By Andrew Ellis, Editor-in-Chief
Community has long been an integral part of country music. It makes sense with its small town origins, and it always being referred to as a big family. That aspect of family and community were as present as ever at BOB FM’s 5th Annual Listener Appreciation party this past Saturday.
Like many of those who listen to country music they aren’t your average fan. They aren’t looking for the next hottest song the streaming services. They’re a special breed. They tune into BOB because they get to hear the songs they grew up on, and that steel guitar is usually present to make sure you feel that song.
The place was full. If they weren’t sitting down they were on the dance floor. Dancing partners hit the floor of the wide open Medina ballroom as some of the best local country talent played the classics as well as their originals. And they danced around and round. There were some linedanced and others that just stuck with their partner as if they were back on that first date years ago when things were simpler. You weren’t trying to record every moment on a phone. You were there to live in the moment, and maybe remember it with a polaroid.
The night wasn’t just about re-living memories and and making new ones, though. On Veterans Day of 2017 the 4th Volume of the radio station’s Minnesota Country Salutes compilation cd was released which included songs from the performers for that evening (Erin Grand, Shalo Lee Band, The Farmer’s Daughers, Devon Worley, and The Plott Hounds). All the proceeds to two charities: Minnesota Military Families and Tribute to the Troops. After the Shalo Lee band played there was raffle full of many prizes and then station manager Neil Freeman presented a check of $26,000 to the organizations.
To cap off the evening, the Plott Hounds took the stage for some soul-stirring Southern rock. A lot of the crowd stayed and several even took to the dance floor again. Devon Worley even came onto the stage for a rendition of The Band’s “The Wait.”
It was a great night of community, charity, and music. It all proved that the love for the legends is still very much alive.