SUNDANCE, UTAH (June, 2009)—Sundance proudly announces the return of The Bluebird Café for the seventh consecutive summer concert series featuring some of Nashville's renowned singers, songwriters and musicians. In the tradition of storytelling and independent voice, Sundance has partnered with Nashville's Bluebird Cafe to bring a taste of musical storytelling to Utah June 25th through July 24th. The actual Bluebird Café is renowned for starting the careers of virtually every major artist in the country music business today, including such major artists as Faith Hill and Garth Brooks, among many others.
This year's stellar line up includes:
June 25/26 - Fred Knobloch, Don Schlitz, Thom Schuyler
and Jellyroll Johnson
July 2/3 - Al Anderson, Bob DiPiero, Karyn Rochelle
July 9/10 - Ashley Cleveland, Karen Staley, Tricia Walker
July 16/17 - Corey Batten, Kent Blazy, Leslie Satcher
July 23/24 - Jessi Alexander, Gary Nicholson, Jon Randall
Sundance's Zoom restaurant in Park City will host the Bluebird performers on Thursday nights, June 25, July 2, July 9, July 16 and July 23 at 8:00p.m. The $90.00 ticket includes a 6:00p.m. pre-performance dinner (alcohol and gratuity excluded) and can be purchased by calling Zoom at 435-649-9108.
The Friday outdoor amphitheatre performances on the Sundance Eccles Stage will begin at 8:00p.m.on June 26, July 3, July 10, July 17, and July 24. $25 general admission tickets are available by contacting 866-734-4428 or sundanceresort.com/boxoffice.
For additional information on these and all Sundance Resort events please visit sundanceresort.com.
Bluebird Café Artist Bios:
June 25 and 26
J. Fred Knobloch
A Jackson, Mississippi native, J. Fred Knobloch left school in 1973 to play music full-time. He began performing solo at night clubs across the south and landed a few dates as a session guitarist at MALACO Studios in Jackson. While working for such R&B notables as Dorothy Moore, Eddie Floyd and Anita Ward, he met drummer James Stroud and pianist Carson Whitsett. It was Whitsett who encouraged his writing and performing and in 1980 it all paid off with "Why Not Me." Co-written with Whitsett and produced by James Stroud, J. Fred's performance reached #1 on the Billboard AC chart and #18 on the HOT 100.
On the heels of that success, Fred moved to Los Angeles and over the next two years had two Top Ten country singles; "Killin' Time," a duet with Susan Anton, and a re-make of the Chuck Berry classic, "Memphis." Sunny California was not home to him though and it wasn't long before the South started calling him and he moved to Nashville in January 1983. His list of cuts include artists such as Faith Hill, George Strait, Delbert McClinton, Etta James, Ray Charles, The Wilkinsons, Lorrie Morgan, John Anderson, Trisha Yearwood, Larry Stewart, Neal McCoy, Confederate Railroad, Sawyer Brown, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Kenny Rogers. J. Fred has also composed for TV and movies with songs appearing on Melrose Place and Beverly Hills 90210, as well as the feature films "Next of Kin" and "In Country."
Don Schlitz was born and raised in Durham, North Carolina. He briefly attended Duke University before moving to Nashville in 1973. His first recorded song, "The Gambler," won a Grammy and the Country Music Association's and the Academy of Country Music's Song of the Year. Don's songs have played major roles in the careers of Kenny Rogers, Randy Travis, The Judds, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Tanya Tucker, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Alison Krauss, and many other singers. His fifty Top Ten's have included 24 number one singles. He also wrote the music and lyrics for the Broadway musical "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer". Schlitz was the ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year for four consecutive years from 1988-91. He has won three CMA Song of the Year awards, two ACM Song of the Year awards, two Grammy's, and many more nominations. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Association's Hall of Fame in 1993. Schlitz lives, writes, and performs in Nashville, most often with Thom Schuyler, J. Fred Knobloch, and Jelly Roll Johnson.
Thom Schuyler has worn many hats during his Nashville career. The Pennsylvania native has been an A&R executive at RCA, an industry leader on boards of both NARAS and CMA, a solo recording artist for Capitol Records and a member of the MTM Records trios S-K-O (Schuyler, Knobloch & Overstreet) and SKB (Schuyler, Knobloch & Bickhardt). He is often credited as a founder of Nashville's popular "in the round" style of songwriter showcases. Schuyler's "Love Will Turn You Around" (Rogers, Stevens, Malloy) was ASCAP Country Song of the Year in 1982, American Music Awards Song of the year in 1983 and garnered a BMI 2 Million-Airplay Award. Schuyler also received an ASCAP Most Performed Award for his song "Hurricane" (Harris, Steagall) in 1980.
