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Published:May 11th, 2011 08:39 EST
McKinley & Beggs  A Tribute to the Hearts & Soul of True Musicians!

McKinley & Beggs A Tribute to the Hearts & Soul of True Musicians!

By Krista Boyer


A writer should never simply tell you the subject and walk away.  The exception to this, of course, are newspaper reporters who give you the cold, hard facts, and it`s up to you, the people, to decide for yourselves.  This is NOT that kind of article. 


Over the past few weeks, this writer has been brought into the world of two performers - Ronny McKinley and Jody Beggs.  I was introduced, and soon learned - through listening to their voices and hearing their true feelings about their love of music - that McKinley & Beggs are an unstoppable team.  Week after week, I have shared that gift with all of our readers, opening the door to create McKinley & Beggs fans across the nation; fans that will literally swarm to McKinley & Beggs` side as soon as they realize that McKinley & Beggs is an incredible country duo who - there is no doubt - will grace the hallowed halls of country stardom for the rest of their lives. 


However, this article weaves a bit away from simple facts and information about these die-hard musicians, to tell readers about the very personal journey of a writer who has grown to truly respect McKinley & Beggs.  Perhaps this article will sound as an "admiration society` would, when giving a speech or presenting a medal.  But, as all readers will know from the amount of time we`ve spent together on the written page, the plain-speaking way in which this writer approaches her subjects is the complete truth.  So "the following is a true testimonial, if you will, and a huge Thank you, " to two men who have unequivocally honored me with their music.


Without music life would be a mistake.  Nietzsche said these words, and he was absolutely right.  Only music can touch the heart and soul in a way that brings back memories, solves issues, produces feelings of commitment, and spotlights the relationships that you, as an individual, love and need more than anything else in the world.


Who makes this sort of music?  Sadly, very few, nowadays.  There are many who wish to scream about war, the environment, politics - I grant you, lessons that should be taught.  Unfortunately, there is hardly anyone out there anymore who can make you sit down in this ridiculously crazy, non-stop world and just think, enjoy, and find that aspect of your soul that needs to be fed with joy and entertainment.


McKinley & Beggs.  McKinley & Beggs.  This is a mantra that should be in absolutely everyone`s head in the USA right now.  McKinley & Beggs is a country duo made up of two men who, once you hear their powerful lyrics, will make it almost impossible for you to not put their CD`s in your players constantly, and rarely think of another performer again.  No, this is not an overstatement.  This is actually coming from a writer who grew up in the 1980`s when "hair bands` were the big deal.  They wore their colored scarves, teased their hair bigger than any of Dolly Parton`s wigs, slammed guitars against the stage, and hit some notes that sounded as if a pig was just stuck with a skewer.


Yes, I was a "head-banging` follower.  I loved the beauty in those rare songs that talked about "Home` and the road, and finding your dreams.  Although it was a bit difficult to see masculine figures covered in make-up from head to toe, the manliness of "Jack Bauer` in 24 had not yet arrived on the planet.  The only problem with most of these songs was the fact that even though the guitar or bass-playing was outstanding, there was never a great deal of emotion - the kind of lyrics that made you go deep inside yourself to find what you were missing.


McKinley & Beggs doesn`t have a problem "calling` up those feelings from inside your soul.  In fact, last weekend they proved themselves yet again to even more fans when they took the stage at the picturesque Crystal River Plantation Golf Resort & Spa, as one of the performers at the m-m-Mel Tillis & Friends 5th Annual Fishing Tournament, benefiting the SHRINERS HOSPITAL FOR CHILDREN.  There, McKinley & Beggs performed songs from their outstanding By the Fire album, as well as presenting brand new masterpieces from their soon-to-be-released sophomore album for all to hear.


Enjoyment was had by all when McKinley & Beggs unleashed their magic on the crowd.  And these are two men I was honored to meet over the phone.  As a reminder, Ronny McKinley & Jody Beggs met, once upon a time, at a show where they were both performing; and then re-acquainted in Nashville, Tennessee where they both ended up in the garage apartment of Hank Cochran.  This is the apartment where writers spent their days and nights creating lyrics and notes that, when combined, would go down in history as some of the absolute best songs ever written.  These men breathed music while staring at the four walls around them that were covered in black marker; the signatures of the absolute "greats` who had once inhabited this unknown world.


Music was always this writer`s refuge.  But, over time, the music industry has turned out some performers where the only refuge for me comes from shutting off the radio.  Music - in my opinion, of course - is supposed to be something that charms the mind and soul "that has actual taste.  I think we can all agree that a circus act isn`t appropriate unless you`re actually under the "Big Top.`  (I know, odd statement from a big-hair " band fan.  But "you had to be there).


I have been doubly honored this day as you - the public, fan, and reader will be soon - to hear some amazing tracks that are forthcoming from McKinley & Beggs.  This "grassroots` band hit`s the mark with every lyric.  In fact, guys and gals, there isn`t one clinker in the bunch.  McKinley & Beggs offer fast-paced, fun songs such as Seminole Heart and Opelousas.  They sing beautiful songs that take me back to my small hometown and the people that I saw every day at the grocery store, park - even the streets where the local housewives gossiped all the live long day.  McKinley & Beggs told that "type` of tale with their song, Mercer County.  When I heard this, the poetry in McKinley & Beggs " lyrics immediately took me back.  I could actually see the Bluestone River starting to wind through Mercer County, and I automatically wanted to be there.


I`ve listened to a true "hit` titled, It`s Gonna` be Alright, and was brought back to a time when my now nineteen-year-old daughter (God, where did the time go?) was a youngster going to sleep in her big " bed for the very first time.  The tears in those eyes as she faced her fear of the dark room, taking her first step toward adulthood, is still in the back of my mind, and McKinley & Beggs brought it forth.  Of course, the child goes to sleep in that situation; it "s the upset parent who stays up all night wishing they could freeze those years because adulthood comes on way too fast.


But the one that got this writer is the one that will get many, and all I can do is pray that when the next McKinley & Beggs CD arrives, this song will be their first number-one hit.  With Daddy`s Dream, I was taken back to the time when I had my beloved father in my life - my best friend - the great man who I tried to emulate (although it`s hard to ever live up to Sainthood).  When McKinley & Beggs sung the line, Our Time will Come Around, " I was so drawn into their visual poetry that all I wanted to do was send a card to McKinley & Beggs thanking them for allowing me that one moment in this crazy world, to sit back and remember a time that was absolute "perfection.`  The fantastic lyrics harkened back to a time when, although people struggled for money, they NEVER gave up their core roots; they never sold their love, support, or family for a "lifestyle.`


McKinley & Beggs are not only talented; McKinley & Beggs are not just another country band on the scene; McKinley & Beggs are not the genre of country/rock, country/pop, country/shtick - they`ve sacrificed none of what they believe in to fit into some mold.  McKinley & Beggs are, quite simply, a creation of two men with dreams, ideals, taste, and utter class.  Their "grassroots country` sound brings us all back to that day; that time in our lives that hasn`t been erased - it was just put on the back-burner as we got lost in this utterly extreme world.


As fans across the nation will soon see, McKinley & Beggs give us back our hearts.  And I, as a writer, an individual, a daughter of a much beloved man, and a small-town girl, thank McKinley & Beggs with all my heart for joining forces and honoring me with their music.


And you will too "


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