|Bluegrass on a Sunday afternoon spurs toe-tapping, hand-clapping, sing-along fun|
|Written by Brenda Johnson Brandt|
Three area bluegrass bands jammed it up right in a Phillips County Arts Council fundraiser at the Peerless Theatre Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16. The event also served as a membership kickoff for the 2012-13 Arts Council season.
Event coordinator Joe Hall was thrilled with the turnout, as the crowd filled the theater for the stage performance. Residents from Regent Park/Carriage House were bused to the show to join other locals and many out-of-town guests, as well.
Mountain Railroad from Haxtun, The Prairie Pickers from Sterling and The Skunk Runners from Ogallala, Neb. each took a turn on the stage, then joined for a couple of sing-along numbers at the end.
16-year-old Wheeler Walz, with the Skunk Runners band from
Holyoke’s own Joe Hall was not only the program emcee, but picked up his mandolin as a fine fill-in for the Prairie Pickers band. Jess Owen from Prairie Pickers lent his services to the Skunk Runners as well.
Opening the program was Mountain Railroad from Haxtun including Keith and Joyce Hudiburgh and Joe and Michelle Bivins.
The Skunk Runners featured 16-year-old Wheeler Walz, playing a variety of instruments and adding vocals. Others in the band were Ryan Cone and lead singer Bob Josjor, who also provided the sound system from Lou Kraus Music of Ogallala. Prairie Pickers dobro player Jess Owen joined the Skunk Runners for their portion of the show.
Prairie Pickers included lead singer John Horner and Owen, both from Sterling; Hall from Holyoke; Richard Ray from Fort Morgan; and Vera Billingsley from Haxtun.
As the audience joined in Will the Circle be Unbroken? at the end of Sunday’s show, Arts Council leaders and Peerless managers Bob Brandt and Sherry Simms were beaming as they envisioned the possibilities for future live performances on the stage at the Peerless.
Three bluegrass bands shared the stage to close out Sunday’s “Bluegrass on a Sunday Afternoon” show at the Peerless Theatre in Holyoke. Band members are pictured, from left, Joe Hall, John Horner, Joe Bivins, Wheeler Walz, Jess Owen, Ryan Cone, Keith Hudiburgh, Bob Josjor, Vera Billingsley, Michelle Bivins, Richard Ray and Joyce Hudiburgh.
Holyoke Enterprise September 20, 2012