Monday, January 31, 2011

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day: West Michigan Golf Show at DeVos Place from February 11th-13th

In February 2010 there was 17.9% of the possible sunshine according to meteorologist, George Lessens. Echoing the Motown hit song, golfers will have “sunshine on a cloudy day” when the West Michigan Golf Show opens on Feb. 11-13 at the DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids. The 23rd edition of the Show will provide a ready antidote to sunlight deprivation, cabin fever and the winter blahs so prevalent this time of year.

Here are some of the highlights of this annual golf extravaganza:

* Widely acclaimed for its headliners, the Golf Show this year welcomes Todd Anderson, the 2010 PGA of America’s Teacher of the Year. Born in Grand Rapids, Anderson is the Director of Instruction at Sea Island GC in Georgia and has taught such Tour players as Davis Love III, Brandt Snedeker, Brett Quigley, and NBC-TV’s Today show co-anchor Matt Lauer. Also on stage will be LPGA Tour player and GR native Allison Fouch (Friday/Sat) as well as a host of PGA pros including Treetops Resort’s Kevin McKinley, Boyne Resort’s Brian O’Neill, Shanty Creek Resort’s Brian Kautz and The Otsego Club’s Jason Guss, named by Golf Digest as one of the nation’s “Best Young Teachers.”

* Ladies’ Night, sponsored by Shanty Creek Resort which is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Arnold Palmer-designed The Legend, is on Friday and offers special events, seminars and giveaways just for women, including the 6th annual Executive Women’s Golf Association Fashion Show. Also on Friday (only) there’s half-price off admission by donating a dozen (new or used) golf balls to junior golf.

* The most popular attraction of the Show is the Treetops Par-3 Challenge where patrons will compete for prizes (Treetops golf) and a chance to win $25,000. Inspired by an actual hole at Treetops which is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Robert Trent Jones’ Masterpiece course, the Challenge will provide a gift to each participant just for teeing it up. The Par-3’s charity is which raises funds for the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

* The ‘hits keep comin’ at the demo club area, where many top club manufacturers will have the latest equipment for patrons to hit, inside the huge hitting net.

* The top golf courses and resorts in Michigan as well as destination courses in Indiana, Kentucky, the Carolinas and Florida will offer pre-season values and teetimes.

* Courtesy of AirTran Airways, Florida Golf and WZZM-TV, there will be a grand prize drawing for a 3-night getaway for four to Don Shula’s Hotel & Golf Club in Miami Lakes, FL—air, golf and rooms!

* Courtesy of the Michigan P.G.A. and Boyne Resorts, golf pros will give free lessons all weekend, providing patrons a pre-season tune-up.

* Presented by Core Golf Schueller, the $10,000 Putt & Long Drive Contests will entice deft putters and big hitters alike. The designated charity is the Positively Warren Golf Classic.

* West Michigan is known for its thrifty, savvy consumers and the Golf Show remains an ideal place to shop for golf balls, gloves, shoes, apparel and golf equipment at attractive prices.

* On a virtual golf course provided by RealGolf and benefiting the Folds of Honor charity, golfers will compete in a closest to the pin contest to win some fabulous prizes from Grand Haven Golf Club.

* Benefiting high school golf teams, there’s a Saturday morning pancake breakfast for $7 (of which $4 is earmarked for the team of your choice) starting at 9 AM in the Grand Gallery at DeVos Place.

* Sunday is “Junior Golf Day” with the first 250 kids receiving hats, and with special seminars, lessons, door prizes, and manufacturers with junior clubs.

* Sunday is also Military Appreciation Day at the Show where military personnel and/or veterans showing ID at Will Call receive FREE admission. Special clinics by Major Ed Pulido, combat veteran and amputee golfer, with Treetops’ Kevin McKinley, PGA Instructor & Chair of the Michigan PGA’s Patriot Golf Day committee, entitled: Challenge, Triumph and Change.

Produced by ShowSpan Inc., the West Michigan Golf Show’s hours are 4:00 pm-9:00 pm, Friday; 10:00 am-7:00 pm, Saturday; and 10:00 am-5:00 pm, Sunday. Tickets are $9 for adults, $4 for children ages 6-14, and children 5 and under are free. Sponsors currently include Treetops Resort, Golf Association of Michigan, Shanty Creek Resort, Srixon, Boyne Resorts and the Michigan PGA. Tickets are available at the door or at

For more information, call 1-800-328-6550 or visit

Jackson Browne Set To Provide DeVos Performance Hall with More than Just Music

Singer‐songwriter Jackson Browne begins the second leg of his 2011 Solo Acoustic Tour. The tour comprises of several Midwestern dates in the U.S. including a stop in Grand Rapids, MI on Thursday, April 21st at DeVos Performance Hall.

Tickets go on sale Friday, January 28th at 10AM and are priced at $29.50, $59.50 and $79.50 (prices include a $1.00 for charity). Tickets will be available online at, Ticketmaster outlets along with DeVos Place and Van Andel Arena box offices or charged by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

Jackson Browne’s 2011 solo acoustic tour begins its first leg next month in California. Playing guitar and piano, he will perform songs from his entire body of work, with varying set lists each night. One of the many guitars Jackson will be bringing on the road this time is the just released, Gibson Acoustic Jackson Browne Signature acoustic guitar. The handmade instrument, inspired by Gibson’s legendary 1930s‐era Roy Smeck model, is the first guitar to bear Jackson Browne’s name.

The intimacy of Jackson’s solo performances has been captured on two live albums—the GRAMMY®‐nominated Jackson Browne—Solo Acoustic, Vol. 1 (2005), and Jackson Browne—Solo Acoustic, Vol. 2 (2008), both released on Inside Recordings. In Rolling Stone’s four‐star review of Vol. 2, Anthony DeCurtis wrote, “Between songs, Browne speaks about his life and music with moving candor… This is Browne at his best, engaging his audience, his own experiences and the world around him, all in songs that will not lose their resonance any time soon.”