Other chart-toppers include: "I Fell In Love Again Last Night" (The Forester Sisters), "Years After You" (John Conlee), "Long Line Of Love" (Michael Martin Murphey), "Love Out Loud" (Earl Thomas Conley) "Are the Roses Not Blooming?" (The Judds) and "Child Support" (Barbara Mandrell). His song "Point of Light" was the theme song of President George H.W. Bush's volunteerism campaign, and "16th Avenue" is the unofficial anthem of Music Row's songwriting community.
Jelly Roll Johnson
A native of Lake Charles, Louisiana, Jelly Roll's career has spanned 35 years. He began playing harmonica at age 19 in Cleveland, Tennessee. After touring with several rock, blues and country groups, he settled in Knoxville to work with the Tommy Cole Band. From 1979 to 1989, Jelly Roll played concerts and club dates all across America with Warner Brothers recording artist Con Hunley. The group opened for acts such as Alabama, The Oak Ridge Boys, Loretta Lynn and Emmylou Harris.
Since moving to Nashville in 1984, he has recorded with Trisha Yearwood, Kenny Rogers, Etta James, Guy Clark, Lee Ann Womack, Travis Tritt, Shania Twain, The Judds, Alan Jackson and many others. His unique sound has been heard on over 50 gold and platinum albums, including three Grammy winning albums by Randy Travis. Jelly Roll has made numerous television appearances with various artists, including Faith Hill on "Late Show with David Letterman," Alan Jackson and Jamie O'Neal on "Tonight Show with Jay Leno," Trisha Yearwood and the Judds on the "Country Music Association Awards Show," and Con Hunley on "Austin City Limits" and "Soundstage." In 1998, Jelly Roll won the Nashville Music Award for Best Wind Instrumentalist. After receiving nominations for 1998 and 2000, he won the best Specialty Instrument Award for 2003 from the Academy of Country Music.
July 2nd and 3rd
Al Anderson grew up in Windsor, Conn., the son of a bass-playing father and piano-playing / teaching mother. After some 20 years writing and performing in the legendary rock band, NRBQ, Al began spending time in Nashville writing songs with writers such as John Hiatt. In 1993 – a year that saw Al voted one of the "Top 100 Guitarists of the 20th Century" by Musician magazine – Al and Carlene Carter wrote her smash single "Every Little Thing." From there, Al's songs have appeared frequently on the charts thanks to hits such as "All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down" by the Mavericks, "Big Deal" by LeAnn Rimes, "Next Big Thing" by Vince Gill, "Powerful Thing" by Trisha Yearwood, "Should've Asked Her Faster" by Ty England, "Somethin' In The Water" by Jeffrey Steele, "The Cowboy In Me" by Tim McGraw and "Unbelievable" by Diamond Rio. Recently, Anderson had two cuts on George Strait's latest record: "Give Me More Time" and "I Make Her Fall In Love With Me." He also had 13 cuts on Vince Gill's box set "These Days."
Bob DiPiero is one of Nashville's most consistent and prolific writers of hits, and he remains at the top of his profession more than two decades after hitting #1 on the charts for the first time in 1983. His long string of hits includes the Oak Ridge Boys' "American Made," Montgomery Gentry's "If You Ever Stop Loving Me," Vince Gill's "Worlds Apart," Shenandoah's "The Church On Cumberland Road," Ricochet's "Daddy's Money," George Strait "Blue Clear Sky," Brooks & Dunn's "You Can't Take the Honky Tonk Out Of the Girl," and Martina McBride's "There You Are." DiPiero has received three dozen BMI Country and Million-Air honors; CMA's Triple Play Award in 1995 and 1996, "Song of the Year" for "Worlds Apart" at the Country Radio Music Awards in 1997, and Songwriter of the Year awards in 1998 at the Nashville Music Awards and in 2000 from Sony/ATV Nashville.
It was Karyn Rochelle's mature voice that first snagged the attention of Nashville's songwriting community. Karyn lent her voice to literally hundreds of demos, including "I Hope You Dance" and "There You Are." In addition to her vocal ability her songwriting caught Nashville's attention. Nostalgic composition "Georgia Rain," found a kindred vocalist in Trisha Yearwood. The song earned Rochelle her first BMI Country Award in 2006. She co-penned Kellie Pickler's sassy single "Red High Heels" as well as "I Wonder" and "Don't You Know You're Beautiful." Other cuts include George Jones, Reba McEntire, Lee Ann Womack, Terri Clark, LeAnn Rimes, and Kenny G. Rochelle recently finished up time in the studio where she was working on her debut album.
