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Saturday, 6 June 2009

As the big red curtain parted, Annie Dunavin welcomed the big crowd with a friendly "Come On In, Sit Right Down And Make Yourself At Home."  Next, "Marvelous" Marvin Bredemeier put bow to fiddle, playing an audience favorite, "Down Yonder" before pretty Ronni Ward sang Trisha Yearwood's "That's What I Like About You" and Patsy Cline's "Leaving On Your Mind."  Then it was time for the man who possesses one of the finest male voices we have heard and Annie's master of ceremonies, Jim Winters who showed a bit of his incredible vocal talents as he sang a Wynn Stewart tune "Another Day Another Dollar," Ray Price's "I'd Rather Be Sorry" and Tom T. Hall's "Shoe Shine Man" as an encore.  Sitting in at steel guitar this evening was Vance Monday who got a big hand as he played "Steelin' Home."   

Kathy Lynn, one of tonight's guest artists, missed performing most of last year due to illness.  It was certainly a pleasure to see and hear her perform again and enjoying good health.  She began her set with Hank Snow's "Movin On," then it was Loretta Lynn's "You Ain't Woman Enough" and Kathy Mattea's "Walk The Way The Wind Blows."  Tonight's other guest artist was our friend David Purcell who was making his debut here at Annie's tonight.  For his first set, David chose Alan Jackson's "Here In The Real World," George Jones'  "Today I Started Loving You Again" and donning that crazy cap with the sewn-in pigtails, sang Willie's "Remember Me" and "On The Road Again" as the audience erupted.

The "Queen Of Country Music In Tonganoxie, Kansas," Annie Dunavin then stepped front and center and used her marvelous voice to sing an old Billy Walker tune (re-released recently by Chely Wright), "Nobody But A Fool" and  Connie Smith's "Runaway Little Tears."  Drummer Steve Straub lent his great vocal talents to the Tennessee state song, "Rocky Top" and as a complete surprise to everyone, Kevin Olson, who was attending the show tonight came onstage to sing the Gatlin's "She's A Broken Lady" and Ricky Van Shelton's "Life Turned Her That Way." Great job, Kevin!  Also great was little Haylie Walter, who will have a brand-new name this time next week!  They will be tying the knot next Saturday in her hometown of Coffeyville, KS and Mr. & Mrs. Shane Bagwell will be leaving on their honeymoon shortly thereafter.  We know all of you will want to wish these two great folks all the best in the years to come.  Hailey treated the audience to Ray Price's "My Shoes Keep Walking Back To You," her friend Leona Williams' "You Take Me For Granted" and Connie Smith's "You're Wearing Out The Hinges On The Door."  Musical director and lead guitarist David George showed his vocal skills singing George Strait's "The Chair" to close the first half.

After a short intermission, Marvin Bredemeier & Vance Monday played twin fiddles on a old hoedown tune, "Bile That Cabbage Down" to open the second half.  After Haylie Walter sang Grand Ole Opry member Ernie Ashworth's "Talk Back Tremblin' Lips" and Tammy Wynette's "Stand By Your Man," emcee Jim Winters got a big ovation as he sang Hank Sr.'s "Mind Your Own Business" and Gene Watson's "Farewell Party."  (Just a reminder:  Gene Watson will be appearing here at Annies August 22nd for two shows: 3PM & 7:30PM!) 

Kathy Lynn brought back some memories as she sang a 1946 chart buster written by Bobby Troup and recorded first by Nat King Cole, "Route 66" and a beautiful job on "You Belong To Me."  Ted Ward, who handles Annie's bass guitar duties is another multi-talented musician and got a big hand as he sang Buck Owens' "Hello Trouble."  To begin his second set, David Purcell sang a beautiful Garry Bichelmeyer tune, "Northern Star," then it was "Never Be Another You" and at the audience's insistence  -----  another Willie song, "Help Me Make It Through The Night." 

Ronni Ward returned with "Heartaches By The Numbers" before Annie did a fabulous job with "Faded Love" and a gospel number "Amazing Grace" as the band played "House Of The Rising Sun."  David George closed the evening with "My Reedemer Is Faithful And True."  (Below) David Purcell & Kathy Lynn backstage at Annie's Country Jubilee

We have always admired how versatile as musicians Ted & Ronni Ward are.  Ronni's beautiful voice and rhythm guitar playing as well as Ted's work on bass guitar and his jaunty delivery of a vocal, grace every Annie's Country Jubilee performance.  We have also seen this talented pair sing at area coffeehouses, city squares and other venues as a duo, with a small band or as part of a gospel group.  We asked them to sit down with us after the show tonight and share a little about their backgrounds.

