Country at its best: Lonestar and Shawn Russell to appear in DickinsonCountry rock band Lonestar is celebrating its 20th year in the entertainment business with an anniversary tour and an appearance in Dickinson.
By: Linda Sailer, The Dickinson Press
Country rock band Lonestar is celebrating its 20th year in the entertainment business with an anniversary tour and an appearance in Dickinson.
The Roughrider Commission is headlining the band Friday, June 29, in the Dickinson Recreation Center.
“A lot of their hits have crossed on the country and rock charts,” Roughrider Commissioner Kevin Stockert said. “They’re a middle-of-the-road kind of music. I guess you’d call it country pop music.”
Lonestar features Richie McDonald, lead vocals and piano; Michael Britt, lead guitar, backing vocals; Keech Rainwater, drums and Dean Sams, keyboards, acoustic guitar and backing vocals.
“They’ve gotten back together after a three-year break,” Stockert said. “They put back a 20th anniversary tour and are working in a new album.”
Lonestar has amassed sales in excess of 10 million albums since their launch in 1995, and achieved 10 No. 1 country hits including “No News,” “Come Crying to Me” and “Amazed.”
“Twenty years ago, when we put this little band together to play in some bars and make a little money, I dreamed it pretty good,” Sams said in a press release. “But I never dreamed it quite this good.”
It hasn’t been the hit records that has kept Lonestar going, added McDonald.
“Honestly, through it all, the one thing that has kept Lonestar around is that we’re just four good old boys from Texas. No matter how much success we’ve had, it didn’t change us as people.”
The biggest accomplishment of Lonestar’s career has been the impact of their songs in the lives of others.
“When you can truly say that what you do can make a difference, that is really can impact somebody’s life in a positive way, that’s the greatest thing,” Sams said.
Oklahoma native Shawn Russell describes herself as a working musician who is constantly on tour.
She will appear during the Roughrider Days headliner concert June 29.
An independent artist, she is coming directly to Dickinson with her band.
“What’s great about it, is it’s family members,” she said. “My dad Keith Russel plays guitar and my uncle plays base. We have a drummer from Tulsa and keyboard player from Shawnee.”
Russell has performed in North Dakota in previous years and is looking forward to the Dickinson concert.
“I think it will be a lot of fun — being able to bring entertain for different listeners,” she said. “I love performing and can’t wait to bring my show to the good people of your state.”
Russell started singing in church at the age of 7.
“My dad took me under his wing, and said if I loved doing this, he would help me,” she said. “We practiced in the kitchen ever night. My dad and uncle always had bands and I learned to play the guitar at age 13.”
Russell describes her music as country rock, with an element of California country rock. She co-writes much of her music.
“I’ve done two albums and would say 98 percent were co-written by myself,” she said.
She recently released her latest single, “Sounds Like a Party,” which was released in Europe and Australia in 2011 and rose to No. 3 on the Hotdisc chart in three weeks.
“With this economy, music is the one thing people still appreciate,” she said. “No matter what, they always are excited to hear it. I love to be able to travel and new people and gain new fans.”
Stockert described Russell as an up-and-coming artist.
“Last week, she was signed by the William Morris Agency — the largest music agency in the business,” he said. “That’s opened a lot of doors for her.”
Russell takes the stage at 8:30 p.m. with Lonestar performing at approximately 9:30 p.m. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $35 and available at the Roughrider Commission office, Parks and Recreation office, Dickinson Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the Chamber of Commerce, Starboard in Prairie Hills Mall and both Dan’s Super Market locations.
The concert is intended for an audience of all ages, Roughrider Commissioner James Kramer said.
“We’ve seen mom and dad bring the kids,” he said. “I think Roughrider Days, in general, is dedicated as a family time — whether it’s family reunions or class reunions or people coming back to town.”
He appreciates the opportunity to serve on the commission.
“I like it because of those things — it’s a lot of work but a lot of fun working with the entertainers and musicians and seeing people come back to Dickinson.”
For more information, call the Roughrider Commission office at 701-483-7721.