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.

27.jpgThe Songwriter Agency announced award-winning singer/songwriter Richie McDonald has joined the agency's roster for bookings. McDonald, a consummate performer has scored numerous hits as the front man and principal songwriter for Lonestar.

A polished and engaging entertainer, McDonald was the focal point of Lonestar's storied touring career. His was the voice behind songs like "Amazed," "Smile" and "No News" and the pen behind songs like "My Front Porch Looking In" and "Let Them Be Little." He has earned six gold and platinum albums, several CMA and ACM awards as well as BMI awards for songwriting. In writing and singing "I'm Already There," he was responsible for a song embraced so warmly by the military and their families it became an unofficial anthem for U.S. troops serving the Middle East.
"The opportunity to work with the Songwriter Agency is very exciting," said McDonald, who is one of music's most accomplished and wide-ranging talents. "Songwriting has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. I am looking forward to working with an organization who understands songwriters and focuses on their needs." 

The Songwriter Agency was conceived and created by music industry veterans Paul Compton, Randy Harrell and Rod Parkin in 2010. The company books its roster of country, Christian, pop and rock music songwriters performing in a variety of mainstream venues. For the agency roster, tour dates, writer biographies or more information on the company, please visit

161976_44760791664_5913093_n.jpgKnown as one of Country’s most celebrated voices, Richie McDonald is taking center stage with his much-anticipated CD, Slow Down.  The album features 12 songs, including the title track and the newly released single, Footprints on the Moon.  The CD showcases the chart-topping singer/songwriter’s signature style and his unique ability to capture the essence of hope, love, and family life.  Slow Down was produced by McDonald and Tommy Lee James.


The award-winning artist describes the project as a musical journey marked with distinct sounds and purpose. "Recording and releasing Slow Down has been a process that started three years ago. Over the years people have associated me as being a ballad singer and I can't lie, I am a softy for ballads. With that in mind, Tommy Lee James and I went into the studio and recorded a ballad album. Every song has a message that will, hopefully, touch someone’s heart and make a difference in their life,” McDonald says. 


Richie McDonald’s storied career includes having been the iconic voice and focal point for Country group, Lonestar.  A Grammy-nominated performer, he’s received a mantel collection of CMA, ACM, and BMI honors and awards, plus multiple gold and platinum albums.  Songwriting accolades for the Texas native include songs recorded by John Michael Montgomery, Clay Walker, Billy Dean, Sara Evans, the Wilkinsons, and more.


McDonald lives in the Nashville area with his wife, Lorie, and their three children.  He diligently supports various charities such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Feed the Children, the Minnie Pearl Cancer Center and Children’s Miracle Network.


Join Richie, Larry Stewart & Jimi Jamison for a night of hit music for a great cause!  100% of the proceeds will go to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the Rodgers Theatre Historical Restoration.  Call  573.718.2045 for tickets and more information!



Charley Pride to Release First New Album Since 2006

From The Boot

On March 18 -- his 73rd birthday -- country music legend Charley Pride will release his first new studio album since 2006's 'Pride & Joy: A Gospel Music Collection.' The Grand Ole Opry member's latest project is titled 'Choices' and will feature 13 original tracks penned by some familiar country music names, including Eddy Raven and former Lonestar frontman, Richie McDonald. Also reverantly covered are a couple of classic spiritual songs, including the living legend's interpretation of 'Resting Place,' which topped the Gospel music charts in the late 1990s.








WHAT:     The great state of Texas has given the music world many wonderful artists, and now some of those artists are giving back to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.


The 2011 Texas Music Calendar features artists including Richie McDonald, George Strait, Miranda Lambert, Clay Walker, LeAnn Rimes, Clint Black, Jewel, Pat Green and Radney Foster, Robert Earl Keen, Chris Cagle, Randy Rogers Band & Trent Willmon. This is a 13 month calendar, and 100% of the net proceeds from the sales benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, the nation’s No. 1 children’s research hospital.


The calendar is part of Country Fans Care for St. Jude Kids, a fundraising

program that seeks to unite the fans of country music’s new and

established stars.


