In the month of July, the fans of George Strait who have a Sirius XM subscription were in for a special treat, as the music service temporarily created a streaming channel where you could listen to George Strait 24/7 for a limited time!
The Sirius XM channel called Prime Country which is channel 58, was transformed into the George Strait station entitled, Ace In The Hole Radio, playing all your favorite songs from the legendary country artist and sharing stories behind the songs!
Along with that, the channel had guest hosts featuring different country music artists, coming on to host a thirty minute segment talking about their favorite George Strait tunes and how much the songs mean to them.
The first Guest DJ’s on Ace In The Hole Radio was the country music trio, Midland featuring all three band members, Cameron Duddy, Mark Wystrach and Jess Carson. “It sure is great reliving all this great George Strait music.” said Cameron Duddy.
One of the songs Cameron Duddy picked to play was Strait’s song called, Troubadour. “I want to play a song that we used to sit around on my porch when we were starting this band playing.” said Duddy, “This is a song that we could really try and work our harmonies out, this is a song that tested our harmonies and forced us to really listen to each other while we were singing. One of my favorite songs George Strait ever recorded.”
Jess Carson picked a great tune of George Strait’s as well from the early 2000’s. “We’re going to do another one of my favorite George Strait songs, Run from 2001. Such a great love song, beautiful music. Written by Anthony Smith and Tony Lane, who I had the honor of writing with,” said Carson.
One of the special moments during Midland’s segment was when Cameron Duddy shared the story of the time where the band got to open for George Strait and meet him at his after party. “I am one third of the band Midland and was fortunate enough to open for George Strait at one of the nation’s greatest and largest venues, the New Orleans Astrodome.”
Duddy continued, “It was the biggest show that we had ever played, we were shaking in our boots going on stage. We were incredibly excited to be there and more than anything to meet George Strait. So we wait around all day we were the first of maybe four on the bill, George Strait plays, we watch him from the wings, were just in awe of his presence, we’re fans. He throws this fantastic after party in the belly of the astrodome, you expect George Strait to walk in at any moment but instead what he does is arrives to his own party on a golf cart flanked by a marching band. I’d never been so starstrucked in my entire life when I met George.”
Along with that, Duddy sent a special message to George Strait before playing his song, Fool Hearted Memory. “George, if you’re listening now, I want to take this opportunity to speak for all of Midland and say thank you for doing what you do, without you there would be no Midland.”
Jess Carson wanted to feature another great tune by King George as well which was Amarillo By Morning. “This is quite possibly my favorite George Strait song.” said Carson, “It’s one of the greatest rodeo songs of all time. Rodeo songs is kind of a sub-genre, I love the story aspect of it.”
Mark Wystrach took some time to talk a little bit about the group, Midland and about one of the band’s first experiences of going to Nashville. “One of the great joys of being in a band like Midland is that all three of us, Jess Carson, Cameron Duddy and myself, Mark Wystrach are songwriters as well we write on our own, we write together and very often we’ll get together and do the ol’ nashville thing like a nashville co-write.” said Wystrach, “When we first went out to Nashville we went out there as songwriters before we had any music out there. We asked our publishers to set us up with Dean Dillon because Dean Dillon had written some of our favorite George Strait songs.”
Wystrach continued to express how much George Strait and the Ace In The Hole Band has influenced Midland’s music. “You can tell them they know this, we have modeled so much of our sound off of George Strait and the Ace In The Hole band. I will say that one of the great joys was writing with the legendary Dean Dillon gosh because this next song to me is one of the all time greats.”
The song which Wystrach was referring to was George Strait’s tune, Marina Del Ray. He also talked about how you don’t necessarily have to be a country music fan to appreciate George Strait. “What makes George Strait such a compelling singer is that he embodies the song and he lives the life of this song and you believe it what he speaks. As Cameron says he speaks an unwritten language and you’re able to understand it all.”
While Wystrach had a moment to talk, he expressed his gratitude for having Midland host as Guest DJ’s on the channel before closing of the show. “I love these things because I love country music and I love George Strait and the Ace In The Hole band.”
Do you like Midland or George Strait? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so leave me a comment below or on social media!