Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Things To Do

May 8, 2014

Leroy Troy, TN Mafia Jug Band return to Playhouse

CROSSVILLE — Banjoist and songster Leroy Troy returns to the Playhouse on May 10 with the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band! Leroy is a true good ol’ boy from Goodlettsville, TN, who has been playing the old time banjo since he was a very young lad. His dad used to take him to musical “gatherings” at a local grocery store in Goodlettsville. He began playing the banjo in Grandpa Jones’ style, and then “graduated” to the more complex mix of entertainment skills that Uncle Dave Macon was known for. A regular on the TV series “Hee Haw” and a veteran of the Grand Ole Opry, Leroy will bring his world-renowned banjo virtuosity back to the Playhouse stage along with his fellow Tennessee Mafia Jug Band partners.

The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band embodies the spirit of the classic days of country music with their influences leaning heavy on the sounds of Uncle Dave Macon, Stringbean or Roy Acuff with his Smoky Mountain Boys. They all hail from the pastoral hills and hollers of Goodlettsville, home of Bill Monroe, Bashful Brother Oswald, Stringbean, Grandpa Jones, Keith Whitley, Bill Carlisle, Jack Greene, and Lonzo & Oscar, just to name a few! “Lonesome” Lester Armistead, a shy and retired printer, lives in the Luton’s community of Goodlettsville. When he’s not on the road singing with the band, dancing or blowing the jug, he spends time with his grandchildren farming and raising goats. Mike Armistead plays guitar, sings lead and harmony vocals with the band (when he’s not working with the fire department for Nashville, trading knives, guitars or designing and printing posters, that is). Dan Kelly plays fiddle with the group and has the distinction of being one of the Smoky Mountain Boys with Roy Acuff. He even won the highly coveted Grand Master Fiddle Champion at the age of 17! When he’s not on the road with the Jug Band you can find him working with artists such as Alan Jackson and Clint Black.

Keeping the groove solid on the upright bass is Ernie Sykes, who has been raising the bar on vocals with the group since becoming a member of the Jug Band. Someone once remarked Ernie is the Frank Sinatra of hillbilly music. Mike Webb is the latest member of the group. He brings a whole new element to the Jug Band in the ways of comedy, dancing, singing, guitar picking and playing the sweet sounds of hillbilly music on his dobro in the styling of Bashful Brother Oswald.

If you’re looking for a raucous and fun time frolic kind of band that harkens to yesteryear but with a modern twist, then Leroy Troy and the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band is the band for you. Sponsored by BB&T/Legge Insurance, Leroy Troy & the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band will play the Playhouse Mainstage Saturday, May 10, at 7:30 p.m. Their concerts always sell out fast, so call the Playhouse box office at 931-484-5000 or visit www.ccplayhouse.com to reserve your tickets today!

Also at the Playhouse, the hilarious farce "The Foreigner" (rated G, co-sponsored by Beltone Hearing Aid Center and Crossville Tile Outlet) through May 16; "Annie Get Your Gun" starring Kellye Cash (rated G, sponsored by Plateau Pediatrics; firearms sponsor Tabor’s Pawn Shop) runs through July 11; and "The Diary of Anne Frank" (rated G, sponsored by Life Care Center of Crossville) runs through May 22. "Smoke on the Mountain" (rated G, sponsored by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store) opens May 30 and runs through August 8. Tickets and information are also available for Southern Stars Symphonic Brass and other events. 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.

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