Ronni told us that she was born in Kansas City, KS and started singing in church as a child.  She continued to sing through her high school years and sang at the Turner High School prom.  "Eventually, I became a member of a group called Cowtown," Ronni told us, "that toured regionally, MO, AR, KS, IA, NE, & OK and opened for artists such as The Desert Rose Band, Patty Loveless, the Bellamy Brothers, Exile, Restless Heart, Johnny Lee, Blackhawk & Chris Isaacs to name a few."  The group became so popular that it was featured at Crown Center's Friday Night Concerts and other public events.  It was during one of these sessions, a gig at the Hyatt Regency that Ronni and Ted first met.

 "The circumstances under which we met were a little bizarre!"  Ronni said.  "Our lighting man got drunk and fell asleep, so we had to fire him.  This left us in a real bind, but fortunately our drummer knew Ted and called him to help us with the lights.  And that's how we met, because of a drunken lighting man!"  After they were married, Ted & Ronni became a duo, playing  bars in the Westport area and other area venues.  One of Ronni's classmates at Turner High School was Jim Winters and after Cowtown broke up, he asked if she'd like to join an opry in Tonganoxie.  Shortly thereafter she joined Glen's Opry as it was called then and two months later Ted was hired as well.

Ted Ward had a friend who lived in Kansas City and was always telling him how great the living was here and on almost a whim, his drummer friend and himself moved lock, stock and barrel from New York to KC in 1976.  They couldn't believe their luck, renting the entire 2nd floor (8,000 sq. ft.) of the old Ebenezer Building (built in 1890) at 5th & Delaware for $150 a month!  They practiced 4-8 hrs. every day and became part of a popular local band, the John Bailey Explosion when their bass & drummer left to become part of the James Brown band.  Playing such local hot spots such as the Plaza's Putsch's Cafe & the Sugar Shack at 51st & Main, they lost their faithful Dodge Dart to 1977's Plaza flood waters, having to swim for their lives!

Ted's musical talents allowed him to play with many groups over the years: Plain Jane, Jackie Cook, Boss Tweed & Max Groove (when he met Ronni) and took him to faraway places such as London, England in 1984 and Denver, CO. somewhat later.  Ted has been in construction since he was 14 years old and today owns and operates Ted Ward Construction, specializing in new home construction and home remodeling and Ronni has been teaching voice & guitar in the home for the past 8 years.  Add that to their many outside shows and the fact they are a fixture at Annie's Country Jubilee each and every Saturday night, these are some busy folks.  We want to take this chance to thank both of them for taking time from their busy schedules to visit with us and share a little of their lives.   Check out Ronni's website @ (Below) Ted & Ronni perform at a local coffeehouse.



Posted by hawkshaw5 at 11:02 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, 7 June 2009 7:15 PM CDT
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Friday, 5 June 2009

Like a bright neon gem, Knuckleheads sets tucked in under the Chestnut Trafficway viaduct, amid the switch yards and industrial plants of Kansas City's East Bottoms.  Known for many years as Kansas City's premier blues bar, it now also features top country and rockabilly names as well.  In addition to tonight's Bellamy Brothers concert, future shows will feature names such as David Allan Coe, Leon Russell, Hal Ketchum, Rhonda Vincent and the Cherokee Cowboy himself, Ray Price. 

Tonight's announcer, radio station Q104's T.J. McEntire welcomed everyone to Knuckleheads and the Bellamy Brothers show, then introduced tonight's opening act, Tater & The Gravy Train.  Patrick "Tater" Irvin is one of those singers who can sing anything and make it sound like it was written just for him.  Along with his band, the Gravy Train (Russ Weaver, steel, Jim Curley, dog house bass, A.J. Cronk, lead & vocals), Tater proved to be almost an encyclopedia of classic country tunes as he played & sang one song after another, most of them audience requests. Following "Wind Me Up" & "Help Me Make It Through The Night" it was a Johnny Bush song, "If You Can't Undo The Wrong, Undo The Right" followed by "Folsom Prison Blues," "Old 97," Hag's "Mama Tried," Dean Martin's "Little Old Winedrinker Me," and a couple more Merle Haggard standards, "My Favorite Memory" & "I Think I'll Just Stay Here And Drink." 

