This month’s tribute to the late, great Johnny Cash at the Haynie Opry is an event Opry founder Matt Audette feels is long overdue.
“Cash is about as big as they get,” Audette said. “He’s an icon.”
The second set of the Haynie Opry’s monthly productions are coming up at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 13 and Saturday, July 14.
This month’s performances also include regional artists. The first half of the show will feature Bellingham musician Tom Hodge, and a duo from Ferndale, Al Ulrich and Jim Taylor.
Following these performances, Audette and his band will re-enact verbatim, for the first time ever, the entire recording of 1969’s Johnny Cash at San Quentin Prison Concert.
Audette said Cash has been instrumental to his music career. The timing of the tribute seems quite ideal as many young people are rediscovering his music, Audette added.
Audette introduced the Opry to Blaine seven years ago. He grew up with the Grand Ole Opry, and decided he wanted to bring the community more traditional country music in the Opry’s theatre-style setting.
In years past Audette has brought in big names, such as Jack Green, Tommy Overstreet and Rod Erikson.
The Haynie Opry has a very down-home atmosphere, Audette said. “People have been known to jump up and boogie from time to time.” He advises being respectful of the people behind you if the mood strikes to dance.
Last month’s show went great, Audette said. The Fiddlestix, a six piece family band, blew the roof off. His goal this year is to bring over more neighbors from across the border. Cash was popular in Canada as well, so hopefully it will bring more people down for the show this year, Audette said.
“As far as I know, it’s the only Opry in 1,600 miles,” he said. “We have some wonderful entertainment that’s the best bang for your buck you are going to get.”
If you miss the show this month, August 11 will be The Circle of Friends Band’s third and final performance of the San Quentin Prison Concert tribute, with special guest artists Vicky Jo Bock and Connie Hotzheimer performing the evenings of August 10 and August 11.
Tickets are sold at the door. The event will cost $10 for evening shows, and $5 for the Saturday Gospel Matinee, which starts at 3 p.m. on July 14 and August 11. Homemade cookies, pies, coffee, lemonade and other refreshments will be available to purchase.
For more information, contact Audette at 360/366-3321 or visit thehaynieopry.com. The Haynie Grange is located at 3344 Haynie Road, Blaine.