Raybon headlines bluegrass concert
The Franklin County Arts and Humanities Council has a special treat for local bluegrass fans.
The arts council has booked Marty Raybon and his bluegrass band, Full Circle, to headline the second annual Bluegrass Spectacular Saturday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. at the Roxy Theater in downtown Russellville.
Bob Stickley, the event's emcee, said he expects a good turnout from throughout the region. Last year's inaugural show featured the Huntley Sisters, Iron Horse and the Jake Landers Band.
"We had three bluegrass bands last year and we probably had about 300, 350 people attend," said Stickley, a member of the arts council and a bluegrass DJ for WKAX in Russellville. "This will be a good concert and we're expecting a good crowd of people from Mississippi, Tennessee and locally.
"We're hoping with Marty Raybon being a professional – he travels all over the United States – that we'll have an even better turnout than last year."
Raybon is a member of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and the former lead singer of Shenandoah, a country group that produced 13 chart-topping records.
The council has also lined up an opening act, The Cagle Family, which hails from Ash Ridge, a small community between Haleyville and Double Springs.
"I've known them for quite some time – Teddy Cagle and his wife, plus their son and daughter plays," Stickley said. "They perform bluegrass and bluegrass gospel, and they've been together for some time. The son – he's 13 or 14 – has never taken a lesson in his life but he can pick the strings off anything, he's won awards with the mandolin."
For people who are not familiar with bluegrass music, Stickley said it has more flavor than country because of the variety of instruments used.
"Bluegrass is a spin-off from gospel originally, with more with a twang so to speak because of the guitars, banjos and fiddles than what you would hear from country, which primarily has guitar," he said. "Bluegrass has a little more flavor, and a little more twang because of the different variety of the instruments.
"Many country artists traveling out there today, such as Vince Gill, Ricky Scaggs, Patty Loveless and lot of big entertainers, got their start in bluegrass. If you've never listened to bluegrass before, you learn to appreciate it."
Even though the concert might conflict with Saturday football game, Stickley urged people to support the concert.
"This is our first effort with a professional entertainer and we hope all bluegrass fans will come and support it," he said. "I'm a little worried that (Nov. 1) is homecoming for the University of Alabama but that ball game is in the afternoon. I'm a big 'Bama fan but I hope it doesn't keep people from coming out, and we encourage everyone who is bluegrass to come out and support us."
Advanced tickets are available for $9 at area banks and Abstract &Appraisal or from any council members, while tickets at the door will cost $10.