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Wildcat Kickoff Lineup

Zac Brown Band

Zac Brown Band

Three-time GRAMMY winners and multi-platinum artists Zac Brown Band have become one of music's most heralded acts.  Their latest album JEKYLL + HYDE, out now on Southern Ground Artists/John Varvatos Records/Big Machine Label Group/Republic Records, marked the band’s third consecutive #1 debut on the Billboard 200 chart.  Together with their three platinum-selling albums, Uncaged, You Get What You Give, and The Foundation, and their 2013 project The Grohl Sessions Vol. 1, the band has sold over seven million albums to date.  On the radio, the band has earned a historic series of fourteen #1 hit radio singles and became only the second artist to top both the country and active rock formats.  Zac Brown Band are currently out on their largest North American Stadium Tour to date which includes two history making performances - a first ever three-night run at Fenway Park, and the first ever concert at Coors Field.  Additional stadiums include Wrigley Park, Nationals Park, Citi Field, Comerica Park and Citizen's Bank Park. Zac Brown Band is managed by ROAR, a Beverly Hills-based artist and brand management company. The band is also represented by CAA, public relations firm Shore Fire Media and strategic digital marketing agency Girlilla Marketing. Additional information can be found at http://www.zacbrownband.com/.



Train

Train

The GRAMMY winning San Franciscans Train are known for delivering memorable songs that capture the listener’s imagination. This particular talent has seen them achieve unprecedented radio and social media traction, with the eight-time GRAMMY nominees heralded as a standard bearer of riveting, roots-based pop around the world. Train has sold more than ten million albums worldwide, thirty million tracks worldwide, with numerous platinum/gold citations on their mantle, 3 Grammy Awards, 2 Billboard Music Awards and dozens of other honors and nominations.

The band’s latest album and seventh studio effort, Bulletproof Picasso, was produced by Butch Walker. The disc has spawned two mega-hit singles, “Angel in Blue Jeans,” their 13th Top Ten radio hit, and “Cadillac, Cadillac.” The former soared to the Top 15 of Triple A and Adult Top 40 radio in only a month, joining the band’s successful arsenal of other radio-embraced singles throughout their two-decade career. The song also has a badass Western-themed video starring Danny Trejo (Machete, Dusk Til Dawn) and Hannah Simone (New Girl) that has racked up over 4 million views. This year alone Train has wowed audiences everywhere from iHeartRadio Fest in Las Vegas to Radio City Music Hall in NYC and appeared on The TODAY Show twice, America’s Got Talent, The Talk, The Meredith Viera Show, and VH1’s Big Morning Buzz.

2012’s California 37 spawned the hit “Drive By,” among other songs, a multi-platinum single that reached the Top Ten in 13 countries, adding to the prolific Train set-list which already includes multiple signature smashes such as their GRAMMY winning classic “Drops Of Jupiter (Tell Me),” the chart-topping  “Meet Virginia,” and “Calling All Angels.”  The band snagged another Grammy in 2011 for their global smash “Hey Soul Sister,” (the #1 hit and biggest selling single of 2010) from their 2009 multi-platinum album, Save Me, San Francisco.

In 2011, Train also launched the Save Me, San Francisco Wine Co. and Save Me, San Francisco Chocolate Co, which benefit Family House, a Bay Area nonprofit providing temporary housing to the families of seriously ill children being treated at University of California San Francisco Benioff Children's Hospital.



Phillip Phillips

Phillip Phillips

One of the biggest singles of 2012, the quadruple-platinum “Home” announced Phillip Phillips as a singer/guitarist of both rare authenticity and massive pop appeal. Centering on the American Idolseason 11 winner’s rich, raspy vocals and masterful guitar skills, “Home” served as the lead single from The World from the Side of the Moon (19 Entertainment/Interscope Records)—a platinum-selling album that shot to #4 on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart upon its November 2012 release. Phillips’s widely acclaimed debut also features the platinum single “Gone, Gone, Gone” and the Phillips’ penned “Where We Came From,” as well as a host of numbers that flaunt the 23-year-old Georgia native’s songwriting chops. Phillips spent most of 2013 on the road  - with Matchbox 20, his own college headline tour and most recently he brought his rootsy brand of rock-and-roll to arenas around the country as the opening act for singer/songwriter superstar John Mayer’s Born and Raised tour.

On The World from the Side of the Moon—a #1 debut on the Billboard Rock Album chart—Phillips channels his soulful spirit into acoustic-driven rock with an earthy yet high-energy sound. Produced by Gregg Wattenberg (Train, O.A.R.) and praised by Rolling Stone as “full of sweeping verses and uplifting power-pop hooks,” the album is mainly comprised of tracks written or co-written by Phillips over the past few years. Along with revealing his easy warmth as a songwriter,The World from the Side of the Moon showcases the dynamic guitar work Phillips has cultivated through careful studying of legends like Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Raised in Leesburg, Georgia, Phillips took up guitar at 14, thanks largely to his older sister’s then-boyfriend (and now husband), Benjamin Neil. Since the two lived in separate towns, Phillips kept on practicing guitar on his own (“mostly by playing along to the karaoke machine”) and soon found himself mastering riffs from classic-rock tracks like Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” and Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train.” Several years later, Phillips formed an acoustic band and added singing to his repertoire. “I used to always keep my singing to myself and never let anyone hear me, but then my sister and brother-in-law caught me one night and told me I had to start singing in the band,” he says. “We played at a church that Sunday and the room was packed and I thought I was going to pass out, but I did it.”

