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Old 05-31-2019, 02:06 PM   #1
bransoncutie
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Raiding the Country Vault...2.0

Where, oh where, do I begin???

Okay...the set list is pretty much what it was with the previous cast. Which, considering how quickly this had to be put together, I can understand. Unfortunately, this makes it nearly impossible to not sit and compare if you have seen the previous cast.

So...the highlights:

Michael Jason Frost can pretty much sing anything they give him, and does it all quite well!! If you've seen "#1 Hits of the 60's", or "The Blackwoods", you've seen him shine in both of those shows. He gets to do even more shining in this show! He really does the lion's share of lead vocals, which is a good thing.

Forrest Herzog - Lead guitar and some stellar vocals!! Another breath of fresh air in this show, and definitely one of the highlights for me.

David Brooks - Keyboards, mostly. But he closed out the show with his rockin' rendition of Mickey Gilley's "The Girls All Get Prettier at Closing Time". WOW!!!! Almost felt as if they saved the best for last!!! (Maybe they did??) David is so good at what he does - between his artistry on the keyboards, his superb vocal ability, and his ability to entertain an audience and have them eating out of the palm of his hands - they could not have made a better choice for keyboard player!!!

So...there ya have it. The highlights...

The "rest of the story"? Well, I suppose those who had never seen the show would actually be in a better position than those of us who had not only SEEN the previous cast but thoroughly ENJOYED the previous cast! There was nothing not top-notch before. This cast...well, they may well develop in to a cohesive cast with a great show. But for right now? It's just not there...

(Yeah...I know...the closest to a truly negative review you will ever see from me...but I promised an honest assessment...)
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Old 05-31-2019, 04:50 PM   #2
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Thank you for your honesty.
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Old 05-31-2019, 05:28 PM   #3
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The producer/owner of this show has spent the past three years telling people they should come see it because of the country stars who are in the show, people who have written and/or performed hit songs throughout their careers. Now his position is that it doesn’t matter who is performing the songs, it’s about the show not the performers. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t tell people they should buy tickets because you are presenting real country music stars, and then when they all leave tell people it was never about real country stars, it’s just about people singing the same songs. I think folks would be much more supportive if they just admitted this is not the same show, but they believe it is a good show and hope people will come and see it. Honesty, interesting concept.

Again, this is not a reflection on the people who are currently in the show, they may be very talented. But please don’t insult your customers by pretending that all along it didn’t matter who was on stage. There were some very talented people in the original cast, and when there were some changes over the years more talented people joined the show. The current cast’s resumes can not come close to the previous performers. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad show, but please don’t pretend that it’s the same show.
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Old 05-31-2019, 07:11 PM   #4
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The producer/owner of this show has spent the past three years telling people they should come see it because of the country stars who are in the show, people who have written and/or performed hit songs throughout their careers. Now his position is that it doesn’t matter who is performing the songs, it’s about the show not the performers. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t tell people they should buy tickets because you are presenting real country music stars, and then when they all leave tell people it was never about real country stars, it’s just about people singing the same songs. I think folks would be much more supportive if they just admitted this is not the same show, but they believe it is a good show and hope people will come and see it. Honesty, interesting concept.

Again, this is not a reflection on the people who are currently in the show, they may be very talented. But please don’t insult your customers by pretending that all along it didn’t matter who was on stage. There were some very talented people in the original cast, and when there were some changes over the years more talented people joined the show. The current cast’s resumes can not come close to the previous performers. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad show, but please don’t pretend that it’s the same show.
I could not agree with you more!!! As a ticket seller, I am having to restructure how I am going to sell this show. With the previous cast, it was easy. Nownhave to sell the show concept more than the performers and their resumes.
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Old 05-31-2019, 08:50 PM   #5
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You mentioned three entertainers. Vocals, lead guitar, and keyboard. So, is there more? Like a drummer, bass player, maybe fiddle? Backup vocals? Or is this a three man show?
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Old 06-01-2019, 03:37 AM   #6
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I ordered tickets way back in March. Can you tell me if the ticket price is the same as the original cast? Not sure if I want to pay that much for a show I loved before with the entertainers now replaced with non names entertainers.
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Old 06-01-2019, 08:41 AM   #7
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You mentioned three entertainers. Vocals, lead guitar, and keyboard. So, is there more? Like a drummer, bass player, maybe fiddle? Backup vocals? Or is this a three man show?
I mentioned the HIGHLIGHTS. Of course there are more. But I chose to concentrate on the HIGHLIGHTS...

