Sunday, August 23, 2015 at 2 PMMt Hope United Church of Christ 2400 Mt Hope Church Road Whitsett NC 27377
Bring instrument for jam sessions
Youth Showcase with Jones Sisters opening!
Linda & Company
Linda & Company consists of Linda Thore, Johnny Cox, Charles Long, Haley Owens, Randy Owens, and Donna Owens. The band was formed, for the most part, to provide entertainment for the folks who come to Brown’s Ole Opry each Friday night to dance and listen. “There were so many pickers when I first went there in 1994 that the stage and back room, referred to as the tuning room were jam packed literally” says Linda Thore. There was standing room only inside and summertime brought in lots of parking lot pickers.
Just five years ago, that had changed. It was sad to realize that people had almost stopped coming because musicians no longer showed up. Linda had talked to the person in charge and agreed to provide some music at least once a month. Right about that time she met Johnny Cox, Charles Long, and the Owens family. There were others that helped out at first but the six of them evolved into the band.
Linda Thore, guitar and vocals, comes from a very musical family. She sang from as early as she can remember and kept up with country and bluegrass music she heard on the radio and on records. She learned to play guitar from a mail ordered instruction book. Before long she started playing along with her father who played fiddle. She still has the 1946 Gibson guitar given to her by her Dad at Christmas that year. It had belonged to her brother who was a good singer and musician. Both sides of Linda’s family were musical. Her father was a left-handed fiddle player, her two brothers played several instruments, uncles and both Grandfathers played the fiddle. Her mother and sister had great singing voices. Linda’s main influences, other than family, were the Carter Family, the Louvin Brothers, Reno & Smiley, Emmy Lou Harris, and the Rice Brother – Larry, Tony, Ronnie and Wyatt.
Johnny Cox, mandolin and vocals, is also a wonderful guitar player with a good singing voice. Like Linda, he comes from a musical family, the Long Brothers. He plays many instruments and is in much demand to play with other bands. His favorites are Norman Blake, Doc Watson, and Tony Rice
Charles Long, bass and vocals, also plays Dobro and guitar. He will sing especially if the others twist his arm. As mentioned before, he is one of the Long Brothers and is the uncle of Johnny Cox. His main influence was his Grandfather, Thomas Doss.
Haley Owens, banjo, what a talented young lady she is! She learned to play at age 12 and before long, she was playing proficiently. She has played with Carolina Breeze and other bands. It is amazing to see how well she and Johnny play the instrumentals. It’s synchronicity, Johnny says. Haley’s influences were Earl Scruggs, Tony Trischka, and Bela Fleck.
Randy Owens, lead guitar and bass, liked rock music before becoming interested in bluegrass music. Chicago and the Marshall Tucker band were some of his favorites. As a teenager, Randy played this style of music. He is Haley’s dad.
Donna Owens, washboard, is Haley’s Mom. She really enjoys playing and keeps excellent rhythm for the band. Her favorites in music are Kenny Chesney and Fleetwood Mac. There is much less “Tom Foolery” when Donna is with us and it is a joy to have her.