Two local country legends have garnered such a significant following that this month's episode of "Rolling Hills Radio" has sold out earlier than ever before.
Episode No. 29 of "Rolling Hills Radio" with host Ken Hardley is set to feature Sean Patrick McGraw and Bumpy Peterson. The show is set for Thursday, Jan. 30, at 7 p.m. at the Reg Lenna Studio Theater. No tickets will be made available at the door.
According to Hardley, the show has sold out every time since it moved to the Reg Studio Theater, but it's usually a lot closer to the date, and sometimes even the night of.
Sean Patrick McGraw
"These guys sold out pretty quickly, and that might be because this is the first country show we've had," Hardley said. "Although we've certainly focused on grassroots and Americana over our first four years, this is our first pure country show. It's really exciting because Bumpy draws a lot of people by himself, and Sean is a local boy doing well who has a rabid following too. But as well, I think people are really interested in country music as a genre itself."
Hardley said what he finds particularly unique about this show is Peterson and McGraw represent very different generations of country. Peterson exemplifies the second and third generations, which include greats such as George Jones, Hank Williams and Webb Pierce. McGraw on the other hand takes on the sixth generation of country music, which is the most modern of modern country, Hardley said. Both acts have never appeared on the "Rolling Hills Radio" show before.
"We're going to get a good look at what country music has been doing over the last 60 years with these two artists," Hardley said.
McGraw's performance and interview in particular are going to be a highlight of the show, Hardley said.
"He has had a lot of practice lately - he just returned from what he referred to as a 'radio tour,'" Hardley said. "He's been traveling all over the middle United States going from radio station to radio station to play a song live and do interviews. ... I have to say, Sean is an extraordinarily articulate and intelligent human being."
However, Peterson's appearance is also likely to make quite the impression on the audience as well, Hardley continued.
"He is a local legend, and he represents the idea of a local troubadour very well - he's played in clubs and bars in this area for decades," Hardley said. "He's so well connected and knows every musician who played in this area from the 1950s-80s. Bumpy is intimately familiar with guys like Butch Amiot, who played for the David Bromberg band, and Gene Johnson, who played for the David Bromberg band and Diamond Rio."
Hardley is also looking forward to Feb. 27's Episode No. 30, which is set to feature Gordon Munding, Stanley Barton and Steve Davis. Munding, who is a blues artist based in Rochester, is responsible for starting a weekly tribute to Son House, and writes original tunes for The Crawdiddies. It will be Munding's first appearance on "Rolling Hills Radio." Barton and Davis have appeared on the show before to play with artists such as Matt Homan and the Bluegrass Disciples, Marla Harris and during the Grateful Dead tribute show, but February's episode will be their first time performing as a duo on "Rolling Hills Radio."
The Reg Lenna Studio Theater is located at 108 E. Third St. in Jamestown. For more information, search for "Rolling Hills Radio" on Facebook, or visit www.wrfalp.com/show/rolling-hills-radio to purchase tickets, stream WRFA's broadcast debut of each show or listen to previous performances.