The rest of the cast includes: Justin Herzog on bass guitar; George Geisser on steel guitar and fiddle; Chelsie Odom and Steven Odom on vocals; Josh Carroll and Hilary Carroll on vocals. They had an additional guitar player whose name I do not remember. And on the drums was someone new, a young lady named Ashley. I've heard her before when she filled in for Dino Phillips with Prince Ivan. She was pretty good, but I have to wonder what happened with Michael Jackson who was announced as their drummer.

Last edited by bransoncutie; 06-01-2019 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 06-01-2019, 08:42 AM   #8
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I ordered tickets way back in March. Can you tell me if the ticket price is the same as the original cast? Not sure if I want to pay that much for a show I loved before with the entertainers now replaced with non names entertainers.
Yes, the ticket prices are still the same.
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Old 06-02-2019, 08:46 AM   #9
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Did the same people run the show at the Americana as at Starlite? We loved this show and so hate to see it at a different level. Will the original cast be in any others shows in Branson? To bad they couldnt start their own version.
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Old 06-02-2019, 10:53 AM   #10
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Did the same people run the show at the Americana as at Starlite? We loved this show and so hate to see it at a different level. Will the original cast be in any others shows in Branson? To bad they couldnt start their own version.
Yes, it is the same people who are producing the show now as always has been. The issues that caused the previous cast to walk had nothing to do with the Americana. And as for them "starting their own version", I would imagine that they, as is the case with so many others in this town, had to sign a "no-compete clause" in their contract. So that would mean they couldn't do that, even if they wanted to.
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Old 06-02-2019, 01:20 PM   #11
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Yes, it is the same people who are producing the show now as always has been. The issues that caused the previous cast to walk had nothing to do with the Americana. And as for them "starting their own version", I would imagine that they, as is the case with so many others in this town, had to sign a "no-compete clause" in their contract. So that would mean they couldn't do that, even if they wanted to.
I would think because the previous cast was filled with industry veterans they would not sign a no-compete contract. Unfortunately, many less experienced performers sign those ridiculous agreements because they think they have to, but I recommend no one ever sign such a restrictive clause. And even if they did, based on the reasons the previous cast left there should be no reason why they could not void their contracts. The only thing they could not do is use the name of the show or any other trademarked or copyrighted names. But I think the name of the show is probably one of the biggest reasons it has not been successful. If you drive into town and see that name, you have no idea what it means. First time I saw one of their billboards I thought it was for one of those murder mystery dinner theater shows.

The show is simply folks performing cover versions of country songs. There is nothing proprietary about that, there are many other shows in town doing the same thing under different names. If the artists wanted to get together and do the show under a different name they could. Would not be successful because the market would not support that type of show which requires a good size budget. Too many shows in town are giving away their tickets or constantly doing “area appreciation” rates, and that is no way to pay the bills. They are so desperate they are giving away their tickets with the hope that folks will go to their shows and maybe buy some popcorn or other merchandise. Many very talented people in town are barely getting by. We don’t work with the disreputable timeshare or sleazy ticket outlets, and I wish others would take the same approach. But they are all scared to lose even one sale, so the few good ticket outlets are also hurt because of the business practices of others.
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Old 06-02-2019, 02:29 PM   #12
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I would think because the previous cast was filled with industry veterans they would not sign a no-compete contract. Unfortunately, many less experienced performers sign those ridiculous agreements because they think they have to, but I recommend no one ever sign such a restrictive clause. And even if they did, based on the reasons the previous cast left there should be no reason why they could not void their contracts. The only thing they could not do is use the name of the show or any other trademarked or copyrighted names. But I think the name of the show is probably one of the biggest reasons it has not been successful. If you drive into town and see that name, you have no idea what it means. First time I saw one of their billboards I thought it was for one of those murder mystery dinner theater shows.

The show is simply folks performing cover versions of country songs. There is nothing proprietary about that, there are many other shows in town doing the same thing under different names. If the artists wanted to get together and do the show under a different name they could. Would not be successful because the market would not support that type of show which requires a good size budget. Too many shows in town are giving away their tickets or constantly doing “area appreciation” rates, and that is no way to pay the bills. They are so desperate they are giving away their tickets with the hope that folks will go to their shows and maybe buy some popcorn or other merchandise. Many very talented people in town are barely getting by. We don’t work with the disreputable timeshare or sleazy ticket outlets, and I wish others would take the same approach. But they are all scared to lose even one sale, so the few good ticket outlets are also hurt because of the business practices of others.
Ok BF, with all that being said (and I don't doubt your word)...what would be your best suggestion for Branson as far as getting the "music show capital of the world" back on track?
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Old 06-02-2019, 03:32 PM   #13
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Ok BF, with all that being said (and I don't doubt your word)...what would be your best suggestion for Branson as far as getting the "music show capital of the world" back on track?
There are many things which need to be done, and there is not enough space here to go into detail. Briefly (yes, believe it or not this is the brief synopsis), all of the ticket resellers need to be regulated, every ticket reseller who is affiliated with a timeshare or other “catch” required to get tickets must display that information in the same size type and font as the name of their business on any signage or ads. All ticket resellers must be bonded and insured.

