Branscombe Richmond

Berlin Invades Thunder Valley Casino

Terri Nunn - Click for more images

Berlin Featuring Terri Nunn performed their first concert of 2012 at Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s Pano Hall on Friday. Nunn put on an electrifying performance that had the crowd singing and dancing throughout the show.

First up though was Larisa Bryski, a Sacramento area native. Bringing her signature mix of classic rock, drizzled with a dollop of pop, Bryski kicked it into high gear from the start with “Butterflies.”

Joining Bryski onstage was Willy Seltzer (guitar), Tommy Armstrong-Leavitt (guitar), Andrew Houston (bass), and Darrell Hale (drums).

Bryski did an awesome job getting the crowd jump started for Berlin. The band performed flawlessly with Tommy Armstrong-Leavitt  stealing the show with his guitar work, as he effortlessly blasted out riff after riff.

After Bryski exhausted the crowd there was a quick intermission to make way for Berlin.

Larisa Bryski - Click for more images

The new wave group Berlin took the stage with Nunn singing “Masquerade.” As Nunn made her way to the front of the stage, I realized she was much taller than I remember ““ if anyone has seen Nunn perform, you will realize this was a joke. For everyone else, let’s just say she’s small in stature, but makes up for it in personality and singing ability.

Nunn “‘s vocals were pristine and downright awesome, sounding much like she did years ago when she originally recorded Berlin’s chart topping “Take My Breath Away,”  from the movie Top Gun.

Talk about a ball of energy. She continued back and forth between band members, including the drummer, the whole time belting out hits including “A Matter of Time” and “The Metro.”

The temperature in Pano Hall started to rise as things started to get steamy between Nunn  and guitarist Carlton Bost, with Nunn sidling up to Bost and getting very in your face, or should I say in his face. It was quite a show and well worth the price of admission!

Carlton and Terri in the moment

In addition to Bost there was Dave Schulz on keyboards and Chris Olivas on drums.

There was a touching moment when Nunn performed “Mom,” a song she wrote and dedicated to her mother. She wrote the song after her mother had passed away.

Afterwards Nunn kicked it back up a notch and had the audience on their feet as she made her way through the crowd. Being a tad short, Nunn had some assistance getting up on a chair in the middle of Pano Hall so everyone could see her. As she made her way back to the stage, she asked a strapping young security guard to lift her up on stage. Once Nunn was safely on the stage, the security guard was rewarded with a big hug from Nunn.

Nunn’s the real deal and is still going strong after all these years. She sounds and looks great and at 50 she’s still a little hotty. Protection Status

Madison Hudson drops “Too Shy” on iTunes today!

Madison Hudson onstage at Thunder Valley Casino Resort

The 14 year old music phenom from Wheatland, California released her latest single “Too Shy,” on iTunes today(UPDATE – now available on Amazon). This is her 3rd single to be released

Hudson’s first single “I Don’t Care,” was released when she was only 13. She followed that up with “Tommy,” which has a great driving beat and allowed Hudson to showcase her vocals, punctuating the reason I believe this young lady is headed for the big time. You can also view “Tommy” on Youtube featuring some of her friends.

So what do we have to look forward to with “Too Shy?” It’s a catchy tune with a memorable chorus that will have listeners singing along after their first listen. There’s also some great guitar work interspersed throughout the song.

According to Hudson, “Too Shy” is really about her personality and how she’s always been the shy type.

It’s a great tune that tells a story of how she wants to let someone know how much she cares for them but she’s too shy. While the lyrics are pretty much what you’d expect from a 14 year old, her sound is not so typical and you can hear as you listen to each of her singles how she is quickly growing as an artist.

Go over to iTunes or Amazon and check it out!

Better yet, buy all three of her singles to show your support and then you can tell all your friends you heard her first!


The Next American Idol?

Brancombe Richmond and Madison Hudson

Madison Hudson is a name you may not know ““ yet.

