Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Warm weather, warmer audience reception

by Musician 1st Class Kenny Ray Horton

Musician 1st Class Tina Catalanotto's
drums are ready for the first concert of tour.
The Country Current tour of 2012 kicked off in Claremore, Okla. in the beautiful 1024 seat Robson Performing Arts Center auditorium. We arrived in the afternoon to unload our gear in 106 degree heat. I thought D.C. had hot summers! During setup I could feel the nervous excitement in the air as the band tweaked their gear for the first performance. Months of preparation had led to this and we were determined to get the tour started off right. We knew the good folks of this largely farming community in Oklahoma had endured a long difficult summer with excessive heat and epic drought, so we hoped to provide some great, free entertainment.

Musician 1st Class Patrick Gulley
warms up on his steel guitar.
Despite the high outside temperature, folks came out and nearly packed the house. The crowd of around 950 was receptive and energetic. They were a fantastic audience and the warmth they showed us rivaled the stifling heat outside.

One of the best things about tour is greeting these Americans, telling them through music what their Navy is about, and instilling some patriotism and pride in their country. Many folks came up and told us the show was a fun break from the realities of their farming life right now. To us, this was a high compliment to be sure.

The hospitality and graciousness of the folks in Claremore, Okla. made the first show of our 2012 national tour a great success!

About the Author

Musician 1st Class Kenny Ray Horton Born and raised in Rocky Comfort, Mo., MU1 Horton joined the Navy Band in 2008. Prior to the Navy Band, he served in Navy Band Great Lakes (2000-2001), Pacific Fleet Band (2005-2007) and Navy Band Mid-South (2007-2008). In addition to his singing, he is the master of ceremonies and contributes original songs and arranges much of Country Current’s repertoire.

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