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Bring your favorite chair or blanket! Plenty of food vendors will be on hand!
As part of the Young Country movement of the early ‘90s, Little Texas were responsible for shaking up the country music world with a new, energetic sound that fused the look and attitude of modern rock music with traditional country themes and styles, bringing a much appreciated bolt of life into the genre. For their efforts, country fans the world over richly rewarded the band, buying over 7 million of their albums, while critics showered them with 3 Grammy nominations plus honors from both the Academy of Country Music (Vocal Group Of The Year) and the Country Music Association (Album Of The Year).
Their first radio release in 1991, “Some Guys Have All The Love,” became a Top-10 hit, as did their next single, “First Time For Everything.” After the album First Time For Everything was released, five singles reached the top of the charts. The second album, Big Time, truly was the big time for Little Texas.
The sophomore release, which has sold more than three million copies to date, spawned three No. 1 singles -“What Might Have Been,” “God Blessed Texas” and “My Love” – and captured the group’s first CMT Award, a Billboard award, a Radio & Records award and their first Grammy nomination.
Early in their career, Little Texas was designated as an arena act. They first signed on as an opener on an arena tour headlined by Clint Black. Later, they traveled with Travis Tritt and Trisha Yearwood on a tour sponsored by Budweiser. After that, they were on their own, with Crown Royal, singing to packed arenas across the United States and Canada. During this time, the band played a part in Common Thread: The Songs of The Eagles, which later earned their first Country Music Association trophy for “Album Of The Year.”
The group’s cover of “Peaceful Easy Feeling” charted well; albeit, without an official release, and with that, Little Texas broke another record in country music history: three different songs on three different charts with three different lead singers, all at the same time. It is a feat that has never been repeated since by any band. The year 1994 also brought the lineup an Academy of Country Music Award for “Vocal Group of the Year.”
Little Texas released their Kick A Little album, and their first true arena-headlining tour began, supported by Keebler and newcomer Tim McGraw with opening act BlackHawk. The tour and the album were huge successes, highlighted by shows in Detroit and Minneapolis, where they sold out the arenas just days after their heroes, The Eagles, had played the same venues. The tour continued on through 1995, finishing as the fifth largest-grossing tour of the year, and over the course of ’94 and ’95, the band received two more Grammy nominations and released Little Texas–Greatest Hits.
After the self-titled Little Texas album was released, Little Texas, the players, needed a break following years of performing a relentless concert schedule. Thus, at the end of 1997, each member went his separate way, opting to spend time with family and friends, and work on individual projects.
“At that point it was time for our loved ones to have us back for a while. It all happened for a reason,” said bassist-vocalist Duane Propes.
In 2004, the multi-platinum band’s four original members—Propes, Porter Howell (lead vocals and lead guitar), Dwayne O’Brien (vocals and rhythm guitars) and Del Gray (drums) rebuilt the franchise with a completely new sound and they couldn’t have been happier to be back on tour and bringing fans what they do best.
“Everybody still has a ‘What Might Have Been,’ there’s always a ‘First Time For Everything,’ and folks still want to ‘Kick A Little,’ so we decided to take the party back on the road,” said Propes, referring to the group’s continued rotation at radio and generations of both old and new fans that keep the band playing their classics and putting out new music.
In summer 2007, Little Texas returned to the airwaves, country charts and music video playlists with an album titled Missing Years. In typical Little Texas style, the band broke the rules yet again, choosing to unleash two new albums within the span of a month, including the band’s first live album, The Very Best of Little Texas: Live & Loud.
The music the band has generated over the years is timeless, and has been featured on hundreds of television programs and sporting events including Good Morning America, American Idol, Don’t Forget The Words, America’s Got Talent & HBO’s “True Blood,” while “God Blessed Texas” has been the theme music for the Texas Ford Dealers commercials since 1998.
In 2015, Little Texas broke new sonic ground with the release of their 8th album, Young For A Long Time.
“The four of us appreciate each other and still have a ball on stage,” said drummer Gray of the band’s chemistry on stage after all this time. “There is a comfort level that happens to us when we play together that can only happen with 20-something years of experience.”
Buy tickets to all three shows for just $40!
Call or visit the Reif Center Box Office to take advantage of special 3-show pricing.
Bonfire Chamber Music Festival 2019 will enjoy its third season at the Myles Reif Performing Arts Center with three concerts at the end of July (Wednesday the 24th – Friday the 26th). This year’s chamber music festival will feature the artistry of acclaimed ARTARIA STRING QUARTET, as well as a premiere performance of the newly-formed 2 SISTERS TRIO (Kristina Gullion – violin, Monika Sutherland – cello, and Mary Ellen Haupert – piano).
In addition to festival evening concerts at the Reif, there are daily “Bonfire Extras” (free, family-friendly events around town), making Grand Rapids, Minnesota a vacation destination for all ages!
Wednesday, July 24, 2019 @ 7:00pm – Artaria String Quartet
Ludwig van Beethoven – String Quartet in D Major, Op. 18, No. 3
Ludwig van Beethoven – Große Fuge in B-flat Major, Op. 133
Ludwig van Beethoven – String Quartet in F Major, Op. 59, No. 1
Thursday, July 25, 2019 @ 7:00pm – Artaria String Quartet
Franz Joseph Haydn – String Quartet in F Major, Op. 77, No. 2
George Rochberg – String Quartet No. 3 (1971)
Friday, July 26, 2019 @ 7:00pm – 2 Sisters Trio
Piano Trio in G Minor, Op. 17 by Clara Schumann (1819 – 1896)
Piano Trio in B Major, Op. 8 by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Described as an “exceptional ensemble with impressive confidence in its interpretations” and “Minnesota’s foremost teaching and performing string quartet”, the Artaria String Quartet recently celebrated its 30 year of chamber music concerts. Winners of the 2004 McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians, and named 2013-14 Minnesota Public Radio Artists-in-Residence, Artaria was also featured on Twin Cities Public Television as part of the “Minnesota Originals” series.
Artaria’s refined and thoughtful playing has brought them to major venues throughout the United States and Europe, on national television and public radio stations, and at top summer festivals including the Banff Centre in Canada, Festival de L’Epau in France, and the Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, MA.
Artaria has earned numerous awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music America, and the Minnesota State Arts Board for excellence in performance and educational outreach. Directors of the Artaria Chamber Music School, a premiere weekly string chamber music program in Saint Paul; and Stringwood Chamber Music Festival, featuring the ASQ and renowned guest artists every June in Lanesboro, MN; they are founders of the Saint Paul String Quartet Competition, which showcases the nation’s top high school age string quartets each April.