After graduating high school, Phillips began studying industrial systems technology at Albany Technical College in Georgia and continued playing music. With encouragement from his family and friends, Phillips took a break from working in his family’s pawn shop and auditioned forAmerican Idol in summer 2011—and soon found himself tearing through full-throated performances of songs by artists like Creedence Clearwater Revival, Otis Redding, and Wilson Pickett on the Idol stage.

Released the same day that Phillips claimed his American Idol victory, “Home” marked the most successful coronation song of any Idol winner—as well as the highest-ever debut on theBillboardDigital songs chart, with 278,000 downloads sold. On The World from the Side of the Moon, “Home” joins tracks that shift from moody meditations (“Man on the Moon”) to hushed ballads (“Tell Me a Story”) to dance-worthy rave-ups (“Get Up Get Down”) to sing-along-ready anthems (“Can’t Go Wrong”). “The album sort of takes you through all these different emotions—there’s feel-good songs and love songs but also songs that get a little darker,” says Phillips. “The most important thing to me is making music that comes from my heart and really connects with people on a gut level,” he adds.

To thank fans for their support Phillips re-released his debut album to include three additional live tracks. Live versions of “Gone, Gone, Gone,” “Where We Came From” and “Man on the Moon” were added to the original album and this fan edition of The World From the Side of the Moon was released on  November 19, 2013, the one-year anniversary of the album's original release. The three live tracks were also available as a separate set titled Phillip Philips: Live.  The new live songs were recorded during stops on John Mayer’s Born and Raised tour.

Despite his near-constant touring since the release of The World from the Side of the Moon Phillips has managed to keep prolific in his songwriting. “I’m always writing, even if it’s just coming up with little ditties or jotting down lyrics or working on guitar parts,” he says. And in breathing his songs to life, Phillips often mines inspiration from both his classic-rock roots and singer/songwriters with a penchant for earnest, impassioned folk-rock. “I grew up on musicians and bands from the ‘60s and ‘70s, stuff like Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin,” he says. “Then as I got older I found Damien Rice and Dave Matthews and John Butler, which is what really set it off for me in terms of finding my voice as a musician.”

For Phillips, the past year’s jam-packed touring schedule has granted him the long-craved opportunity to play his own songs for live audiences night after night. “At first it was terrifying to share all my songs, but now we’re at the point where the crowd’s singing along—even to the ones that aren’t the singles—which is amazing to see,” he says. Above all, performing live offers a sense of freedom that Phillips finds essential to making music. “We just go out there and jam out and try to make it different and exciting, instead of playing the songs exactly how they sound on the album,” he says. “It’s all about real musicians playing real music that we’re passionate about and just having a good time, and hopefully we’re giving the crowd a good time too.”



David Ray

David Ray

Barring divine intervention, hard work and desire are the key factors in anyone’s success in a career. When combined with genuine talent, the sky’s the limit. This has been the case for David Ray. Ray got his start in his native Michigan, a state known for the likes of Bob Seger and Kid Rock. While learning a few chords on his father’s guitar, Ray gravitated toward country, classic rock and folk music, listening to people like Garth Brooks, Dwight Yoakam and James Taylor. He knew he wanted a career in music, but Ray did the prudent thing and pursued a college education at Central Michigan University. There, he regularly played as a solo acoustic artist at The Cabin, a major college hangout in mid-Michigan. After graduating from college, Ray set out for Nashville where he planned to use his degree to teach school while learning more about the city and the music business. However, there weren’t any teaching jobs open for him in Nashville even though he obtained his certification for the state of Tennessee. He ended up accepting a teaching position in South Florida, without knowing what the future would hold for him there. In 2008, he learned about Kenny Chesney’s "Next Big Star" competition and entered. He won the competition, and soon found himself opening for Chesney in front of 15,000 music lovers. Following that victory, 99.9 KISS Country staff soon began to book Ray for countless station events, including Miami Dolphins and Miami Hurricanes games. KISS Country also hired Ray to play at the station’s concert venue in Fort Lauderdale, where he shared the stage with artists such as Billy Currington, Travis Tritt and Pat Green. This is also where Ray met Jody Stevens, who at the time, was part of the band called Fast Ryde. Stevens told Ray to contact him if he ever decided to move back to Nashville. So, there in Florida, Ray received the kind of break and exposure that he probably never would have found if he had stayed in Nashville. When Ray moved back to Nashville in 2010, he hit the ground running, performing almost as soon as he pulled into town. In addition to performing acoustically, Ray also performed at a few different bars on lower Broadway before landing steady gigs at Honky Tonk Central and the legendary Tootsies Orchid Lounge. Ray also reconnected with Jody Stevens and began working with him in the studio. Soon, Stevens became Ray’s producer. In 2012, Ray landed his first publishing deal with Big Deal Music, where he wrote songs with various top Nashville songwriters. A year later, Ray began working with bass player Darren Theriault, who invited Ray to perform at the inaugural Tree Town Music Festival in Iowa in May, 2014. After the festival, Ray met festival owners Dave and Gary Dewaard, who not only invited Ray back to play the festival the following year, but also began working with Ray as a management team, helping him book gigs and introducing him to radio personalities and booking agents. Today, Ray is in the studio with Jody Stevens recording his first Extended Play and preparing to release his first single in January 2016.



