Valdosta Daily Times


August 8, 2008

The Valdosta Daily Times presents the Navy’s bluegrass band

By Dean Poling — VALDOSTA — The Valdosta Daily Times has hosted several military bands through the years: Brass bands, jazz bands, big-band groups, singing organizations, bands that play for the President when not playing in communities across the U.S. and the world.

But a military bluegrass band?

Yes, Country Current United States Navy Band is a bluegrass-country group. The Valdosta Daily Times sponsors a free, public Country Current concert on Sept. 10 at the Valdosta High School Performing Arts Center. Prospective audience members must contact The Valdosta Daily Times in advance to secure tickets.

“The Valdosta Daily Times has long been a supporter of our nation’s military men and women as well as the arts in our region,” says The Valdosta Daily Times Publisher J.H. “Sandy” Sanders. “It is an honor to bring entertainment such as the Navy’s Country Current to our readers and the community.”

The Navy’s premier country music group, the band was assembled in 1973, dedicated to country and bluegrass music. Chief Musician Keith M. Arneson directs Country Current and is the group’s banjo player.

In addition to playing its own shows, the seven-member group has performed with country stars such as Charlie Daniels, Boots Randolph, Vince Gill, and David Ball. Country Current plays everywhere from NASCAR events to Branson, Mo., to the Grand Ole Opry and, now, Valdosta. The group has also played for every president since Richard Nixon.

Listening to “Country Current Live,” the group’s most recent CD, gives a taste of the show and emphasizes the talent. The album includes performances of songs like Merle Haggard’s “Big City” and bluegrass founding father Bill Monroe’s classic “Molly and Tenbrooks” to Kris Kristofferson’s bittersweet “For the Good Times,” a rambling cover of The Eagles’ “Take It Easy,” a full-tilt rendition of Boxcar Willie’s “Six Days on the Road” as well as a rousing rendition of Lee Greenwood’s patriotic anthem, “God Bless the USA.”

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