Little Nashville? Not quite, but we do enjoy our music

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

For a few lucky people who made the effort, it was three concerts in three days last week.

First, there was MNB’s final Hot Summer Nights concert of the year Thursday with the Big Time Grain Company, an up-and-coming country group from western Kansas, performing for a large, relaxed, appreciative audience enjoying the shade of Norris Park.

Friday, Greg and Pam Wolford opened their back yard on Airport Road to another band on its way up, the Steel Wheels, a Bieroc Cafe favorite that has outgrown the local listening room and was on its way to share the prestigious main stage at the Rocky Mountain Folk Festival with top folk, bluegrass and Americana groups.

Saturday, a number of Southwest Nebraskans headed for Gothenburg, for a free concert of major Christian groups and an inspirational talk by repeat Cornhusker assistant coach Ron Brown.

And those were just some of the recent special performances that joined offerings such as county fair concerts and popular regional bands appearing weekly at the Lighthouse Marina on Hugh Butler Lake and other venues.

But if you haven’t been able to attend any or all of the recent musical events, you’re in luck.

Barnett Park will be the scene of the fourth annual Prairie Roots Festival Saturday evening, featuring food, brew and music the music of Hunter Hicks, Duane Mark, the Grown-A$$ Man Band and Shawn Hess.

Sponsored by Community Hospital, the McCook Community Foundation Fund, MNB and the McCook Chamber of Commerce, the event is designed to get people out to enjoy each other’s company, so attendees are encouraged to bring footballs, frisbees and games as well as lawn chairs.

Craft brews will be served, food trucks will be on site and the Discovery Center will have activities for children. The grounds open at 4 p.m. Saturday, with music from 5 to 11 p.m.


Speaking of Bieroc Cafe favorites on their way up, Imperial, Neb., natives Nick and Tyler Talbott, now based in Portland, Oregon, recently received recognition from none other than Rolling Stone magazine, which included their song “Run No More” in a list of “10 Best Country and Americana Songs to Hear Now.”

“A pair of harmony-singing siblings who were raised in rural Nebraska, the Talbott Brothers make cinematic folk-rock for open highways, widescreen skies, and the limitless reach of the American heartland. “I don’t wanna run, run, run no more” goes the chorus of this slow-burning anthem, delivered by Tyler and Nick Talbott with the conviction of two road warriors who’ve logged plenty of highway miles.”

Check out their video here.

Yes, McCook and Southwest Nebraska are far from Nashville, and even from more likely concert sites like Omaha, Lincoln and Denver. But local live music lovers have done a good job of playing that isolation to our advantage, creating a musical legacy that will pay off for years to come.

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