One Week Til “the Gambler” Kenny Rogers Rolls into Town

Published: Fri 3 Aug 2012 01:28 PM
One Week Til “the Gambler” Kenny Rogers Rolls into Town
Friday, 10 August at the CBS Arena, Christchurch
Sunday, 12 August at the Vector Arena, Auckland
When Kenny Rogers recorded “The Gambler” in 1978 he would have had no idea that it would become the smash hit that would define his career and be named as the No.1 top country hit of all time.
Three decades later, Kenny Rogers is not only a legend in country music, but he’s a pop culture icon who’s never really been out of style, thanks to appearances on shows like ‘Reno 911,’ ‘How I Met Your Mother,’ ‘David Letterman,’ ‘Jimmy Fallon’ and — of course — the famous episode of ‘Seinfeld’ that featured Kramer’s love of Kenny Rogers Roasters’ chicken.
More impressively, even after 120 million records sold worldwide, 65 albums and 54 years in show business, at 73 years old, Rogers is not planning to slow down.
Following two sold out artist-in-residence concerts at the Country Music Hall of Fame, his world tour rolls on with more U.S. dates, a tour of Australia, New Zealand and Asia, complete with a new setlist, new stories and songs that the legend hasn’t included in his stage shows in many years.
Joining Kenny Rogers as his special guest will be New Zealand Icon, JOHN ROWLES stepping in to help out his long-time friend due to the unavailability of Glen Campbell who has had to withdraw due to illness. THE BOURBON COUNTY BROTHERS will open the shows with a tribute to Glen Campbell.
The Bourbon County Brothers are New Zealand country artists Brendon Ham, Chet O’Connell, Kevin Greaves, and JamesRAy. While each have their own successful careers, they have been talking for some time of performing together as a New Zealand country super group in the same manner as Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson performed together as THE HIGHWAYMEN; each great artists s in their own right but together they became something extra special. With the invitation to also step in as supports for Kenny Rogers now that Glen Campbell is no longer able to come to New Zealand on his farewell visit, there seemed no better reason than to finally come together as the BOURBON COUNTY BROTHERS to pay homage a man that has been an inspiration to them all throughout their lives.
The Brothers deservedly have dozens of credits between them and are well on the way to becoming the next generation of New Zealand country legends; Kevin, Brendon, and Chet already having been invited to showcase their talents on the Highway of Legends tour in 2008. The disappearance of commercial outlets for country music in New Zealand over the past decades has not stopped these four from developing legions of fans for their dynamic “rockin-country” music, eager to support them and keep the genre alive. While fans may not recognise the Bourbon County Brothers name just yet, they will immediately recognise the boys as soon as they hit the stage.
Tickets available at:
The Bourbon County Brothers
Brendon Ham describes himself as the “quintessential contemporary urban Honky-Tonker”. He and his Auckland based band, the Brendon Ham Band, are regarded as New Zealand’s best premier Honky-Tonk unit with their own brand of hard-hitting country music and a playlist comprising popular modern and classic country hits intertwined seamlessly with Brendon’s own compositions. Paving the way for a contemporary urban flavour, over many years Brendon and his band have deservedly earned the respect of a growing fan base across all ages. In 2011 the Brendon Ham Band was a grand finalist for a NZ Music Tui Award for Best Country Music Album for their “The Live Demo’s” album. They won the Variety Artists Top Group Award in 2008. Brendon was also a finalist for the Variety Artists Top Male Artist Award in 2008 and 2011, plus was nominated for a NZ Country Music Male Artist of the Year Award in 2010 and 2012.
Chet O’Connell is regarded as one of New Zealand’s finest guitarists. He started playing the guitar at the age of four, had his own band by the age of 12 years, been nominated for the New Zealand Country Music Entertainer of the Year award at 18yrs, started touring New Zealand at 19yrs and, in 1995 aged 20 years, released his first album, “Strat-A-Various” showcasing his guitar playing skills. Since then he has become one of New Zealand’s busiest musicians. Chet’s vast musical ability has enabled him to move around the music scene with ease working with many local performers and tours such as Midge Marsden, Hammond Gamble, Jackie Clarke, John Rowles, Shane Cortese in the Class of ’58 rock n’ roll show, plus international artists such as Cher, Tommy Emmanuel, Gerry and The Pacemaker’s, and Creedence Clearwater Revisted to name a few. His 1995 debut album earned Chet his first Top Musician award from the Variety Artists of New Zealand in recognition of an emerging talent. Chet received a follow up Top Musician award from the Variety Artists in 2011, this time recognizing the now accomplished performer with many credits to his name.
Kevin Greaves, one of 14 children born to top country recording icon, the late Rusty Greaves, is considered one of New Zealand’s most successful music exports. Since turning professional at the age of 14 he has performed in over 29 countries, including a 14 year stint in the very competitive country music capital, Nashville where he was the first New Zealand artist to gain entry to the Nashville Charts. He has performed at the world famous Grand Ole Opry, one of a handful of international artists to have done so, plus appeared with many of Nashville’s top artist’s such as The Dixie Chics, Kenny Loggins, Toby Keith, Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley, Lonestar, Rascal Flatts, Brooks & Dunn, Leanne Womack, Josh Turner, The Drifters, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Jerry Lee Lewis, Charley Pride, Hank Snow, The LeGarde Twins, Carl Perkins, and many more. He returned home in 2007 bringing with him a wealth of experiences and the Nashville country sound to share with New Zealand audiences.
JamesRAy is a true-to-life hard core American country boy hailing from Arkansas; a singer, songwriter and multi-award winning international entertainer that is considered one of the hottest young country rock artists in New Zealand. In his early 20’s in Nashville he’d been likened to and competing with the likes of Tim McGraw, Alan Jackson, George Strait, Trace Adkins, Billy Ray Cyrus, Brad Paisley, Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney and many more of Nashville's then rising super stars. During the mid-1990’s he toured the world as the back line crew of the legendary, Bob Dylan. When JamesRAy returned to Nashville at the end of the 90’s to resume his song writing career, fate in the form of a Kiwi girl stepped in to bring him to New Zealand in 2000, later to become a New Zealand citizen in 2005. In New Zealand, JamesRAy has found a unique niche for himself as an in-demand solo artist, often co-billing with such Kiwi icons as the Topp Twins, Gray Bartlett, Jodie Vaughn, Brendan Dugan, and the Warratahs. Sony Music has even included him on "NZ's Best Country Songs" compilation CD along with Bic Runga, Dave Dobbyn and many other great kiwi artists. He has won many New Zealand and international awards for his song writing and album releases.

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