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A local taste of Branson

July 19, 2012
By ZACH KUKKONEN - DMG writer ( , The Daily Mining Gazette

CALUMET - A popular country-western act out of Branson, Mo., featuring the only female lead guitarist for Johnny Cash, is making its return to the Calumet Theatre Monday.

Branson on the Road, a band that's been playing all over the United States for the past 20 years and is composed of Debbie Horton, Donnie Wright and Brian Capps, will play the Calumet Theatre at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Musical Mondays series.

"We had a wonderful time with everyone (in 2010)," Horton said in a phone interview. "The theatre is absolutely magnificent and we had a wonderful turnout."

Branson on the Road brings together elements of classic country, bluegrass, rockabilly, gospel music, costumes as well as comedy.

"We're bringing Branson to Calumet," Horton said. "It's a show that's fun for the entire family, filled with good entertainment and a lot of songs people will know."

With Horton being the only female to play lead guitar for Cash, it's only fitting that Branson on the Road would put a few Cash tunes into their set the year he would have turned 80.

"We were invited to be part of his official 'birthday party' in Los Angeles, and that was a fantastic time," Horton said. "In the second half of our show we talk about Johnny and play a few songs like 'Folsom Prison Blues' and 'I Walk the Line.'"

Horton is by no means the only accomplished musician in the group. Wright is a Branson mainstay skilled in the fiddle, mandolin, guitar, banjo and bass, and was recently nominated for a Lifetime Honors Award from the National Endowment of the Arts for his contribution to music in the Ozarks. He also contributes much of the comedy, according to Horton.

"He has performed on the Grand Ole Opry," Horton said. "He's so talented, and he also does the comic relief. He's a very funny man, and he's quite an entertainer."

Capps, meanwhile, sings, plays the upright bass and has been a member of Branson on the Road from the beginning. He sings songs reminiscent of Marty Robbins and Hank Williams, according to Horton, and a recent recording of his reached the top 10 of the Americana charts.

"He plays the upright bass as well as anyone I've ever seen," Horton said. "He's an excellent musician, and he adds so much to the show."

No matter what the age of attendees, Horton believes audience members will have a good time.

"Come in from the heat, leave your troubles at the door and spend a couple of hours being entertained," she said.

General seating tickets are $16, with a discount for theatre members. Tickets are available by phone or by visiting the Calumet Theatre Box Office. Box office hours are noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and two and a half hours before showtime. For more information, call the Calumet Theatre Box Office at 337-2610 or check the web page at and at

For more information about Branson on the Road, visit



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