Monday, June 28, 2010

Local Bands Announced

If you've been as anxious as me to find out which local bands will be planing at our festival, you're gonna be happy!! We've got bands booked from Sault Ste. Marie, Lansing, Grand Rapids and Boston all to play at our Summer Festival!

Line up includes:
Nixxon Dixxon, Clown Sack, Electric Motor Fish, Rock Camp (Youth Group), Elipzis, and Paul Perry all from Sault Ste. Marie, Showdown from Lansing, Dannison from Grand Rapids, Finding Clyde from Essexville, and Stilrize from Boston.

I know one member, Tony Rogers, who plays with both Clown Sack and Electric Motor Fish. He's very excited to play. "It’s always a great opportunity when you have a chance to play in front of thousands of people. We have a lot of talented musicians locally and this is a great place to show it.” he recently told me.

Local bands will perform daily from noon – 1 p.m.; 2 – 3 p.m. and 4 – 5 p.m. A schedule of when each group will be playing will be available on-line the week before the festival.

Having these local bands will give our festival the local flare we wanted - and it allows us to have music the entire day of the event!

Remember, the casino’s three-day summer festival July 22 to 24 will feature four national headlining acts, including1980s rockers Bret Michaels and Vince Neil, modern rockers 3-Doors Down, and American rock icon Meat Loaf. The festival will also feature celebrity appearances with autograph sessions with Henry “The Fonz” Winkler, former Lion football players Billy Sims and Herman Moore and the famous Playboy Playmates, Shannon James, Brittany B. and Amber Campisi, celebrity chef & spinmaster Marc Weiss "The DJ Chef", and a strolling magician.

The festival will also have food and merchant vendors, a golf simulator, bumper cars, Rock Band Wii, a NASCAR Simulator, electronic bull riding, Baggo tournament, daily food eating contests and fireworks at the end of each day.

A three-day pass to the festival is $75, while single-day passes are $50. The three day passes include entry into all concerts and three days of festival activities. A limited number of tickets will be available. Cash sales will be available at the gate during the festival. All festival events will be held at Kewadin Casino Sault Ste. Marie from noon to 10 p.m., rain or shine. Admission to the concerts is general. Gates for the festival open at 11 a.m.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Meet Herman Moore & Billy Sims Coming at Kewadin - July 23

During the festival, there will be appearances by six nationally know celebrities! Henry “The Fonz” winkler, Billy Sims, Herman Moore, and three playboy playmates.

At the appearances, you’ll be able to meet and mingle with the celebrities! On Friday July 23, don’t’ miss your chance to meet former Lion football players Billy Sims and Herman Moore from 1 – 3 p.m. at the main festival area!

Billy Sims (born September 18, 1955 in St. Louis, Missouri) is a former college football and NFL running back. He won the Heisman Award and the Davey O'Brien Memorial Trophy.

Sims grew up in St. Louis, but in the eighth grade he moved to Hooks, Texas, to live with his grandmother. In three years of varsity football at Hooks High School, he rushed 1,128 times (a state record at the time, currently second behind Robert Strait) for 7,738 yards, including 441 carries in 1973 (another state record at the time, currently tied for second behind Ketric Sanford). He continues to hold the state record for most consecutive games with 100 yards or more, 38 (1972-1974).

In 1975, he was recruited to the University of Oklahoma by Barry Switzer. After injuries kept him out of the line-up for most of his freshman and half of his sophomore seasons (rushing for only 545 yards in two seasons plus one game of 1976), in his junior season he cut loose, picking up 1,762 yards on 231 carries for an amazing average of 7.6 yards per carry (160.1 yards and 10.9 points per-game) for the regular season. Including the post-season Sims had 1,896 yards, a total yardage school record that stood until 2004 when freshman Adrian Peterson tallied up 1,925. In 1978 Sims was awarded the Heisman Trophy, becoming only the sixth junior to do so. He was runner up the following season in 1979. He led the nation in rushing with 1,896 yards and had 22 touchdowns. He also became the first running back in Big 8 Conference (now merged to form the Big 12 Conference) history to rush for 200-yards in three consecutive games, and had four 200-yard games in a single season.

