Johnny Cash Tribute

Johnny Cash Tribute

The closest thing you will experience to Johnny Cash is the tribute by Jimmie Ray who has been honoring Johnny Cash in his show. At Jimmie’s side is Cyndi Cantrell who portrays June Carter. Cyndi is Jimmie’s real life wife who performs with him in the Johnny Cash Show.

Cyndi & Jimmie
Jimmie and Cyndi have been performing together since their marriage in 1994 and they are a dynamic duo. Their stage presence is powerful and the audience immediately feels the power of their music and songs.

On Stage
Jimmie’s physical presence, energy and his singing will evoke the emotions upon hearing the songs and music of Cash. A lot of people do call him Johnny. Jimmie Ray can relate to him because of his background of growing up in the Great Smokey Mountains. Cyndi Cantrell was born in Louisiana and is the daughter of a preacher. Her tributes are to Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn and a cute and perky Minnie Pearl. Cyndi loves to change her outfits all during the show as she becomes the next character. It is amazing how much she looks like Loretta Lynn. She was a gospel singer and Jimmie said she is a natural born entertainer with a tender presence. Cyndi also plays the harmonica and it comes natural to her.
In a live internet web cast talk show, Live at the Studio, Jimmie and Cyndi told of their bantering back and forth in their show and how she always does something to surprise him, like the kettle corn incident. Jimmie was singing his heart out and Cyndi came behind him on stage and started throwing popcorn into the drummer mouth and caused the crowd to go wild. Jimmie thought it was for him and played his little heart out, as Cyndi described it. Jimmie turned around and saw what was happening and smiled. He never knows what to expect from Cyndi.

Cyndi & Jimmie
I really enjoyed watching them in the studio as they sang a couple of songs. I could see the tenderness and love for each other as they played. The songs are sentimental and the music touches the heart as it brings you back in time.

Cyndi, Nikki & Jimmie at Live at the Studio

Jimmie & Cyndi
The show opens with the song Summertime and then with Folsom Prison Blues and as Jimmie says, the audience gets their moneys worth in the first fifteen minutes and then the rest of the show is free. All the songs that they sing are personal to them in their lives. The crowd loves and appreciates them because they are brought back to that time and they feel it because they are in touch with Jimmie and Cyndi feeling what they sing.

As you walk into the shows you will see a table in the corner with an old radio, an old guitar and three roses in a vase. The guitar belonged to Cyndi’s father and there is a rose there for him and the other two roses are for the son of Cyndi and the son of Jimmie who passed away. It is their tribute to them as they perform their show. I highly recommend you going to see their show.
Jimmy and Cyndi will be performing at Jerry’s Nugget Casino on Saturday December 12, 2009; in the Royal Street Theater with shows at 3 p.m and 6 p.m. The 3 p.m. show will be the Johnny Cash Country Show and the 6 p.m. show will be the Johnny Cash Rockabilly Show. Tom Flagg as Willie Nelson will be making a special guest appearance.

Beaujolais Nouveau

Launch of Beaujolais Nouveau

Holly Madison was stomping grapes at the start of the festival in celebration of the harvest of the Beaujolais Nouveau wines. Holly is the former reality star of Girls Next Door and stars in the Las Vegas Peep Show. The event was held at the Paris Hotel on the Ah Sin patio on November 18. A huge vat, filled with thousands of grapes, was displayed on a harvest themed patio. It looked very inviting to eat and not to stomp ones feet in.

At long last, Holly came out and was helped into the vat and she started to dance around. A few minutes later she was joined by a Lucy look a like and they both were dancing and having a lot of fun. It reminded me of Lucille Ball in her show when she was in the wine vat.

Holly Madison

This didn’t take long to attract a crowd and the passer bys quickly joined to see what was happening. After a few minutes Holly was done with the stomping and she joined the beautiful Paris Show Girls for a taste of the wine.

Lucy and Holly
The clock has struck midnight in Paris, France and now over 65 million bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau will be consumed in the months ahead, all over the world. French law states that the wine is not to be released no sooner than the third Thursday in November.

