The fourth annual Aaron Lewis & Friends Benefit Concert, held on June 27th, and the third annual Aaron Lewis Invitational Golf Tournament, held on August 9, raised a combined total of $250,000 for the It Takes a Community Foundation (ITAC), a charity founded by Lewis and his wife in 2010. One hundred percent of the proceeds were donated to the foundation, which helps to revive rural communities across New England by providing assistance that strengthens, enriches and preserves local towns. The Lewis’s foundation supports initiatives that improve community life — particularly the lives of children — within rural areas.
“It Takes a Community began when my wife and I joined with neighbors in our small adopted home town to keep the doors of our community school open after state funding was eliminated due to district consolation,” explains Aaron. “It started out as something very personal and close-to-home, but is morphing into something bigger. If we can make a difference in our little corner of Massachusetts, couldn’t we give additional worthy organizations in our area a similar leg up?”
Helping to reopen and fund the RH Conwell School as a private community education center was the catalyst and origin of the It Takes A Community Foundation. The school has also been the primary beneficiary ITAC’s fundraising efforts since 2010. However, over the past year the residents of Worthington successfully lobbied the state for special legislation that allows the tax dollars of their town to stay in Worthington rather than be pooled into the regional school system.
Vanessa Lewis was elated to announce to the attendees of the ITAC Charity Golf tournament that, “As of September 2015, our school will once again be a public elementary school for the children of Worthington, Mass.” She went on to explain, “This milestone of self-sufficiency will allow It Takes a Community to continue its growth goals and mission by increasing the number of organizations that receive grant money from the ITAC foundation.” For example, in addition to the R.H. Conwell School, this year’s concert and tournament proceeds are being shared among Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County, Greenfield Education Foundation and the YMCA of Hampshire County’s Camp Norwich Improvement Fund.
“We have seen first-hand the necessity for smaller communities to have a voice and to determine their own local needs and priorities,” said Aaron. “My wife and I are extremely happy and proud that the R.H. Conwell School is reopening as a public elementary school and we’re excited to expand the foundation and take on new projects.”
Joel Crouse celebrated the release of his new album EVEN THE RIVER RUNS with a live performance at the Grand Ole Opry on Tuesday night (8/19). The project, which highlights Crouse’s talent for songwriting, made its debut in the Top 10 on iTunes Top Albums Chart.
Crouse performed “Don’t Tell Me” and “Summer Love” for the live audience at the Opry. Fans were also able to get up close and personal with an autograph signing before the show and a LIVE YouTube chat backstage in Crouse’s dressing room, where he answered questions and performed an acoustic set before taking the stage.
Crouse’s lead single “Don’t Tell Me” is currently featured on SiriusXM’s The Highway and the talented newcomer is gearing up for the Night That You’ll Never Forget Tour with Love And Theft, which kicks off in October.
Following a sizzling performance on the TODAY Show’s Toyota® Concert Series this morning Hunter Hayes officially announced his fall headlining tour, the Tattoo (Your Name) Tour, set to kick off Thursday, Oct. 30th at the Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, Penn. Warner Music Nashville labelmates Dan + Shay and The Railers will join Hayes as supporting acts for the tour, which will be produced by AEG Live/The Messina Group.
During the TODAY Show performance, Hayes entertained the massive crowd gathered in the plaza with his current Top 30-and-climbing single “Tattoo” as well as the No. 1 smash hit “I Want Crazy” and moving fan favorite, “Invisible.” The multi-talented singer-songwriter surprised fans by sporting a fresh henna tattoo sleeve with emblems from each city on the Tattoo (Your Name) Tour, and three henna artists circulated the crowd inking fans with the tour logo. On television, viewers across the nation also got to see the first-ever localized commercial spots for a concert tour that are synced with the popular music identification service, Shazam.
“This tour is definitely going to be different than anything we’ve ever done before…and maybe anyone has ever done. It’s a lot of firsts not only for us, but even for the fans who have seen our show before,” said Hayes. “Every tour is all about the fans, but this one proves it. Not only are they going to be part of the show, they are the show…you’ll see what I mean!”
In anticipation of the tour announcement, Hayes met up with Dan + Shay and The Railers at Safe House Tattoo Studio in Nashville, Tenn. To see what happened when the three acts got together…
Country music entertainer Chris Janson will join the legendary Merle Haggard next week, for two sold-out shows at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium. Recently named by Rolling Stone Country as one of the “Top 10 Artist You Need To Know,” Janson will light up the stage as the opening act for Haggard during both shows on Monday (8/25) and Tuesday (8/26).
“It’s an incredible honor to play on this show and I’m humbled. It’s hard to even find words to describe…this is a career milestone for me and I’m beyond grateful,” shares Janson. “It’s just a few shorts steps from the back door of Tootsie’s where I had my first gig and a lot of hard work later to make it to the Ryman with Merle. A dream come true!”
Janson has garnered national attention for his energetic live performances, as he was noted by Billboard Magazine as “The New Wave of Country Music,” “Artist Worth Your Attention,” by The Boston Globe and “Best Live Show” by Rolling Stone Country. While playing more than 100 shows this past year, the singer has reached capacity crowds at multiple tour stops. This summer, he made his mark at major festivals such as Country Thunder, We Fest, Creekfest, as well as Deer Assic Classic, and has opened for some of the biggest names in music including Lynyrd Skynyrd, Florida Georgia Line, Hank Williams Jr. and Haggard. Since his Grand Ole Opry debut last year, Janson has been asked to perform on the coveted stage over 50 times.
The talented songwriter began writing at 18-years-old, and has scored cuts with notable artists such as Tim McGraw (“Truck Yeah”), Justin Moore (“Off The Beaten Path”) and Parmalee (“Back In The Day. The Perryville, Missouri, native first broke onto the Nashville music scene when he landed a year long, four show a day gig at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge on Nashville’s Lower Broadway.
For more information on Chris Janson and tour dates, visit chrisjanson.com.