As Roy Rogers was to the Sons of the Pioneers, so Leroy Troy — “The Tennessee Slicker, the Sultan of Goodlettsville” — is to the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band. Banjoist and songster Leroy Troy is a true good ol’ boy from Goodlettsville, Tennessee, which is now a northern suburb of metro Nashville. But long ago, it was the country home to a great number of Grand Ole Opry performers.
Leroy has performed his astounding old time banjo act since the 1980s at the Knoxville World’s Fair, in the cast of “Hee Haw,” on many recordings, on the high seas, at concerts and festivals all over this country in Canada and the British Isles, in Branson, MO, and lately as a regular on Marty Stuart’s show on RFD TV. He’s a past Champion and Grand Marshal from Uncle Dave Macon Days in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Leroy gives all credit to old time Opry stars the Bailes Brothers, who taught him show business. He received a major honor as the 1999 “Heritage Award” winner at Uncle Dave Macon Days in Murfreesboro, given to an individual dedicated to the preservation of Old Time Country Music. All the while for over 20 years Leroy has been creating cassettes and CDs of his enthusiastic style of old time banjo pickin’ and singin’. Leroy now records with The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band.
Sponsored by Mariner’s Pointe Resort, the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band members not only know the music, they wear the costumes, tell corny jokes and even do slapstick gags that throw an audience into hysterics. “Lonesome” Lester Armistead rarely speaks above a whisper until he uncorks his jug, gets a whiff of greasepaint and footlights, and releases his Force Five tenor voice in song. Dan Kelly, on fiddle, won hundreds of fiddle contests and was a six-state champion — he even won the Canadian National Open Championship at age 12! In the rhythm section with the bass fiddle you’ll often find Ernie Sykes. Ernie has played with his family band, the Bluegrass Cardinals, the Lonesome River Band, Irish Ceilhi band, The Aisles of Langerhanz, and was the final bass player in Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys. On guitar is Mike Armistead, Lester’s son and heir. Mike shares lead singing duties with Leroy, sings harmony in the trios, books the band, engages sidemen to play Dobro™, runs the mercantile empire of their recordings, hoss trades in knives, dogs and guitars, and is the Jug Band’s tenuous contact with the twenty-first century. Mike Webb plays the old Dobro™ steel guitar, and has also been spotted with the old time banjo and rhythm guitar.
The hot picking, powerful harmony singing and riotous hijinks of Leroy Troy and The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band will perk you up and provide a truly memorable evening. Call 484-5000 for reservations!
Currently showing is Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5: The Musical (rated PG-13 and sponsored by The Conference Center at Fairfield Glade) through July 14 and Smoke on the Mountain (rated G except for that one word, sponsored by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store) through August 2. Upcoming shows include The King and I, rated G and sponsored by Holiday Inn Express, Comfort Suites and Hampton Inn, June 14 through August 30 and Man of La Mancha, co-sponsored by Cumberland County Bank and Dr. Anthony Wilson, July 11 through Sept 27 both in the intimate Adventure Theater. Call the box office at 484-5000 for reservations and information or visit us on the web at www.ccplayhouse.com.
All CCP productions are made possible through sponsor support, with additional support provided by the Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.