After losing to the University of Arkansas 31-6 in 1978, Sims led the Sooners to two consecutive Orange Bowl titles in three straight appearances. In the Orange Bowl following the 1978 season, he scored two touchdowns in a 31-24 win over the University of Nebraska. In 1979 against then-unbeaten Nebraska, who had the No. 1 rushing defense in the country at the time, Sims ran for 247 yards and helped the Sooners to a 17-14 win. In his final game as a Sooner, he helped defeat Florida State University, 24-7, rushing for 164 yards. He ended his career at OU with 3,813 yards; most of those yards came in his final two seasons.

Sims was the first overall pick in the 1980 NFL Draft. He spent five years with the Detroit Lions, making the Pro Bowl in 1980, 1981, and 1982. Sims led the Lions to the playoffs in 1982 and 1983 but they lost in the first round both times. Sims finished his career with 1131 carries for 5106 yards (4.5 yards per carry), and 186 receptions for 2072 yards (11.1 yards per catch). His career ended midway through the 1984 season when he suffered a knee injury in a game against the Minnesota Vikings. Sims remains a beloved former sports figure in Detroit, where his number 20 would be worn five years after his retirement by Barry Sanders. He was given the nickname "Kung Fu Billy Sims" by ESPN's Chris Berman, after a game where the Detroit Lions played the Houston Oilers. In NFL Films the highlight, rather than be tackled during a rushing attempt, Billy ran at, jumped, and drop-kicked the Oiler's tackler.

He now serves as a vice president with AmericaCan, a non-profit organization, and licenses the use of his name to Billy Sims Barbecue. Sims also makes appearances for sports marketing firms.

Herman Joseph Moore (born October 20, 1969 in Danville, Virginia, USA) is a former American National Football League wide receiver. At George Washington High School in Danville he played mostly as a kicker and also as a tight end. He went to the University of Virginia, where he was a 2-sport athlete. He ranks second all-time in career receptions and holds the school record in the high jump. Moore's college jersey number was 87.

Moore was drafted in the first round of the 1991 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions, where he enjoyed a great deal of success. He was selected to four Pro Bowls, from 1994 to 1997. He was the second player (after Jerry Rice) to have three 100-catch seasons. Also in 1995, Moore and teammate Brett Perriman (108 catches) became the first WR duo to each catch more than 100 receptions in the same season. In his highly successful 1995 season Moore caught a career high 123 balls (an NFL record at the time). In 1998, Herman Moore received the inaugural All-Iron Award for his performance in the Thanksgiving game.

Moore finished his 12 NFL seasons with 670 receptions for 9,174 yards and 62 touchdowns.

Herman Moore holds NFL records for both receptions (61) and receiving yards (965) on Thursday games.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Only 38 days until we can see Meat Loaf LIVE in concert!

There are many things we’re excited about for July, but seeing Meat Loaf live in concert in our own back yard is at the top of our list!!!!! Only 38days until he is here for our 25th anniversary festival – tickets are still available at a very reasonable rate - $50 per day or $75 for a three day pass!

For those of you who do not know the history of Meat Loaf, read on!

For the past 35 years, the man born Marvin Lee Aday has been a towering monument on the musical landscape. His legendary 1977 album Bat Out Of Hell transformed this former high school football player, nightclub bouncer and stage actor into one of the great American rock 'n' roll icons. That record, with its staggering operatic sound and impassioned vocals, has sold more than 43 million albums worldwide - still one of the biggest-selling records ever.

Meat Loaf's reputation as one of music's greatest artists was underlined by such masterpieces as Dead Ringer (1981), Bad Attitude (1984) and the Bat Out Of Hell sequels Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell (1993) and Bat Out Of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose (2006). Other artists might have tried to match his scale and copy his sound, but no one has come close.

Now, more than 30 years after he exploded onto the world stage, Meat Loaf is back with a new record, Hang Cool Teddy Bear (a title taken from a line in the classic Russ Meyer trash movie Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls). From opener Peace On Earth to closer Elvis In Vegas, its 13 tracks drag the classic Meat Loaf sound kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

"I wanted it big, I wanted it dramatic, I wanted a rock record," says Meat Loaf. "Yes, it sounds like a Meat Loaf record. But it sounds different too - it sounds new, it sounds fresh. It speaks to you in a different way."

