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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Karrin Allyson

      I had an opportunity to attend the Karrin Allyson show this past Thursday night at The Fox Theater. Those in attendance got a special treat as the Hutchinson Community College Jazz Ensemble performed first to open the show. What a treat!

     The jazz group, Badinage from HCC, sang four songs which included an opening jazz classic by  Duke Ellington and ended with an Eddie Jefferson tune, Jeannine, a spirited tune with a 70's feel to it. I went online to listen to the original version of the song, and Badinage's version of the song, plus seeing it performed live with all that high energy, it just wasn't the same. Badinage did it better than the original performance. So much energy and soul on that stage. Just seeing this group in action was worth the price of admission. Badinage was polished and professional as they come.

     After a brief change out, Karrin Allyson, a native of Great Bend, Kansas who now resides in New York, took to the stage. She brought along her band who hails from such far off points as Topeka and Kansas City, Missouri. After introducing her band the group began to play and Allyson began singing some of the most polished vocals ever heard. Her rendition of the Billy Joel song: And So It Goes, nearly brought me to tears. It was beautifully done.

     Her voice has a rich timbre to it which has been honed by years of singing these powerful jazz standards, as well as a variety of other music. She sang a couple of songs from Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma" that I found unique and lovely in a way that I never had before. I'll never think of them any other way after hearing Allyson's performance.

     Truly a feast for the ears, hearing Badinage followed by Karrin Allyson. Check out Allyson's website: There's music to listen too on the site. If you missed this show, you missed a couple of amazing performances. The Historic Fox Theatre serves up terrific musical fare and if you haven't attended a show there, you need to check it out. Check out The Fox Theatre's website for upcoming shows:

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Marshall Matthews and The Memphis Kings

     The Historic Fox Theatre in Hutchinson played host to a rockin' evening of Elvis music this past Saturday night. This show was, also, a fund raiser for First Call For Help.

     Brian Lee Dunning, Oklahoma native and national recording artist, opened the show with a block of eight songs, four Elvis hits and a couple of Johnny Cash tunes. I love to watch this guy on stage. He has so much fun up there. Dunning literally seems to have no bones. The guy can bend and contort in ways I've never seen before. He was super polished and professional. Not only does he deliver an appealing visual experience but he can really sing.

     Then the Memphis Kings took to the stage. They played their signature theme song which shines a light on everyone in the band. Truly amazing talent and great to listen too. Also very polished and professional. These guys do a great job of backing up Marshall Matthews as Elvis.

     Marshall Matthews took to the stage as the Memphis Kings wound down their signature song and started off his set with the likes of Heartbreak Hotel, Hound Dog, and All Shook Up. It was one fast paced song after another. The energy on the stage was electrifying. Matthews performance has improved one hundred percent from the last time I saw him in concert. He blew me away! Obviously he's had a lot of bookings and plenty of practice. I overheard someone in the crowd say that he sounded as though he'd just come from Vegas, he was that good. He can hold his own up against any Elvis impersonator.

     During his first set Matthews introduced the audience to the sponsors for the evening; The Double Mint Twins, originally from Caldwell, Kansas who now reside in Hutchinson. These two lovely ladies appeared as The Doublemint Twins in Wrigley's Gum commercials.

    At intermission, Kathy Davis from First Call For Help took to the stage to explain about her organization and how they help within the Hutchinson Community. Recently First Call was able to help a veteran in his 70's who was homeless. With the help of a local landlord who was willing to work with this fella he was able to secure a place to live but his furniture consisted of a lawn chair. First Call was able to pull together resources to furnish the home and provide all the necessities of life, including dishes, a bed, etc.

     Also at intermission, two other performers took to the stage. John Mendoza made his vocal debut singing three hits that included Chantilly Lace. Then Curtis Kuhn was center stage singing a variety of Vince Gill songs.

     After the break, Matthews returned with the Memphis Kings and the crowd began rocking and rolling and what not. The show had everything from a laser light show, to incredible sound, a wonderful MC, polished and professional vocalists, an amazing band, special guests, and it benefited a local helping agency. A good time was had by all!

     Check out Matthews website: to learn more about the group. And if you'd like to know more about First Call For Help or would like to donate your time, talent, supplies or money, check out First Call's website:

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Paxico Blues Festival

     I've attended a lot of live music events and the one I attended over the weekend in Paxico Kansas was quite unique.

