Up on the stage

Published 9:04 am Thursday, July 26, 2012

‘Southern Traditions’ – Chris Evers, Skyler Henley, Hunter Campbell (pictured) and Aaron Carter, all of Covington County – will open Friday’s concert at 5 p.m. at the Covington County Sportsman Expo.

Tomorrow afternoon’s appearance by members of the Straughn string band as the opening act for country music star Shane Owens won’t be the first big opportunity the local teens have had this summer.

The group, which plays under its stage name of “Southern Traditions,” will present a show of just that – songs steeped in Southern culture ranging from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Travis Tritt and Keith Whitley to Jason Aldean and Eric Church.

Comprised of Chris Evers and Aaron Carter on guitar, Skyler Henley, with vocals and rhythm guitar, Hunter Campbell, on drums, and Connor Couch on base guitar, the group will be featured at 5 p.m. Friday at the Covington County Sportsman Expo at the Kiwanis Center.

Evers said the group got its first big break this summer while enjoying a family outing at Bama Jam Farms and has opened up for acts like John Anderson and KC and the Sunshine Band.

“It was one of those things that just worked out,” Evers said. “The Bama Jam Farms owner Ronnie Gilley came up and asked our manager, who happens to be Hunter Campbell’s dad Marty, if they were enjoying the park. There was some live music going on and Mr. Campbell asked, ‘Would you mind if these guys play one time?’

“We did and we got a couple of gigs out there,” he said. “Playing in front of 400 to 500 people was like, ‘Wow.’ It’s a great feeling. They’ve got a huge stage, a lot like the one at the Rattlesnake Rodeo. It was a little scary at first, but after that first song, it was all fun. It gave us a lot of the experience we needed.”

Locals may have seen the group perform at Relay for Life, or at the City of Andalusia’s Fourth of July event. Now the performances are growing, he said.

Evers and fellow band members said it will be fantastic to open for Owens this weekend.

“We can’t wait, so come out and see us,” he said.

Tickets to the expo are $10 per day. A complete schedule of events and vendors for this family fun weekend can be found at covingtonsportsmansexpo.com.

Concert-goers are asked to bring lawn chairs for the performance.