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Harmony Pickers share ‘ole timey’ music at senior center

MADISON – Madison Senior Center Members enjoyed the downhome music of Americana by Harmony Pickers on Sept. 25.

“Harmony Pickers is a wonderful group. They have played for us twice before,” activities coordinator Joy Edwards said.

The band’s story started 10 years ago when Carl Williams and Johnny Lee happened to meet at Harmony Sound music store, 820 Wellman Ave. NE in Huntsville’s Five Points neighborhood.

Owned by Bill Graviett, “Harmony Sound is the kind of music store that harkens back to a time almost forgotten,” band spokesperson Randy Cameron said.

“Carl and Johnny decided to meet regularly at the store and pick some tunes together. ‘Ole’ Bill was kind enough to allow them a corner to pick their music. Other local musicians came by to sit in with Johnny and Carl,” Cameron said.

Then, Ricky Holman became a regular, bringing his gospel-style baritone vocals.

These musicians never intended to form a band. “We’re part of the musical family that gathers in a setting that takes you back to simpler times,” Cameron said. “When people visit the store, a smile crosses their faces when walking in and hearing the small group of ‘pickers’ in the corner.”

Cameron describes their sound as “old time traditional,” “country style” and “gospel” with traditional stringed instruments.

The name ‘Harmony Pickers’ pay homage to Bill’s store and their love of ‘pickin.’ Recently, Harmony Pickers started accepting gigs “when we hear of a need for live music in a venue like Madison Senior Center, assisted-living apartments or a family reunion. We make the effort to bring the joyful sound of music out to the community,” Cameron said.

Harmony Pickers’ core group includes Johnny Lee, lead guitar/band leader; Sissy Dean, fiddle player/alto; Doyle Bradley, lead guitar, tenor; Ricky Holman, dobro/rhythm/baritone; Carl Williams, flat-pick guitar/founder; Cameron, bass; Jimmy Preston, guitar/tenor; and John Keller, finger-pick guitar.

Other members fill in regularly: John Barran, mandolin/tenor, Jim ‘Slim’ Seymour, guitar/piano/tenor; Jimmy Puckett, pedal steel guitar/tenor; Collier Rawls, harmonica; Alan Parker, flat-pick guitar/bass.

Their repertoire includes “Freight Train,” “House of Gold,” “Mr. Sandman,” “Forgivin’ Her Was Easy” and “Cold, Cold Heart.”

For more information about Harmony Pickers, call 256-830-9352.

 

Madison Senior Center’s address is 1282 Hughes Road. For information, call 256-772-6258 or email Vickie.Parker@madisonal.gov.

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