Ray Countians play big in music lineup Saturday

Ray County Rhythm Riders – Sandy Myerchin, Justin “Spudd” Richards, Leo and Sharon Smith, Florence Williams and Doris Schulor – kick off the live entertainment set on the grandstand stage at Outlaw Days at 11 a.m.

“We all sing and play mostly country with a few surprises here and there,” Myerchin said. The Rhythm Riders play classic country, like Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and plan to play a rendition of Bill Monroe’s “Columbus Stockade Blues.” Expect some gospel music as well from Leo and Sharon Smith.

• At 1:30 p.m., classic country-and-western and gospel band Country Shindig performs. The Lawson-based band has been entertaining the area for many years. The band, comprised of  Norman Martin, Martha Hayes, Walt Wiegand, Duke Creason, Kenny Coates, Royce King and Karen King and Sherry Schoolfield, performs every third Saturday at the Lawson Community Center.

• 3:30 p.m. – Richmond News News Editor David Knopf may be seen playing his guitar at Ray County Lake on his lunch hour. Knopf not only writes news and feature stories for the paper, but also song writes original ballads. He will perform “Robber’s Cave,” a song he wrote about the 1867 bank robbery from the perspective of Bob Ford and his mother. Knopf  will be joined by mandolin player Aaron Lewis of Lathrop and former Missouri champion fiddler Travis Inman who helped Knopf record “Robber’s Cave.” Inman, of Sedalia, also performed with Bobby Flores and others at the Farris Theatre.

• 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. – Richmond is nothing new for The Hootin’ Annies, an all-woman bluegrass band based in Kansas City. Not only have they played here – at Richmond Concert in the Park and Farris Concert Series – two have big ties to Richmond.

Dobro player Patti Nance is the daughter of the late Joe Nance who grew up in Richmond.  Mary Bliefnick, banjo player, is the daughter of the late Gene Allen.  She grew up in Richmond and still has many friends in the area.

The band – normally comprised of five women (one moved to Wichita) – got to know one another at various bluegrass clubs and festivals, and by a chance meeting in an elevator at Hallmark Cards, where four are employed, Bliefnick said.

They have performed together since 2003 at bluegrass festivals, private parties, and headlined the Rural Grit Happy Hour at the legendary Kansas City blues club, The Grand Emporium and The Brick. In May, the Hootin’ Annies performed at Silver Dollar City. The group has played at many festivals as well, including Free State in Lawrence, Kan., Prairie Lake in Holton, Kan., Prater Family Festivals in Maryville and  Fillmore, and  SPBGMA shows in Kirksville and Newton, Iowa.

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