By Steve Guntli
The Haynie Opry, located at 3344 Haynie Road, is Blaine’s center for old-fashioned country music and is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
The Opry is usually only open during the summer but this year the season will start Saturday, March 14. Opry founder Matt Audette and his band, the Circle of Friends Band, will perform alongside guest artists Roosevelt Road, a bluegrass band from Snohomish.
Audette spent years as a touring musician, spending time in country hotspots like Nashville, Tennessee and Dallas, Texas. When Audette decided to settle in Blaine in 2005, he wanted a venue to share the music he loves.
“I didn’t want it to be a bar or a tavern,” he said. “I wanted it to be family-friendly, something people would bring their kids to. I thought that was something the community could enjoy.”
Audette found the space he was looking for at the Haynie Grange 169 building. The managers of the organization loved the idea, and the Haynie Opry was born.
The Circle of Friends Band has played almost every show at the Opry. Their music is a mixture of original compositions and tributes to classic artists. Last summer, the group staged a tribute to singer George Jones. This July, the Circle of Friends Band will honor Hank Williams.
The Haynie Opry has attracted some big-name artists. Jack Greene, who topped the country charts in the late ’60s with his song “There Goes My Everything,” took the stage in 2010. Other classic performers, like Tommy Overstreet and master yodeler Rod Erickson, have stopped by over the years.
Audette hopes to continue bringing in talented artists in the years to come.
“The whole idea of the Opry was to attract big-name country legends to perform here,” Audette said. “We hope to keep doing that.”
Tickets for the March 14 opening night show will be available at the door for $10. Doors open at 6 p.m. For more information, contact Audette at 366-3321.