I was first introduced to Hudson’s singing abilities at, of all places, a Doobie Brothers concert at Thunder Valley Casino Resort. Film star and singer, Branscombe Richmond brought Hudson up on stage to sing “Listen to the Music,” along with the Doobie Brothers.

Madison Hudson is a 14 year old country pop singer from the small town of Wheatland, located in rural Northern California.

Hudson and her parents realized she was a talented singer back when she was in the first grade, when she scored a solo portion of a class song.

It was soon after her first grade solo that Hudson started recording cover songs. Not wanting to simply do cover songs that others have created, Hudson teamed up with songwriter Amy Ayres. Hudson provides her thoughts and ideas and Amy puts pen to paper, while husband Rich Ayres puts it all together at River City Recording. Based on the couple of songs available on iTunes, I would say the process is working.

Hudson’s first single “I Don’t Care,” may have been a bit challenging, with several high notes interspersed throughout the song. However, by stretching her voice between the highs and lows, she pulled off a memorable performance.

Listening to Hudson’s second single “Tommy,” it’s quite obvious that she’s growing as a singer and an individual. “Tommy” has a great driving beat and allows Hudson to showcase her vocals, punctuating the reason I believe this young lady is headed for fame and fortune. You can also view the video (above) of “Tommy” on Youtube featuring some of her friends.

Her latest single “Too Shy” is due out on April 6th. Hudson says “Too Shy,” is really about her personality and how she’s always been shy. She’s going to have to get over that since she’s scheduled to perform at a number of local events throughout the summer.

I like refer to Hudson’s sound as Taylor Swift with attitude.

As Hudson matures with age and her vocals grow, so will her unique and individual sound, and someday, in the not so distant future, a throng of fans will be lined up for autographs, with the desire to sound just like Madison Hudson.

Is American Idol in her future?

Hey! You heard it hear first.

(To my readers who love to edit my work ““ I know here is misspelled ““ I’m envoking my poetic license)



Doobies Smokin’ at Thunder Valley

Doobie Brothers Concert Photography

Click for more photos - make sure to watch the slideshow!

The Doobie Brothers performed at Thunder Valley Casino and Resort to a sold out crowd Friday night.

For those of you who don’t know the Doobie Brothers, they are rock group who formed in the “’70s and were originally called Pud. Yes, I said Pud. One can only thank the heavens they decided to change their name to the Doobie Brothers. And yes, the name comes from that stuff referred to as pot. When smoked it’s also referred to as a joint, reefer, stick, roach, or a doobie.

Hey, can you spare a doobie, brother? I know. I crack myself up, too.

Opening with “Jesus is Just Alright,” the eight man band consisting of two drummers, three guitarists, bassist, saxophonist, and keyboardist, kicked it into high gear from the very start. During their performance there were a lot of guitar changes, sometimes several per song. The guitars included four that were set up on their own stands waiting for those magical fingers of Tom Johnston, Pat Simmons, John McFee, and John Cowan.

As the sun made its way down, all the phones and cameras in the crowd were reminiscent of those late-night concerts with everyone holding up their lighters, paying homage to the band. The band got plenty of coverage with all those lights shining in the night.

Towards the middle of the set, the band played a couple of songs off their new album, “World Gone Crazy,” including “Far From Home.” Up to this point, the majority of the crowd had been on their feet. “Far From Home” had everyone sitting down relaxing to a very mellow soulful sound that was both touching and inspiring. You can hear the bands maturity both emotionally and musically in the song as well as others from their new album. It’s obvious these guys are comfortable with who they are.

When they played “Back to the Chateau,” also from their new album, the audience was back on their feet, fists pumping and bodies shaking. The song is a reminder of the Doobie Brothers of yesterday, with a driving beat and pure rock “‘n’ roll. As I was watching the crowd’s reaction, I realized it was a great mix of young and old. There was a young, fully tattooed guy with his fists up in the air, shaking his body, while right next to him was an older, gray-haired guy with his fists up in the air, shaking his body. It’s obvious the music of the Doobie Brothers has transcended a generation – or two.

