AntsyMcClainW-1024x749Interested in honoring our military veterans while at the same time assisting the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline? You can by buying a ticket for a veteran to attend a special benefit concert for the Hotline.

Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours will return to Boise’s Egyptian Theatre on Oct. 4 to celebrate the Hotline’s first year of service and to help the Hotline go 24/7. General admission tickets are $25 and available at The Record Exchange, online at or at the Egyptian Theatre box office (700 W. Main St., Boise).

You can purchase a ticket for a veteran at The Record Exchange or online. If purchasing for a vet at the store, simply come in, buy the ticket and we’ll take care of the rest. If you’re purchasing for a vet online, you must call the box office to have the ticket set aside. The box office phone number is (208) 345-0454.

Idaho has the sixth-highest suicide rate in the U.S., and suicide is the second-leading cause of death for adolescents and young adults in Idaho. For several years, Idaho was the only state without its own hotline serving residents statewide. After a collaborative effort throughout the Gem State, the ISPH was organized in October 2012 and began taking calls in November 2012.

The Hotline provides emotional support, risk assessment, crisis intervention, linkages to local services, and/or follow-up for persons with potential suicide risk factors, empowering callers to look at options and make their own decisions.

When the Hotline first opened, it offered services from only 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. It recently expanded to 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Friday. Outside those hours, all calls to that number are answered by the Lifeline Network, not by Idahoans who are more familiar with state and local services. The Hotline’s number is 1 (800) 273-TALK (8255).

“Late-night hours and weekends can be critical times for people in crisis,” said John Reusser, Hotline director. “It’s always better having Idahoans helping Idahoans. Expanding hotline hours to 24/7 as soon as possible is the surest way to do this.”

Reusser also pointed out that veterans are at high risk of committing suicide.

“Recent studies indicate that the suicide rate for veterans and active-duty military is more than double the civilian suicide rate,” Reusser said. “We want to let Idaho veterans know we are here for them, and we also want to thank them for their service.”

Reusser added, “While Antsy is coming to help raise awareness of the need for a 24/7 Hotline, he’s also coming to spread his form of medicine: music and laughter. We’d all be better off observing what he calls the Aluminum Rule: Thou shalt enjoy the ride. When you purchase your tickets to the show, please consider buying an additional ticket to give to a friend or family member who is a veteran.”

Reusser also pointed out that even if you don’t know a veteran, you can still buy a ticket for one. Call or visit the Egyptian Theatre’s box office no later than Oct. 1 to purchase the ticket. Tell the box office employee that the ticket is for a veteran. A ticket will be set aside at the box office for a veteran. The ISPH and several veterans organizations will ensure that veterans get the tickets.

The Oct. 4 show will be Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours’ fourth benefit concert in Boise, the last one being two years ago. Antsy and the Troubs have been busy in those two years, releasing a new CD, Living the Dream, in 2012. Antsy also has been working with veteran PBS producer Peter Berkow, who is producing a 13-program series featuring Americana musicians. The series will include one show with Antsy and the Troubs and another featuring Antsy and multi-instrumentalist Joe Craven.

For more information regarding the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline, contact Hotline Director John Reusser at (208) 258-6990 or

For more information regarding the concert and Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours, contact Al Bunch at (208) 861-5052 or



Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours are based in Nashville, but they’re as far from country’s mainstream as you can get. The band’s moniker is a tip-off that everything isn’t exactly serious, but Antsy McClain isn’t a novelty act. The Troubadours are a revolving cadre of top-notch pickers who can play cowboy jazz, Tex-Mex waltzes, country ballads, and soulful R&B dance tunes without breaking a sweat. McClain adds his songwriting, a relaxed tenor with the understated elegance of all good country singers and a storyteller’s gift of gab to the proceedings for a show that’s both down-home and high tone.

Antsy McClain was born Ronnie Joe McClain in 1962. He grew up in a succession of small trailer parks in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee with his Avon-selling mother and a father who drove a Wonder Bread delivery truck. His upbringing has colored his music and outlook on life ever since. “People hear the phrase Trailer Park Troubadours and expect to see something out of an episode of Cops or Jerry Springer,” McClain says in his good-natured drawl. “But we don’t take the low road. There’s no blue material. When we sing about adult themes and relationships gone wrong, it’s not in a jaundiced way. We always deliver some semblance of hope. We’re about lightness and laughter and positive energy. Our shows stir up the endorphins and get you interested in living. Life is too short to dwell on the negative.”

McClain grew up with eight-track tapes and vinyl, falling under the spell of ’70s singer/songwriters in his youth. Jim Croce, still a big favorite, led him to James Taylor and John Denver. As he got older he discovered Lynyrd Skynyrd, AC/DC and other noisy rock bands. His mother’s collection of Motown albums and groove-heavy music was complemented by his dad’s interest in George Jones, Dolly Parton, and Tammy Wynette. Although they lived in secluded small towns, his musical taste was as eclectic as the music he makes with today’s Troubadours.

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