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Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Tree fire reported at Frost Ridge Campground

post by Howard Owens in fire, Frost Ridge Campground, Le Roy

A tree is on fire at Frost Ridge Campground, 8101 Conlon Road, Le Roy.

Le Roy fire is responding.

Sunday, August 25, 2013 at 12:58 am

Frost Ridge turned into party central Saturday with The Farm and Jerrod Niemann rockin' the house

They call it Jam at the Ridge and on Saturday night, the two acts topping the bill fulfilled the promise of that title, cranking out hot tunes and kicking up some heels.

The headliner was Jerrod Neimann, who found a crowd ready to rock after The Farm put on a show that was as much party as concert.

And there was a lot to celebrate for The Farm, with Krista Marie, a native of Alexander, playing her first big-time show in Genesee County.

The amphitheater was packed with friends and family -- so many who lined up for autographs and pictures after the set that security guards were trying to hurry the line along before Niemann took the stage.

Previously: Hometown girl brings big time act to Frost Ridge

Saturday, August 24, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Hometown girl brings big time act to Frost Ridge

As a little girl Krista Marie Robusto would watch her mom in Rotary shows and think, "Oh, gosh, I want to do that someday."

About 10 years ago, Krista was the lead of the Batavia Rotary's production of the "Wizard of Oz."

Now, Krista Marie -- just Krista Marie to her fans -- is living in Nashville and hitched to a rising star.

Tonight, her band, The Farm, plays at Frost Ridge Campground in Le Roy.

Krista Marie, Nick Hoffman and Damien Horne were friends in Nashville, all working professionally -- Krista pursuing a solo career and Hoffman toured with Kenny Chesney and Horne with John Legend. The three young artists decided to try writing some songs together.

Soon, their songwriting projects evolved into putting some serious thought into forming a band.

"When we finally decided to be a group we looked at each other and said, 'OK, we've got to be all in,' " Krista said. "We said, 'we're going to be betting the farm.' That was the little bell that went off and we said, 'OK, betting the farm,' and that's it, The Farm."

The Farm was signed with Warner Brothers and they were off and running. The first song the trio wrote together, "Home, Sweet Home," became the band's first hit single.

The last three years have been filled with nearly nonstop touring, and though The Farm has played two gigs in Rochester, tonight is The Farm's first shows "inside the county lines," as Krista put it.

"I'm super excited," she said.

"Every time I come home I absolutely remember how lucky and how grateful I am to be from Western New York," Krista said. "The people are great. The food's amazing and it's just really awesome. I'm really, really proud to be a hometown girl from Upstate New York."

Krista grew up in Alexander and attended Alexander Central School through 10th grade before starting home school. Her mother and father owned and operated Pat's Meat Market in Batavia. They were both musicians and performers and Krista's father was an internationally acclaimed accordian player.

All of those influences -- along with the Rotary shows, singing in church, dance lessons at That Dancing Place -- all pointed her in the direction she wanted to go, which is performing country music.

"If you're from here you know how country we are," Krista said. "I grew up riding and in 4-H and my dad was a butcher. I grew up riding horses, got into four-wheelers and motorcycles, and we have beautiful farmland up here. It's as country as it gets. I live in Nashville, Tennesee now and I'm always bragging on what awesome country we've got up here."

Krista is feeling pretty good about the trajectory of her career -- a career that started playing country music locally with Richard Fink and Johnny Cummings, including a series of summer-long gigs at Darien Lake Theme Park (she hopes The Farm can play there as soon as next summer) that helped her earn the money to buy her first motorcycle.

She said she's very grateful for Genesee County making her into the hometown girl she still is, even on any stage anywhere in America.

"I grew up with the Rotary shows and I grew up singing in church and I grew up riding and showing horses at the Genesee County Fair," Krista said. "I raced mini-stocks at the Genesee County Fairgrounds, so all of this is who I've become and it's a big part of who I am today."

The Farm takes the stage at Frost Ridge at 7 p.m., opening for Jerrod Niemann.

Krista Marie and her mother, Barb Galliford, with a school bell that was once belonged to Krista's grandfather (it may have been a school bell for a school in Batavia originally). It was a gift to Krista today from her family. Barb said, "Of course I'm proud of her, and my thing is whatever you do, try to do it well and with all your heart, and she's done that."

