Haynie Opry kicks off early this weekend

Published on Wed, Mar 5, 2014
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Fans of live music can get their fill of classic country at the Haynie Grange this Saturday.

Matt Audette and the Circle of Friends Band will host a spring edition of the Haynie Opry, a showcase of traditional country music acts. The Haynie Opry has been a summer event for nine years, but this year Audette and the other organizers are trying something new.

“People have asked why we don’t do the Haynie Opry more often, so we’re experimenting with kicking it off earlier this year,” Audette said.

The annual Haynie Opry has brought country music acts from across the U.S. to Blaine. Past musicians include Ted Vigil, Jack Greene, Tommy Overstreet and Rod Erickson. This weekend’s performance will showcase local musicians Matt Audette and the Circle of Friends Band. 

“We’ve been getting requests to hear more of the band, so the focus will be on what we’re capable of and what we do,” Audette said.

Based in Blaine, Matt Audette and the Circle of Friends Band play traditional country music from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. Their set features covers of songs by artists like Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Earl Haggard. They also play original songs written by Audette. Several of his songs, including “Teach Me To Pray” and “Tennessee is Calling Back to Me,” gained mainstream exposure on national and international radio in the ’80s.

The Circle of Friends Band consists of Audette, singing lead and playing rhythm guitar, Karl Wagoner on bass guitar, Walt Roder playing lead guitar and Ron Reiss on the drums. The band has been playing classic country and bluegrass music together for more than 15 years.

The Haynie Grange is an indoor, theater-style venue with a capacity of more than 300 people, located at 3344 Haynie Road. 

Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15, and the show is free for children 12 and under. The show is scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. with a 15-minute intermission. Refreshments will be available.