Richie McDonald returns for music ministry fundraising show

Two Frenship High School students and two Frenship residents will perform with Richie McDonald July 22 at the Lubbock Civic Center Theater.

Richie McDonald — Up Close and Personal is a fundraising concert for the Cindy Hughlett Music Ministry.

Frendship residents Cindy Hughlett and David House will host the concert and sing a few songs as openers.

Frenship High School freshmen Abbie Rose and Tori Forbess will sing a few songs each as special guests.

Lubbock native and former frontman for Lonestar, McDonald said he benefits several ways by coming back to his hometown next month.

He’ll perform. He’ll bring his wife, Lorie, and their three children, and he’ll attend his class reunion.

McDonald graduated in 1981 from Coronado High School. He has attended two other class reunions since his graduation.

“It’s just nice to reminisce and catch up and sit around and talk about life and families,” he said. Getting some TexMex is another benefit.

“I miss Texas. I miss my mom, my mom’s cooking, barbecue and TexMex,” he said. “I love TexMex, and grew up on, in my opinion, the real stuff.”

Tennessee does not have Taco Villa.

“It’s hard to explain to someone (in Tennessee) the difference between it and Taco Bell,” said McDonald.

McDonald’s career sights didn’t always include singing. As a child in Lubbock, he sometimes aspired to emulate his father and become a truck driver.

He didn’t dream of a musician’s life until junior high school, after he joined the choir.

“I loved to sing,” he said.

Soon, he learned guitar. As a teen, his friends hung out in the arcade at the mall while he hung out at Al’s Music Machine.

He purchased his first piece of sheet music, “Take Me Home Country Roads,” at the music store, attesting to the John Denver influence on his music.

The Frenship High School students who will perform at his concert obviously started the music business early, he said.

“You have a passion for whatever it is you do, especially if you start at a young age,” he said.

McDonald pointed to his son, Rhett, as an example.

Rhett’s sisters, Mollie, 12, and Masie, 10, also sing.

“I guess the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree,” McDonald said.

As the father encourages his son to shoot for his dreams, McDonald also has told the 15-year-old to look at reality. Few people really make it in the music industry. Get an education.

McDonald’s newest single, “Footprints on the Moon,” from the CD “Slow Day,” also encourages people to go for their dreams.

“I love songs like that. I wrote it hoping someone would hear it, and it would make a difference,” said McDonald.

After he left Lonestar in 2007, McDonald said he had a vision of things he wanted to do, including a Christian project, “I Turn to You,” released in 2008.

People who attend his concerts hear a mix of songs — those he sang with Lonestar and newer songs from his solo career, including some Christian tunes, McDonald said.

“I tell people, I do both. I’ll be singing at a church one night and a theater the next night,” he said. “I kind of connect the dots with all the songs, really.”

He hopes his performance in Lubbock will give him the opportunity to tell his story.

“Hopefully there will be someone there that night that will hear something that will change their life,” he said. “That’s really what it’s all about for me.”

Tickets are available through Select-A-Seat at www.selectaseatlubbock.com or 770-2000 and at all United Supermarkets, the Dollar Western, Texas Tech Student Union and the Lubbock Civic Center.

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