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Art and Culture

Burgin Barn Gets New Name

The Harrodsburg Herald of Harrodsburg, Kentucky

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Fans who were disappointed when the Burgin Barn closed last year can rejoice. The new Southern Stampede at the Burgin Barn has its grand reopening on Feb. 6.

The Stampede is the brainchild of singers Kathern "Sissy" Rogers and Natalie Berry. Neither needs much of an introduction to local audiences. Both are veterans of the Opry-Jamboree circuit stretching across Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee. Rogers got her start at the Lincoln Jamboree, Kentucky's oldest, in 1995, and has been a fixture at Burgin for years.

Berry has appeared in musical theater and stage plays, along with numerous appearances on TV and in radio.

"I've seen what works at different places," Berry said. "I wanted to take the best part of those shows and include them into this place."

So while the music is definitely not changing neither Berry nor Rogers care much for most country music released since the 1990s the show definitely is. Audiences can expect a professional production, with scripted introductions and predetermined set lists.

But there will be no auto tune, no drum machines and no lip synching. "It will be raw," Rogers promised.

"They've got a lot of good ideas," said Tommy Hurst, the owner of the Barn.

Hurst said it all began as a friendly jam session, first in his basement on Oakland Lane and then a tiny three-bay barn on Buster Pike. Over the years, the Barn, which now seats 150 people, has been featured in all the local papers and The New York Times and has played host to two weddings.

It was never about the money, Hurst said. Expenses always outpaced the money taken in from ticket sales. Berry and Rogers are also not figuring on getting rich from putting on the Stampede either. "If I was into this just to make money, I would have starved to death a long time ago," Rogers said.

Offstage, the life of a working musician is not so glamorous: driving all over the state to play nights while working day jobs Rogers works at the Mercer County Transfer Station while Berry teaches English as a second language at Hitachi.

But they're still giving it everything they've got. They've made lots of changes, expanding the refreshment counter, remodeling the dining area and adding a changing area for the performers probably an overdue necessity for Berry, a musical quick change artist who impersonates Minnie Pearl, Loretta Lynn, Kitty Wells, Patsy Cline and Porter

Wagner (once)"We've tried to make it a lot more comfortable," Berry said. They've else got the ticket price back down to $8.

Berry's first show at the Barn was in 2011, right after her successful run in "Always Patsy Cline" while Rogers goes back to the jam session days in 1998. They want to feature local talent, which has long been the Barn's claim to fame. Longtime fans can expect to see returning favorites like Wayne Wardle and Arnett Stratton and Alex Miller, the 12-year-old from Lancaster who sings Hank Williams.

At the same time, Berry's connections at the Renfro Valley Barn Dance her husband, William Marshall, is staff bassist there has helped them line up new talent. "It's really helped us expand the talent pool," she said.

On opening night, Elvis impersonator Will Rynolds, a Renfro Valley favorite, will take the stage, backed by the new house band, the Whistlin' Wranglers Winston May on steel guitar, Luke McQueary on lead guitar, Phil Mays on drums and Billy Marshall on bass.

"I want people to get a feeling of being home and a sense of nostalgia," Berry said.

Call 613-4960 or 325-0451 to make reservations.

For more information, visit online at

Copyright 2015 The Harrodsburg Herald, Harrodsburg, Kentucky. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: January 29, 2015

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