'Gone Country,' Fabulous Armadillos set to rock at Memorial Auditorium
“A fresh look, a new band, and more variety to the styles of music. We’ve got some major talent in the house band.”
WORTHINGTON — Following a brief hiatus, a fundraising favorite is making a triumphant return to the Memorial Auditorium Performing Arts Center, and tickets are still available for “Gone Country: Back in the Saddle” at 7 p.m. Saturday.
The country music show will feature a number of beloved local performers, including Anna Meyer and Teresa Widboom, with Riley Widboom and Ethan Meyer. Plus, Gabriel Michael Fueston and Savannah Rodriguez will perform, as well as the Dance Academy Dancers. Matt Widboom will serve as emcee.
“It’s really a fresh new start to ‘Gone Country,’” said Tammy Makram, manager of Memorial Auditorium. “A fresh look, a new band, and more variety to the styles of music. We’ve got some major talent in the house band.”
The live “Gone Country” band includes Tim Deats on the piano, who has opened for Chris Ledoux, Martina McBride, Keith Urban, Charlie Daniels and others; Gary Snow on the guitar, a South Dakota Music Hall of Fame inductee who has shared the stage with David Crosby and Davy Jones of the Monkees; Sam Irish on the bass, who has played for Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, the Platters, the Shirelles and the Drifters and is a member of the Iowa Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; Al Berven on the drums, who also serves as the drummer for Kory and the Fireflies; Howard Hedger on the fiddle, who produces for Lowri Evans and has played at “Gone Country” three times previously; and Fueston on the guitar.
Fueston grew up in Worthington, and the singer-songwriter recently returned after spending 10 years in Ecuador. He’ll also serve as music director for the show and will perform three songs he wrote.
New to the show this year is Rodriguez, a Worthington High School student who will sing western tunes in Spanish — “La Llorona” and “Como La Flor.”
In addition, local singer Tom Binford will perform before the show begins, during the social hour.
The event is an important fundraiser for the Friends of the Memorial Auditorium, Makram said, allowing the venue to build programming and keep ticket prices reasonable so shows can be accessible to people. The group also often contributes to equipment needs and facilities improvements for the auditorium.
Tickets for “Gone Country” are $20 for adults and $10 for students in advance or $25 and $10 respectively at the door. To purchase tickets, or for more information, visit friendsoftheauditorium.com, call (507) 376-9101 or stop by the auditorium box office from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on a weekday.
The Fabulous Armadillos
Also slated to perform at Memorial Auditorium are the Fabulous Armadillos, with their “What’s Going On” show, featuring some of the most revolutionary music of the 1960s and early 1970s.
“The Armadillos are phenomenal,” Makram said. “This is going to be our sixth Armadillos show since I’ve been here.”
Though the Armadillos have played in Worthington before, this show will be unique, featuring the music of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, Creedence Clearwater Revival and more, with narration from Vietnam War veterans and a multimedia show that illustrates the tumultuous history of that time.
“It’s a beautiful tribute to that era,” Makram said. “It gives you a better idea of what was going on from the point of view of the veterans. “Anyone who’s seen this group knows how they got the name ‘fabulous,’ because they are.”
The Fabulous Armadillos will perform at 7 p.m. May 6 at the auditorium. Tickets are $30 for adults and $20 for students in advance, or $35 and $25 at the door, respectively. To purchase them or for more information, visit friendsoftheauditorium.com, call (507) 376-9101 or stop by the auditorium box office from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on a weekday.