Country Stars Bring Electric Barnyard

This appeared in the Huntington Herald-Dispatch - July 21, 2003

It’s not often the Big Sandy Superstore Arena brings in country music these days, but when it does, it sure is good.

The last country music show was 18 months ago when Kenny "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem," Chesney strolled into Huntington with the No. 1 CD on Billboard’s albums charts.

The arena breaks the dry spell in style with the "part tent show, part tent revival meeting" show that bills together Country Music Hall of Fame member Merle Haggard and Grand Ole Opry star Marty Stuart.

The two appear in concert on their Electric Barnyard Tour at 7:30 p.m. Friday, August 22.

Tickets went on sale Saturday at the Arena Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, and online.

Reserved floor seats are $27 while general admission tickets are just $22.

Heath Brown, marketing manager at the arena, said they had been keeping an eye on the tour, which started out playing parks and parking lots in giant tents.

When the show moved inside to arenas, they nabbed it, Brown said.

Haggard, who owns 39 No. 1 country hits (second only to Conway Twitty), is set to release his latest CD, Haggard -- Like I’ve Never Been Before in September.

Ironically, only three weeks after the Haggard show, his fellow country outlaw and legend Willie Nelson will perform during a special concert opening the season for the Marshall Artists Series on Sept. 11.

Stuart, 45, began his country music career at age 13 as a guitarist in Lester Flatt’s band at the Grand Ole Opry.

Partnering with some of country biggest stars from Johnny Cash and Buck Owens to Emmylou Harris and George Strait, Stuart won a CMA and a Grammy Award for his smash single, "The Whiskey Ain’t Workin’ Anymore."

Stuart’s latest single, "If There Ain’t, There Oughta Be" is one of the most added singles on the current "Radio and Records" Country Music charts.

By Dave Lavender

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