Introducing a band

Discussion in 'General Conversation' started by Matthew72, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. Matthew72

    Matthew72 New Member

    Cobden Il.

    I wrote this for the paper and wanted to introduce yall to a really cool Bluegrass Band.

    If you like bluegrass music, you are in for a treat. Carefree Highway, an exciting new band from western Kentucky, will be performing live Friday, September 22, 2006 at the Shawnee Community College Performing Arts Center located near Ullin, Illinois.
    All the seats are $5 at the door. Doors open at 7pm and the show runs from 7:30 until 9:30.
    Carefree Highway plays a blend of contemporary and traditional bluegrass, country, standard American music and a variety of original songs.
    The Carefree Highway Band found popularity back in the Nineties and continues to go strong today. This genre of music, Bluegrass, has been coming back to the forefront as of late because of country and western music’s rise to new fame.
    The band is in the process of recording an album that is due out in late October or early November.
    They have played festivals, concerts and many venues in the area. Such as June 9th at Superman Days in Metropolis, Illinois, July 28th at The National Trail Ride Festival in One Horse Gap Lake, Illinois and most recently at The Illinois State Fair in DuQuoin on the 2nd of September.
    When asked what his favorite local place to play was, Don Douglas, band manager and guitarist, says that Fohs Hall in Marion, Kentucky was a great one. He also says that they would love to play the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee
    “Carefree Highway is a remarkable band with a cohesiveness and drive to their music that is unequalled in the industry. Their strong voices and intense soulful harmonies make them a joy to listen to.” says J. Simmons of J. Simmons Productions in Sun City West, Arizona.
    The members of the band are as follows; Sondra Asa is a Dobro player who also handles vocals. She has been in the band since 1992.
    Larry Barger is a banjo player/vocalist. And he is a lifelong bluegrass musician.
    Jim Nicholas is a mandolin player who sings. Jim was born in Bridgeport, Alabama. Don Douglas plays guitar as well as vocalizes. He is the founder and manager of the band. Douglas also was a festival coordinator for a few years.
    Eddie Stubblefield is a native of Kentucky and plays bass. He also sings harmony and lead vocals.
    Carefree Highway is an interactive group; they often come down to the audience, after the show, to talk to the nice folks. “Our goal is two fold”, says Douglas, “to promote the newer style as well as the older style of Bluegrass.” He goes on to say, “We’ve been very well received and we’re very happy about that.”
    Don’t forget to show up early because the Shawnee Community College Café is serving up a fish fry featuring HOOT’s catfish with all the trimmings. Linda Parker will be there to help fry up the catfish. Do you all remember HOOT’s great catfish?
    Though HOOT’s is no longer open, many of us keep that big catfish and that great food in our hearts and minds.
    The Cafe will start serving at 6pm and finish at 7pm just before the concert.
    Gae Morris, the special events coordinator for Shawnee Community College says, “We’re expecting a good crowd and it will be fun for all.”
    If you want more information about the band, their web address is
    For more information contact Gae Morris, Special Events Coordinator, at 1-618-634-3323 or 1-800-481-2242, extension 3323.
  2. Matthew72

    Matthew72 New Member

    Cobden Il.
    This is what happened at the show.

    I did not expect a multitude of fans to show up on such a dark and dreary evening.
    I was there early to watch the band set up and warm up. The rain was not falling now but I knew it would be soon. Would the fans of bluegrass, a genre of music that for most of its existence was past down by word of mouth, brave the weather to be entertained? Supper was offered at a bargain price. Would all the food go to waste?
    At 5:45pm, I noticed the doors opening. Yee Haaaa! I was happy to see people showing up to eat Hoot’s catfish and hear great bluegrass music from The Carefree Highway Band.
    For those of you who don’t know, The Carefree Highway Band is a western Kentucky contemporary bluegrass type band. They are in the same musical area as Flatt&Scruggs and Alison Krauss. Larry Barger, Banjo player, says his car stereo has a Jimmy Martin tribute album in it now. Eddie Stubblefield, bassist; Don Douglas, the manager, booking agent, singer and guitarist and Jim Nicholas, mandolin player, have Seldom Scene in theirs.
    The Crowd was thin but determined to show their support. The weather may have kept some of the concert going public at home but the true fans were out for the show.
    The Catfish was served with all the trimmings. At the price of $5.75, you can’t beat that deal. The whole building was filled with the aroma of that succulent, southern delicacy. After everyone was full of catfish, it was time to fill up on harmonious delight.
    As I sat there, waiting for the band to start, I thought to myself “This is not like any concert I have ever been to.” The audience was polite, well dressed and conservatively pierced.
    The Carefree Highway Band was introduced to us and they kicked things off with a fast paced song. It got our hands clapping and our toes tapping quickly.
    To play at an intimate venue like this, you have to be good consistently. There was no lighting tricks, video monitors or two-ton speakers to drown out mistakes that are made. No mistakes were noticed.
    The audience was only 51 strong but at the end of each song it sounded like the thundering applause of 100 easily. Sondra Asa, Dobro player and singer in the band, said “We just couldn’t ask for a better crowd, really.“ There was members from each generation there, from nine to ninety-nine as they say. Asa went on to say, “You can’t complain about the size of the crowd because they were so receptive….We‘ve played to bigger audiences at state fairs and stuff and not gotten near the response we got here tonight.”
    One of the things I like about the music this band was playing is the sound and instrumentation is traditional bluegrass. It could easily be from the 40s or 50s but a lot of the music they are singing/playing is new and only recently been written. The manager, booking agent, singer and guitarist for the group, Don Douglas says, “We are kind of an A to Z bluegrass band.” It shows in their stage presence. They played a combination of classic and new bluegrass, country and gospel.
    After 45 minutes, it was time for an intermission. SCC provided drinks and snacks at a nominal price. We all went out to stretch our legs and get a check on the weather. On the way out of the auditorium I asked Shiryl Walquist what she thought of the band and she replied, “They are super.” We were told the worst part of the storm would be there in 35 or 40 minutes so be ready to go down to the “Severe Weather Shelter” downstairs. The fans were happy and Norma Clark said she was “loving the show.” Soon it was time to go back into the beautiful and comfortable Education Center to hear the second half of the entertainment.
    The Carefree Highway Band jumped right back on the stage and picked up where they left off. They played some gospel songs and some songs written by the band themselves.
    I noticed how meticulously they cared for the instruments they play. I was told all but the Dobro are “Vintage” and “Worth a lot of money”. Most acoustic instruments sound better with age. The band sure had beautiful, quality instruments.
    During a song that featured the words “Kick off your shoes”, the singer, Asa, kicked off her shoes right there on stage. The audience whooped and hollered at the humor she provided.
    They finished the show with the legendary song Rocky Top. We clapped along and stomped our feet to the beat, really having a wonderful time. So much so that The Carefree Highway Band had to play just one more. They enjoy themselves as much as their fans do. For the encore they thoroughly turned it loose on us with the speedy tempo of Jealous, a song from their soon to be released album. Afterwards, I had the opportunity to stick around and chat with the band. The Carefree Highway Band is a great band, has great people in it and are worth seeing over and over again.


  3. bubbajum

    bubbajum New Member

    I loved the story, sounds like a great time. To be honest with you I don't even know what blue grass sounds like, but after your recounting of the night I would love to attend a show like that.
  4. Matthew72

    Matthew72 New Member

    Cobden Il.
    I am glad you got something out of the stories.
  5. Baitkiller

    Baitkiller New Member

    Akron, Ohio
    Kool Beans

    Sounds great, now if you could just toss in some "Zydeco" too plz.