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VIDEO: Old-style country and western comes to Duncan with The Louisiana Hayride

Songs by Hank Willaims, Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson, and more are part of this unique show.

The Louisiana Hayride Show, now in its eighth year of touring Western Canada, comes to the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre on Sept. 15, taking you back in time to relive the days of old-fashioned country and rockabilly music, starting at 7:30 p.m.

This production recreates a historical country music program from years ago called The Louisiana Hayride, bringing back the tunes of the many legendary artists who performed on its stage.

The artists represented in this recreation come to life in colourful costume: Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Roy Orbison, Loretta Lynn, and Willie Nelson.

Louisiana Hayride music was a staple in so many people’s lives back then, with stars like Elvis Presley and Jim Reeves among those crooning country tunes, but it’s music you just don’t hear anymore, and people who do remember love the chance to meander down memory lane.

However, younger music fans are also enjoying this show, organizers say, hearing the music their parents and grandparents listened to over the radio.

And, to add even more variety, the production now includes tributes to Shania Twain and Garth Brooks to connect the old and new country in one evening of entertainment.

The talented singers and musicians recreate iconic artists and you’ll see and hear Hank Williams singing ‘Your Cheatin’ Heart’ and Roy Orbison shows up with ‘Only The Lonely’, ‘Crying’, and ‘Pretty Woman’. Patsy Cline will send shivers up your spine when she sings ‘Crazy’, ‘Sweet Dreams’ (and more) and audiences will also get a visit from Willie Nelson.

Another audience favorite is Loretta Lynn singing her signature song, ‘Coalminer’s Daughter’.

Show creators, Lori and Gil Risling, have been touring this successful production across western Canada and shows have been selling out with people returning for a second night.

“The music in this show will bring back memories from a bygone era. This is music that resonates with audience members,” Gil Risling said last week.

Interspersed throughout the show will be little bits of trivia about the artists the group portrays. That, Lori Risling says, “has long been an audience favourite. They love hearing the history. A lot of it is quite surprising to them.”

The cast includes Gil Risling on electric and acoustic guitar, as well as performing as Hank Williams, Willie Nelson and Roy Orbison. Andrea Anderson offers her tributes to Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, and Shania Twain.

William Brookfield, on double keyboard, guitar and vocals, also performs tunes by Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Conway Twitty.

Mike Melnichuk adds stand-up bass, electric guitar and smooth vocals when he treats the audience to songs by classic country legends such as Ray Price and Faron Young. Troy Wakelin performs as Garth Brooks and tops that off with two original songs.

The Rislings say the cast and crew of The Louisiana Hayride “is dedicated to bringing authentic music to you. The songs you hear will be true to the originals. You will be transported back to a time when music was meaningful, words were understood and the sound was pleasant. You will love the stories, you will love the songs.”

Tickets ($48 apiece) are available at: Cowichan Ticket Centre,, or call 250-748-7529.