Watson performing in Cannon FallsA bus trip to Nashville combined with a shared love for Minnesota has created the opportunity to experience one of the country music city’s No. 1 shows live from Cannon Falls.
By: Stacy Bengs, The Republican Eagle
A bus trip to Nashville combined with a shared love for Minnesota has created the opportunity to experience one of the country music city’s No. 1 shows live from Cannon Falls.
The Shepherd’s Center of Cannon Valley is presenting “The Tim Watson Show” at 7 p.m. Saturday Aug. 18 at the Cannon Falls High School Auditorium.
The concert’s conception was masterminded by Rod Johnson.
“The center led a tour to Nashville in last November, where we went to a number of shows. One of the shows we went to was head and shoulders above any we had seen, including the Grand Ol’ Opry. We saw the ‘Tim Watson Show’ at the Nashville Nightlife Dinner Theater, and as I watched this amazing show I started wondering if there would be any way we could get them to come to Cannon Falls,” the Shepherd’s Center executive director said.
Johnson talked with the theater owner after the show and, after the realization both had Minnesota ties – the owner was from St. Cloud – Johnson was able to chat with Watson directly.
“He said he had been to Minnesota hunting a couple of times and loved the state,” Johnson said. “Tim said he would be interested in coming if we could work something out.”
Before the tour bus left the theater, the owner and Watson popped on board for a quick visit. Johnson said it was unanimous: The group of 40-plus people said “The Tim Watson” show was the trip’s highlight.
After the group had returned to Cannon Falls, Johnson gave Watson a call to talk in depth about booking him.
“My band has a few guys with ties to Minnesota and family there,” Watson said. “Although it is quite a trek for one show, my drummer was very insistent we try to make it work.”
With support from First Farmers & Merchants Bank and White Rock Bank., Johnson was able to snag one of the highest rated shows in Nashville.
Watson has had the No. 1 show in Nashville for almost 15 years. He averages 250 shows a year in the area.
“Back in the day I was playing six or seven times a day – six days a week,” Watson said with a laugh. “I can’t do that anymore.”
Having performed on a global scale, he has opened shows for such superstars as George Strait, Ricky Skaggs, George Jones, Lonestar, Keith Urban, Conway Twitty, Ronnie Milsap, the Judds and K.T. Oslin.
“Personally, I think he just an unbelievable musician,” Johnson said, “He puts on an overall great show – you are entertained from start to end.”
In addition to live performances, Watson has been seen on "The Ralph Emery Show," "Crook & Chase," "Hee Haw," "Nashville Now," "CBS this Morning," " Video P.M.," "Good Morning America," "Today," and "Prime Time Country.”
In 1985, Watson became a featured performer at the Opryland Show park. Two years later, he went to work with the "First Lady of Country Music," Tammy Wynette, as a featured vocalist and fiddler.
The combination of his energetic trick fiddlin', crazy comedy, strong voice, audience participation, contagious smile and positive personality make this group a hit entertainment addition for any occasion, Johns saod.
“We are very excited to be playing a big show in Minnesota,” Watson added. “I remember that group was down here and they were some very nice folks.”
He will bring four members from his band for the performance.
According to Johnson, a successful turnout will help the Shepherd Center raise money and give incentive to continuing bring in nationally known talents.
The Shepherd Center was established in 1985 with the purpose of giving senior citizens the opportunity to serve other seniors.
“We help people 55 years and older stay active and help the community,” Johnson explained.
For the last several years, the center has provided an annual show including last year’s successful performance by Bob Wootton, the legendary guitar player for Johnny Cash.
Johnson said excitement is building for Watson’s appearance.
“There is buzz around the area,” he said, “even from people who have never seen the show.”
At a glance…
Who: Tim Watson
When: 7 p.m. Saturday Aug. 18
Where: Cannon Falls High School Auditorium, 820 Minnesota St. East
More info: www.shepherdscenter.info