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Little Roy and Lizzy Show highlights Bluegrass & Gospel Fest

Little Roy and Lizzy Show highlights Bluegrass & Gospel Fest

Editor's note (May 30): This event is sold out!

From banjos to gospel vocals, the Bluegrass & Gospel Fest at the Press Room at The Herald-Mail will showcase a little bit of everything on Saturday, June 1.

Led by the Little Roy and Lizzy Show of Lincolnton, Ga., with local opening acts, The Morning Star Singers and Daystar Vocals, the traditional sounds of Southern gospel, bluegrass and homespun melodies will be on display during a show that is scheduled from 2 to 7 p.m.

The event will provide a family atmosphere as food vendors will be on hand in addition to local faith-based organizations and businesses that will showcase their services and products.

For the local groups, playing with a band that tours nationally is a big deal.

“We’re excited. We’ve heard of them (Little Roy and Lizzy Show) over the years,” said Gene Diller of Daystar Vocals.

The Little Roy and Lizzy Show plays more than 100 dates a year and will travel as far away as Alaska to perform for seven days this year.

Bonnie Lewis, the band’s manager and wife of Little Roy, says that the group appeals to anyone and not just traditional bluegrass fans.

The group is led by Little Roy, a 77-year-old banjo player and singer, who makes sure that no one in the audience gets bored at any time.

“I can’t keep up with him,” said Lewis, who describes the bluegrass group as “fast-moving entertainment.”

“They don’t stand around and tune their instruments during their shows.”

According to Lewis, Little Roy has been playing since he was six years old, and has had the pleasure of playing with the likes of Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs and the Oak Ridge Boys. He has been inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, SPGBMA Hall of Greats, IBMA Hall of Honor and the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

Lewis added that the band enjoys playing with lesser known musicians because they have seen so many groups evolve into major stars.

She says that the makeup of the Little Roy and Lizzy Show is unique since ages of band members range from 77 to those that are in their 40s, 30s and even 20s.

Like Little Roy, Elizabeth Long, or Lizzy as her friends and fans know her began her musical career at an early age. Most recently at the 2015 GMA Dove awards she was awarded Best Bluegrass Song of the Year for a duet with Rhonda Vincent called “God is There.” She is also one of the youngest fiddlers to be inducted into “America’s Old Time Fiddler’s Country Hall of Fame” in LeMars, Iowa.

While Daystar Vocals don’t bring national credentials to the stage, they have developed their own comeback story over the past few months.

Currently comprised of Roger Martin, Michael Knight and Diller, the band wasn’t even sure if they would play again at the beginning of this year. Diller said that longtime band member Jae Potteiger passed away in December leaving the band’s future in doubt.

Fortunately, Knight joined the group in January and the show went on for the band that puts on about 40 programs a year and is mainly based in the Greencastle (Pa.) area.

“We were lucky to not only continue, but our group has maintained the same sound that we have had in recent years,” Diller explained.

Top photo: Members of the Little Roy and Lizzy Show from left, Terry Poirier, Matthew Songmaker, Lizzy Long, Little Roy Lewis and Tyler Biddix. (Submitted photo)

If you go ...

WHAT: Bluegrass and Gospel Fest
WHEN: Saturday, June 1, 2 to 7 p.m.
WHERE: The PressRoom at The Herald-Mail, 100 Summit Avenue, Hagerstown
COST: This event is sold out (updated May 30)
CONTACT: Call 301-733-5131.

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