Archives For Country Concerts

Q&A with LANCO

January 29, 2018

Q&A with LANCO


By: Kaki Tzagournis – CMA of OSU

It’s a great night to be at the Bluestone to see LANCO’s sold out show. Standing in line to go down to the meet and greet, the excitement is evident. As each group goes up, LANCO embraces them and is extremely personable and energetic. Several people have met the band before and recall on how far LANCO has come. I was fortunate enough to sit down with the Brandon Lancaster (lead singer), Chandler Baldwin (bass guitar), Jared Hampton (keyboards), Tripp Howell (drums), and Eric Steedly (guitar) and ask a couple of fun questions before the show.

The Bluestone: With your recent successes of Hallelujah Nights and selling out the Bluestone, what has been the most rewarding part?

Brandon Lancaster: I think the most rewarding part is nights like tonight where you actually get to show up and fans show up… To have a record out and have fans come out and actually sing along with us, that’s kind of what you dream of is everyone being in the same room at the same time and having these experiences. So the fact that we get to do this and our careers allow us to be here with all of these fans is probably the most rewarding part. 


TB: What song do you think is your favorite and was the most fun to make?

Eric Steedly: Oh man, there were so many… “Singin’ at the Stars” was fun to make because the process… starts out with such an interesting bed of this jam of music, it’s just real calm and then the beat is very intricate and blows up in the end, so it was just shaping that in the studio was a really fun process…

BL: For me it was “Born To Love You” just the difference between where it started as a demo… and where it ended and I think the process of how it starts subtle and then ends to this really loud rocking song…

TB: What is one-thing fans don’t know about you that would be surprising to them?

BL: Maybe that we’ve been together 5 years and that we’ve actually been touring together for 5 years. A lot of people are just now finding out who we are, but we about 3 years ago loaded up in a RV and have been touring full time ever since…

TB: You guys have a really interesting story; to other musicians what would your advice be for getting into the business?

BL: Move to a place where it’s happening… If you want to be in country music Nashville is probably the spot. Don’t try to follow any formula, just make music that is honest to you because at the end of the night you have to play it… Do what you love… and it will grab attention to people more than I think people realize.


Editor’s note: This interview was edited for length and clarity.



Dave Kennedy – These Days

November 9, 2017

Dave Kennedy – These Days

Dave Kennedy plays his original song “These Days” before sound check in Columbus, Ohio at the famous Bluestone.

Country Music has a new Star Tony Jackson

“Not so very long ago the traditionalists were proclaiming a breakthrough with Chris Stapleton leading the way, brushing aside all of that ‘nasty’ bro-country nonsense. William Michael Morgan was top of the country charts and Midland were signed by Big Machine Records. ‘Real’ country was back.

It didn’t quite work out however. Not yet anyway. Sam Hunt is fast becoming Nashville’s equivalent of Adele, dominating every chart that has the name ‘Country’ and Morgan’s follow-up single ‘Missing’ seems to have lived up to its title.

A debut album from a new artist who is as traditional as it gets seems again to be pushing against the tide.

Tony Jackson is a throwback to those days when country music was more easily defined. Days when the country charts were dominated by George Jones, Glen Campbell, Conway Twitty and Kenny Rogers. Days when you put your needle onto your vinyl and you anticipated that the sounds that you heard defended the integrity of country music.

Jackson’s musical route should not have led him along the highway to Nashville. The son of a naval vet who was reared on his Dad’s 80s R&B tunes by Earth Wind and Fire, Ashford and Simpson, Motown or his Mom’s gospel classics, a chance meeting with Randy Travis in Spain tuned his country music sat nav. Now that’s what you call destiny.

He followed his Dad into military service with the US Marines and excelled in finance as a bank executive. These were mere stepping stones to where he is today. He sang lead vocals for a non-country band ‘Half Brother Sid’ but this was a precursor to forming his own band ‘Jackson Ward’. His transformation to a bona fide country singer occurred when he recorded a tribute to George Jones after the legendary singer died in April 2013.

The tribute song ‘The Grand Tour’ was uploaded to Facebook and amassed 10 million views and 200,000 shares in three weeks. It led to a meeting with Donna Meade, widow of the late country star Jimmy Dean, her invitation to appear at the Old Dominion Barn Dance and a connection in Nashville with music veteran Jim Della Croce. This opened doors and a chance to record his own song ‘Drink By Drink’ that featured on the Country Breakout Chart.

A recording deal with DDS Entertainment followed and we now have the release of his 12 track debut album. It is an album that makes no compromises to the traditions of country music but features songs from both Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and Country Music Hall Of Fame Members.

