Twang comes to Truckee: TAMA artists pay tribute to the Grand Ole Opry and country roots | SierraSun.com
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Twang comes to Truckee: TAMA artists pay tribute to the Grand Ole Opry and country roots

ABHUTCHISON, Sierra Sun

Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Roy Acuff, Dixie Chicks.

These famous country music stars won’t actually be at the Truckee Alliance for the Musical Arts (TAMA) fall show, “The Grand Ole Opry,” but they will be there in spirit and many of their songs will be played.

TAMA musicians are celebrating the Grand Ole Opry’s 75th anniversary by paying tribute to the world’s longest-running live radio show in Nashville, Tenn., and to present a flavor of the significant periods in country music.

“This is a tribute to the Grand Ole Opry,” said Ron Gaunt, TAMA’s director of this year’s show. “My opinion is country music is best savored if you understand where it comes from. The Grand Ole Opry flavor is an attempt to trace history.”

So TAMA members will be tracing the roots of country music – beginning with the 1930s and covering songs from people like Jimmy Rogers and Roy Acuff. Songs from country favorites Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline and others will be covered to represent country music during the ’60s.

“That will give you a nice background,” Gaunt said.

The second set will pick it up a notch with music from the ’70s and ’80s and performers will cover songs from such acts as Alabama, The Judds, Clint Black, Emmylou Harris and Dwight Yoakam.

More contemporary country artists will be represented in the third set, which will feature songs by Hank Williams, Jr., LeAnn Rimes, Shania Twain and others.

More than 30 performers will be involved with the show, including former TAMA members Val Stewart and Beth Cayce, who are coming back to Truckee to visit and be part of the show.

“It’s going to be fun to have them back in town,” Gaunt said.

Steve Coniglio will be giving stage commentary and announcements throughout the show, entertaining the audience with his usual charm.

TAMA members decided pursuing the Grand Ole Opry theme was a good idea following the success of their last country music show, “Boot, Scoot and Boogy,” at the Cal-Neva.

“The idea is that this show will present a flavor of significant times in country music,” Gaunt said.

TAMA musicians have a knack for entertaining audiences. Most members, both amateur and professional, have played or play with local Truckee-Tahoe area bands.

Last year, TAMA celebrated its 10th anniversary. The group is dedicated to not only playing music, but to raise money for scholarships for high school students and grants that relate to music and theater as well as various other gifts that help support the community. TAMA has given more than $50,000 in scholarships since it started 11 years ago.

“Our goal is to encourage and nurture the pursuit of performing arts in the Tahoe-Truckee area,” said founding and current TAMA president Merri McKee, who also teaches theater and art at Tahoe-Truckee High School. “Truckee is really supportive of us.”

They work hard and volunteer all practice and performance time; and they have a good time doing it.

“The Grand Ole Opry is really going to be a blast,” McKee said.

The show will be performed at the Cottonwood Restaurant Nov. 2-4 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets cost $30 and include dinner. Reservations can be made by calling Cottonwood at 587-5711.

What: TAMA musicians present “The Grand Ole Opry”

Where: Cottonwood Restaurant

When: Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 2-4 at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets: Cost $30 and include dinner.

Reservations: Can be made by calling the Cottonwood at 587-5711.


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