Don Gibson's "Sea Of Heartbreak," Buck Owens' "Before You Go," "Tiger By The Tail" and "My Heart Skips A Beat" preceeded "Sam's Place," "Cryin' Time Again," "Where Oh Where Are You Tonight" (shades of Hee Haw), "Playboy," Bob Wills' "Rolli Polli," George Jones' "I'll Be Over You When The Grass Grows Over Me," Roger Miller's "Dang Me" and Waylon's "Rainy Day Woman."  A. J. Cronk did a super job picking and singing "Rock Bottom" and Russ Weaver was simply awesome playing "Sleepwalk" on the steel.  Tater closed the set with "It's Only Make Believe" and Johnny Cash's "Big River."  Tater and the gang play every Wednesday night at Harry's Country Club in Kansas City's River Quay and we're planning on joining them June 17th for an evening of fun!

Although the Bellamys are the most successful duo in country music history and have had many chart toppers throughout the years, we were still surprised to realize they have been around for over thirty years, tops both in popularity and in musical diversity.  Combining traditional country, western swing, calypso, rock & pop influences, the brothers have developed a style of their own, which judging by the crowd that gathered around the stage this evening, was appreciated by young and old alike.   As if to acknowledge this very fact, the set began with "Old Hippie," then it was "Feelin The Feelin," "Some Broken Hearts Never Mend," "Sugar Daddy," "Do You Love As Good As You Look," "Lovers Live Longer," "I Could Be Persuaded," "Crazy From The Heart," "Forget About Me" and "Dancin Cowboys."  Howard & David (he's the taller of the two) gave us some good advice as they sang "Don't Go Running Faster Than Your Guardian Angel Can Fly'" then it was 1983's "When I'm Away From You," "You Ain't Just Whistling Dixie," "We Dared The Lightning," "I Need More Of You," "For All The Wrong Reasons," "Get Into Raggae Cowboy," and "If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body (Would You Hold It Against Me)"  1976's mega hit, "Let Your Love Flow" which started it all for the Bellamy's was next followed by "Redneck Girl" which ended the set.  Thunderous applause brought the brothers back for two encores, "Rip Off The Knob" and a selection from their new gospel album, "Lord Help Me Be The Kind Of Person My Dog Thinks I Am."

Thanks to Frank Hicks for his kindness & hospitality and for booking these great performers.  We'll be enjoying some great bluegrass music right here at Knuckleheads next Wednesday evening (June 10th) at 7:30 PM with the Dixie Bee-Liners --- hope we see you there.  (Below) top - Howard (l.) & David (r.) - the Bellamy Brothers performing live at Knuckleheads 6-5-09  bottom - Tater & The Gravy Train




Posted by hawkshaw5 at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Saturday, 6 June 2009 1:47 PM CDT
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Tuesday, 2 June 2009

As is the usual story with us, we arrived at the BK 10 or 15 minutes late tonight, but were in time to hear David Purcell sing "Tell Me My Lying Eyes Are Wrong" and a Garry Bichelmeyer tune, "Northern Star."  David, of course will be appearing as a guest at Annie's Country Jubilee in Tonganoxie, KS this Saturday night.  He was to return the second half, donning that crazy cap with the sewn-in pigtail to sing a couple of Willie Nelson classics "Remember Me" & "Help Me Make It Through The Night" and a song written by his Dad entitled "I Wonder How Many There Would Be."  Lead guitarist Gordon Riley not only did a super job singing a Hank Thompson classic, "6-Pack To Go" but he and the rest of the band including John Malone on drums did some great instrumental work with "Wheels," "Freight Train" and "Wildwood Flower."

Larry Dean did an outstanding job with the vocals on "Bonaparte's Retreat" which also featured some great solo work by Gordon Riley and Marvin Bredemeier on the fiddle.  Larry returned with George Strait's "Does Ft. Worth Ever Cross Your Mind," Merle's "Silver Wings" and the Bellamy's "Old Hippie."  (We'll be seeing the Belamy's this Friday night at Knuckleheads!)  Marvin, who once played with Hank Thompson's Brazos Valley Boys and plays every Saturday night @ Annie's Country Jubilee, cranked up his fiddle a little later to play our favorite fiddle tune, "Ragtime Annie," Bob Wells' "Milk Cow Blues," "The Jersey Bounce" and "Rubber Dolly."  Great stuff!!  Mary Bichelmeyer lent her soft voice to "Don't Come Crying To Me" and "Don't Tell Me What To Do" while husband Garry sang Gov. Jimmy Davis' "You Are My Sunshine," "Abilene," "Nodaway River" and the whimiscal "Ghost Chickens In The Sky."  Joined by Larry Dean, the duo did a terrific job singing the Soggy Bottom Boys version of "He's In The Jailhouse Now."

