The beat of authentic, no-frills, Big Easy country music mixed with a strong shot of rockabilly will fill the halls of  Ridgway, Colorado’s New Sherbino Theater, Sunday, June 17, starting at 7 p.m., when Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue – an award-winning, crowd-pleasing band from New Orleans – perform live.

With two studio albums and over 150 performance dates a year, Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue have been winning big time since 2008.  Awards include Best of the Beat from offBeat Magazine and two Big Easy Awards.

“Swingabilly New Orleans style from a hot little combo fronted by honey-voiced Holiday,offBeat said of the band and singer.

Gal Holiday has performed at venues throughout the Southwest, the California coast, and the Gulf Coast, including New Orleans’ famous House of Blues. The Sherbino performance marks the band’s third visit to Colorado since 2007, the year Gal performed at the Western Hotel in Ouray at the wedding of Lisa Issenberg and Jerry Roberts. The Ridgway couple recruited the singer for the event after a chance discovery in the French Quarter of  New Orleans in 2005.

In town for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Issenberg and Roberts heard a soaring sound escaping the confines of Checkpoint Charlie’s, a funky blues bar/laundromat. Turns out the voice belonged to Vanessa Niemann, the “Gal” of  the Gal Holiday, a lady who can belt out western swing classics as powerfully and convincingly as she can render a Merle Haggard ballad.

“I was totally taken by that voice. It sounded just like [the late] Patsy Cline, ” said Issenberg, who helped arrange the Sherbino gig.  (Issenberg is a mixed-media artist and designer, who created Telluride’s sexy trash and recycling bins and the ever- popular “picture-in-a-frame” jewelry and “Telluride Time” clocks, part of the collection at the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art.)

Tickets for the dance concert are $5 at the door.  The bar will serve wine, Colorado Boy beer, and margaritas, also $5 each.  Proceeds from bar sales will benefit the Ridgway Chautauqua Society, Inc. (RCS), a nonprofit community organization that recently purchased the historic Sherbino Theater.

The Ridgway Chautauqua Society, Inc. (RCS) was formed to save, revitalize and operate the 97-year-old theater as a nonprofit community center for theater, film, and the performing arts.  Plans include a historically accurate restoration of the building with updated lighting and film projection capabilities. The RCS envisions a new Sherbino Theater that will reflect its original role as a vital community resource and add one more wonderful performing arts venue to the Telluride region.

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