July 9 and 10
Ashley Cleveland is that rare thing—a woman who sings like a woman. Yes, she can roar and wail with maximum soul wattage, but she can also be soft, tender, sly, wistful, open-hearted, melancholy, wise, seductive, wry—all those facets that make a vocalist deep and compelling. Beyond her own career, Cleveland is also one of Nashville's most in-demand session singers, having performed on over three hundred albums. A spokesperson for SHARE (Songs of Hope And Recovery for Everyone), she regularly performs at national events focused on addiction recovery. Cleveland recently won her third Grammy Award for her seventh album, "Before the Daylight's Shot."
Born in West Virginia and raised in western Pennsylvania, Karen moved to Nashville after graduating from West Virginia Wesleyan University. This award winning songwriter has had #1 hits by Faith Hill, Tracy Byrd, IIIrd Tyme Out and Michael Martin Murphy. Her songs have been recorded by both new country stars like Terri Clark, Trick Pony and Emma Jacob as well as icons like Reba, Dolly, Kathy Mattea, Conway Twitty, Tammy Wynette and George Jones. Her list of hits include "Take Me As I Am", "Let's Go To Vegas," "Every Time I Cry," "On A Night Like This," "Across The Miles," "Face In The Crowd," "Keep Walkin' On" and more. Three of Karen's songs, "Take Me As I Am," "Let's Go To Vegas" and "Keeper Of The Stars" have all achieved BMI's Millionaire Award (songs surpassing 1 million radio airplays) twice over...two songs are approaching 3 million plays. Karen won the ACM Song of The Year award with Tracy Byrd's classic "Keeper of the Stars" which was recently featured on CMT's 100 Greatest Country Love Songs of All Time TV special. Her songs have been nominated for both ACM, CMA, Dove, Grammy and IBMA Awards. As a backup singer and rhythm guitarist, Karen has toured with Faith Hill, Reba McEntire, Patty Loveless and Russ Taff. She has also sung on many of their recordings as well as being in demand as a demo singer.
Singer/songwriter Tricia Walker is a founding member of The Bluebird Café's now-legendary Women in the Round foursome. She's had songs recorded by artists such including Faith Hill, and a Grammy-winning single for Alison Krauss—"Looking in the Eyes of Love." Tricia's song, "What a Wonderful Day" has been adopted as an official anthem for cancer survivors throughout the world, and "The Heart of Dixie," a masterpiece in her catalog, has garnered national acclaim, being featured on the Oxford American magazine's annual Music Issue and CD. Tricia returned to her native Mississippi in 2006 to serve as director of the Delta Music Institute, a recording arts and music industry program at Delta State University.
July 16 and 17
It's a long road from Tucson, Arizona, to the streets of Nashville, but Cory Batten made that journey seem quick. A skillful writer/co writer, Batten has scored cuts on artists Chris Young, "Getting You Home," Crystal Shawanda, "You Can Let Go," Julie Roberts and Andy Griggs both recorded, "If You Had Called Yesterday," Blaine Larsen, "I Don't Know What She Said," Rhonda Vincent, "Is the Grass Any Bluer," and Brooks & Dunn, "Down By the River." Batten has consistently proven himself as both a songwriter and performer. An accomplished musician, Batten is proficient on both guitar and piano, and as a singer, he's mastered a four octave vocal range. Cory Batten is...A Tin Pan South must see, especially now that he has celebrated his first #1 song with "She Wouldn't Be Gone."
In 1982, sooner than expected, Gary Morris took "Headed for a Heartache" to number five on the charts. In the years that followed other artists, such as The Forrester Sisters, T. Graham Brown, Donna Fargo and Moe Bandy recorded Kent's tunes. In 1987, Kent was introduced to a new demo singer by Bob Doyle, then with ASCAP, soon to be the manager for this emerging talent, Garth Brooks. Garth became Kent's most requested demo singer and Bob Doyle also advised, "Garth writes a little bit too." The first song Garth and Kent penned together was "If Tomorrow Never Comes," which became the first number one song for both. Four more captured the number one slot: "Somewhere Other Than the Night," "Ain't Goin' Down ('Til the Sun Comes Up)," "It's Midnight Cinderella" and "She's Gonna Make It." Garth's newest CD, "The Lost Sessions," includes another Kent and Garth song, "For a Minute There," written for their fathers. Kent's songwriting continues with established writing partnerships, as well as developing partnerships with new writers and artists. Many of his crafted works continue to be recorded by artists such as Diamond Rio, Kenny Chesney, Terry Clark, Clay Walker, Patty Loveless, Julie Roberts, Andy Griggs and Blaine Larsen, a new recording artist on RCA.