Fountains turn to red wine

Thursday, Nov 19-Saturday, Nov. 21 from noon to 6 p.m. samples of the wine will be available in the Paris Reception area.

Friday, Nov. 20 inside the Risqué will be live music and world wines.

Wine tasting and a brunch are also planned.

Beaujolais Nouveau is made from Gamay grapes and is harvested by hand. This purple pink wine ferments for just a few weeks and dominates by its fruity flavors. George Duboeof, the leading wine merchant of France says it is definitely the best vintage in the last 50 years.

I can’t wait until Saturday when I will attend the wine event to swirl and sip and learn about the great wines. As I was leaving the patio I saw that the water in the fountains had turned to wine and I wondered if anyone would try to taste the water.

Martorano's Meatballs

Martorano’s Meatball Extraordinaire

Steve Martorano

The Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas was the place to be on November 8, 2009 when the first Meatball Eating Championship was held at Martorano’s Café. One could not miss the wonderful aroma of Italian cooking and being it was Sunday, it brought back the days of the big pot of sauce simmering on the stove. I immediately looked for the Italian bread. I spotted owner, Chef Steve Martorano in the kitchen looking over the big of sauce and trays of meatballs.

 Steve Martorano

I instantly loved Steve as we exchanged greetings and especially when he called me “Princess”. It was sweet and heartwarming and I felt like it came from his heart. Steve’s Italian recipes come from his heart too. I can see why everyone is attracted to Steve and want to be around him.

Joey Chestnut won the Meatball Eating Contest, beating out the other 11 major league eaters with a total of 50 meatballs. Second place went to Pat Bertoletti with a total of 49 and in third place was Sonya Thomas with 42 meatballs fourth place Ben Monson ate 38, fifth place Badlands Booker ate 33.5, sixth place Rich LeFevre ate 33, seventh place Ron Koch ate 30, eighth place Damon Wells ate 28, ninth place Ryan McKillop ate 23, tenth place Jason Erb ate 20, and eleventh place E Toro ate 16.

 Pat, Joey, Sonya, Booker                             Winner Joey Chestnut

         Steve, Joey and Nikki                            Joey Chestnut

Coming out of retirement just for this is Rich “The Locust” LeFevre who has been eating in hundreds of competitive events since 1995, from hot dogs to donuts and tamales. His wife Carlene was in the audience cheering him on.

                          Rich LeFevre

Making a grand entrance was Eric “Badlands” Booker who I thought would win this event because of his large size. I asked him what he did to get ready for this event and said he went to bed early last night and got up early this morning and wandered around the beautiful Rio casino.

 Booker, Nikki & Rick Russo

A fierce contender was Patrick Bertoletti who is ranked second in the International Federation of Competitive Eating. He was one meatball behind Joey. Well at least in September he did win the Nugget Rib Eating Championship, eating over 5 pounds of pork rib meat in 12 minutes.

Sonya Thomas ranks number five in the United States and sixth in the world of competitive eaters. When you look at her small stature you do not believe that she can compete with all the men. She is 98 pounds and holds over 25 eating competitions. She says that her big advantage is that her stomach can expand because she doesn’t have rings of fat. She only eats once a day, vegetables and fruit and no junk food. That makes sense and accounts for her thin body.

After almost 10 minutes of watching everyone shoving, stuffing, drooling, drinking and jumping around eating the meatballs, I was pleased to see Angelica Bridges sitting and eating like a lady. She said she enjoyed every mouthful of the delicious meatballs. They were spicy and tasty. Angelica is performing in the show “Fantasy” at the Luxor and she is a beautiful addition to the cast. Not only is she beautiful, she is charming and gracious and everyone loved her.

         Angelica Bridges                                  Nikki & Angelica

I don’t know how many meatballs the chefs prepared but the final count that the contestants consumed were 372 meatballs and there were plenty of plates waiting to be served. Lucky for us because we got to eat the meatballs too and did not have to rush. They were so delicious and Steve can truly brag when he says that he makes the world’s best meatballs. You will just have to go to the “Martorano Cafe” to experience his fabulous Italian food. Make sure you leave room for his delicious homemade desserts.

 Steve & Joey w/Chefs