For several years now, right in the heart of Central N.Y. we have had one gem of a venue, that has continuously brought country music fans the latest and greatest music directly from Nashville. Proudly displayed on the walls within The Turning Stone Casino & Resort you’ll find show posters. Signed by each artist that have performed over the course of the almost twenty-two years since their opening in July 1993.
It’s a good thing they keep expanding as they would run out of wall space. Some of country music’s most decorated stars have graced the stages at The Showroom and The Event Center. Audiences have enjoyed the likes of Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Loretta Lynn, Clint Black, Alan Jackson, Wynonna, Trace Adkins, Brantley Gilbert, Justin Moore, Darius Rucker, Love and Theft, Gloriana, Scotty McCreery, Eli Young Band, and I can go on and on here.
The first show I ever saw at The Event Center, would be the legendary Martina McBride. This sold out show was the perfect introduction for me to this venue as Martina McBride performed two full hour sets of award-winning music. Featuring some of the greatest country classics from her recently released Timeless album — later to be certified as Gold and Platinum.
Ms. McBride’s performance took me back to my youth in Tennessee, as she sang country standards of Hanks Williams, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, and Johnny Cash to name a few. After a quick costume change, back on stage she came belting out her own hit after hit. This show and Ms. McBride made a lasting impression on me that evening.
Fast forward to today, as a music photojournalist I absolutely love covering shows at this venue and still feel that excitement, the same feeling that came over me as I watched Martina McBride mesmerize her audience. The amazing lighting & sound staff, and the top-notch lineup this venue constantly brings to the country music fan base here in Central N.Y. is very much appreciated. These shows continue to sell out and the big acts continue to frequent this centrally located venue. In my opinion, I believe their ongoing success can be attributed to the fact that they continually listen to their audiences and bring to them the acts they wish to see. Turning Stone also provides these acts with top-notch technology to give their audiences the best performances possible.
For those just looking for a place to relax, have some down home country barbecue for dinner, and hear some of your favorite local country musicians on the weekends. The Turning Stone once again listened to their patrons. In 2013 they added their Exit 33 Venues which includes the Tin Rooster, an establishment focusing on everything down home country. With a shiny bedazzled rhinestone clad saddle hanging from the center of the dance floor like a disco ball, locals have had the chance to chow down on down home country cooking, enjoy libations at the full bar areas, while working it off afterwards line dancing and shaking what their momma gave them country-style.
The Tin Rooster, along with the other venues within Exit 33 provide a constantly packed venue for the local acts. Showcasing their music each weekend to an eager audience. On occasion you can even see some major national acts for little to nothing on the Tin Rooster stage.