Louisiana Hayride At Maclab

Pipestone Flyer

Upon making plans to attend the country Music Tribute concert, “Hayride” at the Maclab Centre for the Performing Arts in Leduc, it came to the attention of regional theatre-goers that the Maclab now offers reserved seating. This change took place in August of this year, a welcome improvement for those who would rather choose their seats, rather than simply hope for the best when purchasing their tickets.

The Leduc Regional Chamber of Commerce greatly supports the Arts that enrich our community life, making the Chamber Office Team available to sell tickets for Maclab shows during business hours. Andrea Martinuk, Director of the Maclab, shares that, “This change has been welcomed in the community. We look forward to our regional theatre and music fans using the online ticket reservation system, and the convenience of the chamber location and hours, more often to purchase and reserve the seats they would prefer.”

On Saturday, October 18, the Maclab Centre for the Performing Arts saw a full house of country music fans thoroughly enjoying the Louisiana Hayride Concert, a show that paid tribute to Country Music Legends who inspired countless Country stars since that era. A small band of three musicians and a female vocalist took turns performing ‘old-time favorites’ made famous by artists who had performed on the stage of the Louisiana Hayride Show, broadcast on the Louisiana airwaves of KWKH Radio in the late forties and throughout the fifties. It then became a traveling road show where numerous performers started their stellar careers. Some, like Willie Nelson, were never invited to perform with the Louisiana Hayride, but still found fame with their incredible talent.

With the interesting and sometimes never-heard-of stories of this music era told by the vivacious Lori Risling, the band comprised of William Brookfield, Mike Melnichuk and Gil Risling took turns showcasing the famous artists and the songs that many spectators remembered well and applauded enthusiastically. Their voices and instrumental talents were amazing. Johnny Cash was in the House, along with Jerry Lee Lewis, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, Red Foley, Glen Campbell, Faron Young and a few others. The audience was unanimously thrilled with the incredible voice of Andrea Anderson, who was clothed in authentic gowns and performed with passion and accuracy, some famous Patsy Cline and Tammy Wynette tunes.

A fascinating element of this concert performance was the large exhibit of collectors’ records of that era’s country music genre, the artists promoted by the Louisiana Hayride Road Show, which followed the radio show decade. During the intermission, many concert-goers enjoyed that exhibit.

“You love the songs, you will love the stories,” was a promotional line for the show and it proved to be accurate! The Maclab is a jewel in this region’s arts and culture crown, and now with an improved and convenient way to purchase tickets through the Chamber Office or online (maclabcenter.com or ticketpro.ca) and reserve your seats, the future shows can look forward to greater audiences.

Pictured: Patsy Cline and her bandmates were a joy to hear at the Louisiana Hayride Show Saturday night at the Maclab Centre. Photo by Dominique Vrolyk

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