There needs to be a new president of the Chamber of Commerce/CVB. Thankfully we have a new mayor who is not just a show groupie and that will help. Show operators need to have rate integrity on tickets, and not hand them out for nothing or near nothing. This is America and they have every right to do so, but I hate to hear them complain about how difficult it is to make their show a success when they are giving away the product.

Branson will never be the Branson of 1990, and that is perfectly fine. The idea of artificially propping up “shows” so that Branson still has a lot of shows is not a good one. The marketplace should decide which shows succeed and which fail. I am happy to see businesses other than shows coming to town, unfortunately there are some businesses which are not helping the image of Branson so they will actually hurt the town. There are a lot of awful shows in town, and when everybody in town just keeps touting how good everybody else’s show is in the hopes that those people will then return the favor, it just perpetuates the problem. Let’s stop pretending that all shows in town are good shows. That’s not a slam on the performers, it’s just reality. Let the good shows succeed and the bad shows fail.

I am not a member of the chamber/CVB because they already misuse the money which I generate from the taxes on the tickets I sell, and because our shows feature national headliners our tickets are among the most expensive in town. That means they also generate the highest per capita tourism tax per ticket. I have no say over how that money is used, and I have voiced my opinion numerous times to the people who misspend my money and they don’t care. Last year $15,000 was given directly to a competing business by the CVB to sponsor an event, that is beyond unethical. But unfortunately too many people in town are scared to ever voice dissatisfaction with city or business leadership for fear they might not get part of the handout. Every time I make a public statement about changing things my email blows up with congratulatory notes and support for my positions, yet when I ask the same people to stand by me publicly they will not for fear of repercussions from the old guard.

We have already started moving some of our biggest concerts to Springfield, and it is very likely we will continue to do that in greater number if things in the market do not change. We work hard to bring big shows to town, and it is very difficult to make those a success. They have high fixed costs, and we kill ourselves to make these shows work. Then we turn over a large portion of revenue to people like the CVB who misspend our money. So, new business leadership, regulation/elimination of ticket resellers who are unethical, requiring timeshare or other “fronts” for selling tickets to clearly display their truthful business practices, and requiring all of them to be bonded/insured is a good place to start. I don’t want anyone to think that I pretend to have all the answers, so I won’t post anymore on this thread. I thank everyone who took the time to read my comments. I will once again mention that Billy Yates who was an integral part of the Vault show will be appearing for us with Phil Vassar on October 4 at Welk Resort Theatre. We will do our best to give folks like Billy a better setting to display their tremendous talents than they previously received.
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Old 06-02-2019, 05:28 PM   #14
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Did the same people run the show at the Americana as at Starlite? We loved this show and so hate to see it at a different level. Will the original cast be in any others shows in Branson? To bad they couldnt start their own version.
Some of the original cast were already in shows in town BEFORE country vault, or playing concerts elsewhere...

All of the members had already made their name in the field, therefore were sought out for this show.. They will continue some in Branson, some in concerts in the US and beyond.

Billy Yates is in or affiliated with at least 2 other shows in town., As well as he travels overseas for concerts throughout the year.

Melody Hart is in at least 3 other shows and her family is also doing shows for them selves in the area now.

I believe the Bass player, Michelle Poe is still playing bass for Hank Williams Jr. as far as I know.

The others, They all have the niche in the industry..
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Old 06-03-2019, 09:34 PM   #15
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We saw the original Raiding the Country Vault - once at the Mansion or White House in the first year, and again at the Starlite last year - so we were excited to go again this year at the Americana. After we had the tickets ordered we read of the new cast and problems with the production, but we went. It was a painful experience, and if there had been an intermission we would have left. By the time the end was near I couldn't even watch. It amazes me how someone can take a wonderful production and destroy it with little or no thought or consideration of the performers who worked hard to make it a success.
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