Summer is a glorious time of year, especially in wine country where summer concerts stir our hearts and remind us of our inner rock star.
Wiens Family Cellars, located in Temecula, CA, kicked off their summer concert series with Big Country, the 1980’s Scottish band that is best known in the USA for their hit, ‘In A Big Country Dreams Stay With You…’
In 1982 Big Country played with Alice Cooper’s Special Forces tour. In 1983 they released Fields of Fire and it shot up to the top ten in the UK. The album hit the top 20 in the USA. Their third album, Seer reached number 2 in the UK. Throughout the 1990’s they played with The Who and Rolling Stones.
I had a few moments to chat with drummer Mark Brzezicki before the concert and I was notably impressed with his early success in his career along with his humble and approachable personality.
Mark began playing drums when he was 16. He didn’t have much money so he took a loan out and paid 50 pence a week for two years. At the age of 19 he had an opportunity to play with Pete Townshend and he never slowed down. Brzezicki said he still has the original drum he learned to play on. The bass drum is now a table in his home and the remainder of the set is stored in his attic.
It was time for Big Country to play so I found my way back to my seat at the winery along with Debbie Israel Wiens, of Wiens Family Cellars. A glass of Pinot Noir was waiting for me along with a very tasty garlic pesto chicken pasta dish. The misters were doing their job keeping us cool on this particular warm summer evening, but the beautiful scenery of hills and mountains along with the award-winning wine, by winemaker Doug Wiens, kept my mind in a pleasant state of mind.
Big Country walked onto the elaborate stage and began the concert. The crowd cheered and the wine flowed. Dancing ensued and the sun set on Temecula bringing relief from the warm air.
The crowd was mixed; baby boomers along with a younger crowd. But, no doubt many were fans of Big Country. One couple brought an original album cover for Bruce and Mark to sign, both original band members from the 80’s.
Big Country is still rocking thirty years later. They released their newest album this past April titled, The Journey. Expectations are soaring for this newest release. The band is on tour for the next two and half months headed north to Napa and Seattle. They will also be making a stop in Houston, TX.
Upcoming summer concerts at Wiens Family Cellars include The Fixx and Big Band Voodoo Daddy. Tickets are $45 for general admission or $95 for VIP. For more information go to their website or call 888-98 WIENS.
Temecula, CA is 60 miles northeast of San Diego off I-5.