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Louisiana Hayride rolls into the Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod

willie nelson

The Louisiana Hayride returns to the Empress Theatre on Friday, May 5. Gil Risling as Willie Nelson.

Do you remember Hank Williams? Roy Orbison? Patsy Cline? Did you ever see them in concert? Well, you can now.
A unique show, known as the Louisiana Hayride, based on the historical radio show where these artists — and many more — performed, is coming to the Empress Theatre on Friday, May 5.
You will have the opportunity to attend a magical evening of entertainment where you’ll believe you really are at a concert featuring these superstars, enjoying their wonderful music from years gone by.
The talented singers and musicians of the Louisiana Hayride Show recreate these iconic artists and you’ll see and hear Hank Williams singing Your Cheatin Heart and Roy Orbison shows up with Crying and Pretty Woman.
Patsy Cline will send shivers up your spine when she sings Sweet Dreams (and more) and you’ll be completely entertained by Willie Nelson’s visit.
Another audience favourite is Loretta Lynn singing her signature song Coalminer’s Daughter.
Many of these iconic artists have had a great influence on current singers and to add even more variety to the show you will be entertained by Garth Brooks and Shania Twain as they make the connection between “old” and “new” country music.
Show creators Lori and Gil Risling have been touring this successful production, now in its eighth year, across western Canada to rave reviews. Shows have been selling out and people are attending over and over again.
“The music in this show will bring back memories from a bygone era,” Gil Risling said. “This is music the audience remembers, either first hand, or in many cases, it’s music they remember their parents or grandparents playing. Music that’s no longer easily accessible.”
Interspersed throughout the show will be little bits of trivia about the artists the group portrays.
“That has long been an audience favourite,” Lori Risling said. “They love hearing the history. A lot of it is quite surprising to them.”
The cast includes Gil Risling on electric and acoustic guitar and vocals when in character as Hank Williams, Willie Nelson and Roy Orbison.
Andrea Anderson is second to none in her portrayal of Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn and Shania Twain.
William Brookfield is amazing on double keyboard, guitar and vocals with his stellar recreation of songs by Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Conway Twitty.
Mike Melnichuk adds stand-up bass, electric guitar and smooth vocals when he treats the audience to songs by classic country legends such as Ray Price and Faron Young.
Troy Wakelin is extraordinary as Garth Brooks and shows his excellence when performing two original songs.
Tickets are available at the Empress Theatre box office, by calling 403-553-4404 or visiting

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