Much of this newfound energy can be put down to Meat Loaf's working relationship with his new collaborator, producer Rob Cavallo (Green Day, My Chemical Romance Paramore, Fleetwood Mac). For the singer, it was a chance to work with one of the hottest producers around. For Cavallo, it was an opportunity to work with a childhood hero and a proper rock 'n' roll legend.

"Rob is the Number 1 rock producer in the world because he leaves his ego out of the equation and gives an artist his voice, making it sound better than the artist could even imagine," says Meat. "I was like a fisherman looking for a big mouthed bass. I put on the right worm. The first song I played to him, I hooked him. The second song, I nailed him."

The pair hit it off immediately, and this electrifying creative partnership immediately raised the bar several feet. Meat Loaf brought more than 40 songs to the table, which the duo whittled down to the 13 that appear on the final record, including the furious ‘Living On The Outside’ and hilarious first single LosAngeloser.

But there was one other piece to the jigsaw: Los Angeles-based screenwriter and director Kilian Kerwin, a long-time friend of the singer. As with every classic Meat Loaf album, Hang Cool Teddy Bear has a bigger concept. It was one of Kerwin's short stories that inspired the singer to come up with the album's striking narrative.

"It's the story of a soldier," reveals Meat Loaf. "He's been in battle and he's lying face down on the ground. He can't move, but he turns his head and starts to see blood run across the ground, and so he thinks he's going to die. They always say you see your life flash backwards you when you're about to die. But his life flashes forward - into what possibly could happen. He sees what his life could be - the good and the bad. The songs are the different scenarios he finds himself in. It's not always the same time or the same place - but it's always the same woman. But I don't want to give too much away - I want people to work it out for themselves."

To flesh out his vision, Meat Loaf enlisted a set of elite musicians to play on the album, including guitarists Tim Pierce, Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins (who co-wrote two songs for the album), Paul Crook and Randy Flowers, legendary bass players Chris Chaney and Kasim Sulton, genius keyboardist Jamie Muhoberac and the world’s greatest rock drummer (just ask Rob Cavallo) John Micelli. Hang Cool Teddy Bear also features a stellar array of big-name guests, including Steve Vai (who appears on Love is Not Real), former Queen guitarist Brian May (who appears on Song Of Madness and Love Is Not Real), American Idol presenter Kara DioGuardi (who co-wrote and sings on If I Can't Have You) and Hollywood star Jack Black, who duets with Meat Loaf on Like A Rose.

But the most surprising guest is Hugh Laurie - the English actor famous for starring in Blackadder and hit US TV show House. It was while making a guest appearance on the latter that Meat Loaf met Laurie and discovered that he was a classically-trained pianist. What else could he do but ask the actor to play piano on the song If I Can't Have You?

"He was really nervous at first," recalls Meat Loaf. "It was strange seeing someone so confident on a TV set walk into the studio like he's a quivering mess. But he nailed it. He's talking about playing it with us if we ever go on American Idol."

"What I love about Hugh, Jack and Kara," says Meat Loaf. "Is that sometimes you get people coming to the studio, and they have their manager and a bodyguard and an entourage - it's this endless stream of people. The 3 of them, they just drove up to the studio in their own cars, no bullshit no fronts, just real people. And I love real people."

But for all the star guests, Hang Cool Teddy Bear is Meat Loaf's album – his own dirty little secret. More than four decades into his career, the man - and his voice - is as big, bold and important as ever.

"How do I keep the fire burning?" he asks. "I don't know. I just do. I'd bet in advance that if I sat with somebody in a room and said to them, 'I'll give you five pounds if you don't go 'Whoah!' after the first song', they'd forget about the five pounds and they'd go 'Whoah!'. You can't help it. And it's like that across all the songs. This record is spectacular!"

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Only 44 days until summer festival kick off!

Only 44 more days until Kewadin’s Summer Festival! There is lots more work to be done before the festival gets here, but our staff is working hard to make sure this is one unforgettable event!

