A blend of traditional and new country covers will arrest the Smyrna Opera House audience on Saturday in an event titled Harvest Moon 2012.
Harvest Moon, coordinated by Clayton Police Chief Brian Hill, will feature country hits from Ray Charles to Taylor Swift. The show will include a variety of talented local artists including Smyrna singers Michael Hodgeman Sr. and this year's Smyrna's Got Voice winner, Jessica Reynolds.
The 67-year-old Hodgeman — a former frontman of the Baltimore, Md., jazz band The Admirals (from the early 1950s to early 2000s) — discussed what he'll have up his sleeve for Saturday's concert, and more.
Q What songs will you perform at Harvest Moon?
A "You Don't Know Me" by Ray Charles, "Lady" by Kenny Rodgers, and I'm still practicing, getting the rest of the setlist together. But it's going to be good.
Q What attracted you to select these particular tunes?
A I'm not a country singer; and they're the only ones I knew, to tell you the truth [laughs]. I do jazz and stuff like that.
Q The Admirals disbanded 10 years ago, yet you're still singing. What's it like performing as a solo artist?
A I'll sing for anybody at anytime, man [laughs]. It's more fun to do it for free than when you're out there trying to hustle for money.
Q Why's that?
A It adds more soul to it when you're not worried about feeding the kids and sending the money home and all of that. That takes a little bit of the soul away. But I'm just doing it for the joy of it.
Q How does performing in Smyrna compare to the other places you've gigged at throughout the country with The Admirals?
A It's more fun. When you're on the road with 10 musicians, they all have their own way of doing things. We're hardheaded people. So we're hard to live with. But I'll be performing in Smyrna with all my friends. I've known The Chief since he was 15. So it's just fun. And some of my kids might be in the show.
Q Does it excite you to see your kids are also involved in music?
A Oh yeah. And they can all sing, too.
Q Did you nudge music on your kids, or was it something they wanted to do after hearing you sing for all these years?
A They just naturally fell into it, because they heard me singing all the time. They used to write words for me [for my band]. They were kids and they wanted to be apart of it [laughs].