Steel Guitar Show

May 1, 2014

Steel Guitar Show

By Leigh Williams, Contributing Writer

Musicians and vocalists filled the Mt. Vernon Holiday Inn with the distinctive sounds of the steel guitar over the weekend at the 14th Annual Southern Illinois Steel Guitar Show.

The stage was rarely without a performer throughout the three-day event, sponsored by Southern Illinois Productions and the Mt. Vernon Convention and Visitors Bureau, where both talent and instruments were showcased.

In a new addition to the show, leading into the main stage, vendors offered crafts and creative products for sale. In the main room of the show, a variety of vendors circled the main stage with steel guitars, guitars and accessories. A musician for more than 40 years, Tom Sosbe set up his booth to both make connections and gain exposure for his business, he said.

Jan Sosbe, his wife, agreed that attending the show helped make people aware of their offerings and added it also gave her a front row seat to the entertainment line up.

The Sosbe’s said they had lost count of how many people stopped by their booth to inquire about steel guitars and noted they expected to receive several follow-up phone calls from those expressing interest.

Performers for the 2014 Southern Illinois Steel Guitar Show included special guests, singer Leona Williams, who has shared the stage with Loretta Lynn and Merle Haggard, Ron Williams, Leona’s son, and Tony Booth, winner of multiple Academy of Country Music awards.

The house band was comprised of Ric Boyer on bass, Terry Smith on electric guitar, Dennis Stroughmatt and Bo Chalupek on fiddles, Peggy Bode on keyboards and Jeff Stoffel and Mark Fitch on Drums.

Other performers in the line up included Neal Purnell, Leon Mercer, Gary Lloyd, Vern Mandrell, Bobby Orr, Terry Bethel, Bob Case, Tyler Hall, Mike Hermsmeyer, Russ Hicks, Mike Sigler, Rose Sinclair, Herb Steiner, Mike Sweeney and Joe Wright.