Canadian country star Duane Steele will bring 'The Legend of George Jones' to Arcola's MacMurray Theatre, Wednesday, March 21 at 8 p.m., thanks to the efforts of the Arcola Optimist Club - with proceeds to finance continuing upgrades to the heritage building.
The award-winning Canadian country singer's stop in Arcola was added to Steele's performance schedule because it was a fit between the singer's upcoming tour dates in Winnipeg and Edmonton.
“We're really lucky to bring this show to our area,” says Optimist Club member, Kelvin Luedtke. “Duane Steele's 'The Legend of George Jones' has been a sell-out at other venues in Saskatchewan and across Western Canada.”
“It's a full-on show,” adds Optimist Club Secretary, Glen Lawson. “It's a one-man show with Duane Steele portraying George Jones, but he's bringing his full band, his regular crew and his own sound and lights.”
“As Kelvin said, we're looking forward to the show,” says Lawson. “It's been really popular throughout Western Canada. In this area, it's already played to big crowds at the Bear Claw Casino at White Bear and at Casino Regina. We know people who tried to get tickets to those performances and weren't able to, so we're really happy to welcome them to this performance at The Mac.”
“And our theatre's acoustics and atmosphere guarantees a great night of music.”
Steele is among Canada's top country artists. He is the recipient of numerous industry awards and has recorded eight studio albums - including one greatest hits package, which includes the number-one hit 'Anita Got Married.' He has toured the world with his own show and has opened for Shania Twain, Trisha Yearwood and Sammy Kershaw, to name a few.
Steele has described performing 'The Legend of George Jones' as “A challenge, but one that I'm up for.”
“When you're younger, I don't know if the songs hit home as much as they certainly do now,” says the fifty-something singer. “His songs take on a whole new perspective when you're singing them. I'm sure (George Jones) was picking these songs because he was certainly living some of them and it makes that much more of a powerful presentation because of it.”
Like many country singers, Steele cites the legendary George Jones as both an idol and a musical influence. Jones died in 2013 at the age of 81 and during his lifetime, the Texas-born singer/songwriter achieved international fame for his 13 number-one hits - one of which is the heart-rending 'He Stopped Loving Her Today.'”
As well as his decades-long solo career, Jones was known as one of country music's finest harmony singers - as evidenced during his tumultuous personal and professional partnership with third wife, Tammy Wynette.
During his 60-year career, Jones chronicled heartbreak, happiness and honky tonks - both on and off the stage.
“We're bringing a piece of music history to our historic theatre with this show,” says Lawson.
“It should be a very special evening.”
Tickets to 'The Legend of George Jones' are $40 each and are available at Arcola Co-op, Arcola Pharmacy or by calling Glen at (306)-577-3250 or Kelvin at (306)-577-9917. In Carlyle, tickets are available at Michael's Coffee Shop & Bakery. All seating is general admission. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the concert begins at 8 p.m.