Two national bands will be hitting Owensboro stages this weekend.

Country-rock group Sawyer Brown will be performing at the RiverPark Center on Saturday at 8 p.m.

The recipient of multiple CMT Country Music Awards and originally the traveling road band for country singer and trumpet player Don King, the band became known to audiences through their 1983 debut television appearance on an episode of the talent contest “Star Search,” where they won the $100,000 and landed a record deal.

Their self-titled debut hit the top five in the U.S. Country Album charts while also charting in the Billboard 200 albums chart, with their second single “Step That Step” reaching the top spot in the United States and Canada. The band was awarded the Country Music Association’s Horizon Award in 1986 while touring rigorously, playing between 200 to 300 shows a year.

Known earlier in their career as more pop-oriented, the band shifted their tune after signing with a new record label in the early 90s, penning more ballad-oriented fare.

“They are a band I’ve heard all my life growing up and I can’t wait to see them in action,” said Grae Greer, director of marketing and education. “I’ll be the loud gal in the mezzanine singing along to ‘Some Girls Do.’ ”

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, the three-time Grammy-winning outfit and hall of famers, will be ending the weekend in style at Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum on Sunday, with doors at 5 p.m. and the show starting at 6 p.m, celebrating over 50 years of playing music.

Debuting in 1966, the Long Beach, California band made its way into America’s hearts and radios with their cover of Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Mr. Bojangles” in 1970, peaking in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100.

A chance meeting with bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs led the band to record the 1972 album “Will the Circle be Unbroken” with heavy hitters Scruggs, Roy Acuff, Don Watson, and Jimmy Martin.

The band released their 50th anniversary special on PBS in March 2016, recording at the prestigious Ryman Auditorium in Nashville with special guests John Prine, Sam Bush, Alison Krauss, and Jackson Browne.

The now-six piece includes Jeff Hanna on acoustic and electric guitar, Jimmie Fadden playing drums and harmonica, Bob Carpenter tickling the ivories, Jim Photoglo on bass and guitar, Ross Holmes playing double duty on fiddle and mandolin, and Hanna’s own son Jaime accompanying the band on electric and acoustic guitar.

Tickets for Sawyer Brown are on sale at riverparkcenter.org and tickets for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band are on sale at bluegrasshall.org.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.