Comparisons will obviously be made with Darius Rucker and Charley Pride but it’s probably best to rely on the wisdom of Willie Nelson who recently told Jackson that ‘we need more brothers in country music’. The album was recorded in the hallowed RCA Record Studio’s in Nashville and has contributions from Steve Cropper of Booker T fame and Vince Gill.

The songs range from the well known (Conway Twitty’s ‘It’s Only Make Believe’) to the lesser known (Lovin’ Spoonfulls’ ‘Nashville Cats’) but Jackson also excels as a songwriter in his own right.

‘Drink By Drink’ has a ‘Wagon Wheel’ feel and ‘Old Porch Swing’ shows maturity and awareness of the genre that traditionalists will lap up. The highlight for me, however, has to be ‘Do I Ever Cross Your Mind’. It’s a song that was written by Billy Burdette and Michael Smotherman rather than the Dolly Parton B-side. It’s a stunning country ballad that would have been top of our charts in the seventies when Kenny Rogers and Glen Campbell were dominant.

Listening to this album feels like the start of a journey. I’m not sure that Tony Jackson will attract too much interest from country radio but this probably won’t matter too much. Cream tends to rise to the top and the grapevine has many branches.

Frankly you won’t hear many better traditional country albums all year.”

Graham Wharton

Aaron Lewis at The Bluestone

2nd show added

Country Music artist, Aaron Lewis sells out The Bluestone July 28th and adds another show, July 27th 2017. Aaron Lewis has been playing the Bluestone located at 583 East Broad Street Columbus, Ohio for many years but has never sold it out in 12 hours. The second show was added very quickly after tickets sold in less than 24 hours. The second show for Aaron Lewis will be July 27th 2017 and tickets will go on sale Friday April 14th at 10 AM or on Eventbrite. (

The country singer announced last year that he would be embarking on a huge tour to promote his first album with Dot Records, Sinner, and set out a massive number of dates for fans to come check out the new music. But rather than quit right at the peak of winter, he decided to roll off of the spirit of his previous sold-out shows through the end of April.

His latest project, Sinner, released back in September, and Lewis contributed to nine of the 11 tracks on the album. Going for a more old-fashioned, rebellious vibe, he felt the need to channel his musical heroes to find the right influence throughout the record.

“I’d like to think that ‘Sinner’ is a newer take on classic, traditional Outlaw Country, Waylon and Merle and Willie, and Hank Jr. and Johnny Cash and all that stuff,” he said. “That was the music I heard a kid, and that’s the Country music that permeated my soul and stuck with me my whole life.” -


Aaron Lewis returns to Columbus

Aaron Lewis in Columbus, Ohio July 28th

Aaron Lewis will return to The Bluestone in Columbus, Ohio July 28th. Get your tickets fast, Aaron Lewis has sold out the Legendary Music Venue, The Bluestone several times and is expected to do it again. or at ( for tickets starting Friday April 7th at 10AM.

Grammy nominated and multi-platinum artist, Aaron Lewis,  released his sophomore solo album last year on Big Machine Label Group’s DOT Records and went straight to # 1.

The former Staind front man first made his country debut in 2011 with certified gold single “Country Boy” followed by the release of his first full length solo album, The Road. “Country Boy” featured Charlie Daniels on fiddle and a booming verse from George Jones as well as Chris Young striking a balance between classic and modern country.

Lewis’ introspective, personal and relatable lyrics are proof that country music is about lifestyle and values, not necessarily where you were raised. And as Country Weekly exclaims “…make no mistake, he is a truck-drivin’, gun-totin’ country boy.” Lewis attributes country as something that has always inspired him. Growing up in rural Vermont the singer/songwriter spent summers with his WWII veteran grandfather hunting and fishing. During that time, he developed a love for the land, the woods, and the simple life, which still permeates everything he does.

And there was one specific soundtrack to those times. “I was raised on Country music,” Lewis says. “My grandfather listened to Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, Hank Jr., and all of the greats.”
And those influences are evident on stage in his new songs and in Staind hits he often performs such as “Outside,” “It’s Been Awhile,” and “So Far Away.”


Bluestone Promotions, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Bluestone, located in downtown Columbus, Ohio, has decided to no longer be involved with the promotion of 92.3 WCOL Country Jam. Bluestone Promotions has been the promoter for the event, held at Legend Valley Music Center in Thornville, Ohio, since 2013. The event brought central Ohio some of country music’s biggest stars, including Tim McGraw, Chris Stapleton, Eric Church, Hank Williams Jr., Chris Young, and many more. The event has grown into a three day festival over Labor Day weekend bringing in excess  of 21,000 country music fans to the Buckeye Lake area during each event.


