It was the spring of 2004, and I had just completed my first year as guitar tech for Toby Keith. The whirlwind tour ran almost nonstop from July through February, taking off the months of March through June before firing back up again. So with a few months of downtime ahead of me, I was […]read more
Author Archive: Eric
Rhett Akins plays the Bone Collector Fan Club Party with Michael Waddell and Special Guests
Last weekend the Rhett Akins tour rode into Harrisburg, Pennsylvania for what would be one of our coolest outings in a while. Fans of Michael Waddell and his popular hunting show “Bone Collector” were about to be treated to a special night of fun and music for the show’s third annual fan club party, and […]read more
Rhett Akins Tour 2010 Wraps up with Two Shows in Texas
October 8, 2010 – Dallas, Texas We left Nashville Thursday at midnight, bound for two shows deep in the heart of oil country, the first being at the oversized dance hall, Cowboys Red River in Dallas, Texas. Our regular bassist, Clint Jacobs, absent on this particular run, I sat in the front lounge chatting with […]read more
Rhett Akins at Old Threshers in Shelbina; What’s a Little Mud When You’ve Got Friends with Tractors?
This past weekend was one of the last outings of the 2010 festival season for Rhett Akins and gang. Like many things in life, outdoor festivals are like a potluck dinner – you never know what’s under the lid of that next casserole dish. That goes for not just the event itself, but to the […]read more
Rhett Akins Plays Balloons, Tunes and BBQ Festival in Bowling Green Kentucky
Saturday night’s show at the U.S. Bank Balloons, Tunes and BBQ Festival in Bowling Green Kentucky turned out to be a huge success, but earlier in the day things were looking pretty bleak. All week long the weather forecast showed a strong possibility of severe weather for this area, as the remnants of Tropical Storm […]read more
My name is Eric Normand and welcome to ‘Country Concerts’!
I was talking to a college student a while back who said he was interested in becoming a tour manager. It turns out that one of his best friends is an aspiring young artist with a bright future, one who will likely need a tour manager someday. “What does a tour manager do?” he asked. […]read more
The Exceptional Bus Driving Skills of ‘Les the Wingnut’
It was a warm Wednesday night in July of 2007 when the Rhett Akins tour left Nashville, Tennessee, bound for Macon, Georgia, on what would be a four city run across the deep South. The bus, a still shiny and new looking 2005 Prevost XLII, wreaked of personality, while the driver, Les, was somewhat reserved […]read more
I Found My Bus Driver on Match.com
It was almost midnight on a Friday in late September, 2006 when I pulled up to the bus near Opryland in Nashville, TN. The Longbranch saloon in Raleigh, North Carolina would be the destination for Rhett Akins and band, and this ten hour – 540 mile trip would be a one-off. The driver, Ed, was […]read more
Tour Bus Drivers Are like a Box of Chocolates – You Never Know What You’re Gonna’ Get
My experiences with a brake happy novice bus driver this past weekend have prompted me to write a few articles on the do’s and don’ts of driving an entertainer coach. This article will be the first of a series I will be writing in the next couple of weeks. Working for Rhett Akins over the […]read more
BBQ on Lake Barkley with Rhett Akins and Band – Another Hot Summer Show!
It was about 10 AM on Saturday morning when I crawled out of my bunk to peek out the front lounge window of our tour bus. All week long the weather forecast showed a good chance of rain, and I thought our outside show was doomed when I viewed the rain coming down on the […]read more