It was a super treat to see and hear Art Covey and his mandolin tonight.  We were certainly glad he found an evening between his extensive travels to drop by and play "Falling Leaves" and "Rebel Soldier" as only he can.  Art also closed the evening's festivities with the beautiful gospel number "Will The Circle Be Unbroken."  (Below) top - Larry Dean, Marvin Bredemeier, Gordon Riley  bottom - Art Covey




Posted by hawkshaw5 at 11:19 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, 3 June 2009 9:20 AM CDT
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Saturday, 30 May 2009
Now Playing: Now Playing: Larry Smith - Shirley Smith & Mike Bowman & a great supporting cast

It was classic country night at the Big Creek Country Show and the theatre on the square at Pleasant Hill, MO was packed wall to wall with folks just like us, who love their old-time country music.  As the curtain opened, the band featuring Larry Ellis on fiddle and including Kevin Hoff on drums and Carl Cook on bass were playing "Mountain Horn Pipe" followed by Mike Campbell's treatment of "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" on his 5-string banjo.  Larry was to return a little later with a supply of his signature corny jokes (aren't they the best kind?) and a couple of great fiddle funes, "Foolin' Around" & "Leaving Rozine" while Mike played "Rawhide" and "Sled Ride" to the audience's delight. 

Emcee, show operator and possessor of one of the finest male voices around, Dennis Dittemore stepped front and center to sing a couple of Jim Reeves classics, "Billy Billy Bayou" and "Blue Boy," then returned the second half with "Please Help Me I'm Falling" and the beautiful gospel number "Just A Closer Walk With Thee."  Debbie Martin, sporting a new baby-blue guitar got a big ovation as she sang "I'm Falling In Love," "I Thought He Walked On Water" and Johnny Cash's "Tennessee Flattop Box."  Phil Hilton was just awesome on the keyboard tonight with Charlie Rich's "Behind Closed Doors" and "Canon in C" as was Jim Lower, one of the most innovative lead guitarists around, playing "Avalon" and "Who's Sorry Now." 

The first of tonight's guest artists, Larry Smith is certainly a crowd favorite here at Big Creek and once you hear his patent smooth mellow delivery of a country tune, it's not hard to see why.  Tonight he treated the enthusastic house to Johnny Horton's "Waterloo," Steve Wariner's "I Held You Right On The Tips Of My Fingers," Hag's "Okie From Muskogee," Johnny Rivers' "Memphis Tennessee," "Help Me Make It Through The Night" and a classic hymn "Uncloudy Sky."  Shirley Smith (no relation to Larry) is one of our favorite female singers who put her God-given talents to good use here tonight with "Cry Cry Cry," Dottie West's "Here Comes My Baby Back Again," Patty Loveless' "Timber I'm Falling In Love" and "My Heart Has A Mind Of It's Own."  After Donnie Pitts fulfilled an audience request and sang George Jones' "Love Bug," he joined Shirley and Howard Ingalsbe to sing the beautiful gospel number, "The Sweetest Gift."  This trio, known as Downhome Harmony will be appearing at the Calvary Baptist Church, 900 NW 22nd St., Blue Springs, MO 64015, tomorrow, May 31st from 6:00-7:00 PM.  (For more information call 816-228-5540.)

We have always enjoyed Pleasant Hill native Mike Bowman's deep mellow voice since we first heard him at Laredo, MO years ago.  As a matter of fact, he along with Ann Brock were the very first photo we took for our Artist Pages and still occupy that space today.  As well as a stellar performance each time he appears here at Big Creek, Mike also likes to stump the audience with a trivia question; the first person to come up with the answer wins a free coke and popcorn ...... (HOORAY!!).  Tonight's question was: what person of note passed away 75 years ago last Saturday?  Mike then turned back the clock, singing Faron Young's "Four In The Morning," "My House Of Memories," "Heartaches By The Number," "The Legend Of Bonnie & Clyde" (answer to trivia question) and Ernest Tubbs' "Walking The Floor Over You." This fun-packed evening came to a close with Larry Ellis and the band playing "The Flop-Eared Mule."  Thanks to Dennis & Cindy for their kindness & hospitality. (Below) Downhome Harmony - Donnie Pitts, Shirley Smith, Howard Ingalsbe



Posted by hawkshaw5 at 1:58 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, 31 May 2009 11:00 PM CDT
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Tuesday, 26 May 2009

