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Country Throwdown Artists Team Up With USO for Free Show

(l-r): Heather Morgan, Ashley Ray, Troy Olsen, Dave Pahanish, Cory Branan and Brad Tursi performed at Ft. Carson in Colorado Springs, CO for a special 2010 Country Throwdown USO show. Photo by Beth Brinker.

(l-r): Heather Morgan, Ashley Ray, Troy Olsen, Dave Pahanish, Cory Branan and Brad Tursi performed at Ft. Carson in Colorado Springs, CO for a special 2010 Country Throwdown USO show. Photo by Beth Brinker.

The Country Throwdown Tour made a special stop at Ft. Carson military base in Colorado Springs, CO on Friday, June 11. Rather than just passing through town on the way, Country Throwdown producers teamed up with the USO to put on a free show for military families on the base, and even opened it up free to the public to give fans a preview of what to expect when the tour rolled into Denver the following Sunday.

The lineup included Bluebird Café artists Cory Branan, Heather Morgan, Troy Olsen, Dave Pahanish, Ashley Ray and Brad Tursi in addition to The Tyler Reeve Band.

While it was the first USO experience for some of the artists, a couple had previous experiences with the organization. Dave Pahanish told us all about his previous USO tours in South Korea and Afghanistan and Heather Morgan’s grandparents met at a USO show. No word yet on whether Heather may have met her future husband there, but you never know.

Salt Lake City, UT and Denver, CO were unique days on the Country Throwdown Tour – we were freezing! Despite the shock of it, we were all amazed at the beautiful mountains and awesome fans that stuck it out in the rain. Country music fans make plastic ponchos look good!

Our journey to Denver was an unexpected adventure. I live with the nine songbirds and Emily West on the Bluebird Café singer songwriter bus and we all woke up to realize we were broke down in Cheyenne, WY the morning of the show! Another bus came back to rescue us from the rain and a truck stop breakfast buffet that was as delicious as it sounds. The sassy ladies turned the back lounge into a dressing room and stepped off the bus and onstage without a hair out of place. We made it just in time!

Later that night a young couple got engaged during Eric Church’s set. Perhaps they can get married on the next stop in Little Big Town’s Little White Church!

We had a few days of travel and adventure on our days off.  In Grand Junction, CO, artist Cory Branan and a couple of us brave ladies decided to walk four miles from civilization back to our tour buses using only an iPhone and Cory’s inner compass. Surprisingly, we were not eaten by coyotes and sustained only minor injuries. A highlight of our journey was an impromptu photo shoot in front of a giant apple. Speaking of impromptu photo shoots, I also had the honor of photographing Heather Morgan as the sun was setting on the red rock cliffs in St. George, UT. Think Sara Evans‘ “Real Fine Place To Start” video. It was beautiful.

Click here to see my photos from the tour!

I’ve learned that some things can only happen on tour…like hanging out in Las Vegas by the pool with Montgomery Gentry. Somebody pinch me!

The Country Throwdown Tour is coming to an end next weekend with only three more shows in California. Fly, drive, or if you want to be like us, walk! It’s your last chance to see the unique dynamic of these talented folks on the first ever Country Throwdown tour. See you there?

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