     Here is this little town, near Topeka, with roughly 300 people living there. On the third Saturday of September there's this amazing blues festival. One stage, five performers, and the festival runs from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. This year the headliner was Hamilton Loomis, who I saw perform in Salina, a few years back. The other groups I hadn't heard of before this festival, but I believe they are all up and comers.

     First up were The Santiago Brothers. What a sound. I got to the festival near the end of their set. This group was excellent and I hate it that I missed most of their time on stage. They ended their set with an uplifting gospel song that apparently I forgot to write down the name. Oops! Check out their Facebook page:

     Next up was Kalo. She was there with her full band. She played a great set and bantered back and forth with the audience. Clearly she was a fan favorite. She's just this little bit of a thing with this super powerful voice. When Kalo was bantering back and forth with the audience, I got a Michael Jackson vibe. I don't know why. If you read this Kalo, I mean that as a compliment. She was terrific.
Check out her website:

     Then came Hector Anchondo. It was getting quite hot out by the time his set came up but you wouldn't know it. Hector and his band played their hearts out. He did a blues rift version of Black Magic Woman that blew me away. I will never be able to listen to that song the same ever again. I walked away from his set, later in the evening still humming Anchondo's version of that song.Wow!
Check out his website:

     Josh Hoyer and Soul Colossal were up next. This group was good. I'm not sure if the heat was getting to me at this point or I was just tired but this wasn't as much to my liking as some of the earlier groups. I was in the minority. The dance floor was crowded with dancers in front of the stage all jumpin' and jivin' to the beat. Pretty amazing because it was hot and the sun was beating down in front of the stage. A crowd favorite to say the least. Check out the website:

     And then came the headliner, Hamilton Loomis. Always a class act. He's super accessible and loves the fans. He was having some issues with the sound throughout his set. Loomis wants it right and wants to make sure the fans get a quality show. It's hard when you've got the equipment outside all day and every band has different requirements. In the end, it's all about the music. Check out the website:

     Not only was their music, but there was food. Several food trucks provided catering if you hadn't brought your own food and beverages. There was a wide variety of hotdogs, brats, chicken legs, pulled pork sandwiches, nachos, pretzels, and of course, bar-b-que. Oh almost forgot, the pulled pork tacos which were to die for, so yummy.

    On the sign advertising the blues festival there was an ad for the meatloaf festival which is the last Saturday in June. Who knew there was a meatloaf festival. May have to check that out next year.

     For those who wanted a little shopping with their music and food, there were antique stores and street vendors. The woman from Wichita that was selling the hand dyed hats was doing a brisk business. These hats were colorful and unique.

     It was a great festival. If sure to check out the festival next year. It's worth the trip. Here's a link to the website:

*****There are hundreds of photos from the blues festival and I'll get those up as soon as I can. They'll be on my Flikr page and I'll let you know when they are available to view. It will be sometime this week.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Kelley Hunt

     Kelley Hunt returned to The McPherson Opera House this past Friday night. She brought along her full band from Chicago with her this time.

     Hunt was promoting her Beautiful Bones CD. Many of the songs were familiar ones from her last jaunt through McPherson. She also played a selection of tunes from her earlier CD's. Hunt has this beautiful melodic quality to her voice whether she's singing the blues or something with a bit more of a rock-n-roll vibe to it.

     While on stage, she becomes one with the music and I think this helps to transport her audience to the same place. Proof of this was the folks who got up to dance during the concert. They were lost in the music, had become one with the tunes in the air, and simply couldn't stay seated. Meanwhile the rest of the audience was bee bopping in there seats to this truly memorable music.

     Kelley Hunt is always a hit in McPherson. She played a new tune during the encore, "Stand Up". No word yet when it will be coming out with others on a new CD but I know that plans are in the works for a new CD in the near future.

     Hunt's next stop after McPherson was Kansas City on Saturday night at The Crossroads Music Festival, then it's on to Greensburg, KS on Friday, September 30th at The Twilight Theatre. So if you were unable to attend the McPherson show, you can check out Kelley Hunt in Greensburg. Truly a memorable evening of music and song.


Thursday, September 1, 2016

CFTC-South Hutchinson

     Concerts For The Cause held an event this past Saturday in South Hutchinson to benefit the Nickerson Trap Club. This is a new organization that is just starting up and were in need of a fundraiser to get the organization going.

