Outdoor event draws country stars
PICKSTOWN -- It's practically a country music convention.
Andy Griggs, Ty Herndon, Jamie O'Neal and the Mavericks all will perform Friday at the Fort Randall Casino and Hotel's Taste of Country, end-of-summer outdoor concert.
"We're expecting a good turnout," said Samantha Sully, marketing director for the casino, which is located between Pickstown and Wagner along Highway 46.
Sully said 491 tickets had been sold by Wednesday night, but the annual concert typically draws strong walkup sales. The capacity for the show is more than 1,000 people.
Tickets are $30 in advance or $40 the day of the show, and are available at ftrandallcasino.com, (800) 362-6333 or the casino's gift shop.
The night will begin at 6:30 p.m. with the Guitars and Country Stars tour, feature Herndon, Griggs and O'Neal. Griggs' notable singles include, "She's More" and "You Won't Ever Be Lonely." Herndon's hits include "What Mattered Most," "Living in a Moment" and "It Must Be Love." O'Neal, the lone female performer in the lineup, has recorded hits like "There is No Arizona" and "Somebody's Hero."
The Mavericks are slated to take the stage around 8:30 p.m., and band drummer Paul Deakin said the group always looks forward to the chance to play live shows.
"Making records is wonderful, but we're performers. Most people who do this for a living, that's where you get your primary enjoyment, is performing live," he said. "Hopefully, people will have fun."
The Mavericks' biggest mainstream success lasted through most of the 1990s, with singles like "What a Crying Shame," "O What a Thrill" and "All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down."
It's the band's 25th year, including the eight-year break the group took. Deakin said the group got a little burned out, and decided to call it quits. But in the years since, band members received multiple fan requests to see a Mavericks reunion. When the group got a serious offer to do a small number of shows as a kind of reunion tour, they decided to give it a chance. When they got in the studio, Deakin said, it just fell into place.
"There's a magic that happens when this group of people gets together," he said. "There's a chemistry that's kind of inexplicable."
That was in 2012, according to band press materials, and Deakin said the group is still having fun. They have stayed busy recording and performing, and he said a new record will be available at the beginning of 2015. Their new records have received critical acclaim, but not much mainstream airplay in the U.S. -- something Deakin said the band has always dealt with. He attributes that to country radio's shrinking market -- radio stations are playing it safer and safer, but The Mavericks prefer not to be pigeonholed by genre.
"Country is a big part of what we feel, but we've allowed many other genres to creep into the music," he said. "I think in today's music, there's more opportunity for that. People cross-pollinating genres, it keeps music fresh."
He said the group's brotherhood is stronger than ever, and is grateful for the significant fan base that has remained loyal through the years.
"I knew there were some fans still out there, but I didn't realize there was this many," he said. "We love what we do, and we're not going anywhere."