PBR Champion Justin McBride trades bulls for a guitar.
After a night of bull riding in the indoor arena at the Texas Longhorn there was a treat in store for the audience. Justin McBride was taking the stage to give what would turn out to be a very good concert.
McBride had been one of the top contenders in the PBR for a number of years. “I had always enjoyed sitting around with my buddies, singing and playing the guitar. There was not much more to achieve in the PBR, I had been lucky enough to not get seriously hurt and just decided to move on to something else,” said McBride.
He first appeared
on the Professional Bull Riders tour at the age of 18. In 1998 and 1999 he was
the PBR Rookie of the Year, then went on to the PBR finals ten times and won
two PBR World Championships, in 2005 and 2007.
To stay on the top money tour, the Ford Tough Tour,
in the PBR the rider has to earn top points and big payoffs. Once McBride qualified
for the top tour, he never went back down. The PBR has several levels of tours
and a rider has to progress to the top by earning the right and never losing
it. Basically it is the same as pro baseball with the minor and major leagues.
“The toughest bull I rode in my career was Terry
William’s bull Hollywood. Hollywood was a big cross bred bull; he was mean and
hard to ride. Ty Murry rode him eight or nine times and I rode him five times”
said McBride. “Blueberry Wine was a popular bull, but he was very small. He
probably did not weigh much over a thousand pounds. That rascal was so short
that your legs nearly touched the ground. He was so fast and agile that he was
as hard to ride and many bigger bulls.”
McBride has a CD, Live at Billy Bob’s, and another
in the works. “When Tracy Bird left the business, I hired his band”, said
McBride. “We don’t have much of a long term schedule; we just go wherever we
are asked to go whenever someone wants us.”
Like most, McBride has a website, justinmcbride.com, and is on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. His fans can follow his schedule and download his music from the web.
In the age of unshaven, long haired singers in old
tee shirts, faded jeans with holes, and an attitude, McBride is a pleasant
exception. He is laid back and easy to visit with. His stage presence is one of
a person who enjoys what he is doing. On the stage at the Longhorn he wore a
denim western shirt, neat jeans and boots. He was just a cowboy with a guitar.
McBride put on a great show. There were some new
songs and his covers of some country standards. His voice is very good and his
rapport with the audience is like he is just a friend singing a song.
The crowd was very receptive to McBride’s style and stage presence. There was the usual amount of hand waving, singing along, and dancing in front of the stage that goes with concerts. McBride was easy to listen to, had a good time, and did his best to see that his fans did also. In short, McBride was just a cowboy with a guitar and good voice.
Coleman Peveto used one of his many rodeo
connections to book McBride at the Longhorn. Bull riding and country music fans
were well pleased with the concert.
“This is my kind of club. I would love to come back
here any time. The club is great, the fans were great and Coleman and the rest
of the staff were great,” said McBride. From the reaction of his fans, the
feeling is mutual.