So it’s Donny Trump’s big party tomorrow and party planning hasn’t exactly been easy for him.
Turns out, trying to get acts to play for you is quite difficult when you’ve managed to offend pretty much everyone in the world.
After the world’s greatest dealmaker failed to book a Bruce Springsteen covers band, we take a look at the entertainment on offer for the viewing public this weekend.
Let’s just say it’s not exactly Live Aid.
1. Sam Moore (of the duo Sam & Dave)
We’ll give you this one Donny. Sam & Dave were a legendary R&B act who racked up a load of hits in the sixties on the equally legendary Stax label, including this absolute belter of a tune:
The couple enjoyed a tempestuous relationship, so much so that in 1982, Dave pulled the cheekiest move possible and teamed up with a new Sam. However, Sam v1.0 had the last laugh when Dave died in 1988.
Confusingly, Sam performed at the Inaugural Ball for Obama in 2008, but the same year sent him a cease and desist letter to stop the use of his material at rallies for his campaign.
Flip-flopping on viewpoints? Threatening legal action on a whim? Sounds like a perfect fit for Trumpfest 2017.
2. 3 Doors Down
Remember the time when Limp Bizkit, Korn and Papa Roach ruled the world as the kings of nu-metal at the turn of the millennium? If Trump had run for President then we might have considered it an improvement.
3 Doors Down made it big around the same time with their debut The Better Life shifting 6 million ‘units’ and follow-up, 2002’s Away From The Sun selling 4 million, led by Nickelback-esque ballad Here Without You, where singer Brad Arnold looks like a slightly thinner Meat Loaf in a classic early-naughties ‘earnest band in studio setting with autumnal camera filter to indicate seriousness’ video.
We’d not heard of them since then, although Wikipedia tells us they’ve had another 4 top 15 albums in the States since then, albeit with plummeting overall sales figures.
And, annoyingly, before you slag them off too much for playing for Trump, in 2003 they started The Better Life Foundation, a children’s charity which has raised loads of cash over the years. The kids of today won’t be so well off once he’s set off a few nukes and fried the world with oil and gas though will they lads?
3. Toby Keith
Keith is an enormous, almost incomprehensibly huge and successful country singer. So, obviously, we’ve never heard of him over here in the UK. He’s sold over 40 million albums worldwide (so, basically, in the States) over the course of 23 releases. Literally never heard of him.
So what’s he like? As Good As I Once Was is a none-more-country bit of storytelling about overestimating his fighting abilities and chatting up two girls called Bobbie Jo and Betty Lou, while he once did a song called Beer For My Horses with Willie Nelson. We’re talking country here guys – if you showed these guys a synthesizer they’d probably have a heart attack. According to Wikipedia, “the song tells of a group of men who fight injustice and celebrate with a round of drinks at a saloon”. YouTube commenters interpreted it rather differently though:
Yeah he’s gonna go down well isn’t he?
Interestingly Keith has been vocal about his despair over the most recent election process and has never come out in support of Trump. In fact, back in September, he told the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas "This is by far the best country you could ever live in, and we picked these two candidates to be media whores and go out there and take care of the world, huh?"
He also did this, featuring himself singing IN FRONT OF SOME FIGHTER JETS.
4. Jackie Evancho
Evancho is sort of an American cross between Hollie Steel - the little girl who cried in the Britain’s Got Talent semi-final back in 2009 – and Susan Boyle. Like Hollie, she was just 10 when she was the runner-up in America’s Got Talent in 2010. Now still only 16, she’s released six studio albums (putting the Stereo MCs to shame), selling absolutely bloody loads of them, as the montage below demonstrates in typically understated fashion.
Jackie’s going to perform the national anthem at Friday’s inauguration, and then will presumably forever regret it once she reaches voting age and realises who Donald Trump is other than ‘that man with the silly hair off the telly’. We can’t wait for the inevitable Macaulay Culkin breakdown-and-smack years to come.
5. Lee Greenwood
First result on YouTube: ‘God Bless the USA by Lee Greenwood’.
You thought American Soldier was patriotic? Get out of the way Toby Keith because you’re basically a Commie-lovin’, freedom-hatin’ pussy compared to this guy.
His Wikipedia picture is entitled simply ‘Man performing in a Stars and Stripes jacket’. Yes, this man is an American.
The song has seen spikes in popularity coinciding with the first Gulf War, 9/11, the 2003 Iraq invasion and when Osama bin Laden was killed. Of course it did.
6. Big & Rich
No, no, it’s not Donald Trump himself (although he is, bigly, both of those things). Instead it’s a country duo comprising Big Kenny and John Rich. We wonder if they had the idea for their name first and then recruited personnel later? A bit like those TV programs where they clearly think of the title first and work back like Rosemary & Thyme (“a British television cosy mystery series starring Felicity Kendal and Pam Ferris as gardening detectives Rosemary Boxer and Laura Thyme”). Bloody hell, how did that ever get past the pitching stage.