When the band started “Black Water,” the crowd immediately joined in. Everyone was singing, including bartenders, security personnel, and ushers. However, the band abruptly stopped and told security to back away from the stage and let people dance. Johnston kept on security until they moved away from the front of the stage and let people up to the front.

To anyone who didn’t make it out to the concert and thought to themselves, not interested in listening to some old boring southern style rock band, you made a huge mistake. Don’t make the same mistake next time.

The Doobies got their start in San Jose, California and have remained a Northern California band.  With founding members Tom Johnston and Pat Simmons, and 30 year-plus veterans John McFee and Michael Hossack, the Doobies have sold over 30 million albums and continue to tour bringing their high energy performance to as many people as possible. With their recent release of their new album “World Gone Crazy,” the bands offerings grow in unexpected and new directions. With various flavors of rock with just the right mix of jazz, blues and country there’s bound to be a number of hits from this album and they are sure to gain a fan or two.

Band members: Guy Allison (keyboard/vocals), John Cowan (Bass/vocals), Tom Johnston (vocals/guitar), John McFee (guitar, strings, vocals), Tony Pia (Drums), Marc Russo (sax), Pat Simmons (guitar/vocals), Ed Toth (drums).

Thunder Valley Casino and Resort has both an Amphitheater and an indoor stage bringing the area a wide variety of talent from around the world. Their outdoor concert series is in full swing with scheduled appearances by Huey Lewis, Gabriel Iglesias, Hall and Oates, Lynyrd Skynyrd and more.

Each Sunday from noon to 5p.m., you can now party poolside with music, drink specials, giveaways and contests. You can purchase tickets at Thunder Valley or online. Go checkout what a AAA four diamond rated hotel is really like!

Set list:Jesus is Just Alright
Rockin Down the Highway
Take Me in Your Arms
Clear as the Driven Snow
Far From Home
World Gone Crazy
Back to the Chateau
Takin it to the Streets
Don’t Start Me Talkin
Little Bitty Pretty One
Black Water
Long Train Runnin
China Grove
Without You
Listen to the Music

Train Hits Thunder Valley – News at 11

Pat Monahan - Click for more images

Grammy awarding winning Train,not to be confused with the series of connected railroad cars pulled or pushed by one or more locomotives, thundered into town on Sunday and performed to a sold out crowd (Get it thundered into town ““ Thunder Valley Casino and Resort). I know ““ I’m on a roll! OMG a roll, get it? Trains roll on wheels – On a roll – ok I’ll stop. BTW trains stop too! Seriously, they do. Otherwise they could end up hitting places like Thunder Valley.

Thunder Valley Casino and Resort really scored with signing on Train to perform at their outdoor amphitheater. Train just finished their Save Me San Francisco tour last month. Taking full advantage of their current success, they headed back out on the road with Maroon 5 and Gavin DeGraw for a summer tour. The band actually performed in Southern California Saturday with the others, drove by bus to Sacramento, then headed back down to Hollywood for a Monday night show with the rest of the group.

Train got off to a fashionably late start. Schedule to appear at 7:00 p.m., they didn’t take the stage until 7:35 p.m. which I’m sure had everything to do with the sun beating on the stage at that hour of the day. When they finally took the stage they were met with wild applause and deafening screams.

Guitarist Jimmy Stafford and drummer Scott Underwood took the stage to kick off the show. Already on stage were Bassist Hector Maldonado and keyboardist Jerry Becker. They were joined shortly after by lead singer/songwriter Pat Monahan singing, “Parachute”.

Monahan was nonstop throughout the concert. He was bouncing from one side of the stage to the other, the whole time delivering his uniquely expressive vocals. Monahan being a short and downright skinny dude – got a little assistance from a platform at the edge of the stage. He would walk up the platform where he stood taller while talking and performing.

As the evening progressed, I think Monahan may have changed his wardrobe more than Lady Gaga (if that’s even possible). He started out with a shirt and vest, then went down to the shirt, came back out with another vest, and at one point donned a red jacket similar to the one Michael Jackson wore for thriller.

