Not quite as busy as last week, but still lots going on. 
We stem from Iowa, and carry news of the upper Midwest, as well as
anything else that comes into our mailbox.  Knowing this column is
re-sent throughout Europe via International Country Music, we extend an
invitation for anyone who get this to respond with your own news, etc.,
that might be of interest to us here in the middle of a corn field in
Iowa.  We’d also like to extend an invitation to those of you from the
international community to come visit us during our festival next year
in LeMars, Iowa.  Your Germany passport (any European pass port) is
valid as your entry to the festival free of charge. 
At the Oak Tree Opry in Anita, Iowa, you are all invited to
witness a combination of artists never attempted before. The Johnson
Strings, as many of you know, can play the Orange Blossom Special better
than just about any family around.  Put eight of them together, all on
bowed instruments, and you have an idea what this is going to sound
like.  They are not only adept at really really good country music, they
also play classical music.  Whaaaaaaat?  Classical music mixed up with
old-time rural country music.  Sure why not?  Besides, the Johnson
Family are incredibly gifted in their ability to provide the
‘just-right’ change-overs that makes them so very entertaining.  Here’s
the part that’s not been attempted before.  We’re going to add one of
the most flamboyant, beautiful, sparkly, and super talented country
singers to the melting pot.  Betty Rydell from Minnesota is a terrific
talent.  She can play five or six instruments, I forget there are so
many, but her ‘style’ is like sunshine on the loose.  You are going to
‘so’ enjoy this show.  along with our regulars it should be one of our
better ones this year.  All takes place September 20th, showtime 7pm,
tickets $7 or reserved seats $10 at 712-762-4363
Most of us who like many different varieties of country
music will remember James Taylor.  It took a while for it to happen, but
James Taylor finally sang with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  Taylor is
65 years old now, and sang a dozen or more songs in Salt Lake City with
the 360-person choir.  He also sang with the Utah Symphony as well as
with his own combo backing band.  A large crowd of nearly 20,000 were on
hand to hear him do some of his classics “Fire and Rain,” “Carolina On
My Mind,” and “Shower The People” among many others.  Taylor really
liked the experience.
Country music singer LeAnn Rimes is on tour in Ireland, and
was forced to cancel her gig in Dublin after she was admitted to a
hospital emergency room.  The singer had been having throat and cough
problems for several weeks,  but her lingering cough took a turn for the
worse in Dublin, prompting her to visit a local hospital.  She
explained on Twitter….”I never thought I’d see the ER in Dublin.  I
have coughed myself into pain.  The spasms are intense, I’m coughing
hard and injured myself, but I’m feeling pretty good otherwise.”
Ernie Ruth is in the local news here in Iowa, he is setting
up a “1st Hill & Heritage Festival” to raise money for the little
rural town of Thurman, which was devastated by a tornado last year. 
He’s picked September 27-28 for the doings, and all are invited.  The
festival site is located in the South Loess Hills of Iowa, but I do not
know exactly where.  It starts on Friday evening with an open stage, so
anyone can sign up to be on.  If you are staying overnight for the
Saturday show, please remember this is very rough and rustic camping. 
No electricity or water, and only porta-potties for toilet facilities. 
Camping is free however, as are the shows.  Donations will be taken for
the Thurman Fund.  There’s going to be a chicken dinner on Saturday, and
there will be jamming around the campfires both nights. The Saturday
evening show features Bluegrass Playground from Omaha; Jerry Forney Band
from Missouri; and the Cahoots Bluegrass Band from Omaha.  Better check
with Ernie for more information 712-355-0161
You are also invited to Doug & Debbie’s annual Pickle
Jar Party and Old Time Country Music/Bluegrass Jam, Oct 11-12-13 in
Mount Vernon, South Dakota.  It all takes place at the Senior Citizen
Center.  There will be a really big jam set up for Saturday night, some
come pick around the campfire here too.  They are a stern group,
absolutely no electric instruments allowed.  Meals will be provided,
Friday night it’s burgers; and Saturday night is pulled pork and smoked
brisket (hey that’s sounding better);  The camping is free in their back
yard which is about 2 blocks away.  Extremely limited electrical
hook-ups.  More information at 605-236-5474
And of course we want to invite everyone to our last
festival of the year, the Old Time Rural Roots Music Gathering at the
Christensen Field House in Fremont, Nebraska.  Starts at noon on October
4th, and goes all day and evening October 5th, and then goes until
around 6pm on October 6th.  We have great RV camping facilities, both
water and electricity at $15 a day ($10 a day without hook-ups). 
