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Chris Creek brings country music to main stage
chris creek
Texas native and current Manteca resident Chris Creek will perform on Sunday at the 29th annual Sunrise Kiwanis Pumpkin Fair. - photo by PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED

Chris Creek has no illusions that he’s going to end up on Music Row.

All of the glitz and the glamour that he once chased as a young musician – all of those hopes of one day making it to Nashville and landing that record contract – have been replaced with a maturity that can only come with age.

But that doesn’t mean that the honky-tonker from Texas still doesn’t like to lay it down when he steps out on stage with his band – whether that’s at a small show at a dive bar or when opening for a big-time country act like Toby Keith or Eric Church.

And on Sunday Creek and his band – guitarist Mark MacDonald, drummer Gregg Landry, bassist Corey Morris and steel guitarist Johnny Gudgel – will once again rock the Sunrise Kiwanis Pumpkin Fair’s main stage and show his new hometown crowd what a lifetime in country music sounds like.  They are scheduled from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

“As a band we’re booked every weekend – we’re a regular player at The Saddle Rack (Fremont) and we’ve opened for some pretty big acts and played some big shows,” Church said. “We played the Pumpkin Fair last year and we had a really good crowd – a lot of people come out and they’re attentive and into the music. This area has been dying for some quality live music for a while and this is a chance to show some of the local people the local artists that play right here.

“People are supportive of local acts, and that’s good to see.”

And Creek has a line on making sure that local music gets played here in his adopted hometown.

Ever since Rookie’s decided to overhaul their PA system to make the venue more band-friendly, Creek has been tasked with finding local and even national country acts to come play the sprawling bar. He’s rocked it himself with his own band, and says that the investment made into a quality sound system will only help secure even more talent in the future.

Talent isn’t a stretch either.

After country star Gretchen Wilson played the KAT Country Listener Appreciation Concert earlier this year the Grammy-winner came and hung out with Creek and other fans at Rookie’s – giving even more credence to the reputation that the venue is gathering.

But at the end of the day Creek still loves getting out there with his band and playing shows for fans.

The Chris Creek Band does a lot of covers. That’s not to say that there isn’t a whole host of original music tucked in there, influenced by Creek’s Texas honky-tonk roots – something that he likes to blend with the modern country sound that people are so used to hearing today.

It’s all standing out.

“I think that the style of country music that we play is different than what every other band out there is playing,” he said. “You can expect to hear something different when you come out to a show. Something a little bit more rowdy – a little bit more honky-tonk.

“I don’t sing anything on stage that doesn’t pertain to me and what happened in my life at some point somewhere, so it’s personal for me. I try to give it that traditional country feel with a  rock edge, and people really like it.”