It was great seeing our friend Fred Uzzell, who plays steel & dobro at Annie's Country Jubilee every Saturday night, sitting in with the band tonight and hitting those great licks on his dobro.  Although we arrived a little late this evening, we arrived in time to hear David Purcell sing "Tennessee Birdwalk" and Gordon Riley sing Buck Owens' "Love's Gonna Live Here Again" and play "Back Home Again In Indiana" on his lead guitar before Fred cranked that dobro up on "Columbus Stockade Blues," "Red Wing" and "South Of The Border."  Returning the second half, he did a marvelous job with "Peg Of My Heart," "Freight Train" and "Cold Cold Heart" with David also singing a verse of the latter. 

David, who will be appearing at Annie's June 6th as a guest artist, also returned to sing "Today I Started Loving You Again," Willie's "On The Road Again," "If I Left It Up To You (It'd All Be Over Now)" and "It's Not Love But It's Not Bad."  Gordon Riley and the band including drummer John Malone got the feet tappin' with "String Bender" and "Honky Tonk" and bass player Mary Bichelmeyer showed her vocal talents are intact with "Don't Tell Me What To Do," "Don't Come Cryin' To Me," Kitty Wells' "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" and Loretta Lynn's "Blue Kentucky Girl."  No one should overlook Larry Dean's strong performance here tonight as he sang "Playboy," a 50's R & B classic, "P.S. I Love You," Jimmy Rodgers' "California Blues" and "Silver Wings."  He and Garry Bichelmeyer also did a fantastic duet of the Soggy Bottom Boys' "He's In The Jailhouse Now"(from the movie Oh, Brother Where Art Thou?") to the audience's delight before Garry went on to sing a couple of his originals, "Nodaway River" and "The Horse Song"  as well as "The Salty Dog Rag." 

Guest artist Annie Little sang "Just In Case You Change Your Mind" and Larry Dean closed out the evening with the gospel number "I Want To Stroll Across Heaven With You."  (Below) Larry Dean & David Purcell entertain the crowd at the BK 5/26/09



Posted by hawkshaw5 at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, 27 May 2009 4:49 PM CDT
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Saturday, 23 May 2009

What a beautiful night it was and what an evening to be enjoying your first outdoor concert of the year at Knuckleheads!  Although the event's starting time was advertised as 9 PM and in actuality didn't start until well after that, when we arrived at 7 PM, all of the front row tables and seating was spoken for and we were lucky to find a picnic table not too far back. This worked out well for us, as we were able to access the stage area for photos and far enough back that the sound was tolerable.

The first group was one that regulars here are more than just familiar with.  The Rumblejetts, featuring Jim Holopter on guitar & vocals, Ted Kite on drums & vocals and Jason Ford on bass & vocals are a high-energy Rockabilly band that once played a weekly gig here for 92 straight weeks!  This antimated trio began their set with "Jeanie Jeanie," "Speed," "Clicky Clack" and "Mary Go Round" with stand-up drummer Ted Kite providing a lot of the steam, bounding across the stage, keeping the crowd in a frenzy.  Buck Owens' "Tiger By The Tail" was next, followed by "All By Myself," "Cool Down Baby," "Turn Me Loose," "Baby Come Out Tonight," "Gone Gone Gone," "Train Kept Rollin," "Knock Down Drag Out," "Talk About Love" and "Road Rockets."  Their set concluded with "Kitty Kat," a Fats Domino tune, "Please Don't Leave Me," "Lonely Wolf," "Please Don't Touch" and "Liquored Up" which featured bass player Jason Ford laying flat on his back, supporting the big dog-house bass with his feet, playing some fierce licks!

We certainly enjoyed listening to this group and went home with a couple of their CD's in tow.  For more information on the group check out their website at or their MySpace site at

Accompanied by Justin Amaral on drums and Jason Rathman on electric bass the rest of the evening belonged to the man once known as "Austin's Best Kept Secret" --  Junior Brown.    Although he is equally adept as a singer, songwriter & producer, Junior is best known for his instrumental work and inventing his instrument of choice -- the guit-steel, which actually combines the standard 6-string guitar and the steel guitar.  Dressed in a dark western suit and white ten-gallon hat, he placed the guit-steel on it's special stand and the deep, resonant vocals began with "Broke Down South Of Dallas," "Party Lights" and "Lifeguard Larry."  A crowd favorite, "My Wife Thinks You're Dead" was next, followed by "I Hung It Up," "Long Walk Back To San Antone," "Live & Love All Day," "Give Me A Little Old Fashioned Love," "The Better Half," "Sing Me A Sad Song" and perhaps his signature song, "Highway Patrol."  "Level Two Chili," a song about the spicy treats found in the US Southwest, featured Junior's bi-lingual skills and the crowd roared when he picked and sang "Kansas City."

