As many of you know Daddy Russ and I just got back from Steamboat, Colorado and MusicFest. We are truly very lucky and grateful to be able to go on these wonderful travels – each one imprinting memories never to be forgotten and this one left songs stamped upon me.

Music is something that ties our souls together. Daddy Russ has an inherited love and respect of country music from his grandfather and the back roads of South Texas. For me, music has always been something that strums my emotions down to the core. Now combine all that with our love of the mountains and skiing and you’ve pretty much put us as close to heaven as we can get. And MusicFest surely didn’t disappoint as the red dirt bands invaded Steamboat showcasing that true talent in music doesn’t come from Nashville or the biggest record label. It comes from a genuine love of something deeper. An appreciation of a God given talent to either pick at the heartstrings of a listener or make them raise their beer in celebration.


For me this trip was incredibly gifted. I wasn’t able to ski and just started to “bump out” so I was able to spend some time with myself. Well, not quite myself since I finally started to feel little man and he was definitely making his presence known. I think it probably had to do with the music as every time we were in a concert he would start to kick like crazy. But my point was that I was able to take some time to think about our growing family and who this little person inside me was going to be. And how I was going to change with his coming.


The mornings were filled with everyone going skiing. I either visited the spa or played with my camera and explored. There was so much to see! Then the entire group usually joined together for lunch and then off to concerts until the late hours of the night. I was so grateful to be feeling great! It helped that I was able to sit a lot and everyone was always so kind to make sure I had a seat. We were also with the most fantastic group. At one dinner someone made a toast about how great the group was and how you could truly just be yourself. And I think that really summed it up. It’s special to get to go to such an incredible event with people who truly appreciate being there and want to enjoy every minute of it with you! They were definitely up for a good time and I love each one of them!



One of the neatest things about MusicFest is the artists are everywhere. You might be walking through the hallway of a hotel and ta da there’s Roger Creager! I’ve had a long time crush on Roger who is an Aggie that Daddy Russ and I always caught his concerts when he came to College Station. We saw several shows in Steamboat that Roger was in and each time I marveled at how he really embodies being an entertainer. He knows how to relate to a crowd, pull them in and then never lets them go.


Daddy Russ and I having a little chat with Roger Creager’s dad outside of a restaurant. Such a kind man and I always enjoy hearing him sing with his son.


Roger Creager killing it in concert!


The most special event of the entire MusicFest was this fantastic tribute to Radney Foster, a true singer-songwriter legend. Over 20 different artists played some of Radney’s songs and told stories about their experiences with him. I will NEVER forget this show. In fact, I actually cried four times during the three-hour event.


Radney is the definition of talented and has written some of my favorite songs of all time. The respect that the artists had for him was inspiring. Here’s a song he wrote called, “Angel’s Flight,” that is beyond touching. He wrote it about the men who died in the mission “Red River 44” in Iraq in which seven Texas National Guardsmen died when their Chinook helicopter crashed outside Tallil, Iraq.



What I love about Radney Foster is he makes the lyrics in songs MEAN something. You don’t just relate to them…you actually think they were written about you. That people, is a GIFT.


This is Randy Roger’s fiddle player, Brady Black, who came up on stage with Radney. Those of you who know Randy Roger’s Band know Brady and his feverish slaying of a fiddle.



A bunch of the artists came up during the finale to sing “Revival.” All the talent on the stage was mind-blowing.


One of the many singers that we heard for the first time (and fell in love with) was Zane Williams. Talk about talented! We all immediately downloaded his music and jammed out to it the rest of the trip. A bunch of us ladies couldn’t resist taking a picture with him.


Me with Brady Black – he was so sweet and even a bit shy. We all were praising him and he admitted that he doesn’t take compliments well.




While everyone else was downing the brewskis I was sipping on hot chocolate!



Another artist that I heard for the first time was Bri Bagwell. She put on a great show – chatting and drinking with the audience the whole time. She’s my kind of girl – just look at those boots!


Goofing off wearing Daddy Russ’ cowboy hat.


On the way to the airport.




A very cold and snowy take-off to come home. I hope that we get the opportunity to go again! It will definitely go down as one of my favorite trips of all time.

This is my sTORI being written as you read. – Love, Tori

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