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Issue: January 1995

Small Town Kentucky Jamboree

Thc Country Palace

By Michael W. Stout

The Country Palace, a down-home, back-porch style singing, family country music show invited Louisville Music News out on December 10 for some good old-fashioned country music. Owned and operated by Lloyd Kelley, this jamboree is located at 421 N. Main Street in Mount Washington and has been around for nearly four years now. Kelley's goal is to provide excellent entertainment for the entire family with some good old country music, new country, old-time rock and roll and good, clean comedy, as well as help young talent get started.

As soon as you walk in the door, you can tell that everyone knows each, other like family and neighbors. It's a place to talk to old friends, make some new ones, laugh, hear some good music and even get some knitting and crocheting done, as I saw two of the regulars stitching to the beat.

Kuntry Kunfuzion is the Country Palace's house band. This fine band consists of Randy Richardson on lead guitar, Ray Hardaway on steel guitar, David Powell and Jeff Forrest alternating on drums and Lloyd Kelley on bass guitar. Kelley also acts as emcee as well as vocalist and comedian, as does most of the band. Tammy Branham, Danny Barnes and Terry Edwards are three regular performers.

Terry Edwards turned in a four-star performance on great tunes such as Conway Twitty's "Hello Darlin'," Hank Williams' "Kawliga" (on which he held notes so long I thought the cows were going to come home) and the most popular country tune of all time, George Jones' "He Stopped Loving Her Today."

Longtime friend of the Country Palace, Big Al Hilbert, dropped in for a surprise visit and got the crowd going with his amazing renditions of George Jones' "The Race Is On" and "I Don't Need Your Rockin' Chair," and the King's "Blue Suede Shoes." Lynn Hardaway, wife of steel guitarist Ray Hardaway, joined her husband on the old Dolly Parton/Porter Wagoner duet, "Making Plans," among other songs.

The Country Palace features one special guest each week, this particular week being Cheri Harvey, an incredible soprano from Louisville who has been concentrating on country music for nearly two years. Harvey has performed at jamborees all the way from Glasgow to Hodgenville to Mount Washington. She brought the house down with songs such as Trisha Yearwood's "That's What I Like About You," Patty Loveless' "Don't Toss Us Away" and "Timber I'm Falling In Love," and Vince Gill doesn't hit a note that Cheri can't hit higher on"When I Call Your Name."

She gave Doug Stone a run for his money on "These Lips Don't Know How to Say Goodbye," and Patsy Cline's music lives on thanks to such talented performers as Cheri. She delivered spine-chilling performances of "l Fall to Pieces" and "If You've Got Leavin' On Your Mind," which made the crowd roar with applause. Keep listening for Cheri Harvey's name, because one day you may just happen to hear her on the radio.

You can go out and enjoy some good, down-home entertainment at the Country Palace every Saturday night at 8 p. m. This three-hour show will seat in excess of 200 people and costs$5 for adults, S4 for senior citizens. Children 12 and under are free. The concession stand provides a variety of snacks and non-alcoholic drinks. Nonsmoking seating is available. For reservations or more details, call (502) 538-9901.

This is one in a series of occasional articles about area family-oriented entertainment and venues.

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