HARDIN — Country music veterans Confederate Railroad will perform a concert at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, June 22, in downtown Hardin (300 block of Center Avenue).
Also performing will be the Road Kill Rangers of Sheridan, Wyo. The public is invited, and there is no charge.
The free concert is part of Little Big Horn Days, a four-day celebration of Western culture and history presented annually by the Hardin Area Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture.
“Confederate Railroad is a perfect fit for Little Big Horn Days,” said Al Sargent, chairman of the Little Big Horn Days Committee. “We are celebrating our Western culture, and what better way to celebrate than with great country music, outdoors, on a Saturday night in Montana?”
Confederate Railroad, the former backup band for both David Allan Coe and Johnny Paycheck, got their big break by signing with Atlantic Records. The first single from their debut album (“Confederate Railroad”) was “She Took It Like A Man.” It went to No. 26. “The next two singles, “Jesus and Mama” and “Queen of Memphis,” went to the top of the charts. Three more huge hits followed, “Trashy Women,” “When You Leave That Way You Can Never Go Back” and “She Never Cried.” “Trashy” would lead to a Grammy nomination and become their signature song.
That album, with six hits and nearly 3 million in sales, brought Confederate the Academy of Country Music’s Best New Group Award in 1993 as well as numerous nominations from the Country Music Association and the British Country Music Foundation.
The second album, “Notorious,” produced one of the group’s most popular songs, “Daddy Never Was the Cadillac Kind,” which became a No. 1 video as well. “Elvis and Andy” and “Summer in Dixie” would further establish the Railroad as one of the most versatile acts in the business. This album would sell more than a million copies. Their overall totals are 18 charted hits and 5 million albums sold.
From rowdy country to raw emotion, a Confederate Railroad concert today covers a wide range of feelings. Young people will be there rocking to “Trashy Women,” while their parents and even grandparents will likely be singing along to “Jesus and Mama.”
The band plays 100 or so dates each year. Whatever the venue, they are right at home, be it a fair, a club, or a biker show. Danny Shirley, the lead singer and vocalist, and his mates, Mark Dufresne on drums, Wayne Secrest on bass, Rusty Hendrix on lead guitar and Cody McCarver on keyboards and vocals, are obviously having fun right along with their appreciative audience. At the end of each show, the band stays around until every fan who wants an autograph, or to pose with the group for a picture or just say “hello” is taken care of.