     The event was held at the community center. Performing were The Soapbox Troubadors, from Hutchinson and The Calm, from Wichita. The venue couldn't have been better. Avenue A Park has a few issues with the lack of a ceiling in the gazebo which causes the sound to be lost on occasion, and the performers having to stare into the sun as it sets during the summer. While there weren't the lovely large trees and grass at the community center, although that is on the way soon; there was plenty of shade for the audience to place their chairs, the sound was just excellent, and the bands didn't have to stare into the sun as they performed.

     If you've missed the outdoor concerts this year, this was a good time to relive those past summers. There were hot dogs, pop, and water, as well as popcorn available for purchase, It was a beautiful night with a gentle breeze. And don't forget some of the best music you will ever hear anywhere. The Soapbox Troubadors played all those well-known songs the Concerts For The Cause crowds have come to know and love. They were followed by The Calm who played terrific songs with amazing beats. The crowd couldn't sit still.

     Concerts For The Cause may be bringing the summer concert series back this next summer to South Hutchinson. Keep watching The Bee for more information next year in early spring on this possible development. The concert was a great success.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016


     Unfortunately the fundraiser for The McPherson Dog Park was cancelled due to rain a few weeks ago and so this past Thursday, Concerts For The Cause held a make up event for The Dog Park.This was the final event for the 2016 McPherson Summer Season.

     The evenings music was provided by Cody Marceau, along with his friends Kylie and Cheyenne.  I don't know if it was stage jitters or the group just wasn't very prepared, but the first two songs were not good. Cody's guitar playing was terrific. The lyrics to the songs, however, started out strong and then got lost, finally it was just Cody playing the guitar. It was hard to tell if this was due to lack of preparation or jitters or if something else was going on.

      A cover tune of Ho Hey a tune made popular by the group The Lumineers was the first song of the night. The audience was familiar with the lyrics so not a good one to forget the words too. Marceau and the ladies persevered and as the evening wore on, the group all finally got on the same page, harmonizing well together, singing all the lyrics to each song they performed.

      I'm happy to report that The McPherson Dog Park was able to finally get their fencing in place and announced at the event that they would be stretching it on Saturday, inviting the crowd to come and help them anchor it in place.

     At the end of the concert, the summer season in McPherson drew to a close. Time to purchase that final sno cone and bag of popcorn as we say good-bye to summer. Don't forget, Concerts For The Cause-McPherson will be back next year, beginning with All Schools Day Weekend. I've heard talk of another street dance and some exciting plans are already being made for next year.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Creedence Clearwater Revisited

     Founding members of CCR, Stu Cook and Doug "Cosmo" Clifford have put together a rocking good group of musicians for this new project of theirs: Creedence Clearwater Revisited.

     The band sounded amazing and true to all the classics that this group has produced. The rhythm section with Cook and Clifford kept the group cohesive. The additional members of the group add just the right finishing touch. If you close your eyes, you'd swear this was the original Creedence Clearwater Revival. It's truly a testament to Cook and Clifford that they were able to find the right mix of musicians that believe in the music, and have the ability to recreate it in its true form. I walked out of there still singing along with all the music that I'd heard earlier in the evening.  The Stiefel Theatre provided just the right acoustics to put the band's sound over the top. Truly a memorable night.



     On Sunday, at The Rusty Needle Concerts For The Cause held a fund raiser for First Call For Help's school backpack/school supplies initiative.

The band: Room 347
     Riley and Kathy Withrow opened the show with their acoustic guitars and rock standards. I love to hear them play. It was a hot afternoon in the sun but they did an amazing job. Both played their heart out even though the crowd was sparse. You'd have never known it by their performance. The Withrow's gave it their all.

     Jay Wheelz took to the stage next and did some spoken word poetry/rap to open his show. It was interesting to hear how he views his music and his life. I'm a poetry buff and thought this was a great way to open his hour. Wheelz also explained where his stage name comes from and I have to admit I always wondered about the origin of that name. Now I know. There was a bit more of a crowd at this point, as the other two bands that would play after him had arrived, as well as some of their families and fans.

     Naked Fingers took to the stage after Jay Wheelz finished his set. This group had a harder sound. To go from the soft acoustic Withrow's to the mellow rap of Jay Wheelz and then a harder, rough sound, it was a little disconcerting at first. But they won me over.