Adley Stump

Adley Stump

Up-and-Coming Country Artist Adley Stump had a breakout year in 2015: Her EP “Like This” (Deluxe) was named “New and Noteworthy” by iTunes and she appeared on several TV shows in support of the release, including being the Featured Music performer at the Miss USA telecast. Her single & video “Stay At Home Soldier” drew accolades across the board and was featured on 115 iHeartmedia Country station websites, Syndicated “Taste Of Country Nights” radio show and Slacker’s “Weekly Country Countdown”; she performed live in front of more than 100,000 fans throughout the year, including the CMA Fan Fair in Nashville. Adley became a #1 Best Selling Author through Amazon.com with her collaboration titled: “How They Sell Music: Lessons from Celebrities on Creating Your Own Success”. With the release of her new single “Don’t Wanna Love Him” on May 13th and an extensive tour planned, 2016 should prove to be a Break-Through year.

In February Adley was named a winner of the Hyundai and The Recording Academy® fourth annual GRAMMY Amplifier® program. She was one of 3 winners chosen from over 4000 entrants. She was a featured performer at a Hyundai/GRAMMY Amplifier® showcase at the SXSW Music festival at Stubbs in Austin, Texas in March. A video for her new single “Don’t Wanna Love Him” (featuring reigning Miss USA Olivia Jordan) will premiere on May 16th. She has been booked on big Country Music Festivals for 2016: Tree Town Festival in Forest City, Iowa May 26 – 29; Taste Of Country Music Festival in Hunter, New York on June 12th, Country Jam in Mack, Colorado June 18th & 19 and Firefly Country Nights in Ames. Iowa on July 17th. An extensive national tour is being booked and additional dates will be announced in July.

As an Alum of NBC’s hit singing competition show “The Voice” (Season 2, Team Blake Shelton) Ms. Stump says: “I am so fortunate to be able to use the experience I gained from “The Voice” as a springboard to grow my career. I know what a life-changing, fantastic opportunity that was – but I also know it was a moment in time, and the real work of building my career started after that moment. Each day I jump out of bed with an insatiable desire to create a sound that people can identify and that will mean something to them,” Stump says. “The stages and opportunities have only continued to grow and that is a blessing I do not take lightly. In everything I do and release I enjoy finding ways to give back to the community of fans who have given so much to me.”

Adley has stayed in perpetual motion, working tirelessly towards her goals. Her music releases have broken into the iTunes Country charts - and that drive and energy have drawn the attention of national sponsors: She has been endorsed by a variety of Brands, including Little Black Dress Wines, Remington Outdoors, Mac Cosmetics, Logan’s Roadhouse and Vietti Chili, among others.

With her magnetic personality, contagious smile, and a passionate and giving spirit – the sky’s the limit for Adley Stump in 2016.



Hosted By:

Joe Denim

Joe Denim

Singer/songwriter/comedian Joe Denim says and writes about what most other people dare even think.  As MC of Wildcat Kick Off, a stadium show at the Bill Snyder Family Stadium including headliner Zac Brown Band with Train, Phillip Phillips and more on September 10th, Joe will be on stage between each band entertaining fans and introducing each artist.  More than the typical MC, he not only keeps the crowd engaged but also ignites the audience through comedy and music. 

Fans will recognize Joe’s country hit “Pray For You” which he wrote with Jaron Lowenstein but his writing catalogue is deep with fan favorites like “Better Half’ve,” “Cover of The Field and Stream,” “All About The Bass” (the fish…) and “Truck Buddies” – the theme song to other Joe Denim branded projects including a PG-29 twisted take on songwriter rounds.

Before launching his solo career, Joe played keys on the road with numerous country stars including Steve Holy, Uncle Kracker and more.

An avid outdoorsman and hunter Joe was raised to respect the environment and leave it better than he’s found it.  He has a passion for wildlife conservation and finds inspiration and solace out in the woods or on a lake.

Joe’s favorite color is blueish green, his favorite Beatle is Paul, and Joe wonders why Ringo was even in the band to begin with.



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