Lonestar revs up Boch’s Music Drives Us fundraiser

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2016/04/28/lonestar-revs-up-bochs-music-drives-us-fundraiser/

WEST BRIDGEWATER – “We won’t make fun of the way you talk if you don’t make fun of the way we talk,” said Richie McDonald shortly after taking the stage Wednesday night at the Charlie Horse Restaurant.

His band, Lonestar, the multiplatinum-selling country music group, played a rare live show to benefit Music Drives Us, Massachusetts car dealer and entrepreneur Ernie Boch Jr.’s foundation dedicated to providing music education programs and musical instruments to schools in New England. According to its website, the nonprofit also supplies grants to aid music programs that aim to create positive changes for people of all ages and seeks out those who want to use music to better the lives of others.

The show also celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Charlie Horse, a popular restaurant in the South Shore community of West Bridgewater. The event was virtually sold out weeks earlier.

Beginning with a “VIP Meet & Eat,” Lonestar members mixed with some of their most dedicated fans before taking the stage at 7:30 p.m. to play some of their hits and offer a live debut of their latest single, the title track from the “Never Enders” album, set for release Friday.

As the members walked on stage, they were met by cheers and hollers from 800 fans, clad mostly in button-down shirts and jeans. A smattering of cowboy hats peppered the crowd. The fans, many of whom apparently have followed Lonestar since its ‘90s rise, warmly received the performance. And a healthy slice of younger people who grew up with the band’s music also embraced the show.

The band led off with “Mr. Mom,” a 2004 hit featuring lyrics about being a stay-at-home dad:

“There’s bubble gum in the baby’s hair

Sweet potatoes in my lazy chair

Been crazy all day long and it’s only Monday,

Mr. Mom”

Lonestar started strong and never lost the crowd. They played acoustic guitars accompanied by drums and keyboards. The Nashville band stretched to 1960s London with a cover of the Beatles’ “Let It Be” and then headed to the Caribbean for Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville” before putting a down-home Nashville spin on their well-known standouts. The quartet closed with their biggest hit, 1999’s “Amazed.”

The show effectively kicked off a national summer tour by the band, taking the group from Virginia to California and Texas and at least a dozen states in between.

The Music Drives Us foundation began 10 years ago to assist education programs and provide instruments to area institutions. A graduate of Boston’s Berklee College of Music, Boch said the idea is to “keep music relevant to the public; right now we’re concentrating on keeping music in the schools.”

Boch has worked with the Charlie Horse’s owner, Mary Barrett Costello, in the past, starting with Barrett’s Haunted Mansion, an annual haunted house event to benefit various charities, including Music Drives Us.

“We’re celebrating our 10th anniversary and the Charlie Horse are celebrating their 25th,” Boch said in an interview. “Mary called me to have a joint celebration in exchange for some of the proceeds, so we had an eat and greet for the band and some of the proceeds went to Music Drives Us.”

For Barrett Costello, it was a chance to help a worthwhile cause.

“We were going to do something for the 25th anniversary, and we said ‘if we’re going to do this, we might as well raise some money for a great cause,” Barrett Costello said. So she also reached out to Providence radio station WCTK-FM, otherwise known as Cat Country 98.1, which has sponsored shows at the Charlie Horse for years. Cat Country contacted Lonestar, who were happy to truck on up.

At one point in the show, McDonald delivered an appreciative nod to the fans:

“We’ve played in front of 150,000 people, on TV in front of millions, but nothing is better than the energy in a place like this,” he said.