MUSIC – Stagecoach brings country stars to Indio including The Honky Tonk Angels Band

MUSIC – Stagecoach brings country stars to Indio

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (Ontario, CA) – Friday, April 26, 2013
Author: By Wes Woods

The annual Stagecoach Country Music Festival makes its seventh trip to the Empire Polo Grounds this weekend with country superstars Toby Keith, Lady Antebellum and the Zac Brown Band, among others. The reunion of the Inland Empire’s The Honky Tonk Angels Band another attraction.

The festival, featuring nearly 50 country acts, follows just a week on the heels of the two-weekend Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, held at the same location.

“We all are obviously super grateful for this. You really don’t get a second chance in the music business,” said Kurt Ross, Honky Tonk Angels Band vocalist and Claremont resident, who added the group would play at 1:45 p.m. Saturday on the Palomino stage located inside the huge Sahara Tent.

Other acts include Hank Williams Jr., Trace Adkins, Jeff Bridges & the Abiders, Dierks Bentley, Rodney Atkins, Darius Rucker, Thompson Square, Lonestar and more.

Ontario-raised Ross said his band came out of the punk scene in 1988 and their early material consisted of cover songs and “goofing around.” Soon, though, the group was performing “smoking originals,” he said. “It works so well. The people would come and see us and it was so awesome. We were kicking out songs left and right.”

Eventually the group, which blended Americana, rock and Southern rock, broke up and Ross is now a production manager who has been working at the Stagecoach festival since its first year.

Ross said Stagecoach organizer Paul Tollett heard him sing vocals on the Unforgiven’s “Hang ’em High” at last year’s festival and asked him to put the Honky Tonk Angels back together.

Ross said he is looking forward to Commander Cody performing at the festival. “Absolutely. We love him. He’s right up our alley and Dwight (Yoakam) and Nick 13 from Tiger Army. A punk-rock guy country thing.”

The three-day festival will be broadcast on AXS TV. For information on the live telecast, go to, or @AXSTV on Twitter.

wes.woods@ @ClaremontNow on Twitter @IEMusicNow on Twitter

Stagecoach 2013: Katey Sagal and John Reilly go from acting to singing with different results

Stagecoach 2013: Katey Sagal and John Reilly go from acting to singing with different results

Posted:   04/29/2013 03:40:01 AM PDT
Updated:   04/29/2013 04:09:10 AM PDT


INDIO – Actors John Reilly and Katey Sagal had different results singing with their bands Sunday night at the Stagecoach country music festival.Reilly, who performs in movies and television under John C. Reilly, was a much stronger performer on the Mustang Stage performing a blend of Americana and folk songs and he would joke with the audience between songs.

“How about Riders in the Sky?” he said early on about the group who performed before him who wore elaborate stage outfits in the 105 degree weather. “They don’t sweat in those shirts. They must have sweat comptments in the back.”

Meanwhile, he performed songs like “Good Morning Captain” and a song he recorded for Jack White’s record label “Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar” while using a guitar with the words “Dewey Cox” written on it similar to his spoof movie “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.”

Sagal, however, waited a couple of songs to perform as she let her band The Forest Rangers take center stage. The band who also performs music for the television show “Sons of Anarchy” that Sagal is on sounded good, even performing a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground,” but the audience was restless to hear Sagal.

When Sagal performed, her voice sounded off and she was slightly off beat on the Tom Petty cover “Free Fallin.'” She recovered for the next song “Bird On A Wire” but still did not appear entirely comfortable singing to the beat.

Stagecoach 2013: Charlie Daniels Band and Charley Pride show they still have style

Stagecoach 2013: Charlie Daniels Band and Charley Pride show they still have style

Posted:   04/29/2013 03:31:58 AM PDT
Updated:   04/29/2013 03:39:54 AM PDT

INDIO – North Carolina’s The Charlie Daniels Band and Sledge, Mississippi’s Charley Pride provided a jolt of musical energy to the Palomino Stage on Sunday at the Stagecoach country music festival.

Charlie Daniels, who has been releasing albums since 1971 and is age 76, earned the crowd’s respect with his guitar playing, fiddle skills and musical selection and Pride won his audience with vocals, stage presence and his body of work.

