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Back in the Saddle brings all-star western music to Cumming Playhouse
Shows at 3 and 8 p.m. Feb. 18
Saddle 12X18Poster WEB

If you go

* What: “Back in the Saddle”
* Where: Cumming Playhouse, 101 School St.
* When: Saturday, Feb. 18, 3 and 8 p.m.
* Tickets: $20 for adults, $15 for veterans, seniors 60 and over, students 18 and under and groups of 25 or more; to purchase, visit www.playhousecumming.com or call (770) 781-9178

The Cumming Playhouse’s next musical performance will bring the fun of old-time Westerns and cowboy shows to local audiences of all ages.

“Back in the Saddle,” which runs at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Feb. 18, features an all-star Western and Cowboy music line-up who are all united in their love of the songs of the Great American West.

Band leader and vocalist Berne “Frenchy” Poliakoff said audiences will not be disappointed in the quality of music the band delivers.

“I started this band a couple of years ago after being with Cowboy Envy for almost 20 years,” Poliakoff said, noting that Cowboy Envy received great acclaim and even performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

“After Cowboy Envy, I started this new band and everyone in it is a true professional. This is absolutely the most fun I’ve ever had in music because these musicians totally know what they’re doing.”

Her band mates, who all hail from the Atlanta area, include ‘Gallopin’ Gwen Hughes, a strong vocalist with her own rising solo career as a jazz and pop vocalist who has released multiple albums with a wide

variety of musicians; and LA ‘Durn’ Tuten, who also performed with Poliakoff in Cowboy Envy and serves as musical leader for Back in the Saddle, bringing his unique style to upright bass and vocal harmonies.

Matthew ‘Kickin’ Kaminski also has a growing record career as a jazz organist. During baseball season, Atlanta Braves’ fans enjoy has skills as the Braves’ official organist, but for Back in the Saddle, he adds flare with the accordion.

‘Ramblin’ Rick Hinkle is a master of “all things stringed” and joins the band as a guitarist and vocialist, and ‘Maverick’ Micah Cadwell plays the hollow body electric guitar.

On fiddle, Back in the Saddle is joined at different times by two of the best in the fiddle-playing world — Kenny ‘Longhorn’ Lambert and ‘Tijuana’ Tim Hinkle — both of whom get toes tapping but can also produce achingly sweet notes.

Poliakoff said the Back in the Saddle gang will provide plenty of “toe-tapping, slap-your-knee, sing-along music that is contagious and catchy.”

“We’ll have all the great classics like ‘Happy Trails,’ ‘Raw Hide’ and TV western theme songs, along with some originals, and a lot of songs that people know but don’t know they know - like many songs that are featured on TV, movies and commercials that people hear all the time but don’t think about being Western or Cowboy Swing music.”

Poliakoff said while the show mostly focuses on music, there’s also “plenty of slap-stick and hamming it up” as well as “a lot of fun interaction with the audience.”

“Kids love the show, but parents and grandparents — especially those who grew up watching the old Westerns —love it too because it brings back memories for them,” Poliakoff said. “All ages love this music because it’s just so much fun.

“We’re so proud to be helping to keep this great American tradition of Western Swing and Cowboy Swing music alive for future generations.”

Tickets to “Back in the Saddle” are $20, or $15 for veterans, seniors 60 and over, students 18 and under, and groups of 25 or more. They can be purchased at www.playhousecumming.com or by calling (770) 781-9178.