Friday, August 17, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Photo: 'Restless Heart' at Frost Ridge Campground

The Grammy-nominated country music band "Restless Heart" performed at "Jam at the Ridge," a concert series at Le Roy's Frost Ridge Campground, around 8:30 tonight. Doranne Kelly, the band's road manager, arranged a photo shoot before the show.

Band members are, from left, Greg Jennings, Dave Innis, John Dittrich (who is from Batavia), Paul Gregg and Larry Stewart.

See the Aug. 14 article, "Grammy-nominated country band to perform in Le Roy -- one of its members is from Batavia" for previous coverage.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Grammy-nominated country band to perform in Le Roy -- one of its members is from Batavia

post by Daniel Crofts in Frost Ridge Campground, John Dittrich, Le Roy, music

"It isn't often that someone makes it big in the music business, nor for the number of years that John Dittrich (second from left in picture) has."

So says Greg Luetticke, co-owner of Frost Ridge Campground in Le Roy, which will host the Grammy-nominated country music band "Restless Heart" at a concert on Friday, Aug. 17.

Dittrich, a native of Batavia and a 1970 Batavia High School graduate, has been with "Restless Heart" for more than 20 years as a drummer and vocalist. The other band members are, from left, Paul Gregg, Larry Stewart, Greg Jennings and Dave Innis.

"It's amazing to still be able to do what I do," Dittrich said.

He embarked on a profession in music in 1975, and has enjoyed a long and successful career that owes itself, in large part, to a Batavia City School District teacher.

"My most important influence and probably the guy I would credit with helping me in this direction was Neil Hartwick," Dittrich said.

Hartwick was the Batavia Middle School band director and the director of the jazz workshop at the high school.

"He brought in Ed Shaughnessy (of "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson") to do a concert," Dittrich said. "And when I found out that Mr. Hartwick had invited him specifically for me, that blew me away."

As a college student, Dittrich went to New York City once a month for two years to study under Shaughnessy.

"And he remembered me," he said.

As an original member of "Restless Heart," Dittrich was part of what he calls a "crossover" period in the history of country music.

"Our producer (Tim Dubois) had written some songs that were kind of in a gray area as far as the market was concerned," he said. "They were too pop for country, but not pop enough for pop."

Part of the band's success, Dittrich said, was due to the willingness of RCA Records to take a chance on them.

"There was a strong push in traditional country music at the time," he said. "But some groups did have more edgy music and enjoyed some success. RCA liked the direction of our music and they were willing to make the investment."

In addition to four Grammy nominations, "Restless Heart" has had six #1 hits and seven Country Music Association nominations. They have also been lucky to see 26 of their singles make the Billboard Country Charts. Their numerous crossover hits include the 1992 song "When She Cries."

A good 15-20 years have passed since Dittrich last returned to Genesee County. He said it will be "pretty nice" to be back for the concert, especially since some old friends and 10 family members will be in attendance.

"I hope somebody gives me a beef on weck!" he added.

The concert is part of the three-day "Jam at the Ridge." Gates will open at 4 p.m. Friday, with the concert itself starting at 4:30.

"Restless Heart" will go on at 8:30 p.m. for a performance of about 75-90 minutes. Singers Worthy Duncan and Johnny Bauer will open the show.

Here are the ticket prices:

Regular seating: $15 in advance, $20 at the gate.

Preferred seating: $22 in advance, $29 at the gate.

Preferred Plus seating: $42 in advance, $55 at the gate.

VIP seating: $79 in advance, $99 at the gate.

VIP seating includes front row seats, a private meet-and-greet dinner with "Restless Heart," a poster for autographing and a picture with the band.

Frost Ridge Campground is located at 8101 Conlon Road in Le Roy. For more information, call 768-4883 or go to www.frostridge.com.

Photo submitted by Greg Luetticke

Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Frost Ridge owners continue to expand summer concert series

The move from San Diego to Le Roy has been a good one for David Luetticke and Greg Luetticke.

More than four years ago, they bought the Frost Ridge Campground and have been slowly making improvements, all the while, feeling they made the right choice in moving to Genesee County.

"I think it's beautiful," Greg said. "I like the people, the scenery, the change of seasons. It's everything I wanted."