Daniels performed hits like 1975’s “Long Haired Country Boy,” 1990’s “”(What This World Needs Is) A Few More Rednecks” and newer material like “Black Ice.” He ended his set, of course, with “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.”

A good portion of the audience lingered for Daniels, even as his set ran into the time for Zac Brown Band, and it paid off when the country legend performed his biggest hit.

Pride, introduced by “American Idol” judge Randy Johnson as a “country music legend,” immediately jumped into a cover of Dave Dudley’s “Six Days on the Road” (which was also on a Pride live album in 1969) 1970’s “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone” and 1966’s “Just Between You and Me.”

After performing his No. 1 1969 hit “All I Have to Offer You (Is Me),” Pride simply said it “was my first No. 1. Thank you. I’m glad you remember that.”

During much of the entertaining set Pride, who has been around since 1966 and is age 75, performed hit after hit and would walk to the left side of the stage to linger for pictures as as well confidently walk each side of the stage with his microphone.

Stagecoach 2013: Mane stage audiences enjoy Zac Brown Band and Darius Rucker

Stagecoach 2013: Mane stage audiences enjoy Zac Brown Band and Darius Rucker

Acts perform covers of popular songs to entertain on final day of festival
Posted:   04/29/2013 02:36:28 AM PDT
Updated:   04/29/2013 02:40:15 AM PDT

INDIO – Stagecoach country music festival headliners Zac Brown Band and Darius Rucker earned some of their biggest ovations with cover songs on Sunday night.

The Zac Brown Brown performed Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” and The Charlie Daniels Band’s “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” during their set while Rucker selected Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel” and Prince’s “Purple Rain.”

Before the Daniels song, the group described the performer who played the same song less than an hour before on the side Palomino Stage as “a living legend” to cheers while the opening guitar riff of sandman sent the mane stage crowd into a headbanging frenzy.

Rucker’s “Wagon Wheel, a hit for him this year, made the crowd line dance, sing, pour beer, join hands together and even play a simulated game of football but “Purple Rain” drew both people leaving for the exits and a singalong.

While the Zac Brown Band are admittedly not one of my favorite acts because I can’t get into the way they blend their different musical styles together, there was no denying the effect their well engineered sound and songs had on the rabid audience, which appeared to be the largest for any headliner.

The group performed songs such as “It’s not OK” and “Toes” from 2008’s “The Foundation” and “Colder Weather” from 2010’s “You Get What You Give.”

Rucker, who’s baritone sounds exactly the same as it did in the mid 1990’s with Hootie & the Blowfish, performed “Only Wanna Be With You” and “Hold My Hand” from his old group as well as 2010’s “This” and 2008’s “It Won’t Be Like This For Long.”

I liked Rucker’s sound and choice of songs and despite some people leaving during “Purple Rain,” it appeared most of the audience appreciated it too.

Stagecoach 2013: Florida Georgia Line and Lonestar make crowds forget about 105 degree heat

Stagecoach 2013: Florida Georgia Line and Lonestar make crowds forget about 105 degree heat

Blue Sky Riders with Kenny Loggins also entertaining
Posted:   04/28/2013 05:04:41 PM PDT
Updated:   04/28/2013 05:06:26 PM PDT

INDIO – Florida Georgia Line and Lonestar complimented each other well on the Mane Stage Sunday afternoon despite the heat reaching 105 degrees.

Nashville’s Florida Georgia Line showed why it’s a rising country act on Sunday with country and hip-hip songs that resulted in multiple singalongs from its fans while Lonestar’s set started with a sparse crowd but grew quickly after performing “My Front Porch Looking In.”

Florida Georgia Lina saved their No. 1 hit “Cruise” for last but it didn’t matter as fans were clapping and in some cases rapping for songs like “Get Your Shine On,” “Dayum, Baby” and “Party People,” where group members went out into the audience for nearly the entire song and shook hands and sang on the security rail.

Additionally, the group performed hip-hop hits by 50 Cent (“In Da Club”), Lil’ Troy (“Wanna Be a Baller), Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa (“Young, Wild & Free”) and, appropriately enough, Nelly (“Hot in Herre”).

Lonestar asked the audience how they were feeling and said they were playing Stagecoach for their first time.

