Local musicians to play for national radio audience

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 16, 2006

A chart-topping guitarist will headline the first-birthday edition of the Sucarnochee Revue at 7 p.m. tonight in Livingston.

The Revue is a live music and variety show hosted each month at the University of West Alabama’s Bibb-Graves Auditorium. The show is rebroadcast by radio affiliates from Colorado to New York, including all the Alabama Public Radio stations, where the show airs at 10 p.m. on the first Friday of each month.

Bobby Randall, who plays guitar for country band Sawyer Brown, headlines this month’s show. Tonight’s performance will also mark one full year of Sucarnochee singing.

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The show’s host, Livingston musician and pastor “Jacky” Jack White, said the Sucarnochee Revue was conceived during a conversation with Livingston resident Pierce Boyd.

“We were talking about what we could do to get Livingston some more notoriety,” he said. “I played enough around here to realize we had plenty of talent (to fill a radio show). That wasn’t going to be the problem: finding the talent.”

Produced in a “Grand Ole Opry” style, with musical acts interspersed with comedy and conversation, the Revue, White said, draws more than 4 million listeners each month.

“And that’s a lowball figure,” he added.

They distribute tapes of the show to 16 radio stations in Tennessee, New York, Colorado and other states, as well as spreading the music worldwide on the Internet, he said.

Though White usually finds a well-known headliner from his 25 years in the music business, the rest of the performers are local, he said.

“We try to take out the cheese factor, where singers are trying to be Faith Hill or something,” White said. “If people just play what God’s given them, you can really hear it. The real, authentic sound you get here is what people are responding to across the country.”

Funding the show is no problem, White said. Though it takes a lot of money to produce a national-quality radio show, there are many investors anxious to help sponsor “roots music,” raw, authentic American music like that made famous in the movie “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?”

“What we have is authenticity,” White said. “It’s authentic music from authentic talent.”

Randall will be joined on stage by a variety of east Mississippi and West Alabama musicians, including Mississippi Chris Sharp, J. Burton Fuller and The Pooles.

Though each artist will seek perfection in his or her performance, White said “perfect” isn’t really the name of the game.

“It’s a fun show, and we have a big, big time every month,” he said. “As long as we keep having that attitude about it, it’s going to be great.”

– david.goodwin@demopolistimes.com