Anyway, we digress. John Rich was originally in Lonestar, although he left months before their undeniable banger Amazed was released, which must hurt to this day.
Seemingly like every country artist, they’ve had loads of albums and sold loads of records, although (there’s a theme developing here), their last album, 2014’s Gravity didn’t go down well (ironically), scraping in to number 51 in the US album chart.
Off to YouTube then:
This is their ‘breakout’ hit. It sounds a bit like something Shania Twain would have done actually. But, obviously, not as good.
In conclusion, who are we to argue with the opinion of someone with the username ‘I love music and hate animal absers’?
7. Tony Orlando
He sounds like a Steve Coogan character, but in fact was big in the seventies under his own name and ‘Tony Orlando and Dawn’. Their biggest hit was Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Ole Oak Tree which, to be fair, is a banger.
Sounds a bit like Save All Your Kisses For Me actually doesn’t it? We’d never clocked that before. Maybe Trump should give Brotherhood of Man a shout as well.
8. Chrisette Michele
34-year-old soul singer Chrisette Michele has been around since 2006, releasing five albums; she’s also collaborated with Kanye West, Nas, Drake and loads of others, without ever really making it big – although 2009’s Epiphany did get to US number 1.
Tellingly, her latest album Milestone, released in June, only made it to number 73, which probably explains why she’s accepted the invitation to perform for Trump.
Here’s a single from it.
We’ll leave it to YouTube to describe our thoughts on that one:
9. Travis Greene
A bit of gospel from 33-year-old artist and pastor Travis Greene. We had a listen (below) and he sounds a bit like John Legend which is pretty good. Did you see those KFC onesies he and his wife Chrissy Teigen wore the other day? They were brilliant. Really funny. Actually the song’s a bit boring isn’t it. Sorry Travis.
10. The Rockettes
Wikipedia tells us “The Rockettes are a precision dance company. Founded in 1925 in St. Louis, Missouri, since 1932, they have performed at Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan, New York City. During the Christmas season, the Rockettes present five shows a day, seven days a week. Perhaps their best-known routine is an eye-high leg kick in perfect unison in a chorus line, which they include at the end of every performance.”
Wonder if they can do a perfect unison extension of the right hand with the palm facing downwards? That would go down well.
We jest of course (not really) and their decision to perform at the event has caused controversy – at the time of writing, three of the thirteen full-time members are choosing to sit out the event and no women of colour will be performing. We’ll just leave it at that...
11. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir
A 360-member, all-volunteer choir, part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
We’ve seen The Book of Mormon, we know all about this stuff. And Brandon Flowers is a Mormon.
Maybe they misread an email asking them to perform for a moron?
12. The Piano Guys
Another Utah-based musical act, these guys got big by posting videos of pop songs reimagined for piano and cello on YouTube. One of them plays the piano, one plays a cello, and two others chip in occasionally. They’ve released four albums that have all hit number one on the Billboard Classical Chart, because that’s all it takes these days. Just look at Il Divo and Bradley Walsh for God’s sake, people will buy any old crap if they already know the tunes. Whatever happened to Mozart? And why aren’t they called the Piano and Cello guys?
Anyway, here’s a cover of Christini Perri’s Thousand Years which is a) not as good as the original and b) absolutely pointless. The video does at least look a bit like the one for Bryan Adams’ classic (Everything I Do) I Do It For You.
13. DJ Ravidrums
After overcoming the initial disappointment that this wasn’t Essex all-rounder Ravi Bopara doing a one-man drumming, cricketing and disc-jockeying extravaganza, it turns out that this is 49-year-old Ravi Jakhotia, whose claim to fame is seemingly being the first Indian American music director of an American TV series.
And, if it was left to the KKK members that supported Trump’s run for President, probably the last.
14. Tim Rushlow
Would you believe it? It’s another country artist. And no, we’ve not heard of him either. He was formerly the lead singer in Little Texas, who we also do not know. He’s done two solo albums since they split in 1997, one charting at 28 in the US Country Chart, and the other not bothering the scorekeepers.
He now plays with a Big Band but to be honest we don’t really care.
Here’s an obligatory ‘thank you to the soldiers’ song. Nice voice, to be fair, but he’s no Bradley Walsh.
15. The Frontmen of Country
Featuring Tim Rushlow (see above), Larry Stewart (of Restless Heart), and Marty Roe (of Diamond Rio).
Nope, us neither.
16. The Talladega College Tornado Marching Band
And bringing up the rear, it’s a marching band. No one really likes marching bands do they? Although the one on Tusk was quite cool. Let’s listen to that instead shall we. In fact, don’t anyone bother tuning in to the inauguration, just listen to Fleetwood Mac instead.