Tickets are affordable too, a full 3-day pass for only $40 with
young’uns under 17 admitted free of charge.  Culver’s Restaurant will
have Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner specials along with their regular
food items.  The ‘line-up’ is incredible considering how low it is to
get in….John Rex Reeves the nephew of Jim Reeves is carrying on his
uncles incredibly beautiful country music.  Betty Rydell, the flamboyant
country singer from Minnesota who can play more than four stringed
instruments, but not all at the same time, and our favorite country
singer songwriter, Terry Smith from Nashville.  Wow, that alone is worth
the cost of admission, but wait there’s more.  The Kenaston Family on
hand for backing as well as dancing;  Dale Eichor and Bobby Awe the
Midwest’s most popular duo; Marge Lund the singing lark from Anita; Mark
& Sue Jenkins (who by the way have a terrific bluegrass band
‘SiouxGrass’ that performed at LeMars.  They are super good, be sure and
see them.  Rick & Harriette Andersen.  If you’ve already read
this far, you might as well be up to date on Rick & Harriette. 
Harriette told Rick she needed her own car.  Why? Rick wanted to know,
we have a car.  “Yeah” said Harriette, “but sometimes I want to go
someplace and you have the car.”  She kept on nagging until finally Rick
said ‘OK, lets get you a car, a brand new one, then no more
complaining.”  Sure enough, Harritte took her new car down town to Neola
to get some groceries.  Before she left, Rick said “Now Harriette you
be careful, we don’t want any accidents with your new car.”  Harriette
drove off, and pretty soon the phone rang at the house.  Rick answered,
and it was Harriette.  “Yeah, what’s the matter Harriette?”  “Well” said
Harriette, “I got some good news and I got some bad news.”  “What’s the
good news” Rick wanted to know.  Harriette said, “All of the air bags
on the new car work.”….
More fun at Fremont with Francis Hahn (the
singing retired CIA agent); Pat Boilesen (Nebraska’s Daughter and a
super singer and songwriter): Ed & Kathy Dovel (they’ve been shy on
the circuit lately, but we’re hoping they will be at Fremont.  Curt
Shoemaker (Whaaaaaat?  The fantastic steel player from Kansas who does
Martina McBrides CD’s and just got married, and is worried about the
grape crop in Kansas?….Yeeeeesss, he’s going to be with us to back
none other than….Molly & Mary Channer Paul (who won a CD of the
year from the RRMC which they will receive in Fremont).  Bill Hendren
(just took a new job ramrodding heavy equipment, but also one of our
finest country singers); Paul Burnett (He did a super job taking the
Dobrotorium under his wing at LeMars.  He lost his outlaw singing
partner, but my guess is he’ll be ready to go at Fremont); Lee Muller,
another of those Kansas flat-landers that picks and sings good; Down
Home Dulcimers. (I always say if we can have a steel guitar, we can have
a dulcimer too!)  Eldon Hardekopf (whaaaat two steel players?  Yeah
sure, why not?); Mike Behnk from Greeley, Nebr (Mike also won a CD of
the Year award from the Rural Roots Music Commission.  You will find the
price of admission worth hearing Mike do some of his winning songs;
Paul Wold that crazy west Nebraska cowboy banjo picker.  Yeah he’s
pretty good too; Outta Gas, not sure if they are going to make it or
not, sometimes we don’t know until the last minute; Marcia Greve is all
fired up and all of Oakland, Nebraska said they were coming to hear her
sing….or not sing, I can’t remember which.  Oh she’s fine, that’s a
joke Jay Leno.  Here’s a really good singer, going to be on Saturday
only….the beautiful Emma Heyen.  If you haven’t heard her you are
definitely in for a treat.  If you have heard her, you know what I’m
talking about.  Jack Langley really draws big crowds to his various
concerts in Sioux City.  This terrific songwriter has some super stories
to tell about his tour to Austria and his fellow band mates.  All of
Sioux City said they were coming to see him. The Dwayne Reed Family. 