Being the funny man that he is, Monahan started off joking about how women always show up to their concerts all dressed up, but the men simply wear t-shirts. After Monahan walked out among the crowd, he said every time he does there’s at least one ass grabber. 80 percent of the time it’s a dude, but today it was a 75 year old lady.

Fifteen lucky ladies who were dancing on the floor ended up dancing onstage. Monahan had them climb a makeshift ladder to get up on stage. One of the ladies actually started climbing with a drink in hand. She made it; the drink didn’t. Once they were all onstage, he instructed them to perform their most sexy dance as he sang “She’s on Fire”.

This was a high energy show with a lot of audience interaction. On top of being a great singer and songwriter, Monahan makes for a great front man, keeping the audience engaged the entire performance. When they ended their set with “Drops of Jupiter” it was obvious to me and everyone else that the concert had gone by way too quickly and we all wanted more.

Before the concert, I had an opportunity to talk with lead guitarist Jimmy Stafford about Train’s new venture Save Me, San Francisco Wine Co. They recently released their first line of wine, Drops of Jupiter Petite Sirah. According to Stafford, their Petite Sirah was featured as the wine of the month at Bonefish Grills across the US and is available at select stores and restaurants. The price tag ““ $9.99.

Stafford explained that the wine started out as a blend of various grapes from Livermore Valley’s Concannon Vineyards. Once they arrived at just the right blend it was determined that the wine had a high enough percentage to call it a Petite Sirah (75% of the varietal must be present in the wine).

Being the wino that he is, Stafford says there’s nothing like a good glass of red wine before a show. He also told me they would be coming out with a Chardonnay and Merlot in the near future, so keep an eye out for those.

After the concert, Caroline Logan approached the band asking if they could record a video for her girlfriend who was getting married to the song, “Marry Me.” She was visibly upset and crying, so Monahan grabbed the phone and started recording. He informed her friend that she was at the concert drunk and out of control. He was quite comical during the recording.

The song list for the show was:

If It’s Love
Meet Virginia
She’s on Fire
Calling All Angels
Latin routine of their various hits
Ramble On
Drive By (off their upcoming album)
Save me San Francisco
Marry Me
Hey Soul Sister
Drops of Jupiter

Go to Thunder Valley Casino and Resort for a complete listing of upcoming events.

Check out more Train concert photos

Train Rolls into Thunder Valley

Train will be rolling into Thunder Valley Casino and Resort and playing to a sold out crowd on Sunday July 23rd.

Train featuring lead singer and song writer Pat Monahan, guitarist Jimmy Stafford, and drummer Scott Underwood just recently completed their Save Me San Francisco tour in June. Taking full advantage of their current success they head out on July 22nd to kick off their summer tour with Maroon 5 and Gavin DeGraw.

Funny thing is, Train is taking a day in between Paso Robles and Los Angeles to head up to Thunder Valley Casino and Resort to play for Sacramento. Sacramentoans have gotta feel special! How cool is it to have Train, at Thunder Valley, for the only appearance of the summer by themselves. Thunder Valley Rocks!

Train’s Save Me San Fransisco tour celebrated their 5th studio album of the same name. Their single “Hey, Soul Sister” from the album was a major success, becoming their second top ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100. It is the most played song in Australian radio history, the most downloaded iTunes song of 2010, the best selling single in Columbia Records history, and has been certified by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) as quintuple platinum. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s probably a whole lotta of friggin copies. Actually it’s 5 (quintuple) x 2,000,000 copies sold, so that’s over 100,000,000 (million) copies!

I will be at Thunder Valley Resort and Casino in Lincoln, CA, just outside of Sacramento on Sunday to watch the big show. I will let you know how it all turns out. Who knows maybe Maroon 5 or Gavin DeGraw will make an appearance!

Come by Monday to take a look at the resulting concert photography and review! Looking forward to some great shots and listening to some great music.

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