Thursday, January 13, 2011

Show at Tioga Downs offers tribute to Garth Brooks

Tioga Downs Casino is proud to present a Tribute to Garth Brooks Starring the Greg Allan Band in two shows on January 15th. Show times are at 7pm and 9pm. Tickets are $10 and are available at the Tioga Downs Players Club or online at Ticketmaster.

This article about the Greg Allan Band appeared in the Elmira Star-Gazette:

Greg Allan was pretty pleased with how his music career was going. He was writing songs, did some recording in Nashville and landed a few gigs as a solo artist. He even opened shows for some national acts, including Lonestar and Gretchen Wilson.

But Stuart Green had other ideas. Green, a concert promoter and president of Magic City Productions, saw how the audiences responded to Allan's occasional covers of Garth Brooks songs and thought he had found the perfect niche for the Norwich resident.

"He kept trying to talk me into doing a (Brooks) tribute act," Allan said. "This went on for a couple of years."

Green, Allan slowly realized, was on to something. Tribute acts are increasingly popular, Allan said, especially with venues such as casinos, which have lots of dates to fill and need acts that draw solid audiences.

Most of Brooks' fans have never had a chance to see him in concert, Allan said, but tribute shows give them a chance to enjoy the music in a live atmosphere.

Brooks' country crossover songs made him a sensation in the late 1980s and '90s, with hits such as "Friends in Low Places," "The Dance" and "The Thunder Rolls" placing high on the country and pop charts. After selling more than 100 million records, Brooks largely retired from touring in 2001.

"Even when he was touring, his concerts would sell out so fast you'd never get a ticket," Allan said.

So, with Green's encouragement, Allan agreed to put together a Brooks tribute show.

"He showed me there was a need for it, so we decided to get it going," Allan said. "It took us some time to get the right musicians and get the band set. We've only been practicing together since August."

And they've only played one show together, a concert of Brooks' music at Mount Airy Casino in the Poconos. The show was well- received, Allan said, and has them eager for more. They'll perform at Tioga Downs Casino in Nichols on Saturday and at Turning Stone Casino in Verona on Feb. 26.

"It's working out really well," Allan said. "We're excited about it."