Branson's Tour Guide

Branson Country USA Late Show (9/5/14)

 By Daniel Eslinger
All day Friday I was looking forward to my weekly visit to Branson Country USA at the Grand Country Music Hall.  I had never seen Jerry Presley and he was going to be the guest.
Well, the show started out like it does most of the time.  Jim Dandy (Jamie Haage) and Mike Patrick

welcomed everyone in their useual friendly, easy going manner.  Then to open the show, New South sang an old Oak Ridge Boys song and so on.  It was great fun.  

Later, Melody Hart, Jackie L. Brown and Jamie Haage sang up a storm, Matt Hanshaw masterfully played the guitar accompanied by the Grand Band and Mike Patrick even played an old Floyd Cramer song for his childhood piano teacher seated it the audience. 

By facial expressions friendly pats and jabs, it is easy to see that everyone on stage has known one another for a long while.  It is like watching a big family.  They were all as terrific as always. 

Mark McCauley performed a selection off of his new CD.  His rendition of The Farmer and The Lord was touching and there were even a few folks "wiping dust from their eyes".  His smooth bass voice was perfect for this song. 

When it was time for Jerry Presley and his group to take the stage, there was a quick changing of the guard as he brought his own stage full of musicians and four backup singers.  

My friends Rich and Ana Watson were two of the four backup singers and it was so good to see them both before the show and on stage.

Mr. Presley's performance wowed the audience and earned a great round of applause.  He mentioned his past history in Branson and added that he planned on retiring here. 

One of the things that I find the most fun is when there is a surprise guest on the show.  It's kinda like a bonus.  Friday's "bonus" was a walk on performance by nationally known country music artist Billy Dean.

Mr. Dean seemed a little shy about his choice in clothes (t-shirt, shorts and flip flops) but played a song during the commercial break anyway.  I was able to speak to him after the show and he seems like a genuinely nice guy and a very good fit for Branson.  

I know I always say this when talking about Grand Country but it was one of the best shows I has seen in a long time.  For more information about this show and others at the Grand Country Music Hall click here.  

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