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Two big concerts at Penn's Peak

  • Country singer Jamie Johnson will make his first appearance at Penn's Peak during a concert at 8 p.m. Sunday.
    Country singer Jamie Johnson will make his first appearance at Penn's Peak during a concert at 8 p.m. Sunday.
Published February 18. 2010 05:00PM

If you're a fan of heartland rock, then you'll be interested in Saturday night's concert at Penn's Peak.

If country music interests you, then Sunday's concert at the venue would be worth attending.

Appearing at Penn's Peak this weekend:

• Saturday - Bruce in the USA, the acclaimed number one tribute to "The Boss" Bruce Springsteen. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Show time is 8 p.m.

• Sunday - Jamey Johnson, co-writer of the 2007 CMC and ACM Song of the Year "Give It Away" and three-time Grammy nominee. Tickets are $34 and $29. The concert begins at 8 p.m.

Next weekend, Rick Springfield makes a return appearance to the concert hall on Friday night. Then on Saturday, Big Shot returns with the music of Billy Joel.

Bruce in the USA

Bruce in he USA is more than a tribute to Bruce Springsteen, says Matt Ryan, who has played the Springsteen character for eight years in the world famous "Legends in Concert" cast.

He says on the group's Web site, "This high-energy musical experience is a note-perfect and visually accurate recreation of a Bruce Springsteen & The E. Street Band show."

His success in "Legends in Concert" was so overwhelming he decided to concentrate solely on traveling and performing the tribute show.

The Bruce in the USA show was born on the Las Vegas Strip in early 2004 with its debut at the Aladdin Hotel and Casino's majestic "V Theatre." Ryan has sold-out such famous venues as Stone Pony, Asbury Park, and House of Blues with his show.

Ryan has a striking resemblance to The Boss, and when he sings, fans might find it tough to tell the difference.

He said Bruce in the USA has helped him "to see the world."

In April, the band will be touring in the United Kingdom with Les McKeown's Bay City Rollers.

Ryan said Springsteen fans won't be disappointed when they see Bruce in the USA perform. The band is as active and energetic on stage as their namesake.

Jamey Johnson

Jamey Johnson's life parallels the reputation of country music.

He's had his periods of being wild, he admits to having been a heavy drinker, and he went through a painful divorce.

He gives the appearance of a rebel with his long goatee and sometimes crazy hair.

But he's actually a much-disciplined ex-Marine, an amazing songwriter, and a three-time Grammy nominated country singer.

Besides writing "Give It Away," which was a number one hit for George Strait, he has produced a Gold selling album, "That Lonesome Song."

On his new album, he proves his devotion to the pure country sound with his tribute to Waylon Jennings, singing the covers "Dreaming My Dreams" and "The Door Is Always Open."

Johnson admits that his album occurred following a deep period of isolation and introspection that occurred after his divorce and after his record label had dropped him.

He said, "I turned into a recluse for about a year. I wouldn't talk to anybody. I wouldn't go out to clubs. I didn't want to be at any party. I quit drinking for more than a year. In that respect, losing my deal was a good thing because I finally had time to come home and get my life back in order."

He continues, "More than anything, I stayed home and just sat there dwelling on things. It takes an awful lot of thinking to get through something like a divorce."

Of course, while he was suffering from the effects of divorce, it was "Give It Away," a song about divorce which, he says, "kept money in my bank account and kept my name out there."

Johnson was born in Enterprise, Alabama. From an early age, he was influenced by country acts such as Alabama and Alan Jackson, the latter of whom was the first act that he saw in concert.

After graduating high school, Johnson attended Jacksonville State University.

Johnson quit college after two years and served in the Marine Corps Reserves for eight years where he attained the rank of Corporal. He would often play original songs for his fellow Marines and has kept in contact with many of them. He wrote two songs on his initial self-released album that mentions his Marine Corps service.

For more information on Jamey Johnson, visit his Web site at

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