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A bit of country rolls into Austin with ‘Branson on the Road’

The musical act “Branson on the Road” will perform at 7 p.m. on Friday at the Historic Paramount Theatre.

“It’s a toe-tapping, hand-clapping happy time,” said producer and band leader Debbie Horton, who played lead guitar live with Johnny Cash after he invited her on stage during one of his shows.

Horton is the only woman to ever play lead guitar with Cash, a fact that Cash announced at every show where he saw her in the crowd.

A combination of country, bluegrass, rockabilly, gospel music, rhinestones and family-friendly comedy, “Branson on the Road” was originally conceived to bring Branson, Missouri, to the masses.

“If they’ve never been to Branson, this will be the closest they’ll get without making the 600 mile drive,” Horton said. “We get 7 million visitors per year in Branson, and I thought, ‘Why can’t we bring Branson to those who can’t come?’”

“Branson on the Road” and its members were designated the official Branson traveling ambassadors by the Branson Chamber of Commerce.

The last time “Branson on the Road” performed in Austin was 2005.

“Branson on the Road” is a show appropriate for all ages.

“It is for the grandmas and grandpas and all the way to the little ones,” Horton said. “All the music is upbeat in that Branson tradition.”

Horton also says the audience will get a chance to try and stump the performers.

“We ask the audience to name a classic country singer and we’ll try to sing a song by that singer,” she said. “We’re yet to get stumped!”

Horton encouraged everyone in Austin to come to Branson this Friday night.

“When they leave the show, people are happy,” she said. “They’re humming a song under their breath and hear songs they haven’t heard in awhile. “

“We’re going to have a good time,” she added.

Tickets are on sale $25 in advance and $30 at the door. For tickets or more information, call 507-434-0934,  or visit www.austinareaarts.org or www.bransonontheroad.com.

Weekend at a glance

April 28

•Ladies’ Night Out Open House, 5 to 8 p.m. at the Salvation Army Church. Fundraiser for World Services, featuring more than 25 vendors including food, antiques for sale, and a Silent Purse Auction (more than 60 brand new name-brand purses – Coach, Guess, Gloria Vanderbilt, D & C, Fossil and more) in a variety of sizes and colors. For more information, call Stacy at 507-437-4566.

•Branson on the Road, 7 to 10 p.m. at the Historic Paramount Theatre. For more information, see above or call 507-434-0934.

•Seussical, 7 to 9 p.m. at the Frank W. Bridges Theatre, Riverland Community College. “Seussical” lovingly brings our favorite Dr. Seuss characters to life, including Horton the Elephant, The Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, Lazy Mayzie La Bird, and a little boy with a big imagination: Jojo. The colorful characters transport us from the Jungle of Nool to the Circus McGurkus to the invisible world of the Whos. Dr. Seuss fans both young and old alike will be entranced by this fantastical, magical musical extravaganza. Appropriate for all ages. For more information, call 507-433-0595 or email boxoffice@riverland.edu.

April 29

•Mower County Historical Society Clean-Up Day, 9 a.m. to noon at the Mower County Historical Society. Help MCHS beautify its grounds! Join staff, board members , and other volunteers to spruce up the exterior of the MCHS buildings and clean-up the grounds. Please bring gardening gloves, rakes, shovels, etc. if possible (some equipment will be available for use). For more information, call 507-437-6082.

•Sweet Stories Children’s Story Time, 10 to 11 a.m. at Sweet Reads Books and Candy. For ages 1-7. For more information, call 507-396-8660.

•Second Floor Gallery Show – Tom Hormel and Chad Augustin, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Austin ArtWorks Center. Second floor gallery show featuring works by artists Tom Hormel and Chad Augustin. Free admission and open to the public. For more information, call 507-434-0934.

•Kids’ Studio: Dragons, 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Austin ArtWorks Center. With Mackenzie Bentzin. Cost: $5, for children ages 4-13. For more information, call 507-434-0934.

•Stick Time, 10:30 a.m. to noon at Riverside Arena. Open ice time for kids to practice stick and puck handling skills. Sessions are $6. For more information, call 507-433-1881.

•Eighth Annual Taste of Nations, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at El Parral Ballroom. Enjoy samples of foods and more from countries around the world. For more information, contact Miguel at miguel.garate@riverland.edu or 507-433-0686.

•Seussical, 7 to 9 p.m. at the Frank W. Bridges Theatre, Riverland Community College.

April 30

•Seussical, 2 to 4 p.m. at the Frank W. Bridges Theatre, Riverland Community College.