Owatonnans love their music, and the end of February and first part of March will offer them and visitors to the community several opportunities to enjoy music of various genres. Here’s what’s coming up.

Lonesome Ron

Ron Affolter, known affectionately as “Lonesome Ron,” will be the special guest at the Steele County Historical Society for a presentation on the history of cowboy music.

The presentation will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, in the Wenger Room of the Steele County History Center, 1700 Austin Road in Owatonna.

Affolter will be presenting a collection of well-known western and cowboy songs from the past — song that have been performed by various artists over the years, but which have an unusual, if not unique, presentation when sung by Affolter.

“He has a very nice yodel on just about every song he does,” according to a history center press release. “His voice is very real and it sounds just like the singers of the past.”

In addition to singing and playing his acoustic guitar, Affolter, a recipient of a grant from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, tells what each song is about.

“We’re thrilled to have Ron join us for an evening of great music. He has been here for our Chuckwagon Supper and the fair, but this evening will be special as we’ll learn about the history behind the songs,” said Laura Resler, the director of the Steele County Historical Society. “His unique voice will entertain you, and you will step back in time to the days of the old west as you listen to him.”

Admission to the lecture is free for SCHS members and $2 for non-members. The history center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

For more information, call the history center office at 507-451-1420.

The Church of Cash

The Church of Cash, touted as the Midwest’s best Johnny Cash tribute show, will be coming to Owatonna on Saturday, March 1, for one show.

The show will present a multitude of hits spanning the entire career of the Cash.

“Whether you are an ol’ timer that grew up listening to Mr. Cash in your tractor or a young soldier driving your tank across the deserts of the Middle East with the Man in Black in your headphones, the Church of Cash will bring his music, with style and energy to fans everywhere,” the band says on its website. “What the Church of Cash has that no one else can match is their loyalty to the song and the message that Johnny left to all of us. The band merely keeps this word alive with a youthful spirit that has entertained audiences completely.”

The Church of Cash will be playing at Reggie’s Brewhouse, 220 N. Cedar Ave., in Owatonna at 9 p.m. March 1. The show is free.

Ring of Kerry

The Owatonna Arts Center invites the community to put on some dancing shoes and get in the mood for St. Patrick’s Day with the “bursting-with-energy” Irish band Ring of Kerry.

The show will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 7, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.

Ring of Kerry calls itself both a “raucous pub band” that encourages its audience to sing, clap and join the performance, as well as a band that serenades with beautiful Irish pieces.

All five members of the band sing and play several instruments — from the thundering sound of the bodhran to the sparkle of the hammered dulcimer; from the lilt and rhythm of fiddle and guitar to the haunting wails of the flute and pennywhistles.

The group takes its name from a craggy drive in southwestern County Kerry, Ireland. Its Celtic music, however, is played with a heart much closer to its American home.

Tickets for the performance are $20 for Owatonna Arts Center members and $25 for non-members. They are available at Owatonna Arts Center, Kottke’s Jewelers in downtown Owatonna, and at the door on the night of the performance.

Jeffrey Jackson is the managing editor of the Owatonna People's Press. He can be reached at 507-444-2371 or via email at jjackson@owatonna.com

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