Following with our theme of showcasing some of the acts that will be performing at the festival, we thought you might like a little more information on one of the bands performing on Friday July 23 – 3 Doors Down.

Formed in Escatawpa, Mississippi, the resilient five-some has blazed a trail as the quintessential rock band, attaining massive mainstream success but somehow never losing that small town identity that has branded them rock’s truest underdogs. They’ve reigned as a genuine force of nature, boasting rock n’ roll’s most earnest work ethic – ‘The thoroughly modern American band’ - crows Billboard, one part swagger/one part tireless road warriors, brandishing an arsenal of battle-tested radio gems like their breakthrough anthem, “Kryptonite.” Unleashed at the beginning of the decade, the song seemed to capture the band’s heroic climb and steadfast refusal to be pigeonholed as just another rock band.

After releasing their first self-titled album (their fourth studio album and what some have appraised as ‘their most definitive,’) the group weighs in on what it took to refresh their innate sense of ‘place’ and deliver what just might be their masterwork - a blistering, both-barrels approach etched in the grain of brand new hits like the wistful wakeup call of “It’s Not My Time,” the contemplative “Pages,” and the stem-winding lure of “Train,” among others.

“What it took, was for us to take some real time off, go home, and then gather again as the band we know how to be,” says lead singer/songwriter Brad Arnold. “It was so appropriate to self-title the album, because after taking what amounted to almost a year-long break, we were hungry for each other’s company. A song like ‘It’s Not My Time,’ kind of sets the stage for what we’ve been through. I’ve known Matt and Todd and Chris since grade school. With a foundation like that, we were secure enough to take the time necessary, to make us want it.” Adds newest member, drummer Greg Upchurch, who joined the band after the recording of the 2005 release, Seventeen Days (this self-titled album is the first 3DD album on which he appears) “This truly is our defining moment as musicians. The writing, the recording, the level of collaboration was truly an all-around band effort. This CD is living proof of how good this band can be.”

And that’s saying something. Because when you tally the notches accrued during 3 Doors Down’s decade-plus ascension (the original group formed in ’95) you realize they’ve earned a wall-full of accolades that are also firmly cemented into rock’s record books: 15 million albums sold, 3 multi-platinum albums (their first album, 2000’s The Better Life sold an astounding 6 million copies, with their 2002 follow-up, Away From The Sun selling 4 million) six #1 hits, multiple Billboard and other awards, and a relentless road itinerary that saw them hit 32 countries in a six year roll-up with ‘nary a break in between. You don’t rack up that kind of ‘hall-of-fame’ mileage without putting a fair share of dents in the armor.

“Prior to making our new album, the average stretch we would have off would be a couple weeks here, four-five weeks there,” says bass player Todd Harrell. “We needed to get home and get our roots back under us.” The band also miraculously found time to add kindle to their homegrown The Better Life Foundation, which has raised more than 2 million dollars for local children’s charities since its inception in 2003. The group held their fifth annual Foundation concert at the Hard Rock Casino & Hotel in Biloxi, Ms (and has annually donated a portion of concert ticket sales to the charity organization). The band also became a key local force in providing aid for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Rhythm guitarist Chris Henderson’s own house was partially damaged by the hurricane. Everyone they knew, friends and family, were affected by the tragedy. “Everything seemed to be churning around that time,” continues Todd. “We knew it was important to get back to a normal life. It was time to overcome. Time to try and relax. Do some fishing. Get with family. We were doing 200 plus shows a year, stopping only to get the next record out.”

In fact, the acclaimed Seventeen Days, (their first album to debut #1 on Billboard’s Top Albums chart) was mistakenly believed to have been named for the quick burst of songwriting sessions for the CD, when in actuality, it marked the paltry amount of days-off between coming off the road from the Away From The Sun tour, and going into the studio for preproduction on Seventeen Days.

“We’re not a band that just goes through the motions,” says Chris. “We go at everything hard. What I’m most proud of about the new album is we left ourselves a way out. Everybody hit the proverbial brick wall. Everybody fell down and everybody got back up, then we all went back in the room and, what was great, was we found all these different paths to go down.”

