Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017

‘Radio Live’ series to premiere

Georgia Rae Family Band.jpg
Georgia Rae Mussared, left, and her sisters Kelly Jo and Quin are threefourths of the Georgia Rae Family Band. The band will perform as part of Harvard Community Radio’s “Radio Live: Concert Series” from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 15, at the Starline Factory, 300 W. Front St. COURTESY PHOTO

The Georgia Rae Family Band will headline Harvard Community Radio’s first performance in the “Radio Live: Concert Series” Sunday, Feb. 15, at the Starline Factory, 306 W. Front St. Listeners can tune in through live streaming at www.harvardcommunityradio.com.

Bill Clow, president of HCR, said the “Radio Live: Concert Series” would run one Sunday each month during the 4:30 to 6 p.m. time slot.

While listeners will be able to hear the series online, Clow indicated that viewing the band and experiencing live music is a unique event. He said he hopes the community will take advantage of the venue in their hometown.

“The Starline is an amazing space – it is great for the Woodstock Roundup and holds a large audience,” Clow said, expressing that the venue has the capacity to hold around 200 audience members. “We see how well it works for Woodstock Roundup and wanted to do the same with the “Radio Live: Concert Series,” and Orrin Kinney has just done an amazing job with the facility. It works well for live music. I think the community will be very happy with it.”

“We are hoping to hold a question-and-answer portion during the performance and then offer refreshments as well,” he said. The Starline will have an open café with food and drinks available for concertgoers to enjoy during the show.

The first concert is free of charge, but a donation would be appreciated, Clow said. “We will use the donations to assist in the purchase of an FM antenna for the station.”

That antenna will allow the station to expand its reach through the radio instead of only through the internet. It has been a goal of the station directors for some time, and, while the community has been very generous, Clow said there still is more funding necessary.

“[“The Radio Live: Concert Series”] gives us a great opportunity to show the community what we are about and hopefully generate more funds for the antenna,” he said.

“The Georgia Rae Family Band generously has offered to perform for the first concert, and they really believe in the station. It is a family-oriented band that can appeal to many members of our community,” Clow said.

Ronilyn Mussared, who plays the guitar for the Georgia Rae Family Band, also is the manager for the group. Her daughter Georgia Rae co-hosts the “Starline Bluegrass Express” show on HCR from 6 to 8 p.m. Sundays with Scott Brix. She also is an Illinois Grand Champion Fiddler and the reigning Wisconsin Grand Champion Fiddler. She and her fiddling coach Shawn Drake are the current Minnesota and Colorado Twin Fiddle Champions.

The family band also includes Georgia Rae’s two sisters, Kelly Jo and Quin.

Mussared said she was proud of her three daughters: Georgia plays the fiddle, Kelly Jo sings lead vocals, and Quin plays mandolin, banjo, guitar, piano, harmonica and spoons.

“We really began because the girls needed a way to pay for their lessons. The performances we do help to pay for that,” she said.

The bluegrass group now performs 54 shows nationally a year. Mussared said, “We would say we play bluegrass-inspired American music. We play classics, Johnny Cash, original pieces and contest music when we perform. It is just a nice collection for families – for anyone, really.”

Mussared said it was easy to say yes to the job because Georgia Rae grew up performing with a lot of the people who work at the station and perform on the Woodstock Roundup show. Georgia Rae has been fiddling since she was 6 and has connections all over McHenry County.

“I think we just really would like to see Harvard Community Radio get that FM antenna. It would be so great for them to be able to broadcast on the radio and not just [stream] over the internet,” Mussared said.

The “Radio Live: Concert Series” is a work in progress, Clow said. “We are still working out the details as we prepare for the upcoming performances. We hope to reach a large audience, but we also hope to bring in a variety of bands. It is a nice way to bring our community closer and to offer this opportunity,” he said.

Groups or individuals interested in performing during the “Radio Live: Concert Series” should call the station at 815-943-4115. For information on The Georgia Rae Family Band, visit www.georgiaraefamilyband.com.