MSU Riley Center offers spring/summer concerts

February 11, 2013

The MSU Riley Center’s Spring/Summer concert series is poised to delight ticketholders of all musical preferences when it kicks off Friday, April 12.

Aaron Neville
April 12, 7:30 p.m.
Pre-Show, 6 p.m.
From angelic falsetto to traditional Motown harmonizing, Aaron Neville’s voice is instantly recognizable. Equally impressive is his five-decades-plus career of hits and albums. With this Grammy-award winner’s astounding range and obvious star power, it should be no surprise that Neville has released yet another album—“My True Story,” which debuted January 2013. It features his distinctive interpretations of well-known doo-wop hits, such as “Tears on My Pillow” and “Under the Boardwalk.”

Boz Scaggs
April 19, 7:30 p.m.
Raised in Texas with an abiding respect for a wide spectrum of American roots music, Scaggs has used his unique and creative voice to create a trademark sound which combines R&B and blues with jazz and popular music. With an extensive and distinctive career that has expanded over time and garnered many accolades, Scaggs continues to explore new means of musical expression.

April 26, 7:30 p.m.
Pre-Show, 6 p.m.
Ten albums and 17 years after making her musical presence known, singer/songwriter Jewel has reached an important milestone—her first Greatest Hits album, released in February 2013. And she has certainly crafted some hits, with such favorites as “Who Will Save Your Soul” and “You Were Meant for Me” still enjoying radio airtime. Her versatility and thoughtful songwriting have garnered her recognition among indie rock, pop, and country fans alike.

The Blues Brothers® Revue
May 9, 7:30 p.m.
They came to life in a 1970s Saturday Night Live skit, made the leap to the big screen with a cult classic movie, and even produced a sizable list of albums. The characters of Jake Blues™ and brother Elwood Blues™ live on through “The Official Blues Brothers® Revue,” a touring show which features dancing, comedy, and an eight-piece band. Wayne Catania and Kieron Lafferty assume the roles of the suit-clad, blues-singing brothers from Chicago, enjoying rave reviews.

The Time Jumpers featuring Vince Gill, Dawn Sears, Kenny Sears, and Ranger Doug Green
May 17, 7:30 p.m.
You may hear Vince Gill’s voice more than the others, but don’t be fooled—The Time Jumpers aren’t your ordinary backup band. “Superpickers” is one word used to describe this extraordinarily talented group of Nashville studio musicians who began picking together in the 1990s. Three fiddlers, an accordion and piano player, an upright bass, numerous guitar players, several who sing—and every one is quite possibly the paramount expert on their instrument in their industry, playing at some time with most every hitmaker on the Billboard country chart.

Keb’ Mo’
June 1, 7:30 p.m.
Pre-Show, 6 p.m.
His first album debuted in 1980, but singer-songwriter and guitar player Kevin Moore was working the blues scene long before then. In the three decades since that first album, Kevin Moore became Keb’ Mo’, released 11 more albums (the most recent one in 2011), and won three Grammy awards. Born in South Los Angeles to parents from the South, Keb’ Mo’ produces music described as “a living link to the seminal Delta blues that traveled up the Mississippi River.”

Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds
June 7, 7:30 p.m.
Pre-Show, 6 p.m.
There’s hardly a facet of the music industry where Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds has not found success. His ten Grammys highlight Edmonds’ years of work not only as a singer but as a songwriter and a producer as well. “Every Time I Close My Eyes” is one of his own chart-toppers. The hits he’s written for others are instantly recognizable, including Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road” and Whitney Houston’s “I’m Your Baby Tonight.”

Don McLean
June 22, 7:30 p.m.
Pre-Show, 6 p.m.
There are plenty of iconic songs connected to folk singer/songwriter Don McLean, but two stand out. “American Pie”—the ballad telling of “the day the music died”—may well be the song he is most known for penning and performing. Another hit follows his name as well, but he didn’t write it and never performed it. “Killing Me Softly with His Song” was written about him and eventually sung by Roberta Flack as well as The Fugees. He was prolific during the 1970s but has recorded consistently for three decades, producing more than 30 albums.

The Heart Behind the Music featuring Kim Carnes, John Ford Coley, Gene Cotton, Lenny LeBlanc, with special guest Greg Barnhill
July 16, 7:30 p.m.
Showcasing some of the world’s best singers and songwriters, “The Heart Behind the Music” tour offers a chance to hear talented musicians talk about the meaning behind their hit songs while also treating ticketholders to outstanding performances. The tour’s Meridian stop includes Kim Carnes, who won a Grammy in the 1980s for singing “Bette Davis Eyes.” She has also written numerous hits for Barbra Streisand, Kenny Rogers, and many other well-known singers. Joining Carnes is John Ford Coley, half the Grammy-nominated duo England Dan & John Ford Coley and best known for the hit “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight.” The concert also highlights Gene Cotton, who has 15 albums to his credit and counts “Before My Heart Finds Out” and “Like a Sunday in Salem” among his top-rated singles. Versatile pop and country songwriter Lenny LeBlanc joins the group as well, known for his 1970s hit ballad, “Falling.” Since a dramatic religious conversion, LeBlanc has become a popular Christian artist, his credits including “Above All” and “There Is None Like You.” Special guest Greg Barnhill is also featured during the Meridian show. A distant relative of Mississippi’s “Singing Brakeman” Jimmie Rodgers, Barnhill has penned such hits as “House of Love” for Amy Grant and Vince Gill as well as “Walkaway Joe,” a duet by Trisha Yearwood and Don Henley.

The Hit Men: The ORIGINAL Stars of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
August 2, 7:30 p.m.
Ever heard of Lee Shapiro or Gerry Polci? How about Jimmy Ryan, Larry Gates, or Russ Velazquez? Perhaps, but you certainly know the groups and artists they’ve sung with: Carly Simon, Jim Croce, Tommy James & The Shondells, Barry Manilow, and Elton John, to name a few. After being part of the mega-hit acts of the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, they combined their talents in 2010, and now they tour the country, singing many of the hits that launched their careers. If you liked the hit play Jersey Boys, then this concert is a must-see for you.

Tickets and information are available by phone or in person at the MSU Riley Center box office Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and one hour before showtime on the day of a show. The telephone number is 601-696-2200, and the address is 2200 Fifth Street in downtown Meridian.