All Access Follows Brantley Gilbert: Week-Long Album Launch and 'Folds Of Honor' Charity Ride: Weekend Wrap-Up
May 28, 2014 at 7:22 AM (PT)
VALORY MUSIC’s BRANTLEY GILBERT continued on his trek from #AthensToArlington (his hometown of ATHENS, GA to ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY in WASHINGTON D.C.) over the weekend, with several stops across the Country.
GILBERT, who paired a week-long HARLEY DAVIDSON motorcycle ride/ publicity tour for his new album "Just As I Am" with efforts to bring awareness to the charitable organization FOLDS OF HONOR, wrapped the fourth day of his tour in GREENVILLE, SC at a BEST BUY appearance and performance.
Prior to playing four acoustic songs for the chanting crown, APRIL TRENT was introduced as a FOLDS OF HONOR scholarship recipient, following the loss of her husband in combat. APRIL, who was a soldier herself, told the emotional story of how she was notified of her husband’s death, and the complications that followed while trying to be with his body as he was brought back home. FOLDS OF HONOR helped the TRENT family financially, providing scholarships to the couple’s two children.
After GILBERT’s performance, the first few hundred people who had wristbands were invited to meet BRANTLEY. However, to not disappoint fans, he then invited anyone who had purchased his album to meet him, making for several hundred cheers from the crowd.
Day five kicked off with an early call to travel to the small town of GAFFNEY, SC, where SIRIUSXM host STORME WARREN threw an on air "Just As I Am" album premiere party at HAROLD’s RESTAURANT. Described as a "FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS" town that shuts down to go watch the local football game on weekends, GAFFNEY is home to just over 12,000 residents- many of which skipped school and work, hoping to catch a glimpse of BRANTLEY.
SIRIUSXM "THE HIGHWAY" host STORME and producer BRITT spoke to GILBERT about the new album, played some produced tracks for listeners, and introduced a couple tunes that he performed on-site acoustically. Several SIRIUSXM subscribers from the area were invited to attend the event, and to indulge in HAROLD’s RESTAURANT’s famous chili burgers and chicken fries. Arguably, a breakfast of champions at eight o’clock in the morning!
BRANTLEY and his hometown friends then loaded up on their HARLEY DAVIDSONS for the hour trek NORTH to the next stop at BEST BUY in CHARLOTTE, NC. Once again, he introduced another FOLDS OF HONOR scholarship recipient family, performed a few songs acoustically, and was gracious enough to meet all fans who had purchased the new album, regardless of the amount of people, or time constraints of the event.
We woke up in CHARLOTTE, NC for day six, and headed over to the CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY, prior to NASCAR’s "HISTORY 300" race. BIG MACHINE LABEL GROUP had sponsored driver KYLE LARSON’s #42 car, with BRANTLEY GILBERT’s "Just As I Am" album artwork on the rear. This was the first time that BRANTLEY and KYLE had a chance to meet, before quickly being ushered into a press conference with media from all over the world. GILBERT spoke about growing up as a racing fan, and explained his #AthensToArlington tour. He told the press about the FOLDS OF HONOR organization, and wished KYLE luck in the afternoon’s race. That well-wish did not fall on deaf ears, as LARSON went on to win the "HISTORY 300" race, just a few hours later.
By that time however, BRANTLEY was several thousand feet in the air, jet-bound for a performance at the TREETOP MUSIC FESTIVAL in IOWA. After the show, while en route back to CHARLOTTE, he made a pit stop in INDIANAPOLIS the following morning (day seven), prior to the "INDIANAPOLIS 500" race where he was featured on driver SAGE KARAM’s #22 car. After a brief visit, BRANTLEY then hopped in a helicopter, bound for CHARLOTTE to perform the pre-race concert at the "COCA-COLA 600" race where NASCAR fans went wild for BRANTLEY’s rockin’ performance and pyro-technics.
After meeting some CLEAR CHANNEL Country WKKT/CHARLOTTE listeners and military personnel at the track, It was once again time to hit the road again for 100 miles, making our way to meet 2,500 screaming fans at HARLEY DAVIDSON of GREENSBORO, NC. In true BRANTLEY fashion, after making appearances in three states and putting on three performances within 24 hours, he still took the time to meet radio listeners from CLEAR CHANNEL MEDIA + ENTERTAINMENT Country WTQR/GREENSBORO, and every single fan that had purchased his new album ... and it took hours.
The #AthensToArlington trip came to a close on day eight- MEMORIAL DAY. After a five-hour bus trip NORTH to WASHINGTON D.C., we arrived at ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY. Joining on this leg of the trip, was FOLDS OF HONOR scholarship recipient SARAH WHITE, whose father CAPTAIN DENNIS WHITE had been killed while on duty. CAPTAIN WHITE was laid to rest at ARLINGTON, and SARAH and BRANTLEY participated in a wreath-laying ceremony in his honor. Additionally, we were privvy to a tour of the CEMETERY, an in-depth and up close explanation of the "CHANGING OF THE GUARD" ceremony, and witness to BRANTLEY and SARAH laying a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier. Several grown men of BRANTLEY’s entourage shedded tears as they looked on. Afterwards, we departed in silence, and made our way back to the bus, closing out a very memorable and exciting week.
BRANTLEY GILBERT’s new album "Just As I Am" is in stores and online now, and features his PLATINUM single "Bottoms Up" and current single "Small Town Throwdown." Catch him on CMT-TV next WEDNESDAY (6/4) performing live on the "CMT MUSIC AWARDS" at 7p (ET). Also, check out BRANTLEY's exclusive "10 QUESTIONS WITH ALL ACCESS" interview here.