161976_44760791664_5913093_n.jpgSuite101 interview with Richie McDonald, former lead singer of Lonestar, who is recording as a solo country artist, where he talks about his new projects.

On Friday, August 26, 2011, Suite101 had the opportunity to speak with acclaimed country singer-songwriter Richie McDonald, who was the former lead vocalist of the Lonestar. While with the band, their hits Amazed, I'm Already There, Front Porch Looking In and Mr. Mom all went to the top of the Billboard Country Charts.

Presently, McDonald is recording as a solo artist, and he opens up about his latest musical endeavors.



Richie McDonald · Slow Down - 5 Stars
By:  Brenda L. Madden
Loremoma Music

As the lead singer for the group Lonestar, Richie McDonald's vocals became a staple to country music fans. Now with the release of his solo CD, Slow Down, Richie's vocals are as solid as ever with his signature heart-wrenching delivery. Known as an extraordinary ballad singer, he took this opportunity to record an album of ballads. Richie co-wrote all twelve songs on the project, which is no surprise with his past songwriting credits. The CD is full of positive, family and inspirational messages from "Hey God" to "Footprints On The Moon." Overall a satisfying package.
On June 14, 2011 Full Sail University (fullsail.edu) was proud to welcome award-winning country singer / songwriter and former Lonestar front man, Richie McDonald, to its campus for an exclusive presentation held at the Full Sail Live venue. McDonald's Tour Manager and Full Sail Show Production graduate, Kevin Lammons, joined the event to discuss his career in the music industry and to share insight into the world of professional concert touring.

Recognized as one of country music's best singers and the former front man of Lonestar, Richie McDonald is the voice of songs like "Amazed," "Smile" and "No News." In addition to sharing his talents as a performer, he is the songwriter behind such hits as "My Front Porch Looking In," "Let Them Be Little" and "I'm Already There," which became an unofficial anthem for U.S. troops serving in the Middle East. McDonald has earned six gold and platinum albums, numerous CMA and ACM awards, as well as BMI awards for songwriting.

"It's great to be here at Full Sail University," said McDonald. "I always knew I wanted to be an artist, so I'm happy to be able to give back and to offer guidance to the students by sharing experiences from my career."

McDonald discussed his career in the music industry ranging from recording and touring with Lonestar to writing for well-known artists such as John Michael Montgomery, Clay Walker and Sara Evans. Joining him onstage during the lecture, McDonald's Tour Manager and Full Sail graduate Kevin Lammons, spoke to students about the world of concert touring and his work as a live sound engineer with national touring acts which included 5 years on the road with Lonestar.

"Richie and Kevin's presentation offered an inspiring and unique look into the professional career of a musician from both the perspective of a songwriter and performer," said Dana Roun, Director of Audio Arts for Full Sail University. "This event provided our students with the opportunity to learn about various aspects of the music industry from an award-winning artist, while gaining first-hand knowledge from a member of our alumni."

About Full Sail University:

Since 1979, Full Sail University has been an innovative educational leader for those pursuing careers in the entertainment industry. With over 34,500 alumni, graduate credits include work on OSCAR®, Emmy® and GRAMMY®-winning projects, best-selling video games, and #1 grossing U.S. concert tours. Full Sail's 191-acre campus and online education platform proudly welcomes over 13,000 students from 50 states and 49 countries. Full Sail currently offers a total of 37 Associate, Bachelor, and Master campus degree and online degree programs including: Computer Animation, Creative Writing for Entertainment, Digital Arts & Design, Digital Cinematography, Education Media Design & Technology, Entertainment Business, Film, Game Art, Game Design, Game Development, Graphic Design, Internet Marketing, Media Design, Mobile Development, Music Business, Music Production, New Media Journalism, Recording Arts, Recording Engineering, Show Production, Sports Marketing & Media, and Web Design & Development. Full Sail received the 21st Century Best Practices in Distance Learning Award from the United States Distance Learning Association; was named the 2008 "School/College of the Year" by the Florida Association of Postsecondary Schools and Colleges; The Harvard of Game Schools by Tips & Tricks Magazine; one of the Top Five Game Degree Programs in the world by Electronic Gaming Monthly; one of the Best Music Programs in the country by Rolling Stone Magazine; and one of the Best Film Programs in the country by UNleashed Magazine.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/340999#ixzz1PdcYY9yE

concert_poster8.jpgJoin Richie as he helps George Jones and a cast of other great country music artists as they raise money for handicapped children on October 3rd in Baton Rouge, LA.  VIP Tickets are available through Zeaglers Music Store which is located at 7003 Florida Boulevard in Baton Rouge, LA
(225) 923-0769. 

