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Ira Blonder
Franklin, TN, United States
Ira Blonder is the Managing Partner of Sound Kitchen Studios (www.soundkitchen.com)and The Blonder Group, LLC (www.blondergroup.com)
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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Little Texas brings it home for A Vintage Affair

Little Texas brings it home for A Vintage Affair

By Mindy Tate, Editor

Celebrating the end of their 20th anniversary tour by headlining A Vintage Affair’s “Legends at the Sound Kitchen” April 12 seems completely appropriate to Little Texas drummer Del Gray because it fits with the band’s commitment to family and community.

“Back in the 1990s, we were gone all the time, playing 300 dates a year,” said Gray. “Now we play 60 to 80 dates per year. We say we get to go out on the weekend and be rock stars and then come home in the week and spend time with our family and go to our kids’ games.“As we get older, speaking for all four of us, we realize how important community is,” Gray said. “A Vintage Affair is a valuable organization that has given so much back to the community and we are honored to be part of the event at the Sound Kitchen.”

A Vintage Affair is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Since its inception by founder Ralph Drury, the event has raised more than $750,000 for charities that benefit women and children and this year hopes to break the $1 million mark. As the kickoff event for the weeklong A Vintage Affair, Gray promises attendees will go away wanting more from the band whose biggest hits include “What Might Have Been” and “God Blessed Texas.”

“We are what we ware. We are a rocking country band,” Gray said. “I am not sure how long we get to play, but it will be up beat and exciting. “We are basically a rocking Eagles. We have big vocals,” said Gray, adding the guys in the band — bassist/vocalist Duane Propes, lead guitarist/vocalist Porter Howell and rhythm guitarist/vocalist Dwayne O’Brien — have written many of their hits, as well as having success individually as songwriters.

“We are just about to go in the studio again,” Gray said. “Unfortunately, we had a record deal that tied us up for a few years where we couldn’t record. We are writing and starting to record again.“We are getting older and I think the themes of our music are a little more mature. No telling what we will come up with,” Gray said. “Time certainly does fly, but we have been blessed. We have been able to make a living doing what we love to do and making music and it is a good time to be in Little Texas.”

The band showed its community spirit last year when they served as the “pep band” for the Nov. 6 regional playoff game between the Brentwood Bruins and the Rossview Hawks after O’Brien heard the marching band would be out of town.“I hope they ask again,” Gray said of the experience, in which they wore Brentwood Bruins jerseys and performed not only their songs, but classic rock and roll between plays.“You get called to do that and then you think, man this is a great football game,” Gray said. “If we get asked again, we will come prepared with a strong set list.”

Filling out the bill at “Legends at the Sound Kitchen” will be Crossville native Mandy Barnett, who started singing at 5-years-old and as a teenager, drew national acclaim when she starred as country music legend Patsy Cline in the stage show “Always . . . Patsy Cline” at the celebrated Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Barnett has released two albums and has appeared on “The Late Show with David Letterman” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” as a result of her acclaim.

She is currently working on a variety of projects and a new CD for release this year. She continues to play shows, both nationally and internationally, and is a frequent guest on the Grand Ole Opry. Barnett will reprise her role as “Patsy Cline” in the acclaimed production “Always . . . Patsy Cline” at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, during June and July 2010, in honor of the 50th anniversary of Patsy Cline’s induction into the Grand Ole Opry.

Tickets to “Legends at the Sound Kitchen are $100 and First Tennessee is the sponsor of the evening, which features heavy hors d’oeuvres and the wines of Robledo Vineyards, a longtime

A Vintage Affair favorites.

A new event Tuesday, April 13, “Cigars & Cordials,” will be held at the Franklin Men’s Club, featuring the food of Giovanni’s Restaurante in Nashville, as well as the cigars of CAO and cocktails created by Horizon Wine and Spirits. Century Construction is the evening’s sponsor and tickets are $75 per person.

A Vintage Affair Managing Director Ashley Roberts the event will feature a “speakeasy type” atmosphere with the vintage cocktail recipes and CAO cigars, but the Men’s Club does feature a non-smoking area where those not wishing to be near the cigars can enjoy the evening.

Order tickets online or get more info at www.avintageaffair.org for this or any of the week’s events, including the Main Event April 16 at The Factory at Franklin.