“Does it get any hotter? Just keep drinking plenty of fluids” lead singer Richie McDonald asked before the group went into their 2005 hit “You’re Like Comin’ Home” song.

The group also brought up “Wounded Warriors,” or Armed Forces veterans injured in combat. McDonald dedicated the song “I’m Already There” to the group who “put their lives on the line for this great country of ours.”

Both acts had great surround sound at the mane stage with no issues with their vocals despite the intense heat.

Additionally, Blue Sky Riders, which feature singer/songwriter Kenny Loggins, performed later in the Palomino Stage.

I only caught the end of their set but the group sonically was on point and performed “You Took The Words (Right Outta My Mouth),” the crowd pleaser “Just Say Yes” and a cover of the Beatles “Help!” which the audience sang word for word.

Stagecoach 2013: Ashton Kutcher apparently involved in altercation with security guard, per TMZ

Stagecoach 2013: Ashton Kutcher apparently involved in altercation with security guard, per TMZ

Indio police officials say they are not involved
Posted:   04/28/2013 12:59:15 PM PDT
Updated:   04/28/2013 01:16:56 PM PDT

INDIO – Actor Ashton Kutcher was apparently involved in altercation with a security guard at the Stagecoach country music festival, according to gossip site, but an Indio police spokesman had no information on the incident.

Kutcher, according to TMZ, was in the VIP area sometime Saturday night to watch Nick 13 and Dwight Yoakam when a female fan went to say hello to him and a security guard apparently stepped in to shove him and the fan. Nick 13 performed from 3:55 to 4:55 p.m. while Yoakam played from 6:45 to 8:15 p.m. on the Palomino Stage.

Kutcher and the security guard then started shoving each other, but before the guard could eject Kutcher he left on his own, according to TMZ.

Indio police spokesman Ben Guitron said media had contacted him about the incident but neither the promoter of the festival, Goldenvoice, or Kutcher had filed any sort of a report so he had no further information outside of what TMZ reported.

“A lot of people have called us (from the media) but (neither party) told us,” Guitron said. If either party presses charges, then Indio police would follow up with a report, Guitron said.

Goldenvoice spokespeople at the festival had no comment to the TMZ report.

Guitron said 52 arrests on Friday and 40 on Saturday, primarily for alcohol related offenses such as false I.D., minors with alcohol and intoxication.

Additionally, Guitron wanted Stagecoach fans today to drink plenty of water on the final day of thethree-day country music festival, with temperatures to reach more than 100 degrees.

Stagecoach 2013: Dwight Yoakam and Rodney Atkins perform very different sets Saturday at festival

Stagecoach 2013: Dwight Yoakam and Rodney Atkins perform very different sets Saturday at festival

Posted:   04/28/2013 01:59:04 AM PDT
Updated:   04/28/2013 02:56:41 AM PDT


INDIO – Rodney Atkins and Dwight Yoakam had overlapping sets Saturday af the Stagecoach country music festival but their country musical styles are very different.Atkins had a more polished country production approach and also more current No. 1 singles such as 2007’s “Cleaning This Gun (Come On In Boy)” and 2011’s “Take a Back Road” which drew massive singalongs at the mane stage.

Yoakam’s uses a brand of country rock that has less gloss and more rock guitars that caused large bursts of dancing inside the Palomino Stage with songs like 1986’s “Guitars, Cadillacs” and “Honky Tonk Man” as well as a cover of “Ring of Fire.”

Atkins performed verses from cover songs from Waylon Jennings (“Good Ol’ Boys” or The Dukes of Hazzard Theme Song) and Willie Nelson (“On The Road Again.”)

On the mane stage, Atkins asked the audience to say “yee haw” after the song “About the South” and they happily complied.

Inside the Palomino Stage, Yoakam complained at one point that the sound “went from bad to worse. I’ll just go back to bad. It’s just nice to be out the house” but from a listener perspective, he sounded great.

The singer/songwriter also received cheers for the lines “I spent some time in San Bernardino, I spent some time in Coachella” during his song “Streets Of Bakersfield.”

