Hal Ketchum performs to sold-out audience


Legendary country music artist Hal Ketchum played to a packed crowd in the Holiday Bay Room at the Lodge on Saturday, February 13. The opening act for the Valentine’s concert was 19-year-old Jasmine Seek, a local singer and songwriter who began performing at the age of 14.

The Ketchum concert is the first concert in a series of four that are scheduled for 2016. The “Concerts at the Lodge” series is sponsored by the CLPOA and promoted by Canyon Lake resident and concert promoter Doug Schultz. Like the previous 2015 “Concerts at the Lodge” series, the Ketchum concert was a sold-out show.

Jasmine Seek kicked off the concert at 7 p.m. with “A Piece of My Heart” by Janis Joplin. She followed her opening number with “It Ain’t Easy,” a song she wrote. Throughout her 30-minute set, Seek entertained the crowd with songs by Fleetwood Mac, Dolly Pardon and John Denver. She wrapped up her show with a rendition of John Cash’s smash hit, “Ring of Fire.”

Jasmine is familiar with the Canyon Lake crowd. She’s played in the lounge at the Lodge on several occasions and has performed at private parties for Canyon Lake residents. She says, “It’s always a good time for me when I play in Canyon Lake. I really enjoy performing at the Lodge; I’m looking forward to playing there again on February 27.”

Hal Ketchum, who has released  11 studio albums since 1986 and sold over five million records, kicked off his performance around 8:30 p.m. Ketchum was joined on stage with legendary acoustic guitarist Kenny Grimes. The duo entertained the crowed with Ketchum’s signature hits: “Small Town Saturday Night,” “Hearts are Gonna Roll” and “Past the Point of Rescue.”

Hal had the crowd laughing with “The Continental” a humorous song based on a Saturday Night Live skit featuring Christopher Walken. He explained the story before the song, as he did with several of his songs. He also gave the crowd plenty of storytelling and jokes in between personal love songs like “The Saddle” and “I Shall Remain.”

Other songs on the set list included “I’m the Troubadour,” “Stay Forever,” “I know Where Love Lies” and Awaiting Redemption.” Ketchum and Grimes played for over 90 minutes, ending the set with an encore of “Veils of Tears.”

Hal says he is happy to be back to performing again. He was sidelined for a period of time in the late 1990s when he was diagnosed with a neurological disorder called acute transverse myelitis, an aliment of the spinal column.

“It left me blind and paralyzed from the neck down. I had to relearn the basic tasks, including how to play the guitar again,” he says. The disorder forced him to take a few years off from music but it also allowed him the time needed to complete his latest album, “I’m the Troubadour.”

After the concert, residents lined up outside the Holiday Bay Room at the meet and greet table where they were given the opportunity to talk to Hal, get his autograph and take photos with him. Hal stayed until everyone who waited in line had a chance to meet him.

Doug Schultz, the concert’s promoter and Hal’s personal friend since the 1990s, says, “Canyon Lake gave Hal the best reception. Hal told me that we were the most receptive audience on this leg of his California tour. It is so rewarding to me to have the ability to book talent, advance the show with all concerned, and see the Canyon Lake audience respond to big name artists performing at our little banquet room. It’s a thrill.”

Doug has produced more than 2,000 concert events and worked with more than 5,000 national acts. It’s because of his personal relationships and friendships with many of the artists that he has built along the way that he is able to get national acts to play in Canyon Lake.

Doug says, “I’m using my 30 years of experience, radio station and personal contacts to put these shows together.” It’s also one of the reasons the Canyon Lake Property Owners Association is able to get such acts at an affordable price and make a profit rather than take a loss for putting on these concerts.

“It is refreshing to know that ‘Concerts at the Lodge’ actually make money and aren’t another subsidized community event,” says Doug.

While in Canyon Lake, Hal stayed at the Schultz’s waterfront home. The day after the concert, Doug and his wife Anneda treated Hal and Kenny to a boat tour of Canyon Lake. Before heading back to his hometown in Texas, Hal videotaped himself singing a special Valentine’s Day melody, with the lake in backdrop, and posted it on his Facebook fan page.

The next concert in the “Concerts at the Lodge” series is scheduled for April 2. The performer will be country music artist Collin Raye. Raye has recorded a total of 11 albums. He charted 30 singles on the U.S. country charts and had four of his singles reach number one on the Billboard country music charts. For ticket information, visit the CLPOA website at www.canyonlakepoa.com.



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Donna Ritchie