Country music artists come to showcase their talents in Hammond

Jade Norbert

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Lauren Duski, pictured above, is one of the many artists to visit Hammond during Fanfare season. “The Heart Behind the Music” features legendary artists such as John Berry and Teddy Gentry. Their purpose was for the viewer to experience their favorite artists in an intimate setting, which is important in feeling the emotional rawness of  a traditional country song. Courtesy of Jack Landham 

Country’s most revered artists are coming to downtown Hammond on Oct. 18 for this year’s Fanfare on the main stage. Artist such as John Berry, Teddy Gentry, Lenny LeBlanc and “The Voice 2017” runner-up contestant Lauren Duski. The Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts encourages the city to come out and enjoy the best music Nashville has to offer. 

The Columbia Theatre is excited to see the talent that is coming to visit Hammond. The staff feels the community will have some familiarity with the set list.

“Hammond has a large country music fan base,” said Associate Director for Operations and Production Pete Pfeil of the Columbia Theatre.

They feel that those who will attend this event know what country music is in a traditional sense. The audience should have an appreciation for artists that have made a name for themselves in the city of Nashville, the heart of country music.

“There is a Nashville phenomenon,” said Pfeil. “Songwriters have an elevated status in country music. They’re kind of revered. Country music tells a story. Stories that can touch a wider audience.”

A majority of the target viewers are “insiders” who share a common thread that is the understanding of the components of an authentic country song. 

The concept behind “The Heart Behind the Music” showcase is for viewers to experience their favorite artists in an intimate, close-knit setting. This event offers a minimum barrier between the performer and the artist. The performer can bridge the gap between hearing their music and understanding the thought process in how the song came to be. 

There will be a spectrum of artists, some new or up-and-coming. Some are household names. Such as two-time Grammy winner Gentry of the band “Alabama” will be performing alongside new face Duski. Duski had practiced music for much of her life, honing her skills in singing and songwriting since her days as a child where she experienced for the first time how music can resonate not only with herself, but with friends, family and even strangers. For Gentry, music means the same thing: a good story that can be relayed and deeply felt to an audience, whether it be the state you represent on your back or the love you have for your family.

Pfeil is hoping for a big turnout of people. For him, this is a once in a lifetime event.

“Live is valid,” said Pfeil. “There’s something about being in a room filled with other people watching the same performance. That is better than watching it on television. The Columbia team is committed to that experience. You just have to be there.”

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