Of course, this wouldn't have been a Junior Brown concert without the terrific instrumentals here tonight and among them were "Running With The Wind," "Pipeline," "Walk Don't Run," "Gotta Get Up Every Morning" and "Steel Guitar Rag."  We throughly enjoyed the music and the visit with the Rumblejetts, who we found out are from Shawnee, KS,  very close to where we live.  The same cannot be said for Mr. Brown, unfortunately.  He chose to have absolutely no contact with anyone after the event concluded and no CD's or other merchandise was offered for sale.  We found this to be rather strange behavior indeed!  At any rate, this was an enjoyable evening with some great music and we send a big THANKS out to Frank Hicks for his kindness and hospitality.  Just a reminder -- the Bellamy Brothers will be appearing here at Knuckleheads, Friday June 5th!  (Below) top - Junior Brown & the guit-steel  bottom - The Rumblejetts   




Posted by hawkshaw5 at 10:35 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, 24 May 2009 11:33 AM CDT
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Friday, 22 May 2009

We decided to avoid the hassle of running up and down the traffic-packed highways this Memorial Day weekend and decided to stay around home and enjoy some of the great talent available right here in the Kansas City area.  Ronni & Ted Ward are, of course intregal parts of Annie's Country Jubilee Band, Ted playing bass and Ronni, a featured singer and rhythm guitarist and although we have seen them perform around this area in smaller groups, this was the first time we have seen them as a duo. 

Scooter's Coffee House, located on the SW corner of College Blvd. & Antioch with it's cozy, intimate surroundings was the perfect venue for the mellow, smooth but somewhat upbeat music these two produced and everyone seemed to relish.  Beginning with "Count Your Blessings," "My Sweet Love Ain't Around," a duet of Hal Ketchum's "Someplace Far Away," "Angel From Montgomery," "Down To My Last Cigarette" and James Taylor's "Hey Mister That's Me Up On The Juke Box," 1967's "When Love Comes A' Knockin' was next followed by "Landslide," Pam Tillis' "Maybe It Was Memphis," "Natural Woman," an Ira Gershwin tune, "Our Love Is Here To Stay" and Ted with "There's A New Kid In Town."  This "dynamic duo" conclued the evening with "Rock 'N Roll Woman," "Weasel & The White Boy," "Free Man In Paris," "Long Long Time" and The Pretenders' "Back On The Chain Gang." 

We throughly enjoyed ourselves and came away with the thought that these folks can play and sing just about anything that's worth hearing.  For more information on where you might be able to catch them in the future, check with Ronni's MySpace site:  (Below) Ted & Ronni Ward entertain the crowd @ Scooter's Coffee House

Posted by hawkshaw5 at 11:14 AM CDT
Updated: Sunday, 24 May 2009 11:28 AM CDT
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Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Whenever we are on the road and run into folks who follow this blog and our travels throughout mokanopryland, they almost always ask us about the BK lounge -- is it really held in a fast food restaurant (?) and - is this band really as good as we make it out to be (?).  The answer to both questions is a resounding YES!  -  the show is held every Tuesday night from 6:30 - 9:00 PM at the Burger King restaurant near 95th & Quivera Rd. in Lenexa, KS and  the band is composed of some of the best musicians this area has to offer plus some outstanding guest artists who drop in from time to time. 

We were lucky enough to get away from work on time tonight and shortly after we arrived Larry Dean kicked off tonight's festivities with a couple of old songs, Moon Mullican's  "I'll Sail My Ship Alone" and Jimmie Davis' "There's A New Moon Over My Shoulder."  Jimmie, of course was one of those rare individuals who melted two completely seperate vocations together, a country music star (known mostly for his signature song "You Are My Sunshine") and a politician and was outstanding in both, being elected Governor of Louisiana in 1943.  Larry returned later to sing the Jimmie Rodgers standard "California Blues" and do a tribute to the late Vern Gosdin, who passed away recently, singing "Who You Gonna Blame" and "That Just About Does It Don't It" and  later "One Or Two, Three Or Four Times A Day."  David Purcell, who will be appearing at Annie's Country Jubilee June 6th, joined the group tonight and scored a knock-out with George Jones' "Tell Me My Lying Eyes Were Wrong," a Gary Bichelmeyer song, "Northern Star," Hank Sr.'s "Move It On Over," and Willie's "Remember Me" and "On The Road Again."   Gordon Riley and the rest of the band including John Malone on drums and joined tonight by "Marvelous" Marvin Bredemeier, Annie's Country Jubilee's resident fiddler sounded super as they played "Buckaroo," "Sugar Foot Rag," "Bells Of St. Mary" and "Honky Tonk."  Marvin stepped front and center to be featured on some great fiddle music of his own when he got the fingers poppin' and the feet stompin' as he played the "Jersey Bounce," "Rubber Dolly," "The Orange Blossom Special" and later the beautiful "Waltz You Saved For Me."

