Wicks on Good Day Sacramento early Tuesday morning. (I had to catch this photo of concert organizer, Ken Morton, Jr. with Heather. She is definitely his little Cinderella!)

Frank LaRosa gets a great interview from Love and Theft who admit to having a little trouble in their hotel room last year. Crossing our fingers things don’t get out of control for them in 2012.

Brett Eldredge hopped on stage for another unscheduled, yet very welcome performance. He sang “It Ain’t Gotta Be Love”, “One Mississippi”, “Get a Little Thirsty” and “Raymond”. He went fishing with Pat and Tom from KNCI 105.1FM earlier this morning and they provided the most entertaining live fishing show in the history of radio!

I met two ladies by the Meet and Greet area who flew in all the way from Pennsylvania to catch the show (specifically Love and Theft) this evening. I snapped their picture with Stephen from Love and Theft.

Steve Holy admits to being “the worst golfer in the NFL” which brought lots of laughter from the crowd. He sang a few of my favorites, including “She Hauled Off & Kissed Me”, “Good Morning Beautiful” and “I’ve Got a Brand New Girlfriend”. It was fun to watch The Farm singing along to “I’ve Got a Brand New Girlfriend” from the sidelines as they were out in the crowd, pulling up a few chairs and having a good time.

As the night continued, the crowd and groups were loosening up more and more as the night was cooling off and the music was heating up!

Canaan Smith came onstage this evening just for tonight’s concert. He’s driving to Los Angeles tonight for a show there tomorrow and it was a treat that he stopped by to play some music for our crowd. He sang “Put a Little Something in that Coozie” and “We’ve Got Us”.

I shot this photo behind the stage as Canaan put on his show.

Love and Theft took the stage as our final act of the night to a standing ovation. The women here this evening are all big fans of Love and Theft and they played a new song for the crowd before singing their hit “Runaway” and their new single “Angel Eyes”.

Stephen and Eric graciously took pictures with the crowd all evening and the fans stayed until the end to support this group that has been here at Golf and Guitars for the past four years. If you come out to the golf course tomorrow, you’ll see them there!

Day one is done! I can’t wait for the main event tomorrow when Golf and Guitars continues! The stage is set!

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