Ray Scott

Ray Scott headlines the Last Honky Tonk Music Series this weekend at the Pin Oak Pub in Carterville.

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Ray Scott, a driving force in the modern world of traditional country music, will headline the Last Honky Tonk Music Series this Saturday at the Pin Oak Pub in Carterville. Also appearing will be outlaw/Americana artists Brigitte London, Jill Kinsey, Craig Gerdes, Kris “Mudbone” Colwell, Kyle Wilson and Daryl Wayne Dasher.

Tickets will be $15 at the gate the day of the show, or may be purchased for $12 in advance until Friday at the Pin Oak or online at lasthonkytonk.com.

“This is our first ticketed event for a concert and we are very excited about it,” says Pin Oak owner Portia Fore. “Ray Scott is a big deal for Southern Illinois and he is bringing a lot of new people to this area from out of state.”

Local acts Clayton Gribble of Marion and Riley Kirk of Du Quoin will perform soon after the gates open at 2 p.m.

Scott has built a huge fan base with more than a decade of stellar live performances and high-quality original material that is in heavy rotation on satellite radio. He has played the Grand Ole Opry more than 50 times, without the benefit of a major mainstream radio hit, validating the quality of his stone cold country vocals.

As a songwriter, Scott inked “A Few Questions” for Clay Walker and “Pray For The Fish” for Randy Travis.

Scott never got any traction after signing his major record deal in 2005, but the politics of Music Row only made him more determined. Social media allowed him to stay connected with fans and deliver a series of critically acclaimed projects. His fifth album, “Guitar For Sale,” didn't stray far from the proven formula of a blending hybrid 1970s classic country vocals and with tremendous original material.

“The good news is the kind of music I'm making now is not age specific,” Scott says. “”It's about telling stories, making people smile and making them feel something.”

The Last Honky Tonk Music Series is a loose-knit group of about 25 artists that play a variety or combination of roots country, Southern rock, outlaw country, folk and blues at venues throughout the country.

There is at least one official host site in each state for shows, which are set in a positive atmosphere designed to stir the human spirit of camaraderie and friendship.

The series is named in honor of Wayne Mills, who was shot in the head and killed in 2013 by a Nashville bar owner for allegedly lighting a cigarette in a no smoking area. Mills, who toured with Blake Shelton and Jamey Johnson, was best known for his song “Last Honky Tonk.”

The tour officially started March 23, 2014, with a show at Bobby Mackey's Music World in Wilder, Kentucky, and there have now been hundreds of officially sanctioned events.

“We were approached after we took over the Pin Oak in 2015 by Craig Gerdes to become an official sponsor of the Last Honky Tonk series because of our clientele and overall status of being a traditional county music venue,” Fore says. “Most of the bands that play here are traditional country, but we don't want to pigeonhole ourselves. We mix in other musical styles, too.”

London is a musical vagabond, a free spirit playing music from coast to coast and hosting a syndicated radio show. She has independently released six albums and shuns all inquires from major labels in lieu of maintaining creative control of her material.

Kinsey is frequently compared to Janis Joplin, except she prefers the songs of Loretta Lynn. Her latest album, “Just Jill,” is a bold batch of original country and rock 'n' roll tunes that she calls “a mix tape of my life.”

With his trademark long hair and cowboy hat, Gerdes nails the outlaw look. He can flawlessly cover practically any classic country tune and has an arsenal of original material that is Nashville ready.

Fans planning on attending this rain or shine event should bring their own lawn chair for seating. Food vendors will be on grounds. No outside coolers will be permitted. Must be 21 to attend. Parking at the venue is limited. John A. Logan College parking lot A is available to attendees.

Performer Kyle Wilson will be playing a free show at the Pin Oak from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday.

VINCE HOFFARD can be reached at 618-658-9095 or vincehoffard@gmail.com.

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