In 2009 and 2010, Jackson’s tours served as proto types to Bandit Lites, using 100% LED rigs, which helped the development of the new GRNLite technology. Using GRNLite technology, the Bandit Lites’ rigs greatly reduce energy consumption. Since 2008, Jackson’s tours have strived to be plastic‐free both onstage and backstage.

It’s estimated that since 2008, through approximately 150 band shows and 50 solo acoustic dates, his tours have saved more than 50,738 plastic bottles from landfills and ocean gyres. In 2010, Jackson joined with Brita’s FilterForGood movement, making Brita Hydration Stations available to dispense filtered water, free‐of‐charge, to concert attendees.

Joe Bonamassa to Release "Dust Bowl" a Day After Performing at DeVos Performance Hall.

Multi-talented blues-rock guitar hero and singer-songwriter, Joe Bonamassa will release his twelfth album, Dust Bowl, on March 22, 2011. Just hours before the official release, Bonamassa will be providing Grand Rapids a live taste of the album when he rocks DeVos Performance Hall on Monday, March 21st at 8PM.

Dust Bowl was produced by Kevin "Caveman" Shirley (Black Crowes, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin) making it their sixth collaboration in five years. Shirley most recently produced Bonamassa's 2010 release Black Rock, which debuted at #1 on Billboard's Blues Chart and #39 on the Top 200, and the 2010 debut album from Black Country Communion, Bonamassa's English-American rock band with Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple), Jason Bonham (Led Zeppelin, Foreigner) and Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater, Billy Idol).

Dust Bowl combines the gritty, blues-based tones of Bonamassa's first albums with the fluid, genre-defying sounds he's mastered in the years since and adds a dash of country from Joe's collaborations with the best of Nashville including legends Vince Gill and John Hiatt.

"This is the best album we've ever done," adds Bonamassa. "I'm finding more inspiration in storytelling in my 30s, in writing songs that are about something more profound than 'my baby left me.' I like albums that are made with the right intentions and sound organic and a little rough around the edges, like a great band playing live in the room, and that's what we accomplished with Dust Bowl."

Dust Bowl, supported by a multi-country tour taking Bonamassa and his ace touring band consisting of Carmine Rojas (bass), Rick Melick (keyboards) and Tal Bergman (drums) to the U.S., Canada, U.K., Europe, China, Japan, Singapore and Australia, is set to make a great 2011 for Bonamassa and his fans.

Tickets to the Joe Bonamassa concert at DeVos Performance Hall can be purchased at or charged by phone, at 1-800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased at DeVos Place and Van Andel Arena box offices along with Ticketmaster outlets.

Last year (2010) was a stellar year for Bonamassa and his best to date. He was named Billboard's #1 Blues Artist based on the charting success of Black Rock, the #2 Billboard Blues Album of 2010, and 2009's Ballad of John Henry, which was #9. He was called "The Blues Rock Titan" by Guitar World and was honored twice in Guitar Player Magazine's 2010 Readers' Choice Awards winning "Best Overall Guitarist" for the first time and "Best Blues Guitarist" for the fourth consecutive year.

Black Country Communion's debut self-titled album, released in Sept. 2010, entered the Billboard Top 200 Chart at #53 and received rave reviews. MOJO gave the album four stars and Goldmine said it's "Possibly the best hard rock album of 2010." Black Country Communion is currently in the studio recording their second album, which is tentatively set for a summer 2011 release.

For more information and an updated tour schedule, visit

Blues Rock Guitarist Joe Bonamassa Performs at Royal Albert Hall; To Air Tuesday, February 1st, on PBS at 8PM

In anticipation of his North American tour dates, PBS will be broadcasting a special performance by award-winning guitarist Joe Bonamassa at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday, February 1st at 8PM. The Royal Albert Hall, opened by Queen Victoria in London, England in 1871, is one of the world’s most treasured venues.

Bonamassa and his ace touring band will be performing live in concert at Grand Rapids’ DeVos Performance Hall on March 21, 2011 at 8PM. Tickets are $39, $49, $59 and $69 and can be purchased at, DeVos Place and Van Andel Arena Box Offices, ticketmaster outlets or charge by phone at 800-745-3000.

Headlining arguably the most prestigious concert venue in the world in May 2009, Bonamassa aimed to show his showmanship all the while fulfilling a dream many artists never get to—a testament to Bonamassa’s caliber as an artist. The sold-out concert came off of his No. 1 release, “The Ballad of John Henry.” During the broadcast, fans can watch as Bonamassa was joined on stage by the legendary Eric Clapton. “The sight of two of the world’s best guitarists trading solos was more than a little thrilling,” Planet Rock declared.

Just hours after walking off the stage in Grand Rapids, Bonamassa will be releasing his twelfth album, “Dust Bowl.” The album was produced by Kevin “Caveman” Shirley (Black Crowes, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin) making it their sixth collaboration in five years. Dust Bowl combines the gritty, blues-based tones of Bonamassa's first albums with the fluid, genre-defying sounds he's mastered in the years since and adds a dash of country from Joe's collaborations with the best of Nashville including legends Vince Gill and John Hiatt.

A child prodigy, Bonamassa opened shows at age 12 for blues legend B.B. King, who said after first seeing him play, “This kid's potential is unbelievable…He's one of a kind.” Bonamassa’s recording career began in the early ’90s with Bloodline, a rock-blues group also featuring Robby debut was in 2000 with the Tom Dowd-produced A New Day Yesterday.