      The last band to play was Room 347. Wow! They blew me away. By this time, it was hot, the band was sweating profusely and yet, they played as though none of this was going on. No sun in their eyes, no sweat running down their face, no parched throats, the show must go on. What showmen. Each member of the band not only played their instrument but they had a variety of moves that they threw in as they played. Fun to watch and great tunes too. Room 347 performed some covers and some original tunes. The crowd had grown a bit by now and when the band said they'd come to the last song, the assembled crowd talked them into one more song. Truly we'd have kept them there all evening if we thought we could have gotten them to stay and play.

     Unfortunately, First Call For Help didn't make very much at the fundraiser. If you can, please donate to this worthy cause. First Call does so much good in the community. They can use your support all year long for a wide variety of projects that benefit so many in need. Please consider a donation for this worthy organization.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


     Then on Saturday it was time for Concerts For The Cause Back to School Street Dance. If you missed this show, you missed a heck of a good time!

     Jeremy Hanna kicked off the evenings festivities from The Little Red Wagon stage. I believe that Hanna has become one of my new favorite performers. I just love to hear him play. Brian Hopp of Hopps Sno Shack found a real gem when he hired Hanna to play these CFTC events. This guy is good! Hanna plays acoustic guitar and he's spot on with his tunes, even playing outside in the heat and humidity, he does an outstanding job. He got the crowd all warmed up and ready for the headliner, Hell Creek Bridge.

     The McPherson Fire Department had their ladder truck out with a giant American flag hanging over the street stage as well as a fire truck pulled up blocking the street as a back drop for the stage. Little did anyone in the crowd know that as it got dark the light from the firetruck became the stage lights. There were regular flood lights and the red and blue truck lights. What a nifty idea!

     A chilly night for a dunk tank, but there were quite a few takers willing to be tossed into icy cold water for charity. Thank you to the brave souls who volunteered to be dunked. Across the way was a bounce house all decked out in Dalmation dog spots. There was no end to the line of children wanting to jump around in the bounce house or slide down the bounce house slide. For those to small for either the dunk tank or the bounce house, there was face painting.

     The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts had tables set up to give out information regarding their programs and they even ended up connecting with one another and making possible plans for activities together.

     Freddy's Frozen Custard was selling dishes of custard, of course there were sno cones from Hopps Sno Shack, and The Humane Society was selling popcorn and water. Craft Coffee was there if you were needing a warmer alternative. As always, the sno cone line was never ending. The girls working the sno shack were still wearing smiles when I stepped up for my sno cone at 10 pm. I was impressed that they could be that overwhelmed with a never ending line for three hours and when I stepped up there they still looked fresh and were still nice as could be.

     The Bug Lady from Wichita was there to put bugs on people, if they wanted to try them out on a test run. I had to laugh when at one point, The Bug Lady stepped away from her booth to talk to the Humane Society and when she turned around to go back to her booth, the massive crowd had sealed her way back. She held up the bug she was carrying over her head and yelled into the crowd, "Bugs coming through, no need to be alarmed they won't bite." The crowd parted like the Red Sea. After dark, she brought out the tarantula and put it on a couple of folks who had requested it. There was a lot of shivering and surpressed screams.

     At 8 pm, Hell Creek Bridge took to the street to play for a couple of hours. As it began to get dark the crowd also took to the street as young and old alike danced as if no one was watching. The drummer from Hell Creek Bridge played earlier in the season. Tonight the crowd got to see the rest of the band. They were incredible. They played a variety of country tunes but a few rock tunes made it into the mix, too. Very polished and professional would be accurate words to describe this group. Hell Creek Bridge is one to watch as they are going places. It was impossible to sit still while they played. Toes were tapping, feet were dancing, hands were clapping. It was a great time!

     This was a benefit for the McPherson Fire Department's Fill The Boot for MDA campaign and it also benefited The Humane Society whose event was rained out earlier in the season.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016


     This past weekend was a busy weekend for Concerts For The Cause. There were two events in McPherson and one in Hutchinson.

     On Thursday night, at Hopp's Sno Shack it was the return of Chris Arpad. Last year Arpad wrapped up the McPherson summer season to a standing room only crowd. This years crowd was even bigger than last years.

