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Home Arts Louisiana Hayride brings the best of classic country to the Rawlinson

Louisiana Hayride brings the best of classic country to the Rawlinson

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Louisiana Hayride brings the best of classic country to the Rawlinson
Louisiana Hayride musician Gil Risling performs as Roy Orbison during a show. -- Submitted photo

Country music lovers will have a chance to ride down memory lane when the Louisiana Hayride brings the sounds of classic country music stars such as Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynne, and Conway Twitty to the E.A. Rawlinson Stage.

Sunday marks the fourth time the Louisiana Hayride performers will take to the stage in Prince Albert, but show owner and operator Lori Risling said they make every appearance unique.

“Every show is different. Every season is different,” Risling said. “We add something different. Something changes—new songs, little bits of information, new antics on stage—so if they’ve seen it before, they should still come again. They’ll have some surprises and some new stuff to see.”

Lori Risling will host Sunday’s show, which features performance from her co-owner and operator, Gil Risling, who plays the part of country and rock legend Roy Orbison. The show also features special performers in the roles of Buddy Holly, Lefty Frizzell, and even Elvis, along with the previously mentioned country stars.

Lori Risling said there are still many classic country music fans out there, but it’s getting harder and harder to find that music on the airwaves. She’s hopeful this show will pull audiences back in time, while introducing a new generation to some classic hits.

“Our cast on stage have so much fun themselves,” Risling said. “They totally love what they’re doing. The audience picks up on that and they feed off it, and it goes back and forth, so lots of little funny, little antics, so the audience will laugh, they’ll sing along.”

Risling is a big classic country fan herself, but she developed that love later in life. As a teenager and young adult, she fell in love with rock music, but later developed an appreciation for the classic country songs her dad always listened to on the radio.

“I just probably absorbed it without even knowing it from my dad,” she explained. “He loved music. He had the old 78 records and he would play this music. It wasn’t my choice to put on the radio. I was a rock girl, and so I think I must have just gotten a lot of it just from listening to it at home.

“As I got older and out of the rock and more into the country and started listening to some of the older country, (I realized) what great music it was,” she added. “Then to take that a step further, just (seeing) that it wasn’t really accessible. All the classic country stations were dying, and there were very few left that play just classic country, so I knew it was as segment of music that people were just searching for.”

Risling began organizing and hosting Louisiana Hayride shows in 2010. The group has performed almost every year since then, with stoppages in 2020 for COVID, and 2022 due to a family tragedy.

Now, they’re starting to travel across Western Canada as extensively as they did before COVID. Risling said it’s good to get back on the road and play in front of classic country music fans.

The Louisiana Hayride hits the E.A. Rawlinson stage on Sunday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the Rawlinson Box Office, or online at www.earc.ca.