BY MARTA HEPLER DRAHOS firstname.lastname@example.org
Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Doug Street is getting used to full houses at Ground Zero.
The Traverse City nightclub, which hosts mostly rock and country acts, had a big night two or three weeks ago when former National Cherry Festival country artist Randy Houser took the stage.
This week it's Craig Morgan, whose 14 Top 10 hits include the fan favorites, "Redneck Yacht Club," "Almost Home," "That's What I Love About Sunday" and "Tough." The country singer and Outdoor Channel TV star performs at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 20.
Openers are Grand Rapids-based Kari Lynch Band and Wreckless from Midland.
"It's been one of our fastest-selling shows," said Street. "Any time you can get an artist with top 10 hits everyone knows the words to, it's going to sell. A lot of the people I talk to buying tickets have been to Craig Morgan concerts before and a lot of people are traveling quite a distance to see him again. I just got off the phone with someone from the U.P. who was asking about hotels and where they can get pasties, and I talked with someone today from Grand Rapids. People are saying he puts on an amazing show."
The "everyman" turned Nashville singer (his resume includes jobs as an EMT, a contractor, a sheriff's deputy and a Wal-Mart assistant dairy manager), Morgan signed his first record contract in 2000 after serving as a demo singer for various artists. In 2008 he became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
His onstage and outdoor adventures have been chronicled on the Outdoor Channel's "Craig Morgan: All Access Outdoors" since 2010. As the program's host, Morgan takes viewers along as he hunts and fishes, kayaks and scuba dives, rides surf boards, dirt bikes and dog sleds.
New fans may recognize Morgan's current song, "More Trucks Than Cars," which is climbing the country charts. But Street expects many in the audience to sing along to the musician's "slew of hits," from fun, party tunes, to ballads, to songs about the military.
A former U.S. Army active-duty soldier and reservist, Morgan is known for his tireless support of U.S. troops. His efforts to entertain them in some of the most dangerous places in the world earned him the 2006 USO Merit Award.
Doors open at 7 p.m. Advance tickets are $27 plus handling at groundzeroonline.com, 932-1300 or at the box office between 3 and 6 p.m. today and after 2 p.m. on Saturday.