‘Different’ being the operative word here. Because what 3 Doors Down did after reconnecting with family, and ‘soul searching’, was opt for a new process to the creative part of their relationship. One that emphasized the undeniable strength of the group. The fact that the sum is greater than any individual part. “It is all about getting in that room and hashing it out,” recalls lead guitarist Matt Roberts. “If you look at a song like ‘Train,’ it was one of the first songs we wrote for this album. It’s kind of a building block that exemplifies the spirit of collaboration. Brad came with words and a melody and we hammered it out.” “I remember I had that one in my head at home,” laughs Brad. “I was singing it so much a friend threatened to kill me if I didn’t get it down.” Matt also remembers it as one of the ‘most fun songs to put together. “The best moments of this band have always been about keeping it a fun ride. You need that sense of accomplishment, but you also need to keep the process comfortable.”. Adds Chris: “I think it’s also fair to say we are one of the only ‘southern’ bands who has the balls to put a song like ‘Train’ out there these days.”

The band rented an old farmhouse South of Franklin, Tennessee, where they would not only write songs, but live together, for a while. Says Brad: “The farmhouse was great because it became a wholehearted experience where we just focused on the writing. It was such a close-knit atmosphere, reconnecting us after we had been doing our own thing for a while. It set a cool mood for the entire record, writing out in the country around this fireplace in the basement. Just locking ourselves away and doing it.”

Matt adds that the unique setting soon sparked 26 or 27 song ideas. “But winter turned colder than expected in Tennessee. So we decided to head to a warmer climate.” The band found a ten bedroom mansion in a remote section of Orlando, Florida. They brought in Seventeen Days producer, Johnny K. and turned the house into a recording studio.

The originality of the two locations rejuvenated the band’s approach. They worked hard to capture that sense of camaraderie on the final product. Once they nailed it, they packed up and headed back to Nashville. Talking legendary mixer, Andy Wallace, into abandoning his NY studio, again, (he also mixed Seventeen Days in Nashville), and they began the final process of putting the pieces together.

This album features inspired musicianship as well as some intriguing personal refrains, like on one ‘band favorite,’ “Let Me Be Myself.” “That one touches on the wrongheaded notion of how we often try destructive methods to try and kill our pain,” says Brad. “But I also want the songs to be open to interpretation. More universal. That one is really talking about anything you can get lost in.” And the ballad “Pages”: “I think it has a lot of meaning for the whole band. What we’ve gone through,” says Matt. “Brad is pointing out what’s going on with his personal situation and ours. It was a very meaningful song for us.”

The group also nails their share of (in-yer’-face)-rockers like “Runaway.” “It’s the kind of song you put on only to get somewhere else,” says Todd. “Put it on in your car and drive as fast as you can.” He and several of the guys also touch on the last song of the album, “She Don’t Want The World,” one of the most unique 3 Doors Down offerings yet. “That song has really become one of my favorites. It doesn’t have a big chorus or anything, just Brad telling a story.” Adds Brad: “We even use loops on that one. We were so willing to try different things. I think one of the reasons this is such an important album for us is because every one of us was in a different place prior to any other record we’ve ever made. And I would say a ‘better’ place. But it’s the kind of record that never would have happened if we didn’t get off that merry go round for awhile.”

For Greg (former Puddle Of Mudd drummer, born in Louisiana, raised in Oklahoma), a song like the gutsy “It’s The Only One You’ve Got,” also exemplifies the band’s ‘sixth-sense’ for cooperation. A true democracy – right down the line. “Just the way that it went down. Chris was trying to learn another song and stumbled upon the riff for this song. Brad was like ‘hold on, I’ve got something for that.’ Then someone else would join in. The whole thing happened quickly, and it turned out to be such an inspiring song. This has been the most collaborative experience I’ve ever been involved in. And the most satisfying.”

“We just can’t wait to put this sugar out and get back out on the road,” agrees Brad. “It’s definitely the one where we got our ‘grit back.”

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Henry "The Fonz" Winkler at Kewadin

We really wanted to make our first summer fest special - so in addition to the amazing entertainment (Bret Michaels, Vince Neil, 3 Doors Down & Meat Loaf) we sprinkled in some special apperances! On Saturday July 24, Henry "The Fonz" Winkler will be on site to meet and mingle with guests at the festival from 1 - 3 p.m.

