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APPALFOLKS OF AMERICA
The Virginia Opry will open its 27 th performance season with its band and vocalists sharing the Historic Masonic Theatre’s stage with special guests Keith Bryant, MikeCarter, and Santana Hope and the Sidewalkers on Sat., Feb. 17, at 7:00 p.m.
William R. Nicely, director and vocalist, remarked, “The “Sweetheart Show” will be a good opportunity for couples to celebrate Valentine’s Day on the weekend, and I promise it will be a great experience.”
Bryant, a Nashville recording artist who has had “Billboard” hits such as “Riding with aLegend” and “Waking Amy,” will make his return to The Virginia Opry after a 2017 guest performance.
Mike Carter, a multi-instrument musician and vocalist, has performed with such bands asThe Moonshine Express. He has been billed as “The Local Cowboy.” He will make his debut onThe Virginia Opry.
Santana Hope and the Sidewalkers will also make its debut on The Virginia Opry that was honored by the Virginia General Assembly in 2017 via “Resolution 397” for presenting 25 years of country music shows in the Alleghany Highlands.
The Virginia Opry features its own vocalists: Kim Cahoon, the lone original member; Mikeand Laura Snead, a husband and wife duo that performs as “Milk and Honey,” and Holly Nicely,William’s wife.
The band members who perform as vocalists are Charlotte Ivy, “the Token Texan” who plays rhythm guitar; Billy Berberette, bass; Dave Aiken, lead guitar; Bobbi Jo Huffman, mandolin; andStephen Peery, keyboard.
Band members not performing as vocalists in the “Sweetheart Show” are B.T. Ross,drummer; and Denny Fitzgerald, banjo and dobro.
The Virginia Opry was founded by Appalfolks of America Association, owner of the Historic Masonic Theatre from 1991 till 2003 when the non-profit organization donated the theatre to the Town of Clifton Forge, the current owner. The late Dan Seals, The Lonesome River Band,The Farm Hands and Michael Hoover are some of the guest performers on past opry shows.
Tickets may be purchased in advance for $10 general admission for all except box seats. Boxseats are $25 per seat. Tickets are $2 more the day of the show. The box office number is(540) 862-5655. The theatre is located at 510 Main Street in Clifton Forge.
M. Ray Allen, founder and executive director of The Virginia Opry, said, “The Virginia Opryhas drawn country music lovers from a wide area of Virginia and from out of state, and I recall a couple from Charleston, West Virginia, sitting in the balcony swaying to ‘Akey Breaky Heart’that Joey Robinson, our rhythm guitarist at the time, was singing.”
He concluded, “A tour bus from Fort Payne, Alabama, brought 35 country music fans to thetheatre for one of our Virginia Opry’s shows, and the tourists gave our performers a standing ovation and stood and clapped earlier while ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ was being performed.”