The Touchdown and Tunes Festival is a festival experience that brings together two of America’s greatest loves: country music & football. The inaugural event will feature Cody Johnson, Restless Heart, and many more over Labor Day Weekend. There will be a football fan experience including broadcasted games & scores, food & beverage vendors, and a meet & greet with musicians and players. We chatted with Dave Innis of Restless Heart about the festival this coming weekend and his tailgating and festival favorites.
What first sparked your love of music?
My mom was a piano teacher so I grew up listening to her teach. She had around 20 students and all throughout the week kids would come over after they got out of school. I wanted to play the piano from as early as I can remember. My brother is three years older than me is a great pianist and actually teaches music at a high school in Greeley, Colorado. So music is just in my blood. I always wanted to play piano and my mom let me fiddle around even before I could reach the keys. I just liked the sound of the piano. At my 6th birthday I got my first piano lesson from mom and continued through high school.
Was there a particular record you remember?
Before I started buying records I remember that my granddad had the Everly Brothers and my dad had a Ray Charles record that I really loved. Mom had a lot of classical music records.
What song that you have recorded means the most to you and why?
It’s like with songwriting, whatever you are working on at the time is going to be your favorite. You do not really favor one over the other in some ways. These songs have sustained us and allowed us to have a career with longevity. There is something special about all of them.
If you could have penned one song in any genre, what would it be?
I guess the world’s most popular song is Happy Birthday!
What’s left on your music bucket list?
Just to enjoy the process of music, I play everyday.
What are your favorite things about playing festivals like Touchdown and Tunes coming up this weekend?
I usually have the opportunity to get out and go for a run each day before we perform. It wakes me up and gets my voice where it needs to be. It’s always interesting to run around the grounds and see where you are going to perform. At a festival there are other acts so you get a chance to say hi to some people and get out and go to a booth and find something interesting to eat. Festivals are big parties and we are no exception. We like to get out there amongst the folks.
Are fans going to be able to meet and talk with the band after the festival?
We try to get out and say hi and mingle with the crowd. It is not as easy at a festival as it is some of our other shows. But we do try to get out as much as we possibly can and do a meet and greet. We really look forward to it. We have fans that have been coming to see us for years and years. I talked to a girl the other day that said she has been to 22 shows all of the country. We have some fans we know by first name.
What is your favorite meal or snack on the road?
I do not know that I have a favorite. When we go to Texas we eat a lot of BBQ. They love their brisket. Masterpiece BBQ in Kansas City is great and Dreamland BBQ in Alabama is my number one favorite.
Favorite hometown restaurant?
I live in a suburb of Nashville and there are a lot of places to shop and chef owned restaurants. You can go in and it’s not a menu that you will see in another restaurant. I like all different types of cuisine. I am even a big fan of sushi and there are some great sushi restaurants and meat and three’s in Nashville.
Favorite meal day:
Breakfast- two eggs over medium, hash browns, patty sausage or bacon that’s not to crisp, sourdough toast, and a cup of coffee. That’s my go to breakfast.
Music and football go hand in hand with food! What’s the perfect dish for tailgating before a game?
Bratwurst hot dogs because they are so easy to eat with mustard, relish, sauerkraut and chili, but no ketchup.
What about your favorite festival foods?
It depends on the festival. We recently played a festival out in Arizona I think and they had some great mexican food. It was absolutely fantastic and fresh. I had three different types of beef and chicken tacos.
What’s the best thing to eat that’s deep fried?
They deep fry everything these days, even butter. I would say deep fried ice cream.
What football team will you be pulling for this season?
I spent 10 years in Colorado so I am a Broncos fan. I actually lived there in the 90s when Elway was still there and they were winning superbowls. I still follow them.
Finally for Battered and Brewed, If you could eat or have a drink with one person dead or alive, who would it be and what would you have?
To sit and have breakfast with my mom and dad one more time. I lost both of them a couple of years ago. We used to all eat as a family. That was a big deal in our house, to all sit down together. Just watching dad read the paper and he always ate the same thing, Raisin Bran and sliced toast. Mom always had Shredded Wheat and orange marmalade. Dad would work the crossword puzzle every day with a ballpoint pen. That always impressed me as a kid. He made it to 88 years old and was still doing the crossword puzzle with a pen.
About Restless Heart
Dave Innis, Greg Jennings, Paul Gregg, John Dittrich and Larry Stewart, the men who make up Restless Heart, have enjoyed one of the most successful group careers in country music history. The band has placed over 25 singles on the charts with six consecutive #1 hits, four of their albums have been certified Gold by the RIAA and they have won a wide range of awards from many organizations including the Academy of Country Music’s “Top Vocal Group.”
Ticket Link: http://smarturl.it/touchdowntunestix
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