Henry Winkler knows a thing or two about Hollywood, having spent nearly three decades enjoying success in the business. Winkler’s portrayal of “The Fonz” for 10 seasons on Happy Days (1974-84) made him one of the most recognized actors in the world. He won two consecutive Golden Globe Awards for Best Actor in a Comedy Series (1976 and 1977), and three Emmy nominations in the same category. He was also honored with a “star” on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 2003, he began writing a series of children’s novels entitled, “Hank Zipzer: The World’s Most Amazing Under-Achiever.” The books are inspired by Winkler’s struggle throughout his education due to his learning challenges and have appeared on several Best Seller lists including The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times, among others.

Winkler has been busy producing and acting while continuing work on the Hank Zipzer series. He served as Executive Producer for Hollywood Squares,MacGyver, Dead Man’s Gun, Sightings, and the Disney series So Weird, starring Mackenzie Phillips, which was named one of the Top 10 New Children’s Programs by TV Guide two years in a row. Under JMZ Productions (named after his children) Winkler created numerous projects geared for a young audience, including Happily Ever After, Two Daddies to Love Me, Run, Don’t Walk; and All the Kids Do It, the latter directed by Winkler and which won the daytime Emmy for Best Children’s Program that year.

Winkler’s film and television credits include The Water Boy, Scream,Down To You, Nightshift, Holes, Fox’s highly acclaimed series Arrested Development; NBC’s Third Watch, NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and ABC’s The Practice for which he received an Emmy nomination for outstanding actor. His is also the voice of Norville the Bird on the Award Winning animated children’s series Clifford: The Puppy Years. In 2001, Winkler starred on Broadway in Neil Simon’s The Dinner Party, marking his return to the Broadway stage after an absence of 30 years and winning the cast the Outer Critics Circle Special Achievement Award for Best Ensemble.

As Winkler became increasingly visible, he found that he could use his position to help others, particularly children. The list of groups with which he is associated includes honorary chairman of United Friends of the Children; founding member of the Children’s Action Network; co-host of the annual Cerebral Palsy Telethon; the first national honorary chairman of the Epilepsy Foundation of America; National Chairman of the annual Toys for Tots campaign; The National Committee for arts for the handicapped; the Special Olympics; and the Los Angeles Music Center’s Very Special Arts Festival for Children .

While Winkler’s personal commitment to helping others is reward enough, his efforts have been recognized by a variety of prestigious organizations including B’nai B’rith (“Champion of Youth,”) United Nations (“Peace Prize,”) and the French Government (“Chevallier de l’Ordre des Artes et Lettres.”) Winkler and his wife, Stacey, have been presented with Women in Film’s Norma Zarky Humanitarian Award for their tireless efforts and devotion to the “improvement of the human condition,” as well as the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Support Group Service’s Helping Hand Award in recognition for all they have done for the children of Los Angeles.

Winkler was born in New York City, the son of Ilse and Harry Winkler. Winkler made his acting debut as Billy Budd in the eighth grade and played Wintergreen in “Of Thee I Sing” in the eleventh grade. He received his B.A. from Emerson College in Boston (which, in 1978, presented him with a Doctorate of Humane Letters,) and an M.A from Yale School of Drama. Winkler made his motion picture debut in “The Lords of Flatbush.” That was followed by his first starring role on Broadway -- 42 Seconds from Broadway -- which ran only slightly longer than 42 seconds (from 8:00-11:00 p.m.) The very next week he flew to Cincinnati to star in Arthur Miller’s, “Incident at Vichy.” His early television credits include The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show,The Paul Sand Show and Rhoda. He was cast as “The Fonz” on ABC-TV’s Happy Days on his birthday in 1973.

It should come as no surprise that Henry Winkler places great value on family. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife Stacey. They have three children; Jed, Zoë and Max, and two dogs, Charlotte and Linus

Don't miss your chance to see The Fonz on Saturday July 24 at Kewadin's Summer Festival! Your festival ticket is not only good for the nightly out of this world concert and fireworks display - it's for the activities happening all day long including the chance to meet The Fonz!