Legends to show their ‘pluck’ at steel guitar concert Saturday

Published 12:21 am Friday, May 1, 2009

Covington County music fans will have the chance to hear legendary musicians, as well as enjoy a tribute to a local legend, at the “Steel Guitars in Concert” Saturday in Opp.

The concert will be from noon until 8 p.m. at the LBWCC-MacArthur campus conference center. Doors will open at 10 a.m. for a video and tribute to Lew Childre, a former performer on the Grand Ole Opry. Don Childre, director of planning for the city of Opp, will present the tribute.

“This is music that a lot of people have heard on records but have never seen it live,” said Lamar Morris, a member of the Picker’s Club, which is a co-presenter for the concert along with the Opp Cultural Arts Council. “You’ll get to see how it works, with pedals that lower the strings and some times there’s as many as 10 to 12 pedals. It takes years of practice to reach the status that these musicians have reached.”

Steel guitars are named because they are played with a steel, a slide that is held in the left hand while the player picks with his right hand. Some of the performers who will take part in Saturday’s event include Russ Hicks, Joe Wright, Gordon Dobson, Jack Goodson, Jimmy Powell and Bill Stafford.

“Russ Hicks was actually the staff steel guitar player on (the TV show) Hee-Haw for many years,” Morris said. “People might actually be very familiar with him from that show, even if they never knew who he was. These guys are as professional as it gets.”

Morris said the event will be non-stop music and fun.

“Last year, we just had music going on almost the entire time,” he said. “One guy will play for awhile, and then he’ll sit down and someone else will jump in. Sometimes there will be two or three who get together and start playing as a group. And the guys who are in the background, playing the drums and keyboard, they’re just as professional and talented as the guitar players.

“We’re anticipating a huge crowd. It’s really worth seeing, especially if you’ve never seen it before. And if you have seen it before, then you already know that it’s worth seeing again.”

Those who attend Saturday are asked to contribute a $10 donation. For tickets, call 493-4447 or purchase at the Opp & Covington County Area Chamber of Commerce.

Sponsors for the concert are: Discount Cigarette and Beverages, Myrick Industrial, Rick’s Plants and Produce, The Blue Flame Grill, The Bass Agency, Rob n’ B’s Auto, Andalusia Ford, One-Stop Package, WAAO, Fox 107 Radio, Opp Health and Rehab, and The Pit Stop and Karaoke Connection.