Miss-Lou full of country music

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 8, 2010

If you love country music, then the Miss-Lou has a weekend planned that’s sure to please.

On Saturday, The Delta Music Museum Arcade Theatre in Ferriday and the City Auditorium in Natchez will play host to two outstanding country music bands — the Gene King Band and Wild Horses.

The evening starts off at 7 p.m. in Ferriday, with the Delta Music Museum Arcade Theater Country Showcase, which features classic country hits by Patsy Cline, Hank Williams and other greats performed by talented vocalists from Louisiana and Mississippi and the Gene King Band. The museum hosts the showcase on the second Saturday of every month, and features quality country music for the entire family from 7 to 9 p.m.

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Gene King has toured with some of the biggest names in country music, including a tour with Grammy-award winner Jodie Miller. He has also played with Michael Landon, Roy Clark, the Haggar Twins and many others.

In addition to Gene on electric guitar, the band also includes Jesse Middleton on acoustic guitar; Mike Estep on bass guitar; Nicky Ezell on steel guitar; Mark McClanahan on drums; Carl Bamburg on acoustic or electric guitar and Hallie Yarbrough, 2008 Louisiana State Fiddle Grand Champion. Tickets $10 at the Arcade Theater.

At 9 p.m., come on over to Natchez for an exciting evening of music, dancing, food and fun with Wild Horses from west Texas. The Natchez City Auditorium doors open at 7:30 with the band’s live DJ, who will be there until the band hits the stage at 9 p.m. and will play until midnight. Concessions will be sold consisting of barbecue sandwiches and drinks. ID is required for alcoholic beverages.

Wild Horses Band members include Angela Rae, Michael Blake Mahler, Ralph “Thundersticks” McCauley, Steve “The Head” Kellough, Lon “Fat Boy” Holland, and Chris “the Mule” Sigmon.

Founded in 1989, the band writes most of its own songs, one of which, “I Will Survive,” was a Top 40 hit. They’ve also had a video on CMT and GAC. Some of their songs have been recorded by other artists like George Jones and used as themes for great events like the Houston Rodeo.

Wild Horses has played at Caesar’s Palace, the Ryman Auditorium, PBR and PRCA finals in Las Vegas, Billy Bob’s Rodeo Houston Hideout and the Wildhorse Saloon, along with just about every major country music festival and fair on the mainland. Wild Horses plays everything from Elvis to classic country to modern country to classic rock.

Joining them as a guest artist is George Hogan, artistic director for the Natchez Festival of Music. An internationally renowned operatic singer, George grew up with Country music in west Texas, and once performed as the warm-up act for Freddie Fender at Big Bad Bob’s Vapors Club in Memphis.

Because the band is wireless, the performers can get out on the floor with the audience, making a Wild Horses show a party with the fans as involved as the band.

“You see, we’ve been around 18 years and have played thousands of shows all over this great country. We understand what folks want for their hard-earned dollar — a good time. A Wild Horses show is the definition of a good time,” said band leader Michael Mahler.

Tickets are $15 and are available online at natchezpilgrimage.com, by phone at 601-446-6631 or 800-647-6742, in person at the Natchez Pilgrimage Tours booth at the Natchez Visitor Center, Scott Tractor Equipment Company in Jonesville, or at the door if still available.

So put on your jeans, dancing boots, and cowboy hats, gather up your gang of buddies, and catch up with the best country music the Miss-Lou has to offer.

If you’re not in Ferriday or Natchez on Saturday you’re missing out on a whole lot of fun.

Elodie Pritchartt is a Natchez resident involved in promotion of the country music event this weekend.