Honky Tonk Tailgate Party heads to Ada's McSwain Theatre

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Honky Tonk Tailgate Party, headed up by Mark Wills, is coming to McSwain Theatre July 25. Wills has invited Trent Willmon to return and said he is thrilled to add Jeff Bates to the show.

"I am so excited to get back on the road and start performing with my buds again," Wills said. "The Honky Tonk Tailgate Party really is a party on stage and I just enjoy sharing it with some good guys. I was happy when Trent agreed to come back on the road and then to add in Jeff Bates makes it ever cooler."

Bates said, "It's truly an honor to join Mark and Trent on this year's line-up. I can't think of two better guys to share the road and stage with."

"Not only do we have a great line-up of artists, but we have the most talented musicians in our band to back us up," said Willmon. "I'm grateful to be asked back and look forward to hitting the road with Mark and Jeff."

Following the overwhelming success of last year's Honky Tonk Tailgate Party, Buddy Lee Attractions is to be the exclusive agent for the tour in 2009.

"Last year's shows were a great success because the fans were thrilled to hear and see multiple country artists on one stage. In these challenging economic times, where everyone is looking for value for their entertainment dollar, this show really delivers a wonderful night of country music," Agent Jon Folk of Buddy Lee Attractions said.

The 90-minute party is a fast-paced show with one band and no set changes.

Wills, Willmon and Bates will each play their most popular hits and close the show by performing a memorable ensemble finale together.

Headliner, Wills, is a multi-platinum selling country music star with eight top 10 hits including "Don't Laugh at Me" and "Wish You Were Here." "Don't Laugh at Me" was nominated by the Country Music Association for Single, Song, and Video of the Year.

Wills won the Academy of Country Music's award for Top New Male Vocalist. In 2002, his single "19 Somethin'" spent six weeks at No. 1 and was Billboard's top country hit of the year. He just recently released his latest album, "Familiar Stranger," on Tenacity Records.

Wills is the host of GAC's hit television series "The Year" and is also involved with the Children's Miracle Network, Taser Foundation, and has performed for our military overseas for the past five years. www.markwills.com

Bates, a native of Mississippi, signed with RCA Records in 2002. The association yielded two critically acclaimed albums- "Rainbow Man" in 2003 and "Leave the Light On" in 2006-plus seven hit singles including "The Love Song," "Long, Slow Kisses," and "One Second Chance."

In 2008, Bates released his first album for Black River Music Group, the self-titled "Jeff Bates." As a songwriter, he has also enjoyed cuts by Montgomery Gentry, Tracy Lawrence, and most recently, on Jamey Johnson's Grammy-nominated album.

Bates' tumultuous life story has been bared honestly for the media and country music fans alike. Clearly, his music and live performances celebrate not only the second chance that he has personally experienced, but also the things that are most important to him: strong family ties, the love of a good woman, appreciation for the working man, and unfailing religious beliefs.

Willmon first captured country music audiences with songs like "Beer Man," "Dixie Rose Deluxe's" and "Home Sweet Holiday Inn."

His sophomore album, "A Little More Livin,'" produced his first Top 25 single, "On Again Tonight." Trent also helped co-write Montgomery Gentry's #1 hit "Back When I Knew It All."

Willmon is now on fire with the release of his third album, "Broken In." Willmon has often been one to take advantage of any new opportunities to come his way. The first was as the host of CMT's (Country Music Television) reality show competition, "America's Top Cowboy."

He is also starring as a lead role in the family friendly Western, "Palo Pinto Gold."

Willmon has recently published and released his own cookbook as well. It is entitled, "The Beer Man Cookbook" and features over 150 recipes based on grilling and smoking.

He is also currently filming a live sold out concert DVD at Gilley's in Dallas.

For up-to-date information on the tour, please visit www.thehonkytonktailgateparty.com.