SATSUMA -- The Grand Country Junction was back in full swing last weekend, entertaining a packed house with a plethora of country music tunes and dazzling light display inside the Suma Crossing Theater on Saturday, June 19.
Local performers hit the stage, along with a guest singer from Mississippi, for the “Country Roads” show that took place in front of a few hundred music lovers.
The Grand Country Junction is a country-western show that takes place on the third Saturday of every month. The show started in 2007 and features a live band and talent from Livingston and surrounding parishes, as well as the occasional guest performer.
But music inside the Suma Crossing Theater was mostly muted over the last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 restrictions banned venues from hosting live music, which health experts said posed a greater risk of spreading the deadly virus.
The Grand Country Junction wasn’t spared and didn’t return to live performances until May. But judging by last weekend’s show — which was performed in front of a near-sellout crowd — the Junction is back and better than ever.
“Who’s happy to be here?” asked singer Brenda Harrell, eliciting a loud cheer from the audience.
Along with Junction regulars, last weekend’s show featured Jessica Horton, a classic country and gospel singer/songwriter from Columbus, Mississippi. Horton began singing at 3 years old and learned how to play the guitar and piano at an early age, according to her website.
In 2019, she released her debut project “Both Feet In,” which featured Top 10 Christian Country singles “Tough As A Pine Knot,” “Pictures,” and “He Hears My Every Prayer.” She released her first Christmas album that same year, “A Country Christmas.”
Horton has won the fan-based SGN Scoops award for "Sunrise Artist of the Year" in Pigeon Forge, TN, at the 2019 Creekside Gospel Music Convention. Her most recent release is an EP titled “Let Go,” which is a grassy collection of songs about surrender. She has also released a variety of singles that are only available on digital platforms.
With a powerful voice that rocked the house, Horton belted out a mixture of covers and original music in front of the Junction faithful, drawing cheers from the audience with every song. She also performed a few songs with Junction Director Greg Sullivan, who served as the show’s emcee.
Along with Horton, ticket buyers were entertained by Danny Harrell and the Nashville Addition Band, made up of Danny Harrell, Craig Wolverton, Corban Barnes, Jimmy Bardwell, and Eddie Warren.
Other performers included Sullivan, Brenda Harrell, Lynette Johnson, Brett Bostwick, Clifton Brown, and Clay Blount.
“What an amazing night it was last night at Grand Country Junction,” Sullivan said via social media after the show. “Thanks so much to our Audience. Y’all packed the House last night. We love and appreciate each and everyone of you!!”
Next month’s show will send ticket buyers back in time with a nod to the “Fabulous 1950s.” Tickets for the show are $15 for adults and $10 for children and can be purchased at the door. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the show starts at 7 p.m.
The Suma Crossing Theater is located at 28975 South Satsuma Road in Satsuma.