CHUCK KUEPFER, Staff Reporter
Canada’s Largest Traveling Barn Dance returns to the Maryhill Commercial Tavern on Sunday, Sept. 30.
The show is a mix of country music and comedy, named after a radio program of the same name first broadcast in southwestern Ontario in 1937. It went on to air for 25 years and become the longest-lived radio show of its kind in Canadian broadcasting history.
A musical based on the show hit the Blyth Festival Stage in 1996, and live performances followed at venues across southwestern Ontario.
The performances feature a number of accomplished musicians who have made their mark in the local country music scene.
“It will be a great show,” said host Paul Weber, who noted tickets are selling fast. “It’s just about sold out.”
Jim Swan, a former television presenter, is master of ceremonies for the show.
“There’s quite a few different acts, then the house band with Doug Dietrich and the guys,” said Weber.
Dietrich, who plays steel guitar, is music director of the house band, which also features Grant Heywood (drums), Al Alderson (bass guitar), Bill Norris (fiddle) and Fred Lewis (lead guitar).
Along with the music, there promises to be plenty of laughs provided by the likes of John Heaman and his wife Geneva, who sing as a duet and perform a comedy routine.
“He’s a ventriloquist and does some real good comedy stuff,” said Weber, “and Wendell Ferguson also does some parodies and he’s a great instrumentalist and singer.”
Other special guests will include Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame artist Larry Mercey of the Mercey Brothers, as well as singer/keyboardist Kiley Joe Masson, 12-year-old singer Brontae Hunter, and singer/songwriter Betty Beer.
Weber, a singer and recording artist himself, will also join in the show.
Doors open at 2:30 p.m. and the show starts at 3 p.m.
Advance tickets are $20 and available by calling the Commercial Tavern at 519-648-3644.
For more information visit www.commercialtavern.ca.