Local group John D. Hale Band opens for Josh Turner at Show Me Center

Friday, December 4, 2009
The John D. Hale Band will perform Saturday before the Josh Turner concert at the Show Me Center.

Country music acts aren't rare at the Show Me Center. The venue has hosted big concerts in the past, including Reba McEntire, George Strait and Tim McGraw. But on Saturday, the Show Me Center will host a local group working hard to share its music with the world.

The John D. Hale Band will take the stage Saturday as the opening band for touring country artist Josh Turner, a Nashville artist with hits like "Long Black Train" and "Why Don't We Just Dance."

"We've been very blessed to have played with some great country artists to this point," Hale said. "We've done shows with David Allen Coe and Miranda Lambert, but those have been on the road. To have the opportunity to open for such a popular country act here at home is great for us."

Hale said band members were contacted by the Show Me Center regarding the opening slot and were happy to get it. Even though the band has a strong local fan base, Hale said he thinks that the majority of the audience at this show will not have seen the group before.

"Getting our music and our name in front of a whole new crowd is crucial to our growth as a band, both musically and financially," Hale said. "We hope to sell a lot of merchandise to these new fans and really hope they identify with our music."

Finding a way to identify with the John D. Hale Band isn't hard. Its music comes from Hale's roots as a Missouri boy whose rural upbringing keeps his lyrics honest and straightforward. A hybrid mix of roots country, Southern rock and bluegrass, the John D. Hale Band has a broad yet simple sound that appeals to a wide range of listeners.

"Our new guitarist [Mason Watkins, formerly of [StartDouble]Shady Deal"] is a hellacious player who brings a Southern rock, jam-band type of feel to the band," Hale said. "It might be a bit rock 'n' roll, but it fits and he fits the band well."

Aside from Hale and Watkins, the four-man band is completed by Cody Phillips on bass and vocals and Chris Brotherton on drums and vocals.

Hale said the band is heading back into the studio around February to work on a new album. "We've been doing a ton of writing and hope to apply some of this new stuff to what we feel might be our breakthrough album."

The band recently signed with Buddy Lee Attractions, and Hale said he sees the next album as the one that gets the marketing focus that it deserves.

Tickets for the show are $37 and are on sale now at the Show Me Center ticket office and online at www.showmecenter.biz. Doors open at 7 p.m.; the show starts at 8.

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