After a Sunday night show at the world famous Bluebird Café, Leslie teamed with accomplished father and son songwriters, Max D. and Max T. Barnes. A writing contract with the then new publishing company Island Bound Music ensued. Satcher has had cuts by Joe Diffie, Sara Evans, Lee Ann Womack, Wade Hayes, Reba McEntire, Vince Gill, Pam Tillis, Willie Nelson and more. Most notably, Satcher penned Gretchen Wilson's chart -topping "Politically Uncorrect" and George Strait's "Troubadour." Leslie performs all over the United States and is often found doing benefits with friends Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Paul Overstreet, and others.
July 23 and 24
In 2001, a friend submitted Alexander's tape to the NARAS Grammy Showcase. Jessi not only won the contest, but also attracted the interest of MCA, which signed her to make her first solo album, "Honeysuckle Sweet." Mergers and regime changes are the norm, and Jessi found herself releasing "Honeysuckle Sweet" for Columbia. Finding her own style happened through songwriting, she says, and the results are evident in the 11 cuts of "Honeysuckle Sweet," each of which she at least co-wrote. Working with co-producer Gary Nicholson and writing with Nicholson, Benmont Tench (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), Gary Louris (The Jayhawks) and Darrell Scott, among others, Jessi found her musical self. What comes through in the recording is a new voice, strong and proud, unafraid to tap into the best of the past while forging its own sound.
"I think more than anything, this is the first chapter of a long history. I think success would be to know the songs have touched someone because they've been living in me for so long. Some are four, even six years old. To know the transfer has happened - that I've written songs and someone has heard them. That's success," she commented.
Gary Nicholson hails from Garland, Texas, where he played guitar in various bands beginning at the age of 14. After pursuing a degree in music at North Texas State University, Nicholson moved to LA, and began his recording career with two albums of his own songs. His band included current Warner Bros. Record's President Jim Ed Norman on piano, who would later invite Nicholson to Nashville to write songs for his publishing company. In 1983, Nicholson signed with Sony/ATV/Tree publishing and was a staff writer for 15 years. He has participated in songwriting trips to Romania, Bali, Ireland, and Cuba with other well-known songwriters as part of Music Bridges, a cultural exchange with musicians of those countries. His songs have appeared in the movies "Urban Cowboy," "Major League," "City of Hope," "Message in a Bottle," "Happy Texas," "Where the Heart Is," and "Serving Sara." He has earned 26 ASCAP awards as a songwriter and publisher, and has taught songwriting workshops for ASCAP and Berklee School of Music.
As soon as Jon graduated from high school in Dallas, he packed his songwriting bags for Music City. In the summer of 1988, he was a strolling musician in Nashville's Opryland theme park. Holly Dunn discovered him there and hired him for her band in 1989. Two years later he began performing with Emmylou Harris and her band the Nash Ramblers. From 1991-1996 Randall recorded for RCA, 1995 and released his debut album "What You Don't Know." Later, "By My Side," a duet with Lorrie Morgan became a hit and was intended for his second release, "Great Day to Be Alive." The disc never came out, and Randall was dropped by his label, although the title tune later became a smash hit for Travis Tritt. Randall has won a Grammy Award, Best Country Performance By A Duo or Group With Vocal, for Emmylou Harris and the Nash Ramblers at the Ryman, 1992; TNN/Music City News Award, Vocal Collaboration of the Year (with Lorrie Morgan), 1997; International Bluegrass Music Award (as contributor), Recorded Event of the Year, for Livin' Lovin' Losin': Songs of the Louvin Brothers, 2004; CMA Song of the Year Award (co-writer, with Bill Anderson) for "Whiskey Lullaby," 2005.
ABOUT SUNDANCE RESORT
Nestled at the base of 12,000-foot Mt. Timpanogos, the Sundance Resort is a 5,000-acre destination resort, committed to maintaining the balance of art, nature and recreation. Sundance offers diverse mountain recreation experiences and encourages the cultivation of art and self-expression, as well as the preservation of the land. Created by Robert Redford, Sundance is a haven for discovery and inspiration, featuring 100 well-appointed cottages and homes consistent with the Sundance brand. The Sundance family of companies includes the Sundance Resort, Sundance Institute, Sundance Channel, Sundance Cinemas and Sundance Catalog. For more information on Sundance, call 801-225-4107 or visit our website, www.sundanceresort.com.