The first annual Tim Tebow Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic was held May 7th on Dye's Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass. The list of celebrities participating included a number of former Gators (including Richie & Rhett McDonald - second and third from the left in the front row) as well as former Florida head coach Urban Meyer and current head coach Will Muschamp. Former FSU standout Christian Ponder, Adrian Peterson as well as Fred Durst from the group Limp Bizkit. The shotgun start tournament included novelty holes that included speed golf, a punt, pass and kick start and a basketball free throw hole to shave a point off their team's score.




Artist Spotlight: Richie McDonald
From Roughstock.com

By: Chuck Dauphin

Listening to SLOW DOWN, the latest project from Richie McDonald, might give you a sense of déjà vu. While McDonald's talents are front and center, you just might hear some tips of the hats to some of his biggest influences.

For starters, many of the songs on the album may give one pause to take a cue from the album's title and appreciate the finer things in life---a la Mac Davis' 1973 hit "Stop And Smell The Roses." It's a comparison that McDonald is very appreciative of.

"I take that as a compliment. Mac's from Lubbock, and I'm from Lubbock," he said. "I grew up listening to his music, and have always been a big fan of his songwriting.

McDonald admits that the little things in life have made the transition from lead singer of Lonestar to solo artist a bit easier. After all, that was the reason for it.

From AOL's The Boot
By:  Vernell Hackett

cvr-slowdown.jpg Richie McDonald has no boundaries when it comes to setting goals. Now he's sharing that philosophy with the world with his new single, 'Footprints on the Moon,' from his just-released album 'Slow Down.'

"I really owe the title to my wife, Lorie," Richie admits to The Boot. "She reads a lot and she's good at picking out lines. We were talking one night after the kids had gone to bed and she told me, 'I think I have a line for a song from a book I'm reading. What do you think about 'footprints on the moon?'

"As I ran toward the studio, I told her I thought it was a pretty good idea," Richie adds, laughing. "I wrote the song as if I were writing to my kids (Rett, Mollie and Macey), encouraging them to do whatever they want to do. I think people who hear it will apply it to their own situation because they are not much different from us."
The tune sends a message that the sky is no longer the limit, as long as there are footprints on the moon, a bit of encouragement that can apply to another group of kids who are dear to Richie -- the children of St. Jude Children's Hospital in Memphis.

"Those kids are climbing even bigger mountains," he quickly points out. The singer has been involved with St. Jude since his time as lead singer of Lonestar, when the group first moved to Nashville. "This is something that is close to my heart. My children are all healthy but I know if we did need the help of the staff at St. Jude, they would be there."

Richie fondly remembers a 15-year old girl he met at St. Jude who lived the philosophy of his song. "She was determined that she was going to beat the cancer," he recalls. "She was a fan of Lonestar but she could not leave her room, so I took my guitar and played a private concert for her. She gave me some candles that she made, which I still have, and she told me when she beat the cancer she was going to help other kids. Unfortunately she didn't make it, but she was a tremendous impact on me."

Richie says that when he moved to Nashville he considered himself a pretty good writer. Then he started co-writing with some of Nashville's finest tunesmiths and changed his mind. "I'm honored to be a songwriter," says the Texas native who in addition to songs cut by Lonestar, has had his compositions recorded by Sara Evans, Clay Walker, John Michael Montgomery, Billy Dean and the Wilkinsons.

"When I lived in Dallas I was riding around in my Coca-Cola truck, writing songs on Taco Bell napkins. Once I was here, I learned that I had a lot of work to do to come up to the caliber of the writers with whom I had the privilege to work."

Richie says that being able to express opinions and feelings in the lyrics of his songs that make a difference is the ultimate honor for a songwriter. He says there are many examples of people telling him what one of his songs meant to them, but the first one that comes to mind involves the 2001 pop-country smash, 'I'm Already There' and chocolate chip cookies.

"A girl came up to me at a meet-and-greet one night before a show and she gave me a letter and some chocolate chip cookies. She told me that she and her mom were Lonestar fans and that 'I'm Already There' was their favorite song. They would bake chocolate chip cookies together and listen to Lonestar.

"Then she told me her mother had passed away recently, and she started crying and I started crying. When you touch someone like that, it's so meaningful for you. I still see that lady at concerts, and she still brings me chocolate chip cookies."

Richie also takes his own advice in matters other than the words to 'Footprints on the Moon.' The title of the CD is 'Slow Down,' and he and Lorie and the kids take time to do that together.

"Lorie and I never had a honeymoon, and now that we have the kids they go with us everywhere," he explains. "We love going to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge in East Tennessee. Our favorite thing to do there is eat at the Old Mill Restaurant. The first thing we do after we get checked into the hotel is head for that restaurant."

Look for Richie to participate in several activities during CMA Music Festival in June, including an event at the Country Music Hall of Fame and an autograph-signing at the Grand Ole Opry booth at the convention center.