While David and Greg have made changes in the campground -- upgrading infrastructure, adding an annual pumpkin patch and a summertime slippery slide on one of the hills, for example -- the biggest change has been booking more than a half-dozen big-name music acts into their outdoor amphitheater.

The summer concert season kicks off June 9 with one of the biggest names in country music, Aaron Tippin.

The line up (all shows and dates -- and tickets purchased -- can be found on frostridge.com) includes the Little River Band, Restless Heart, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Blackberry Smoke, James Wesley and Connie Smith.

It's the third year of concerts -- one of the highlights last summer was Marty Stuart -- and besides the seven name acts coming to Frost Ridge, 45 bands from throughout Western New York will perform there is summer.

Greg admitted he never heard of Blackberry Smoke before (neither had I, videos embedded below), but he said it's been the fastest selling show so far and after selling out of VIP tickets, they pulled back the promo VIP tickets given to radio stations and have just six left to offer to the public.

The current arrangement of the amphitheater accommodates 5,000 people, but three's a high hill behind the seating area and maybe, just maybe, that offers some expansion room. The sound of the music on the hill is every bit as good as down lower, Greg and David agreed.

As Greg and David get settled into Le Roy, they're getting more involved in the community. For a couple of years now, Frost Ridge has hosted a fundraiser for the Le Roy Volunteer Fire Department.  This year, some of the proceeds of the Aaron Tippin concert will be donated to the VA facility in Batavia.

"We see it as good business when when you're involved in the community and everybody supports one another, and that's how we would like to live our lives," David said.

I'm looking forward to the The Dirt Band in August.

Saturday, September 24, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Photos: Marty Stuart at Frost Ridge

post by Howard Owens in entertainment, Frost Ridge Campground, Le Roy, music

Five-time Grammy winner Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives were in Le Roy on Friday night, playing before a capacity ground at Frost Ridge Campground. 

Prior to the show in the open-air theater, Stuart met with fans who had purchased priority VIP passes and signed autographs.

The Superlatives are Paul Martin on bass, Kenny Vaughn on guitar and Harry Stinson on drums.

Previously: Frost Ridge gaining ground as popular venue for country music stars

If you have difficulty viewing the slide show, click here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Frost Ridge gaining ground as popular venue for country music stars

post by Howard Owens in entertainment, Frost Ridge Campground, Le Roy, music

If you've never thought of Frost Ridge Campground in Le Roy as a great place to see live music, it might be time to change your perception.

Last summer, one of several live shows in the open-air music venue was Confederate Railroad.

On Sept. 23, country music superstar Marty Stuart -- a multi-talented, five-time Grammy Award winner -- and his Fabulous Superlatives will stop at Frost Ridge for a show that already has people from all over the Northeast requesting tickets.

"Each year we do this it just seems to get bigger and now we're really trying to grow it," said David Luetticke, who bought the campground in 2008 with his brother Greg.

Live music shows started with local bands a few years ago, which helped the brothers meet Brian Chase, who was able to bring in several regionally popular bands and he was also able to help them book W.C. Edgar, a former sideman for Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson.

The Edgar connection led to the hit-making country band Confederate Railroad getting booked at Frost Ridge last June.

The booking agent for Confederate Railroad also represents Marty Stuart, so when it turned out that Stuart would be passing through Western New York, the agent called David and Greg to check on the availability of a tour date.

After the show was booked, word spread fast among Stuart's fans. VIP seating was sold out before the tickets were even printed and there's only six premium seats left. The first ticket sold went to a fan from Germany.

The brothers -- fellow refugees from Southern California -- have been slowly making improvements to Frost Ridge, adding more recreation programs and reconfiguring the park. They're pretty proud of this music venue -- they call it "Jam at Frost Ridge" -- that's coming to fruition on their secluded and rustic property.

"It has amazing acoustics," Greg said. "Every sound engineer that comes through here says the acoustics are amazing. Anywhere you go on the hill, it doesn't lose the sound at all."

Aaron Tippin has already been booked for next June and the brothers' hope to add more big name acts to the lineup.

Opening for Stuart will be Bush Hogs and Closing Times. Gates will open at 3 p.m. and the music starts at 4:30. Frost Ridge is located at 8101 Conlon Road.

Ruby Shooz will play Frost Ridge on Sept. 17.

Tickets can be purchased online with no service charge at frostridge.com.

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