I’ve gotten to know political figures, rock stars, professional athletes and the like. The one thing I’ve come to realize is they’re all normal people just like you and me. Some of them are incredible people, some are scumbags — and still others are incredible scumbags.
In the scumbag category is the governor of a nearby state whom I used to frequently run into in one of my favorite bars. He’d spend the evening sitting in a corner booth with hookers on his lap and then appear publicly with his wife the next day, acting as if he had done nothing wrong. Ironically, he utilized the same type of dishonest practices in his politics.
I won’t delve into the super scumbag category, except to say nothing surprises me anymore.
But in the incredible people category, I’d have to say the three men I met recently are at the top of the list.
My sister-in-law, Krystle, and I attended the a concert by The Frontmen at the Silver Legacy on Saturday. The group featured three of the most successful band leaders in country music: Tim Rushlow, formerly of Little Texas; Larry Stewart of Restless Heart; and Richie McDonald, formerly of Lonestar. Collectively, they have sold more than 30 million records and achieved more than 30 No. 1 hit singles.
Thanks to Restless Heart tour manager Doranne Kelly (also a really neat individual), Krystle and I had the opportunity to meet Rushlow, Stewart and McDonald before the concert. They were incredibly gracious and thanked us for coming to the show – not something that always happens. Some who achieve superstardom develop a “you’re lucky to be graced with my presence” attitude, but that was completely absent in these men.
The show was presented in an “unplugged” acoustic format in which the men shared the stories behind the songs and interacted with one another and the audience. They spoke of their families and how their children and wives have inspired their music.
Not once during the show did any of them brag about their own success, but they were quick to showcase each other’s accomplishments.
As McDonald began to play his hit “Amazed,” Stewart stopped him.
“I’d like to point out that this song was voted ‘song of the decade,’ ” Stewart said.
Sometime during the show, Krystle nudged me and said, “I think it is so cool that they are all wearing their wedding rings on stage.”
I hadn’t even noticed, but agreed it was telling of the type of men they are. Many performers remove their wedding rings before they go on stage, but these three are proud to have wives and children. I applaud someone who treasures their family.
At concert’s end, we met Doranne outside.
“I go to a lot of concerts,” I said, “but this one was by far the best I’ve seen in a long time.”
“Oh, you don’t have to feel obligated to say that,” she said. My reply: “I don’t.”
All three performers humbly thanked us again for coming and spent some additional time talking to Krystle and me.
Krystle told Rushlow she was impressed with the family values they all seem to uphold, and that prompted him to pull out his cell phone and show us pictures of his wife and children.
“She’s just so beautiful,” he said of his wife, “and they’re such good kids.”
The Frontmen haven’t let one bit of their success go to their heads, and that is not something you’ll see every day. Even if you are not a fan of country music, if you get a chance to see this group perform – do it!
Jessica Carner is a reporter at the Sparks Tribune. She can be reached by email at email@example.com.