     Earlier in the day, the McPherson Parks Department dropped off benches to accommodate the crowd that was expected and it's a good thing too. Every park bench was full, people brought their own chairs, as well, and a good thing too as the sidewalks across the street were filled with folks. The line for sno cones stretched across the paved patio, spilled onto the sidewalk and stretched halfway down the block, never seeming to get any shorter.

     McPherson College students walked in from the college in groups of 10 or more students to attend the festivities. McPherson College was collecting funds at this event to donate to Circles of McPherson. Donating to the college was actually a donation for Circles. Interesting twist to the Concert For The Cause concept.

     Chris Arpad blew the crowd away with his island drum sound and calypso beat. There was a light breeze, the music was sensational and if you closed your eyes you'd swear you were on a cruise ship or a Caribbean island. A magical evening. The evenings music kicked off with the Bob Marley classic "Jammin". Arpad took time to explain about the drums he uses in his act which I found fascinating.

      No night of island music would be complete without Jimmy Buffet's "Margaritaville". At one point in the evening, Arpad tossed beach balls into the crowd for young and old alike to bat around. Of course, a conga line broke out at one point, this has become a staple of Arpad's performances in McPherson.

      A fun evening of music, Chris Arpad had so much fun himself, he has decided to make this an annual event and will be back next summer in late August to play for Concerts For The Cause in his third annual performance. Jim Griggs, from National Geographic, was on hand to take photo's of Arpad's performance.

     An amazing night. Anticipation builds for what's coming up on Saturday night with Concerts For The Cause Back To School street dance.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


      Two weeks ago the Concert For The Cause event in McPherson was rained out. But have no fear, the band that was set to perform that night, Hell Creek Bridge, will perform at a street dance to raise funds for The McPherson Fire Department's MDA Fill The Boot Campaign fund raiser on August 20. The event starts at 7:00 pm.

     Now on to this past Thursday's Concert For The Cause Event which featured Hutchinson's own Soapbox Troubadors. The event was a benefit for the Omega Project. This is a religious group working to affect change within the heart.

     The Troubies were in fine form on this evening, even without several of their band members, which created unique challenges for the group with regard to arrangements. They still sounded great. They sang a variety of original songs; everything from The Road to The Hollar. The group also covered a few covers including Watch Over You by Alter Bridge. I loved their version of this song. They finished their set with the haunting Home which always brings a tear to the eyes of the audience.

     At the intermission, Brandon, a graduate and now a leader within The Omega Project, performed three original rap songs set to music expressing his love of Jesus Christ. They were inspirational songs.

     Concert For The Cause events are known for unusual things happening and tonight was no different. About a half an hour into the event an ultralight with a rainbow sail sailed over the event, he circled over the event throughout the evening until it neared dark and then he flew away. I was so curious to know if he could hear the music or not and just what could he see from up in the air. Did we look like ants to him? The ant myth seems to be a popular concept.

     Concert For The Cause is winding down for the summer in McPherson. If you haven't made it out to an event, there is still time to check out the music, the crowds, the sno cones, and popcorn. On August 11 Cody Marceau will perform in a benefit for The McPherson Dog Park. On August 18 Chris Arpad returns from California to perform at what has become an annual event for him, if you missed him last year, you've got to check him out this year. The crowd was incredible and he has a sound that is not heard in this part of the country. You'll swear you've gone to the islands when you hear him. His concert will benefit McPherson College. Last but not least, Hell Creek Bridge will end the season on a high note with a street dance to benefit MDA.


Thursday, August 4, 2016


    This past Saturday night Concert For The Cause held a benefit for The Hutchinson Street Cat Society at The Flag Theatre. For those of you who didn't attend, you missed one of the greatest shows that Concert For A Cause has ever had.

     Bob Colladay opened the show. He's always great and such an entertainer. Sporting a shirt featuring a kazoo and the words: "I'm With The Band" he entertained the crowd with an hour's worth of tunes. There was the one he wrote with Bob Dylan, or maybe that was a dream he had, Monkey On A String. Once I heard it, I knew it was vintage Dylan, or not really. There was the new classic from Steve Martin's movie The Jerk, Tonight You Belong To Me. Colladay entertained the crowd with some lines from the show, although these have not been fact checked and could have just been something he made up. In any event, they were good lines. Colladay ended his portion of the show with a sing along to his hit, Outhouse. He accompanied himself on the ukulele. He ended his show by telling the crowd:  I was wonderful and you had a great time!