When we visited with Steve Straub, Annie's drummer and the possessor of a beautiful singing voice, a couple of weeks ago, we mentioned the BK and how much fun we all had and invited him to come out if he ever got the chance.  You can't imagine how surprised we were to see Steve come in the door tonight.  He had barely sat down at the table, when the gang had him up and behind a mike, where he proceeded to give the folks a genuine treat singing Merle's "Big City," Jack Greene's "Statue Of A Fool," Ray Price's "Crazy Arms" and a little later it was Hank Jr.'s "Old Habits" along with another Merle Haggard classic "The Farmer's Daughter." WOW!!  Steve sat in at drums for a few numbers as Mary Bichelmeyer sang "Your Cheating Heart" and "Walk The Way The Wind Blows" and husband Garry Bichelmeyer sang the whimiscal "Ghost Chickens In The Sky" and originals "Marie," "Tonganoxie" and "Bustin' Up Rocks."  Steve closed out the evening with the great gospel number "One Day At A Time." (Below) Steve Straub entertains the BK crowd




Posted by hawkshaw5 at 12:07 AM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, 20 May 2009 12:53 AM CDT
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Saturday, 16 May 2009

We finally got the opportunity to visit Tim Dunagan's "new" Old Town Jamboree since he moved the show from it's former location in Old Pattonsburg, MO to the Community Arts Theatre in Hamilton, MO.  We arrived early as we wanted to look over not only the new location of Tim's show, but the town itself.  Hamilton, MO proved to be a bustling community, the theatre located across the street from the Hamilton Bank and adjacent to a charming little park which featured a large mural painted on the side of an adjoining building which depected much of the area's historical past.  Although most of Hamilton's history revolves around native son and retail giant J. C. Penny (1875-1971), it is also the site of many interesting landmarks (Frank Clark's Mill - 1867, Sam McBrayer's Livery Stable - 1898, original City Hall - 1911) and home of Baseball Hall of Famer Zack Wheat. 

Although the Jamboree has a full service snack bar which offers full meals, being early, we opted to cross the street and enjoy the cuisine at John & Tammy Harbolt's Past Times Diner.  The diner isn't hard to spot with the likeness of a bright red '57 Chevy adorning the entrance.  Inside, the decor is definately reminicent of the 1950's, glistening chrome counters & stools wilth pictures of Marilyn, Elvis & other period personalities adorning the walls.  I had absolutely no trouble devouring a flame-broiled double cheeseburger and Miss Jean, a grilled chicken breast with all the fixin's.

Even with this being graduation weekend and the many other community affairs going on, a good-sized crowd settled into the comfortable seats as the Jamboree band with Tim Dunagan on lead guitar, Todd Young on bass, Terri Henry, keyboards, Bubba Fisk, steel & guitar, Jamie Dunagan, drums and Paul Watson from Tulsa, OK, joining the group tonight, on keyboards, harmonica & tenor sax took their places.  The band opened tonight's festivities with "Down The Seven Bridges Road" and then it was Terri Henry's great vocal of "A Perfect Love."  She would return later with Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You," "I'm Burning Old Memories With A Brand New Flame" and a beautiful gospel number, "He Touched Me."  Bubba Fisk was in fine voice as well tonight as he stepped forward, guitar in hand to sing George Jones' "I'll Share My World With You," "Open Up Your Heart" and after Tim sang "Satisified Mind," it was "Just As Long As You Love Me" and "White Lightning."  George Jones songs seemed to be the order of the day as Todd sang "Love Bug" to the audience's delight, then "I'm Leavin' Here A Better Man," Roger Miller's "King Of The Road" and after Jamie turned her drums loose on "Wipe Out," he did just an excellent job on the old Carl Perkins' standard, "Blue Suede Shoes."