“The team at The Bluestone has decided to concentrate on their core business this summer”, said Hank Straty, President and General Manager of the Bluestone. “We are concentrating the resources, normally spent promoting Country Jam, on continuing to build central Ohio’s love of country music in the downtown area of Columbus. While we have enjoyed promoting 92.3 WCOL Country Jam and building it into what it has become to date, we feel that our energy is better spent this year in the downtown Columbus area” said Straty.


The Bluestone, located at 583 East Broad Street in Columbus, Ohio (, brings many national country music acts to the historic, converted church throughout the year. The Bluestone was nominated in 2016 by the Academy of Country Music for “Nightclub of the Year” and is considered one of the areas most unique venues for corporate and private events. The Bluestone has also received The Knot’s “Best of weddings Award” for the past 6 years.

While we are not sure what the plans are at WCOL for Country Jam it has been our sincere pleasure working with such professionals to help build this event into the “Legend” that it has become. Bluestone Promotions has truly enjoyed our relationship with WCOL and all of our partners at Country Jam for the past 4 years and we are excited to see what the future holds for this event.

Backstage The Bluestone - Columbus Ohio

The Bluestone Columbus, Ohio

Chris Janson The Bluestone - Columbus Ohio

Chris Janson to headline Wcol Winter Wonder Jam at The Bluestone Dec 16th 2016

Chris Janson will rock The Bluestone Stage with special guest High Valley and LanCo December 16 2016. Ticket will go on sale for Chris Janson November 23 at 10 AM. Visit for event info and tickets. This will be Chris Jansons’ First visit to the Bluestone stage.

NASHVILLE, TN – (June 30, 2016) – With his heartfelt single “Holdin’ Her” impacting the sales and singles charts, singer-songwriter Chris Janson continues to add milestones to his career.

Last week he made a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame in downtown Nashville to get a personal tour of the ACM Gallery exhibit which contains an entire case filled with Janson items. Each piece of memorabilia played a part in his rise to stardom including boots worn since his early days when he first arrived in Nashville and played shows at Tootsie’s, a Bocephus T shirt, his signature Fender harmonica and a guitar he paid $25 for and calls “the best investment I ever made.” It’s a vintage Yamaha guitar signed by Merle Haggard that Janson wrote all of the songs for his debut album “Buy Me A Boat” on and every song he’s had recorded by other artists.

“Being part of this exhibit is a top three musical achievement of my career,” said Janson. “It’s right up there with playing on the Grand Ole Opry and having my songs played on country radio.”

Janson is also the latest celebrity face to don the walls of Nashville’s famed restaurant, the Palm. Janson’s caricature is featured amongst a variety of other musicians, actors, politicians, athletes, executives, regular customers and people of note, as well as classic cartoons. “I eat there a lot,” says Janson. “My go-to is the Power Lunch — Steak, onion strings and a wedge salad. Oh and cheesecake plain.”

In addition to his current single “Holdin” Her,” look for more Janson penned songs on the charts soon as Tim McGraw just announced his next single “That’s How I’ll Always Be” and earlier this year, LoCash’s single “I Love This Life.”

Tracy Lawrence Image

WCOL, Miller Lite, and The Bluestone are proud to present the first show in the Spring 2014 installment of the WCOL Miller Lite Concert Series: Tracy Lawrence, on 2/21/14. Lawrence’s career in country music includes twenty-two songs on the Billboard top ten charts with eighteen number-one singles, and over thirteen million albums sold. With chart-topping hits such as “Paint Me A Birmingham,” “Time Marches On,” “Alibis,” and “Find Out Who Your Friends Are,” the Multi-platinum CMA and ACM award winning recording artist has helped shape the sound of Country music for two decades, recently celebrating twenty years in music. Lawrence’s newest studio album, Headlights, Taillights And Radios was released in August 2013. Don’t miss Tracy’s first time performing at The Bluestone!

Check out an interview with Tracy here, and stream his album, which Billboard calls “The album of his career,” Headlights, Taillights And Radios, below.

Show information and tickets available HERE




We are giving away FIVE PAIRS of Meet & Greet passes for next Friday’s show. After you purchase your tickets (HERE), you can enter your name and e-mail below for a chance to win!

*Meet & Greet Passes do not include admission. You must pre-purchase tickets to be eligible to win.

*Winners will be notified via e-mail on Thursday, Feb. 20th at noon

Good luck!

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WOW. It’s so amazing to see music lovers pack The Bluestone, and make the artists feel welcome and at home. The fans really make this place special–and the performers’ agree! Just take a look at Brothers Osborne and David Nail’s comments about last night’s WCOL Miller Lite Concert Series show! We wanted to say THANK YOU, FANS, for making The Bluestone the awesome place that it is! We can’t wait to see you again.



