2:00 p.m. Sunday, June 23
image of program card

The Betty Strong Encounter Center will present “Country, Bluegrass, Folk and Western Swing” by the Lincoln, Neb.-based trio Crabgrass, at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 23.

Crabgrass will travel back to the songs of the Grand Ole Opry, including: “Rocky Top”; “Crazy”; “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”; and “Panhandle Rag.”

“The audience can expect a hand-clappin', foot-stompin’ good time as we blend vocals, comedy and instrumentals together in rich arrangements,” says Joan Wells, guitar and vocals.

Wells became a cowgirl and trick-roper at an early age. Her musical family convinced her to also learn guitar.

“My father decided playing guitar was safer than my desire to learn trick-riding in rodeos,” she says. “He was a big fan of country music and I would sit and play along to records to learn some of the popular songs of the time.”

Joining Wells at the Encounter Center show will be Kris Simon, on bass and vocals. Simon, who studied banjo, guitar and piano, has played in the band for 20 years. She brings her vocals, harmonies and comedy to the group and has a natural ability to play several styles of music.

Sam Packard, known as “Fiddle Sam,” has played with country, cowboy and bluegrass bands and won fiddle competitions. He teaches strings in the Lincoln Public Schools. Packard’s style is much like that of the early fiddle players who performed in bluegrass and western-swing bands.