Trucks are a mainstay in transporting concert equipment, but a limited-edition 2007 Peterbilt 379 owned by Gary Salisbury, president and CEO of Fikes Truck Line, does a little more than that, serving as a portable concert venue for country artist and TCA Highway Angel spokesperson Lindsey Lawler and her band as they tour truck stops nationwide.
Lawler is in the midst of TCA’s 2013 Truck Stop Tour, promoting the Highway Angel program. The Highway Angel program honors truckers who help others on the road. From changing a tire to saving a life, the program highlights heroes of trucking.
“Truckers have told me, ‘We felt kind forgotten, but this is a way back,’” Lawler said at one of the tour’s stops, Oct. 4 at the TA off of Interstate 20/59 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Lawler and crew pull their Pete 379, driven by trucker Steve Bell, into the parking lot of various truck stops across the nation. Lawler said that she enjoys the smaller, intimate setting of performing at truck stops.
“We’re able to sit and talk to everyone there. It’s been nice to meet a lot of the people,” she said.
The first hour of Lawler’s Tuscaloosa performance — like her others — was her Highway Angels trucking radio show. Hosted by Captain Jack and Lawler, the Renegade Radio show honors Highway Angels. The show features the WTF Road Moment, showcasing a trucker’s interesting or funny story about life on the road, and Truckers Have Talent, a mini-talent show for truckers attending the concert.
The second hour of the show consisted of an acoustic concert. Lawler and her producer/guitarist Chris Roberts perform some of Lawler’s hits like “Spin the Bottle,” “Hate that I Love You” and “Train Wreck”. They also played covers of famous pop and rock songs, ranging from Lynryd Skynyrd to Michael Jackson. The performance ended with Lawler’s “Highway Angel”, the ballad for the driver recognition program.
“I liked all of it,” said Mike Gooch, a driver for Turner, who was on hand to see the show.
Lawler said that several truckers at her shows have told her that concerts used to frequent truck stop parking lots, and they’re happy to have concerts again.
“At each stop, a few more people are there,” Lawler said. “I love the positive spin it has.” She said she and her band plan to repeat the Truck Stop Tour next year.
Tour dates and locations for the remainder of the stops are listed below. The tour started in August and will end Oct. 30 in Nashville. The final show will feature surprise country music guests.
Shorter, AL Petro – Tuesday, Oct. 8
428 Main St.
Shorter, AL 36075
Cartersville, GA TA – Wednesday, Oct. 9
981 Cassville- White Road
Cartersville, GA 30121
Atlanta, GA Petro – Thursday, Oct. 10
122 Truckstop Way
Jackson, GA 30233-0967
Spartanburg, SC TA – Monday, Oct. 14
1402 East Main St.
Spartanburg, SC 29334-9647
Candler, NC TA – Tuesday, Oct. 15
153 Wiggins Road
Candler, NC 28715
Knoxville, TN Petro – Wednesday, Oct. 16
722 Watt Road
Knoxville, TN 37922
Kingston Springs, TN Petro – Tuesday, Oct. 29
162 Luyben Hills Road
Kingston Springs, TN 37082
Nashville, TN TA – Wednesday, Oct. 30
111 N. First St.
Nashville, TN 37213