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By Echo Menges
The original members of the Kentucky Headhunters country rock band pulled in the largest crowd the Hurdland 4th of July Celebration has seen in well over a decade.
Band members Fred Young (drums), Richard Young (rhythm guitar), Greg Martin (lead guitar), and Doug Phelps (bass guitar) came into the tiny rural town of Hurdland, MO, like a whirlwind delighting both local fans and those who traveled hundreds of miles to see the free concert, which was sponsored by the many Hurdland 4th of July Celebration donors.
Over the last several years, committee volunteer Tom Boatman has set a goal of attracting bigger bands to the event, which is what Boatman has done bringing artists like Matt Snook and Levi Riggs in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
Ahead of the Kentucky Headhunters performance, a special stage was set up on the northwest corner of the Hurdland Park where attendees began saving their places with lawn chairs early in the day. The crowd began to build at the park around 4:00 p.m. and steadily grew right up to and during the performance.
“There are people here from at least six different states!” a fan excitedly told The Edina Sentinel. “There are people here from all over.”
An exact count on the number of people in attendance was not taken. Tickets were not required to attend and it is estimated that somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 people packed the park for the concert, many arriving after the band started playing.
Those who showed up before the band was scheduled to perform were entertained by opening performer Lacey Mihalevich who delighted the crowd with her vocal and saxophone performance.
The Kentucky Headhunters declined to do their usual meet and greet with fans before or after the performance, and concert security cited COVID-19 precautions as the reason for not doing so.
A small group of Hurdland Fourth of July Committee volunteers were able to meet the band, take photos and get autographs.
In lieu of spending more time with local fans, the band granted an exclusive interview to The Edina Sentinel after the concert. The interview features bass player and vocalist Doug Phelps, who is a Missouri native. That interview will be featured in next week’s edition along with more photos from the event.
Look for photo albums to be posted on The Edina Sentinel and NEMOnews Facebook pages this week.