     Then Frequent Seas took to the stage. Shame on you if you missed this show. This band was polished, professional, fun, talented, and amazing! They played a variety of different types of music that ranged from jazz, Motown: Inner City Blues/Make Me Wanna Holler made popular by Marvin Gaye, blues, 80's rock: When You're Talking In Your Sleep by The Romantics as well as a jazzy version of I Didn't Mean to Turn You On. This group will play again this next Friday in the 500 block of South Main between Tyson and the barbershop. The show starts at 7:00 pm, make sure you're there. This band is unlike anything you've ever heard before.

     At the end of the evening Bob Colladay joined Frequent Seas on stage for a Brian Setzer style rendition of Stray Cat Strut. The perfect end to a perfect concert.

Thursday, July 7, 2016


     Sam Unruh entertained a standing room only crowd this past Thursday at Concert For The Cause-McPherson.

     Unruh sang a variety of red dirt country tunes, mostly covers. One of my favorites was "Amarillo By Morning", I've always loved that song. He managed to include quite a few that he'd written, as well, although he didn't give the names of the tunes.

     This Concert For The Cause show benefited The McPherson County 4-H program. Many of the 4-H'ers were there mingling among the crowd. One young woman gave an inspiring talk during the intermission regarding an opportunity that she had had to travel to Washington DC. She spoke about all the sites she seen and stopped at along the way. One of the stops that made an impression on her was Gettysburg. She spoke about how this trip would never have been possible were it not for 4-H.

     The crowd was the largest I've ever seen at one of these events. The grassy area around the stage was full of chairs, the picnic tables were full, people had placed chairs on the sidewalks, they were sitting in their cars in the surrounding parking, and even a few sat across the street in the Journey Church parking lot. Literally it was standing room only.

     Hopps SnoShack employees created a variety of sno cone concoctions, from scratch, with love, for all of those wanting sno cones. The line was long and seemingly never ending. Yet, they kept smiling, preparing sno cones and at one point apologized for the delay. No one seemed to mind, it was a patient crowd.

     If you haven't been to one of these events in McPherson, it's not to late to check out all the fun. Hopps SnoShack is the place to be this coming Thursday as Michelle and Sammy King along with The McPherson Brass Quintet have a special program planned to benefit Relay For Life. The fun and fellowship starts at 7:00 pm. Don't forget those sno cones! My favorite is the Sunrise. Check out all the flavors. They're all delicious.

Friday, July 1, 2016


     Mix three bands, two of which are heavy and heavier metal along with a bunch of tough, rockin', hard core roller girls and you've got Concert For The Cause-Hutchinson.

Roller Derby entertaining passersby in front of The Flag Theatre
     Three bands took to the stage at The Flag Theatre this past Saturday night to entertain a small but mighty crowd as a benefit for The Central Kansas Roller Girls. Correction, I think the name has undergone a change as of late due to the fact that the roller derby has gone co-ed. Yes, if you're a fella who'd like to mix it up in the rink with other highly competitive roller derby folks, now is the time to join in the fun.

     The evening started off with the band Phenomenon and their other worldly sound. When the band was starting out, only one band member played two instruments at once, now they all do. I think it's a prerequisite to join the band. Burgess Martin, one of the members of the band, informed the crowd that they have a vocalist joining the group soon. No word yet on if he or she will have to play multiple instruments while they sing. Stay tuned to find out more about that as the band continues to develop.

     Then it was time to "make the metal" as Inflection took to the stage. This group is for sure heavy metal but an even heavier metal band took to the stage after them, the ever popular The Space Between. I'm not a metal fan but the crowd in attendance was and if the cheering, catcalls and hand clapping was any indication of the artistry of these two bands, well, they must be artistic giants. The crowd was on fire for both of these groups. No one left the theatre during either set.

The Space Between
     As the evening wore down, the crowd and the roller derby headed over to The Rusty Needle for the after party. Live music at The Needle featuring: Ghost Town Strays, Sex Knuckle and Day Shift. Also the roller girls benefit continued at The Needle, with raffle items to be given away at the end of the evening. Those items were a laptop computer, a Kindle, Monarch VIP tickets and two interesting art prints suitable for framing.