Stagecoach 2013: Lady Antebellum and Dierks Bentley play fan favorites on mane stage

Stagecoach 2013: Lady Antebellum and Dierks Bentley play fan favorites on mane stage

Posted:   04/28/2013 01:02:17 AM PDT
Updated:   04/28/2013 01:58:35 AM PDT

INDIO – Nashville’s Lady Antebellum and Phoenix’s Dierks Bentley sent the crowd home happy with a selection of fan favorites and covers on Saturday night at the Stagecoach country music festival.

Lady Antebellum ended their hour set with a nearly 30-minute encore with their massive Grammy Award winning 2009 hit “Need You Now,” a cover of the Rolling Stones 1969 hit “Honky Tonk Women” and 2011’s “We Owned The Night.” While fans clearly started to leave during “Need You Now,” the ones who stuck around were rewarded with more material.

Earlier in the set, the group performed a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s 1985 hit “I’m On Fire” with Bentley.

The group’s vocals were hard to hear during the early part of their set but everything seemed to be resolved soon after. The band didn’t appear to be affected positively or negatively by Hillary Scott’s very pregnant stomach while the singer said her baby girl is due by the end of July.

Meanwhile, Bentley was a clear fan favorite who performed before Lady Antebellum.

“Lets make some memories, get really drunk and forget all of them,” Bentley said to massive applause on Saturday at the mane stage.

He started with the upbeat 2012 hit “5-1-5-0” which featured elaborate lighting and a large graphics behind him with the numbers.

Bentley also performed 2009’s “Feel That Fire,” a new song titled “I Hold On,” 2011’s “Home” where he thanked the armed forces and a performance of a George Jones cover of “Walk Through This World With Me” with Foo Fighters lead guitarist Chris Shiflett and his band the Dead Peasants.

Stagecoach 2013: The Little Willies features Norah Jones Friday night at festival

Stagecoach 2013: The Little Willies features Norah Jones Friday night at festival

Posted:   04/27/2013 05:39:24 PM PDT
Updated:   04/27/2013 05:54:25 PM PDT
INDIO – The Little Willies, who feature Norah Jones, put together a well rounded cover set at a poor time that saw the band go head-to-head with country music superstar Hank Williams Jr. and the start of Toby Keith.I caught The Little Willies late in their set, as they were performing “I Gotta Get Drunk,” which is a cover of a Willie Nelson song. They later performed Nelson’s “Nightlife.”

“You guys are great,” Jones said during set to the audience, who cheered the band’s every song. The group also performed “Lovesick Blues,” which was made famous by Hank Williams.

The audience was small inside the Palomino Stage, however, because of who The Little Willies were up against headlining wise. The stage was maybe half full. Nonetheless, their set and especially Jones sounded great.

Stagecoach 2013: The Honkytonk Angels Band represents for the Inland Empire Saturday at festival

Stagecoach 2013: The Honkytonk Angels Band represents for the Inland Empire Saturday at festival

Posted:   04/27/2013 04:58:40 PM PDT
Updated:   04/27/2013 05:39:00 PM PDT

INDIO – The Honkytonk Angels Band reunited for a successful performance Saturday inside the Palomino Stage at the Stagecoach country music festival.

“Lets get those (finger) guns up” said lead singer Kurt Ross said before the country rock and Americana group performed their opener of “Six Gun High” and the energy never let up.

The Inland Empire based Honkytonk Angels Band reunited for the Stagecoach country music festival after being around from 1988 to 1991 and 1991 to 1993.

The group even appeared to have the best engineered set at the festival with crystal clear guitars and vocals before they performed “Bad Girl Blues.”

“We are The Honky Tonk Angels Band from the Inland Empire in Southern California,” Ross said at one point in the set to loud cheers. Other songs included “Lil’ Miss Nasty” and “Baby’s Gone.” “Tomorrow is the 25th anniversary of the first time we played our first gig. It was at the Green Door or Fandango in Montclair,” Ross said toward the end of the set. He added the requirements to join the band were liking country music, George Jones, the Rolling Stones and tequilla.

“Everyone on the stage loves all three,” Ross said, before adding the song “Tequilla Bent and Hell Bound” was “our theme song.”

Ross said he was born in Fontana and raised in Ontario to loud cheers before “Whiskey Shine.”

“Thank you good people. We will see you again,” were Ross’ last words to the crowd.