Smee Promoting Bluegrass, Americana Musical Acts

The Gibson Brothers to perform Aug. 3

The Gibson Brothers

The Gibson Brothers will perform Aug. 3 in the Shuck Recital Hall at the River Campus.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., June 17, 2008 — Tony Smee of Cape Girardeau hopes the nationally acclaimed group, The Gibson Brothers, will be the first of many such shows to perform at  Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus in Cape Girardeau.

The Gibson Brothers’ latest album, “Iron & Diamonds,” debuted at #5 on Billboard’s Bluegrass chart in the album’s first week of release in April. Smee has booked the group into the Robert F. and Gertrude L. Shuck Musical Recital Hall, located in the Seminary Building at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 3. This is a general admission event. Tickets are $22.50.

“The Gibson Brothers are promoted heavily in bluegrass markets and at bluegrass music venues, however their music appeals to many audiences,” Smee said. “They are tremendous musicians, and their brother duet vocal sound is very reminiscent of the Everly Brothers. They have a phenomenal acoustic band, and folks who see them live will hear some very technically skilled musicians.”

The band is comprised of guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle and acoustic bass.

The Shuck Recital Hall is the restored seminary chapel, which seats approximately 200 people and is described as an almost “acoustically perfect” room. There are ongoing negotiations with other national acts and with representatives from the River Campus for future shows this fall.

“It all depends on the support we receive for this first show,” Smee saud. “We have high hopes and have been talking with representatives of some great acts like the Infamous Stringdusters, David Peterson & 1946 and Michael Cleveland. There is a lot of initial support from fans of this music, but the ticket sales will be the determining factor. The fans that come will really be in for a treat because of the location. The restored chapel, with its stained glass windows and exposed-beam ceiling, is a magical place. You can feel the history and the intimacy there, which is perfect for this kind of music. ”

Fans of bluegrass and other Americana music typically have to travel several hours to festivals in other parts of the country or find concerts in metro areas. While there are a few local festivals with some outstanding local and regional acts, there are not many opportunities to see live performances of this caliber in a local venue. Smee says he wants to change that. He says he sees Cape Girardeau as a real regional center for acoustic music, and the recent success of the Tunes at Twilight series has proven there is an audience.

Smee said he became interested in becoming a music promoter to support the genre and provide opportunities for local fans. He makes his living as the vice president and general manager of ServiceMaster and KMC Construction, and music is one of his hobbies.

“I just hope to bring a rich quality of acoustical music to fans in our area, show folks the majestic venue of the River Campus and what a great city Cape Girardeau truly is,” he said. “It will, however, take corporate sponsorships to cover the costs associated with bringing this type act to the area. Even with a sold out show, we won’t cover our expenses. Fortunately, I have had great response from businesses in the area who have indicated a willingness to provide sponsorship funds. Our sponsors will be rewarded by patronage from a fiercely loyal fan base. Believe it or not, our interest is not limited to Cape Girardeau, and we will have fans and sponsors from all over southeast Missouri and southern Illinois. This is a great opportunity, especially now with fuel costs such an issue, to see some great family entertainment right here at home. ”

Tickets are available at the door or in advance at the River Campus Box Office, located in the Cultural Arts Center, 518 S. Fountain St., weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. by calling (573) 651-2265. Tickets also may be purchased online at metrotix.com or by calling toll free: (800) 293-5949. For directions, visit the River Campus Web site at www.semo.edu/rivercampus. Look for more details on this and future shows in coming weeks. The Gibson Brothers are online at www.gibsonbrothers.com. If you are interested in more information about the series or sponsorship opportunities, e-mail Tony Smee at smeeandco@charter.net.