     Don't miss out on all the fun. The next Concert For The Cause event at The Flag Theatre will be July 30 to benefit The Hutchinson Street Cat Society. The bands for the evening are yet to be announced. Check out the Concert For The Cause Facebook page here: CFTC-Hutchinson as the event gets closer.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Let's Eat Out! at Panda Express

      If you love Asian Cuisine, you need to take a trip to Panda Express at 1528 E 17th Street here in Hutchinson. This past Saturday, at noon, I decided to head out to check out the menu selections, the restaurant, and the customer service.

     As I entered the restaurant I was greeted with "Welcome to Panda Express". The young woman behind the counter was friendly and prepared my meal with a smile. I found a place to sit right around the corner from the counter and across from the drink machine. The restaurant was clean and neat. Obviously this was making an impression on those dining in because every person I observed cleared their trash from their tables and disposed of it after they ate and before they left. The drink machine was clean and tidy, and dispensed ice in mass quantities on demand. It was a hot day Saturday, having available ice and a working air conditioner was great for those dining inside.

     I had the honey walnut shrimp bowl on top of fried rice, and also asked to try a sample of the Pacific chili shrimp. If you like spicy you'll love the Pacific chili shrimp. It was a little too spicy hot for me, but by the time I had finished my sample it didn't seem quite as spicy as that first bite. Next time I may try a bowl of it.

     The honey walnut shrimp was amazing, if you like your Asian food sweet then this is the dish for you; with the flavors of the honey sauce, the crunch of the walnuts and the moist shrimp combined with the fried rice was delicious. I also had an order of cream cheese rangoons. They were crispy on the outside, warm and moist on the inside. I paired my order with a Coke. My meal was fresh and flavorful. It was a great value for a full meal at around $10.

     Between the atmosphere and the food, truly a relaxing lunch on a Saturday. If you haven't been to Panda Express yet, check them out, you'll enjoy your visit.

Monday, June 27, 2016


     The rain stopped just in time for the Thursday night Concert For The Cause in McPherson. I almost hate to say this because I don't want to jinx it, but much like The All Schools Day Parade, Concert For The Cause in McPherson has never been rained out. Now fingers crossed that the streak continues.

      Denny Bruce and friends took to the stage on Thursday. Bruce has a lot of friends, who knew the stage could accommodate so many musicians and instruments. There were nine band members, hailing from various locations all over Central Kansas plus their instruments. The band seemed to have plenty of room to play and sing, the sound was amazing as it rang out clean and clear across the lot at Hopps Sno Shack. Bluegrass never sounded better.

     The McKinney Sisters from Moundridge provided wonderful harmonies when they sang together. Their voices blended beautifully and I just got lost in the music when they sang. If you haven't heard them sing and play, you're in for a treat. Check out YouTube for their videos and listen to them sing. You'll be hooked.

     Generally the concerts end at 9:00 pm but on this night the band kept playing and the crowd showed no sign of leaving.

     Thursdays concert was a benefit for The McPherson Hospital Volunteers. The volunteers prepared hot, buttered popcorn and their raffle featured a variety of jigsaw puzzles. Of course, the Sno Shack was hoping with business as the icy goodness of unique sno cone flavors was enjoyed by all. The girls preparing the sno cones worked hard keeping up with the orders. I started counting the crowd and once I reached 200, I stopped. The crowd came and went all evening.

     This coming Thursday Sam Unruh will entertain the crowd with his red dirt country sounds and 4H of McPherson will be the charity for the evening. Bring your chair and join the fun at Hopps Sno Shack.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


     Thursday night in McPherson, Kansas and time for the third edition of Concert For The Cause. Tonight's show featured Robin Macy, one of the founders of The Dixie Chicks. She was joined on stage with band members Kentucky White and Darren Wilcox.

     The trio played a variety of country/western, western swing, bluegrass, and red dirt tunes. One of my favorite songs of the evening was the song, "You Take The Town" from Macy's CD, "Songs From The Garden". This was a project that she said dates back eight years. Macy's voice has this old world quality to it that reminded me so much of the country western songs I've heard from the era before I was born. She sings beautifully.

