Event organizer Brian Gilliams put together a two band tribute evening with raffles, prizes and cool autographed baseballs from the legends of the game. Gilliam’s band Throw it Down headlined the show playing three sets of the best of modern day rocking country with a few throwbacks to the legends that paved the way including some southern fried rock and a little old school metal. The C.G.I Acoustic Trio opened the show with a unique set of songs some of which had never seen an acoustic chord played.
“I was inspired to host this event in memory of my brother, LCpl Kevin Creech of the United States Marine Corps. Kevin fought in Operation Iraqi Freedom, deployed to Fallujah, Iraq in 2005. Returning home from war he struggled with posttraumatic stress disorder and had many of his fellow USMC brothers take their own lives due to PTSD. I’ll be requesting a percentage of the funds raised be spent on vets with PTSD, dedicated in his name,” said Gilliams.
Key event contributors included Office Depot, Arby’s, Chick-Fil-A, Throw It Down band, Bocca Live, Smoothie King of Dayton, 700 WLW Radio, Frisch’s Big-Boy, 20Brix/Padrino, John and Chris Ritchie, Mark and Lisa Tesmer, Kyle and Erin Lemaster and Envi Nails.
All event proceeds were donated to the Wounded Warrior Project. Founded in 2003, WWP helps those that’ve returned from duty with the emotional, physical and mental recovery of returning from combat helping with readjustment back into civilian life and aid in finding them employment. Also aiding those injured with multi-range programs, therapies, counseling and peer support.
C.G.I. Acoustic is brought to you by bass, acoustics and the old fashion Cajon drum box. Songs you’ve never imagined unplugged, ‘go there’ from pop to rock to metal. No Slayer or Skynyrd but BOC was teased twice with the reaper. Playing stripped down is their Rock & Roll fantasy and they can rock out as good as any three piece acoustic band. We heard what Neil Young said about them, Keep on Rocking in the Free World. A rare Fleetwood Mac tune by Christine McVie was sung by Mr. Chris Lee. After the Doobies Listen to the Music, CGI told the bitter sweet story of Johnny and the Bad Company that made him famous.
Taking a turn to the early 80’s they gave Prince some of their extra time with bassist James Isbell showing some impressive range. They played a non-electronic/non-synth version of In the Air Tonight, oh Lord. They downsized to a three man acoustical jam for Signs then paid tribute to the purple one as the Purple Rain came down with a little sample from Journey done Faithfully. Come Sail Away with them to the march of the War Pigs. Generals gathered in their masses, just like acoustic guitars at country bashes. CGI Trio thanks you all!
Throw it Down’s first set opened with all country prepping the crowd for the upcoming till early morning party. According to Eric Paslay the first song ain’t about money, back-roads, come backs or drinking, it’s a Song About a Girl and it’s all Waylon’s fault. Josh Thompson and Jason Cassidy both agree on the crazy lifestyle of a country boy singer. That night in Milford, Dierks Bentley wasn’t the only one that wanted to have some fun with a cold beer and raise some hell up in here. Thomas Rhett’s trying to find the right girl that just does something to bring out the lyrics inside, and It Goes (a lil somethin’) Like This. Geddy Lee may have been called the working man but Mr. Haggard sang about those hard Workin’ Man’s Blues long before, paving the way. It’s a semi ride party on the hot tin roof cruising down the Florida Georgia Line on diesel and dust, kicking up the BMX smoke because that’s how they role. Kenny Chesney’s a self-proclaimed hillbilly rockstar out of control. From the smoky bars to an arena star, he’s Living in Fast Forward. Brantley Gilbert throws it back to the prohibition days. It’s Bottoms Up and the guns are serving more shots than the bar.
Lee Brice keeps the Parking Lot Party going before and long after the show. Could it be the country rocking cousin of heavy metal parking lot? Brice inspired a full house ‘holler swaller’ the good ole boys version of a social. Big & Rich share their concern with the conservation of ungulate mammals and encourage all to Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy). Luke Bryan enjoys his rattlesnake shake as much as any six stringed cowboy with the company of a beautiful Country Girl working her magic by his side. Tonight was Jason Aldeans kinda party, whether on stage, in any state or the back of a jacked up tailgate. The Church of Eric was in session, closing out their first set and he preached the all American gospel living that hard working blue collar dream with pride, How ‘Bout You?
Their second set included a mix of country, southern and hard rock and the appearance/contributions of several local musicians including Erick Daniels (AfterMidnight),
Charlie Grau (After Midnight), Alan Cyr (After Midnight), “Izzy” Isbell (CGI/Hollywood Tragedy), Lance Boyd (The Medicine Men). (The first time Gilliam’s ever played live at a bar, he sat in with blues legend H-Bomb Ferguson. Boyd was H-Bomb’s longtime guitarist, and he handed him that guitar to play that night). Chris Lee (CGI/Hollywood Tragedy), Josh Cupp (Pistol Holler), Steve Witherby, (Second Wind), Don Overberg (Slowhand) and Rick Grabencamp (Marsha Brady) also made appearances.
They started with a second helping from the Florida Georgia line. Cruis(‘n) down the road with the windows down and the open air on the path of life to anywhere. Blake Shelton told it straight about the Boys ‘Round Here, backwoods legit, dirt stained, hard work trained and not taking any lip. We got the word on drinkin’ and smokin’ from Bocephus talking about the Family Tradition. We boogied to some sweet southern rock done Skynyrd style singing about the southland. We did some welcome time at Folsom Prison with the man in black then took a trip to the Red House over yonder hanging with Jimi. We got a double but different dose of ZZ, first hearing Mr. Hill talk about them Down Home Blues, then got bearded with those crazy girls and the Sharp Dressed Man. Georgia Satellites talking about love, talking about sin. Don’t hand them no lines. We were christened with our first dose of ‘metal’ with the prince of darkness flying solo on the Crazy Train. The potion came with the antidote from the Old Crow Medicine Show traveling on their never failing Wagon Wheel. To close out the late evening set they tore into one of the South’s most sacred and time honored/respected anthems, fly high.
For all the cricket loving, moon shine jugging creatures of the night, they went a ‘lil’ past the midnight hour starting the evenings third and final set in honor of all the brave men and women that don’t have the luxury of sleeping, on beds, when they want to. Luke Bryan says it’s his kind of night and he’s not done yet. Second gospel according to Mr. Church says put a Drink in My Hand! Aw Naw, Chris Young’s getting it on at the convenience store till dawn again, the stuff you find behind the cooler curtain. Rains a good thing when it ‘warsh’s’ all your troubles down the drain, says Luke Bryan. Brooks & Dunn love to keep those beautiful cowgirls happy when they Play Something Country. It’s way past the witching hour but it’s the perfect time to Take a Lil Ride again with Jason Aldean, big wheels, dirt fields, mudden all day and night in cowboy boots and high heels. Take the Ride with Mr. Coe; it’s a strange one you know. Steve Earle tells those tales of what happened (and didn’t happen) back on Copperhead Road. Tim McGraw got sucked into the web of love and likes it, no he loves it! Jamey Johnson sees it all In Color from the hard times of the past, remember, respect and make those memories last. The midnight country mass is almost over with Mr. Church making one last appearance Creepin’ on that all night train. The Cadillac Three love the south, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Carolina and tonight’s honorary guest Milford, Ohio. Mr. Brooks finished up the evening with all his Friends in Low Places. Yee-ha!