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Thursday, Apr. 24, 2014

Country music singer comes home

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Concert is planned for Saturday night at Schindler's

NASHVILLE - Country music may be recorded in Nashville, but the stuff it is made of comes from places like Schindler's Tavern in New Hamburg.

"It's been 'Schindler's' since 1934," said Alan Koeppel, bartender, adding a bar was first established in the building around 1906. "It used to be the New Hamburg Post Office on one side and the bar on the other."

Jason Grojean and his wife, Jenny, were looking to make the second anniversary of him owning the historic tavern a night to remember. "He gave me a call and asked if I could work something up," recalled J.R. Bollinger.

Bollinger was only too happy to oblige. "I'm going to bring a band and have a good time - it's something I've wanted to do for a long time," he said.

Originally from around the Blodgett area, Bollinger graduated from Kelly High School 1999. "I was a farmer originally," Bollinger said. "I grew up singing when I got on a tractor." His interest in singing only grew when his dad got karaoke machine.

For the last three-and-a-half months, he's been living in Nashville "writing songs and forming a band," he said. "I wanted to get a real good band together so I went to Nashville and started doing it."

Vanessa Morgan of Benton is not surprised, recalling how good Bollinger was when singing at the karaoke parties he held in his basement.

"He used to entertain us, sing for us," she recalled. "I think everybody who knew him told him to go for it. He just has a real good personality, kind of like the life of the party."

Now in Nashville, Bollinger has been singing at The Stage on Broadway, a club on Broadway Street. "I'm a bartender on the off nights I'm not singing," Bollinger said. "It's the main scene - it's where everybody goes and gets their start.

"Its two doors down from Tootsies, a world-famous bar."

While many of his friends here have heard him sing, this will be the first time performing in this area with a band, made up of musicians gathered from the Nashville music scene.

"They're from all over the country," said Bollinger. "There's really nobody in Nashville that's from Nashville, it's funny - they're all from other places,

Those who come Saturday to celebrate will be treated to "traditional, older honkey tonk type" music, Bollinger said, with a few original songs along with the old favorites. "We do a little bit of everybody."