Dwayne is one of our super-pickers, but not sure about wife Sandi. 
She’s under chemo and doing OK, but never know for sure.  Jay Kelly had
his picture taken for the newspaper in LeMars.  The cute little reporter
said Jay was one terrific fiddler.  Bob Keim is straightening out his
personal life, and back on track as one of our better keyboard players. 
David Green is the Avoca Come-Back Kid, doing great hillbilly music
after the style of his Uncle Ben.  David is busy in Kansas City on
Fri-Sat, but he promises to be with us on Sunday.  The large Balyeat
Family from Montana will be with us in full force again this year. 
These kids just get better and better every time we hear them.  Don
Diemer is not washed away in Colorado, but he’s coming to be with us to
perform as well as help with the sound.  Wilber Foss is that great
old-time old-time fiddler from South Dakota.  He’ll do some MC work too,
as will Bonnie Banks, who’s just terrific with her emceeing.  Chari
Miles formerly of Michigan, and now more permanently from Iowa as she
marries up with Louie Heldenbrand.  They make a nice couple, we wish
them well in all they do.  Rayne Magill is also on tap to do some
performing, she is deeply involved in some family situations, but we
hope she will be with us.  Dave Elifrits may or may not be with us, he’s
also deeply involved in taking care of his family’s kids in Missouri. 
Claude Pinkley will be on a couple of shows, as will Jackie Shewey, and
Tommy Buller (who’s in the middle of divorce proceedings???) will try to
be up from Nashville.  We’ll see.  Wow, I didn’t realize how much I
could write about just the Fremont Festival.   If you’ve read all the
way down to hear, you should know that this ‘last one of the season’ for
us, is going to be a good one. 
Heard a nice little quote from James Dunkley a
sound engineer with Amon Amarth….”As a producer of ‘real’ country
music, be honorable.  This is a small industry and if you’re out with
the band acting like an idiot, it’s not long before everybody else hears
about it.”  Couldn’t agree more.  Here’s another from him…”You can’t
drop a job you’ve booked just because a better paying one comes along.” 
Another sage piece of advice.  If you can’t get the better paying gig
to change dates…or years…don’t let yourself become a ‘NO-SHOW’
because of money.
Speaking of jobs, heard about this one….Gibson is looking
for a ‘Chief People Officer’ to join their team.  This position is
based out of Gibson’s World Headquarters in Nashville.  You must have a
BA, preferably in human resources and at least 8 years related
experience.  Visit:  to apply.
Will try to keep you notified about the FolkHouse concerts
coming up in Omaha at 2440 Fontenelle Blvd., Omaha, NE at the home of
Jerome Brich. 402-598-7955 has info.  First one of the season is Sunday Sept. 29 featuring Sally Barris a Nashville songwriter.
Fifty-seven years after Johnny Cash’s first appearance on
the Grand Ole Opry, the Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville has solidified
an agreement to continue the legacy of the “Man in Black,” on the
airwaves of 650-AM WSM Radio.    According to Tom English, the WSM
general manager, said…”We are very honored to help introduce our
worldwide audience to the amazing Johnny Cash Museum.  Our listeners
will be excited about the museum just as they are about calling and
emailing us every day to request their favorite Cash songs.”  Don’t
forget, Joanne Cash, Johnny’s younger sister who was at LeMars this
year, is also a ‘legacy carrier’ of Johnny Cash.  Especially in the
restoration of his birthplace home in Dyess, Arkansas, as well as
carrying on his gospel music.
Bob Everhart

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