Paul Watson, who sat in with the band tonight, proved to be a multi-talented musician who played some keyboard, played some great harmonica but mostly played his newest instrument, a tenor saxophone!  Boots Randolph's "Tuff" was first, followed by the Eagles' "Tequila Sunrise" and "Yakity Sax."  We first met  Rick & Manda Lynn Hontz when they opened for Tommy Horton several years ago at John Green's Wagon Wheel in Pattonsburg, and it was certainly a treat to see this talented duo again.  After Rick did a marvelous job with George Strait's "The Fireman," Merle's "The Way I Am," "Don't Rock The Jukebox" and Faron Young's "Wind Me Up," Mandy treated the crowd to Jerry Lee Lewis' "Great Balls Of Fire," "Cryin' Time," Emmy Lou Harris' "Two More Bottles Of Wine" and "Last Kiss."  These folks got a tremendous hand as they sang duets of June & Johnny's "Jackson" and "He Drinks Tequila."

Mike White, who has a show held every 2nd & 4th Saturday in Chula. MO, was tonight's other guest and certainly proved he has a ton of vocal talent as he sang Charlie Daniels' "The South's Gonna Do It Again," Merle's "Branded Man," Mickey Gilley's "The Girls All Get Prettier At Closing Time," "It's Not Love But It's Not Bad" and "Just Playin' Possum."  Just great stuff and we'll be checking into more concerning Mike's show and hopefully be reporting more on these pages.  Stay tuned!

After Tim sang "Old Time Rock & Roll" and the audience, facing the flag at the rear of the auditorium, sang the National Anthem, it was time to bring this fun evening to a close.  We'll certainly be returning the first chance we get, not only for a super show, but to spend a little more time checking out all those fun stores and businesses in the great little community of Hamilton, MO.  (Below)  top - Mike White (l.), Rick (r.) & Mandy (c.) Hontz  bottom - The Past Times Diner





Posted by hawkshaw5 at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, 19 May 2009 2:16 PM CDT
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Wednesday, 13 May 2009

We arrived at the BK tonight just in time to hear Larry Dean, who was on vacation last week, kick things off with the rockabilly classic, "Johnny B. Goode" followed by Ricky Skaggs' "Hiway 40 Blues."   Later he was to return with I'm Goin' Back To Louisiana," "Till I Gain Control Of You" and the 50's rock tune "Lawdy Miss Claudie."  After Gordon Riley on lead guitar and the rest of the band, including John Malone on drums did a super job on "Boogie #2," "Marvelous" Marvin Bredemeier, who plays fiddle every Saturday at Annie's Country Jubilee in Tonganoxie, KS played our favorite fiddle tune, "Ragtime Annie" as well as sang and played "Faded Love" and "Rubber Dolly" (also known as "Back Up And Push.")  WOW!!   

After Mary Bichelmeyer used her smooth, mellow voice to sing "I'm Blue Again," and "Crazy Dreams," husband Garry Bichelmeyer shared a brand-new creation of his, "Larry's Life," a song if not correct in all respects, was at least inspired by his friend, Larry Dean followed by another original, "It'll Make You Blue."  Visiting from Lynch, NE tonight was a friend of the group, Dave Bergquist who proved to be a very talented guitar picker and singer to boot.  Beginning with instrumentals of "Honky Tonk," "Sugar Foot Rag" and "Wildwood Flower, he then picked and sang "Old Cotton Fields Back Home" and Lyle Lovett's "Long Tall Texan." 

It's always a pleasure to see Pama Weaver sit in and tonight she sounded so good as she sang "Jimmy Brown The News Boy," "Under The Boardwalk," "I'm Making Plans" and "Blue Magic."  Our friend Annie Little did her usual marvelous job singing "You Love Again" and Patsy's "I Love You Honey."  It was a real surprise to look up and see Jim McGreevey of the Bluegrass Brigade coming in the door and although he just came for a visit and didn't bring along his banjo, he finally relented and sang a couple with a borrowed guitar: one of the best bluegrass songs ever written, Jimmy Martin's "Sunny Side Of The Mountain" and a Hank Williams Sr. tulne, "There'll Be No Tear Drops Tonight."  Thanks, Jim and we hope you'll come back soon.  (Below)  top - Jim McGreevey  bottom - Tonight the gang celebrated Garry's birthday with a slice of this big cake for everyone... 




Posted by hawkshaw5 at 3:46 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, 18 May 2009 10:22 PM CDT
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