Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Larkins and Collin Raye

The concert at Winona State University was amazing and honestly, that's an understatement. All proceeds went to benefit the Winona VFW. They do such great work for our veterans--please consider buying a ticket and coming out for next years show.

The afternoon started with dinner in the Warrior Room with the Larkins. Dinner was fabulous; chicken, beef, mashed potatoes with gravy, salads, veggies, and a bunch of desserts. The staff at Winona State did a great job.

From there it was down to the VIP section where TJ and I were introduced before the Larkins took the stage.

The Larkins are two sisters from the hills of Tennessee with awesome voices that blend very well together. Shaunna plays the violin with precision while sister Tina plays the Mandolin just as well. Mom and Dad Larkin both play in the band (banjo and guitar respectively) along with Shauna's husband on keyboard. They did a few of their own songs and then some covers including Charlie Daniel's "The Devil Went Down to Georgia."

I had the privilege of babysitting for Tina's baby while they were on stage and that wasn't even the highlight of the night.

Collin Raye was a complete showman. It was an intimate setting and he made each and every one of us feel like he was there just for us. He played his number one hits, some of his stuff that didn't climb that high but should have, and some of the stuff from his new album. He covered Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA" and had the entire audience on their feet. His whole set was very moving. I can't say enough about this man and his music--just was an honor getting to be in the crowd.

After Collin Raye left the stage, we were invited to a private meet-n-greet with him. He gladly had his picture taken and then spent almost half hour just chatting with us--kids, careers, music, and life in general. We got his autograph and then when it was time to leave, he took my hand and then leaned over to kiss my cheek. I will never forget that moment!! Simply amazing!

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