Tribute to Hank Williams and Honky-Tonk Heroes

NASHVILLE - CIRCA 1948: Country singer Hank Williams poses for a portrait circa 1948 in Nashville Tennessee. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)Join us on May 11 for a tribute to Hank Williams and other Honky-tonk Heroes including Ray Price, Patsy Cline, Webb Pierce, Bob Wills and more. You won’t want to miss this evening of traditional country, honky-tonk, and western swing music. This event is a fundraising effort for the C-U Folk & Roots Festival.

A talented house band (Dyke Corson on pedal steel, Josh Houchin on bass, Jordan Kaye on guitar, Larry Lister on drums, Dennis Stroughtmatt on fiddle) will back a terrific line-up of singers:

  • Ed Clem is a well-known stalwart of the local country music scene and one of the chief organizers of the Philo Opry country shows. He was also a member of Appaloosa, a terrific country-rock band that played for many years in the CU area.
  • With a deep bass voice, John Coppess, known as the “Limping Cowboy” is from Mahomet and performs regularly (as a solo artist and with a full band) in the CU area.
  • Vocalist Suzanne Warner performs with John on a regular basis.
  • Now living in the Nashville, TN area, Jordan Kaye was the long-time leader of the Prairie Dogs, a popular group in the CU area for many years. Known as the “Tune Wrangler,” Jordan knows hundreds of songs from many musical genres and is a talented guitarist as well.
  • The Hillbilly Valentines are Hilary Valentine and Rebeccca Grosser, and they currently teach the “Old Time and Country Repertoire” at Parkland College. Both perform with The Young and the Fretless. Rebecca is also a member of Big Bluestem.
  • Logan Kirby is based in Fairmont, IL and sings with the Stone Creek Band and the Marvin Lee Band, and he performs at the Philo Opry country shows. Logan played the role of Johnny Cash in a production for the Million Dollar Quartet at the Covington Beef House.
  • Dennis Stroughmatt (from Albion, IL) has released three traditional country CDs, with the most recent being “Wrong Side of the World.” Besides playing Cajun and Creole music, Dennis has been performing a lot of traditional country music in recent years with a band that pays tribute to the music of Ray Price and his Cherokee Cowboys. Dennis was a featured performer at the 2017 Folk & Roots Festival and the 2017 Prairie Sky Music Festival.

The band should have a terrific, traditional sound and feel. This is a chance for people to celebrate the rich musical landscape of the CU area as the line-up of vocalists features some of the best singers in the area. All of the singers share one thing – a love of traditional country music, so this should be a very spirited and entertaining show.

The Country Music Ensemble from the Community Center for the Arts will also be part of the show. The Country Music Ensemble is a group of students that have been taking classes with Dyke Corson, and they will be starting the show with some classic country music.

Please come out for a fun evening of music, and help support the C-U Folk & Roots Festival. Last year’s Hank Tribute show drew a large crowd, so please come early if you want a seat.

May 11, 2018
Rose Bowl Tavern
106 North Race Street, Urbana IL

Hank Williams crowd shot

Admission: $10 at the door
Proceeds will support the 2018 C-U Folk and Roots Festival
Must be 21 to enter