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Local News / Entertainment

Wednesday, 30 June, 2010 1:34 PM

Country star Joe Diffie to perform at the Bay City Fireworks festival

Photo credit: www.joediffie.com

Joe Diffie will perform at the Bay City Fireworks Fest on Thursday, July 1 at 8:30 p.m.
by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

BAY CITY, Mich. -- Joe Diffie is known for the hit songs "Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die)," "John Deere Greene" and "Pickup Man." He has released 35 singles and nine studio albums during his career. Diffie has just finished working on a new studio record, Homecoming: The Bluegrass Album, with a scheduled release date of Aug. 24. The country music star is currently signed to Rounder Records. Look for him to perform on Thursday, July 1 at Wenona Park during the Bay City Fireworks Festival. Admission is $5 and tickets are only available at the gate.

Will this be your first time performing in the mid-Michigan area?

"No, I've performed just about everywhere you can perform in Michigan," Diffie said in a e-mail interview. "Love it! It's been awhile since I've been in your area, though."

Can you give me some highlights of your new studio album, Homecoming: The Bluegrass Album?

"Hard to do without you hearing it and knowing what I'm talking about," he responded. "I guess the highlights for me were having such great musicians play on the record and having such stellar bluegrass vocalists, such as Rhonda Vincent, Bradley Walker, Alicia Nugent, Sonya Isaac, Carl Jackson, etc. sing harmony with me. It was also way cool to have a guest appearance by the Grascals play and sing on a song I wrote. Everyone did such a great job!"

What's the story behind your latest single? If there isn't one, the story behind your next single.

"Well, we're hoping to pull something off the Homecoming project," the country singer answered. "A song called 'Rt. 5, Box 109.' Just a wonderful song that I think would really fit on country radio. Just dripping with a nostalgia that I think everyone can relate to in some way."

You've had many hit songs over the years, but which is your favorite to perform?

"I like to sing 'Ships That Don't Come In,'" Diffie said. "It's such a powerful, poignant song and it gets such a good response everytime I do it. It's also fun to sing 'John Deere Green!'"

What can fans expect to see at your performance at the Bay City Fireworks?

"We like to have fun and play my music like you remember hearing on the radio and CD, (and cassette tape!)" he responded. "We do most of the hits I've had and we also do a couple of songs you haven't heard before. We have a couple of surprises, too!"

What was it like performing with Mark Chesnutt and Tracy Lawrence on the Rockin' Roadhouse Tour?

"I really enjoyed getting to know both of them," the country singer answered. "Great guys! It was interesting from my perspective to be around other artists for an extended period of time to see how they dealt with things, like not enough sleep, tired voices, employees, business, etc. Good experience."

Any plans to return to the metro Detroit area?

"I love playing in Michigan and have lots of fans and fond memories from playing there," Diffie said. "We'll be there as soon as someone decides to hire us! (hint, hint)."

What do you think of some of the talent coming out of American Idol and Nashville Star?

"I think there are some very talented singers," he responded. "My only issue would be that they are so inexperienced and their fan base is artificially created. They haven't paid their dues in most cases. Obviously, it doesn't preclude them from integrating into the music scene. Seems like only a few are 'sticking' though, due to the audience being created by hype."

What is your advice to people looking to break into the industry?

"A few years ago it might have been different than it is now," the country singer answered. "I guess surrounding yourself with good people is still important. Practice your craft as much as you can and have your ducks in a row. You don't get many chances at making a good first impression."

For more information on the Bay City Fireworks Festival, visit www.baycityfireworksfest.com.

For more information on Joe Diffie, visit www.joediffie.com.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Local country music group The Steel Wheels Band will open for Joe Diffie at 6:45 p.m.

 

 

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