Isleta

Mark McGuinn played an intimate affair on Father’s Day to cap off a weekend of rodeo and country music at Isleta Casino and Resort.

The unlikely country star, with leather hat and a slightly different background, gave the small crowd at the casino at least their money’s worth.

McGuinn played collegiate soccer at Appalachian State University and spent a little bit of time in the American Soccer League before sustaining an injury that sidelined him and sent him to Nashville to chase another dream.

McGuinn made his first big mark on the country music scene with his hit single “Mrs. Steven Rudy,” a song about a “neighborhood cutie” who he dreams of taking away from her inattentive husband.

Since the release of that single, McGuinn has also cashed in on the trend towards songs about getting away and hitting the road with his single “That’s a Plan,” about hitting the road with nothing but a credit card and a tank of gas.

McGuinn gave the crowd a full show, with comic relief and good music from the three-man band, including McGuinn on one guitar, a second guitarist/banjo player and a drummer on a set of electric drums.

He also spent sometime behind the keys of the piano at the concert during his performance of his latest single “She Doesn’t Dance.” The drummer took a turn on the ebony and ivory as well, while an automated drum beat took over in the percussion section during one song.

McGuinn told stories behind a few of his songs, including the sad but true story about a roommate’s heartbreak experience which was his inspiration for “She Doesn’t Dance.”

After what appeared to be his final song, McGuinn left the stage only to be coaxed back by the crowd for an encore performance.

When he returned to the stage, McGuinn shared the story of where he was on Sept. 11. He and the band were in an airport in San Jose. As he watched the last plane land that day, he was inspired to write a song.

McGuinn’s patriotic tribute to the events of Sept. 11 brought the small crowd to their feet for to yet another standing ovation for the country singer.

After the show, McGuinn came out to the lobby at the casino and signed autographs and spent a little extra time with each of the fans lined up to get the opportunity meet him.

He was very nice to the autograph seekers, sharing individual stories and high-fiving little kids.

Overall, McGuinn gave the crowd at the casino exactly what they were looking for after a long day of rodeo action: a night of great country music. He is an up-and-coming star and de-serves all the recognition he gets in Nashville and beyond.

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Tony McClary