"Thanks for the big, loud love, Columbus!"-Brothers Osborne

“Thanks for the big, loud love, Columbus!”-Brothers Osborne

Brothers Osborne


David Nail

David Nail

Whatever She's Got-David Nail

Whatever She’s Got-David Nail

On Thursday, August 15th, The Bluestone will proudly present Drake White and The Big Fire.

Drake White is a truly talented artist who has been gaining industry attention because of his energetic performances, honest, friendly demeanor, and serious songwriting skills. The Alabama native has toured with Willie Nelson on the Country Throwdown tour and opened for Eric Church, Kid Rock, Alan Jackson, Little Big Town, Aaron Lewis, Toby Keith, and others.

Following White’s performance opening for Toby Keith in Cleveland, and shortly after his debut performance at The Grand Ole Opry, the Bluestone staff was lucky enough to sit down and have a conversation about his music, and why he looks forward to being in Columbus next week! We are genuinely excited to host this talented singer/songwriter at “The Other Church” of Country Music.

Click the picture below to see a short video shout-out from Drake, then read the interview! Or, watch the video by clicking HERE






Great set opening for Toby Keith! We are so excited for your headlining performance at The Bluestone! You have performed at The Bluestone before—you have opened for David Nail and Blackberry Smoke. How was your experience playing at this venue in the past?

Drake White:

It’s such a great venue. We love going out to places that hold a little bit of magic to them, you know, it’s an old church and I grew singing in church, and the soul and the gospel that we sing in our type of music–it’s just very cool to sing in a place like that because there’s a spirit there. There’s that magic.


I’d like to ask about your style of performance: It’s very energetic, there’s a lot of crowd-involvement, and you and your band seem to be having a genuinely good time performing on stage. That is very refreshing to see–such a positive presence on stage. Could you speak a little bit about your performance style?

Drake White:

I think that when you wake up in the morning, you have a choice whether to be happy or sad…your attitude is your choice. My band and I are best friends, and we feed off of each other’s energy—we’re blessed to be doing this. I’ve worked 9-5 jobs, I’ve worked really hard doing other things, and this is what I have been put on this earth to do, and I appreciate it every day. The performance comes from genuine appreciation of being able to do this.


Speaking of your band dynamic, how did you all meet?

Drake White:

It was always my dream to move to Nashville, but my dream was not to be a “solo guy”, it was to form a band and have a camaraderie of brothers around me. So, that’s what I set out to do. We met through Nashville. The drummer (Adam Schwind) is from Texas, the bass player (Philip Pence) is from Gainsville Georgia, the Fiddle Player (Samuel Damewood) is from Knoxville, Tenn, and the guitar player (Chris Condon) is from Jupiter, Florida. It’s just meant to be for us. I got a great group of guys and they made my dreams come true as far as finding that band I always wanted.

The Bluestone:

It’s so cool that you all come from different places and are able to create a unique blend of sounds from a variety of genres. I can hear blues, rock, country, folk, and bluegrass influences in your music. How would you describe your influences?

Drake White:

I grew up in a small town in a musical family where they introduced me to rock n roll, country, soul, blues…all kinds of influences. I love country music I LOVE IT, it’s definitely my favorite type of music, but I like everything. I never set out to be necessarily a country music artist, I just write songs and whatever comes out is what it is. Growing up in Northeast Alabama, the Appalachian mountains fall down in the top half of that state where there’s a lot of Appalachian bluegrass influence, and then there’s a lot of funk and soul that comes from the Motown area of Muscle Shoals. I also grew up around a lot around 90’s country, so I’m influenced by that as well. I literally am a fan of MUSIC; I like it all.

The Bluestone:

We love your single, “The Simple Life,” and tonight you played another great song: “Fifty Years Too Late.” What inspired you to write “Fifty Years Too Late?”

Drake White:

My grandfather was a southern Baptist preacher. He was a great hunter and fisherman and he taught me to do the same, and to appreciate the spirit of nature. “You were born fifty years too late,” was something he said to me at a very young age. He died when I was 15, but those words stuck with me, and my buddy, Leith Laughton from Mississippi co-wrote that song, and he’s an old soul as well. The song was just supposed to happen. We didn’t try to write that song, the song wrote us.


Well, we can’t wait to hear that one, and the rest of your set, live at The Bluestone on August 15th!

Drake White:

We’re really looking forward to getting in that place and it being our show. We owe a lot to  Blackberry Smoke and David Nail–those guys really introduced us to Columbus and having a great time there. We can’t wait to go back and play at The Bluestone. We’ve got a lot of fans that have become friends, who we now know by name, and look forward to hanging out with!


See what Drake’s been up to with his band before the show by visiting his website:, and facebook page:


Get your tickets now!