WHEN: On sale now.

WHERE: Click here to purchase!

COST: $15 plus s/h


From - The Saginaw News
By:  Sue White


Randy Houser knew he would arrive in Saginaw running on adrenaline -- the popular country singer was a key player in last week's CMA Fair in Nashville -- but at Saturday's KCQ Country Music Fest on Ojibway Island, Richie McDonald had him beat.

After performing a benefit concert Friday night at First Baptist Church in Nashville, the former lead singer of Lonestar found out his flight from Louisville, Ken., to Detroit was cancelled. So, renting a car, he made a mad dash for Michigan, eager to finally say, "I'm already there!"

"My show was done around 11, and when I found out about the flight, it was time for Plan B," he said, sitting for a few minutes in the clubhouse before taking the stage. "Coming out of Nashville, the interstate was closed down and I thought, oh, this is going to be a long night. But I called a friend who talked me through some back roads.

"I hit it perfectly from there, only going through a little mist, a little lightning, instead of the big storms they were expecting. I'm not a speed demon, but with a lot of coffee, I was in Saginaw by 9 in the morning. I was too excited to stop, and I'm still running on adrenaline. I picked up one of those five-hour energy drinks and I didn't even need it."

KCQ Country Music Fest Part two gallery (16 photos)

Jason Michael Carroll was on time to open the main stage at noon, said Barbara Sheltraw, who with Jim Kramer hosts the morning show at WKCQ-FM, 98.1. But  immediately afterwards, he had to catch a flight to Ohio for a show there that night, and he gave WKCQ staffers a bit of a start when he veered instead to meet a few fans lined up along the fence.

"What's happening is we have acts who are popular but still affordable, so everyone's booking them," Sheltraw said. "The more established ones take their time; the worst problem we've had before this was trying to haul tour buses out of the mud."

Only Jimmy Wayne, who took a week off his cross-country walk in support of foster kids to close Saginaw's concert, and the Clio band Stone Cold had the day to themselves, along with about 85,000 fans who braved the chance of storms and the reality of a blazing sun to catch it all. They walked the grounds, lined the fences around backstage and danced and waved the American flag as Houser sang about his dirty little hat.

"I'll be perfectly blunt, it's less than last year," said Ken MacDonald, CEO of MacDonald Broadcasting, which owns WKCQ. "But we're seeing a much younger crowd, too, to see what we've been calling the young hunks of country. Last year was Travis Tritt, a country legend, but I'm thinking people are going to discover, especially with Richie McDonald, that these are some really talented acts."

This is the 19th year that the station has put on the free country concert, he said, after 19 years of its sister station, WSAM-AM, 1400, hosting the annual raft race. And soon, MacDonald said, people might see a few tweaks in the festivities.

"I'd like to do more than one day, though I'm not sure if we have the manpower to pull that off," he said. "Or maybe we could expand it into an art and crafts fair in Hoyt Park and Old Town. This is a wonderful event for the whole community, for mid-Michigan, and we ought to play on that."

Last year was one to remember, agreed Stone Cold's Paul Wixson -- "It was great meeting Travis Tritt and finding out he was really a nice guy," Wixson said -- but the band had a "fantastic" time playing between sets Saturday, too.

"We tried to mix up our music, a little country and a little classic rock, and you could see how everyone was feeding off each other," he said of the day's younger line-up. "Our dream, of course, is to be one of the bands on the main stage, but anytime you can meet your heroes and play right next to them, you're going to go home pretty happy."

Even Stone Cold had people lined up for autographs, a sure sign that people liked what they were hearing.

But little could beat the fan who showed up at Richie McDonald's meet-and-greet. "Lonestar" was tattooed along the side of her foot and she had five song titles tatooed across other body parts, he said.

"She's been following us since she was 10 or 12," he said, and a boyfriend even proposed to her during an earlier Lonestar concert. Now 22, she caught up with her favorite country singer, telling him that she turned that proposal down but was happily married to someone else.

"She's a true fan."