     On this night The Girl Scouts were the chosen beneficiary for concert funds. Macy donated the proceeds of all CD's sold on this evening to The Girl Scouts, McPherson chapter. In fact, in honor of the evening, Macy wore her Girl Scout sash complete with merit badges and even told the crowd about what badges she had earned as a girl. She also played the Girl Scout song from when she was in Girl Scouts.
     This coming Thursday, Hopps SnoShack will host the next CFTC event in the 2016 summer series, featuring Denny Bruce and friends which will benefit The McPherson Hospital Volunteers. Remember to bring your lawn chairs and join in the fun at 7:00 p.m.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016


     This past Thursday, Concerts For The Cause in McPherson held its second show at Hopp's Sno Shack. Over 150 people came and went throughout the evening as Jeremy Hanna treated the crowd to a wide range of guitar music.

     Incidentally, Hanna played a 12-string guitar which was awesome. Most of the songs he played were of his own creation. He did do a few covers, as well. The event was to benefit Circles of McPherson Kansas. The crowd dined on snow cones and fresh popped popcorn as they mixed and mingled.

     The next Concerts For The Cause Event in McPherson will be held this coming Thursday at Hopp's Sno Shack and will feature Robin Macy, who is one of the founders of the Dixie Chicks. She will be joined on stage by band members Kentucky White and Darren Wilcox. This show will benefit the Girl Scouts. Don't be late, the show starts at 7 p.m.

     CFTC would like to thank the sponsors of these great concerts in McPherson. These business's, along with other anonymous donors, make Concerts For A Cause possible in McPherson.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Joseph Hall-Elvis

   Third time is a charm as Joseph Hall's Elvis returned to The McPherson Opera House this past Saturday night. Hall was in fine form, as always. His show is high energy and he covered Elvis Presley from three different eras and even sang a couple of songs that I had never heard before. I'd provide the titles of the songs, but it caught me so by surprise to hear unfamiliar Elvis songs, that I just went with the flow and enjoyed them.

     There was Elvis of the 50's, clad in white slacks and a silk print shirt. Hall's second song, he sang "Teddy Bear" and tossed bears to the audience. At the end of this song he tossed a giant teddy bear up into the second balcony and an enthusiastic fan reached out way to far over the banister to grab for it; after a few tense minutes while Hall and his announcer waited for the inevitable that thankfully didn't happen, she didn't fall over the railing into the crowd below, the show continued on at a fever pace. McPherson takes Joseph Hall as Elvis very seriously, especially if you're willing to risk your life for a teddy bear. Of course, no one knew about what had happened. My photographer found out this little tidbit during intermission. Hall also sang a variety of other songs from this era which included "Don't Be Cruel", and of course, "Blue Moon".

     This lead to Elvis of the 60's, clad in black leather. Check out this photo of Joseph Hall, yes, Joseph Hall not the actual Elvis, hard to believe. I think he must have channeled him because I swear it's Elvis reborn. Hall sang "Satisfaction" "Heartbreak Hotel", "All Shook Up" and one of my favorites, "Stop, Look and Listen". While Hall sang there were photographs of Elvis, his fans, places he recorded at and a variety of other pictures on a screen at the back of the stage which added to the overall effect of the show. Hall does a terrific rendition of Elvis and his entire show causes you to suspend belief that this is someone other than Elvis performing. Before you know it you're drawn in and that's Elvis on stage.

      After a short intermission, where Hall met his fans and had pictures taken with them, it was time for Elvis of the 70's in the infamous white jumpsuit. "CeCe Rider" started off the set and then it was time for "Suspicious Minds", which is one of my favorite songs. I always feel like I've hit the trifecta when he sings "In The Ghetto" Suspicious Minds" and "Kentucky Rain". My only complaint, is that Hall always puts his all into "Suspicious Minds" and it's always way to fast. I know that he puts his own spin on the songs and he always comes off a fast up-tempo song when he moves into "Suspicious Minds" and that's probably why it's always so fast, but I wish he'd slow it down a little bit when he sings that particular song.

     All in all it was a terrific show, Hall always does Elvis proud. In December, Joseph Hall returns to The McPherson Opera House with his Elvis Christmas show. What a treat! He's never performed Elvis Christmas tunes in McPherson, so I'm eagerly awaiting this show. Check with The McPherson Opera House regarding when tickets will go on sale for this show. I also found out that Hall's Branson show has come to an end, so if you want to see him perform live, The Opera House is one of your best bets. Check out Joseph Hall's website to learn more: