Thu, May 23

Kudos Folk Music Showcase returns Nov. 1 at Old Town Center for the Arts

Reno and Sheila McCormick

Reno and Sheila McCormick

Verde Valley Newspapers once again will team with the Old Town Center for the Arts for the third annual Kudos Folk Music Showcase Nov. 1.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. with the performances beginning at 7 at OTCA, located on the corner of 5th and Main streets in Old Town Cottonwood.

"We hope to raise the bar every year on the Kudos Folk Music Showcase," said event host and Kudos Editor Dan Engler. "This year, for the first time, we have a national act - Texas troubadour Ray Wylie Hubbard - headlining the show."

In addition, said Engler, the event will continue to showcase the best home-grown talent the Verde Valley has to offer.

"The Kudos Folk Music Showcase always will be a musical forum for the deep and rich well of talent we are blessed with in the Verde Valley," said Engler. "This year's show will be opened by local favorites Reno and Sheila McCormick."

Tickets for the Kudos Folk Music Showcase are $25 for general admission and $30 for gold priority seating. Tickets can be purchased online at and also at Desert Dancer and Mt. Hope Natural Foods in Cottonwood and Crystal Magic in Sedona, or by calling 928-592-3090.

OTCA Co-Director William Eaton advised purchasing tickets online. "David Bromberg sold out in a few hours. Here's another chance to see a music treasure at OTCA!

Ray Wylie Hubbard

Jason Ankeny from calls Hubbard "a leading figure of the progressive country movement of the 1970s," best known for authoring the perennial anthem "Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother."

Country legend Jerry Jeff Walker included "Up Against the Wall" on his acclaimed 1973 LP Viva Terlingua and instantly guaranteed Hubbard with instant cult status in progressive country circles.

"The most interesting thing about Hubbard," said Engler, "is the resistance he has encountered throughout his career from both the country and rock music establishments. His music has earned every label from cowpunk to Americana. What's important, though, is that he has stayed true to himself with honest song-crafting. He is a hard-road troubadour who has built a loyal following by always staying true to his own artistic vision. The music industry likes round pegs to fit into round holes for the sake of marketing. Ray Wylie Hubbard has always been a square peg, and that's why he has such a loyal following. He is real."

Reno & Sheila McCormick

Camp Verde's Reno & Sheila McCormick have been favorites on the Arizona bluegrass and folk music circuit for more than 20 years. They perform authentic, down-to-earth bluegrass, country and western music. Reno delivers strong lead vocals and hot flat-picking on his Martin guitar. Sheila backs him up with blended harmony singing and some melodic lead vocals of her own, while keeping the beat on the upright bass.

Reno is a multi-instrumentalist who also plays fiddle, dobro, mandolin and banjo.

Reno and Sheila McCormick have been playing music together since the 1980s. They have played in bands and as a duo throughout the western states.

Among the highlights of their many musical experiences, Reno started his bluegrass career when he won the band contest at Bill Monroe's Bean Blossom Festival in 1977. When Reno and Sheila met in the 1979, Reno was playing with Easy Pickins bluegrass band in Aspen, Colo. That band performed for several years at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, as well as clubs and parties in the Aspen area.

Sheila played, toured and recorded with the all-female bluegrass band Sidesaddle, based in San Jose, Calif., in the early '90s. They performed at clubs, parties and festivals throughout California and several other states, including the Strawberry Festival and Grass Valley Bluegrass Festival.

At the same time, Reno was a regular in the Ventura country rock band Sky King. Reno also played in both country and bluegrass bands in Fresno and once opened for the Oak Ridge Boys.

In the past several years since settling in Arizona, Reno and Sheila have appeared at the Prescott Folk Festival, Prescott Bluegrass Festival, Flagstaff Folk Festival, Pickin' in the Pines Bluegrass and Acoustic Music Festival, and various clubs and gatherings around Northern Arizona. They also performed regularly at the Blazin' M Ranch in Cottonwood, where Reno still fills in on occasion.

Reno plays with the Flagstaff bluegrass band, The Mars Hillbillies, and Reno and Sheila have another group, Blue Moon, featured at this years Pickin' in the Pines Festival.

• What: Third annual Kudos Folk Music Showcase

• When: Nov. 1, 7 p.m.

• Where: Old Town Center for the Arts, 5th and Main, Cottonwood

• Online tickets:

• Retail tickets: Desert Dancer, 529 W. Mingus Ave, Cottonwood, (928) 634-2882; Mt. Hope Natural Foods, 853 South Main St.
, Cottonwood (928) 634-8251; and Crystal Magic, 2978 Arizona 89A, Sedona, (928) 282-1622

• More ticket info: Please call 928-592-3090