La Grande Old Opry

Story by posted on November 26, 2012. Filed under Arts and Entertainment,Music. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Joe Beans Coffee was the venue for the latest incarnation of “La Grande Old Opry”, a take-off on the old time Grand Ole’ Opry.

The evening was a fun-filled celebration of Americana, corn pone humor and good old-fashioned foot stompin’ music. Joe Beans co-owner Colleen Mcleod was Master-of-Ceremonies and pulled off an amazing impression of Minnie Pearl, including the hat with hanging price tag.

Colleen and her husband, Al started of the evening’s music with a humorous Joe Beans jingle sung to the tune of “You are My Sunshine”.

Northern Idaho rancher and fiddler extraordinaire John Sylte took the stage for a rousing set of Irish and Americana tunes.

Dance caller and Buck Dance specialist Larry Smith hit the stage and played a “jig doll” while performing a talking blues with banjo accompaniment. A jig doll is something like a wooden marionette dancing on a paddleboard for rhythmic effect.

Smith also performed his famed “Buck Dancing” routine to the applause of a very appreciative audience.

Local Bluegrass/Americana group “Blue Plate Special” served up a tasty helping of traditional music along with member Jason Branch’s outstanding original titled, “You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Until it’s Gone.”

At one point, the audience was cajoled into attempting to sing “rounds”, which had predictable results.

Eastern Oregon University’s own fiddle ensemble aka, “Folkal Point” took the stage. The Dwayne Boyer-led group performed several traditional tunes including “Man of the House” and “Faded Love”.

The ensemble took a break while Reuben, John Sylte’s singing Blue Heeler, took matters into his own paws. Sylte played concertina, (the accordion looking instrument gypsies play in the movies), while Reuben howled and moaned for the audience’s amusement.

The EOU ensemble returned with girls taking the lead singing heartfelt versions of “Roseville Fair”, “Down by the Willow Garden”, and Brandi Carlisle’s “Hard Way Home”.

The evening ended with Sharon Porter and friends leading the audience in a rousing sing-along of “Will the Circle be Unbroken”, a fitting end to a fine evening.

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