Ron and Dianne O’Brien have enjoyed the popular musical genre since their teenage years, but their passion goes far beyond simply listening to their favourite tunes.
Today, the couple performs in one country band, have formed their own family band and also work behind the scenes promoting county music events.
“My mother was a music teacher,” recalled Ron, of his early musical roots in his hometown of Noel, Hants Co. “Although she didn’t initiate it, when I was about 14, I picked up a guitar. It went from there.
Dianne grew up in Stewiacke East and become involved with music during her early teenage years.
“I’ve enjoyed music through schools, choirs and bands ever since,” she said. “Ron and I have stayed close to country music, blue grass music and gospel music for most of our lives.”
Late last year, Dianne was named an associate director with the Nova Scotia Country Music Hall of Fame, a non-profit organization.
“It’s nice to contribute to our Nova Scotia music history – past, present and future,” she said. “I’m obligated to create more awareness of the hall, which is located in the Hank Snow Country Music Centre in Liverpool.
“Part of what I do involves fundraising and helping put shows such as one Saturday night together. I just love promoting country music events.”
Saturday’s event will take place at the Best Western Glengarry in Truro at 7.30 p.m. and is being billed as ‘Ole Time Country Music Night.’ Advance tickets can be purchased at Mingo’s Music Sales and also at the door.
The lineup of performers includes Don Haggart, Jo-Ann Newman and Floyd Spicer, Bill and Susan Huey and Jim Richard.
Some of that music will also be supplied by the O’Brien’s with Dianne playing standup bass and Ron on lead guitar for Jim Richard & Rusty Cage.
“Jim is fairly well known,” said Ron. “There’s only one way to describe him -he’s a dead ringer for Johnny Cash.”
The event will also serve as a learning experience about the Nova Scotia Country Music Hall of Fame.
“The monies raised at this concert will be used to help preserve and display artifacts and memorabilia of those inducted into the hall,” explained Ron.
Ron and Diane have also formed their own family band, which includes daughters Janet, 21, and Susan, 19. It’s called the Good Time String Band.
“Janet plays a number of instruments and sings,” said Dianne. “Susan plays three instruments and sings. Along with Ron and I, we play at seniors’ homes, open mikes and for churches and various benefits.”
“It’s wonderful when you are playing and you see that the audience is enjoying it. They may be moving their feet or getting right into it. That’s what Ron and I enjoy most about performing.”
TAGLINE: Lyle Carter’s column appears every Tuesday in the Truro Daily News. If you have a column idea, contact him at 673-2857.