Country Music Reunion
ELLINGTON – Although it is currently primarily the backdrop for spectacular weddings, The Grandview, formerly the Mountain Depot, will host a country music reunion Sunday.
Maurice Brown and the Mountain Railroad will appear at the Grandview in Ellington on Sunday from 2-7 p.m. to perform country music and old-time gospel tunes. Also featured will be Higher Ground, which includes a group of musicians from Randolph, Conrad and Sylvia Mighells, and Bucky Young from Steamburg.
The members of Mountain Railroad band include: Maurice Brown, guitar and lead vocals; Marla Brown, vocals; Bill Frost, lead guitar and vocals; Frank Jesmer, upright bass; Cecil Miller, violin and keys; Peter Peterson, dobro and mandolin; and Phil Griffin, steel guitar.
“We’ve pooled our resources,” Brown said.
The band plays at a lot of local churches, the concerts in the park series and it recently played at “The Natural” anniversary celebration in South Dayton.
According to Brown, he decided to organize a group of musicians, several of which once belonged to Big River Band, to host a performance at the location of the former Mountain Depot, which he and his wife, Carol, established in 1988, with the intention of meeting old friends and making new ones.
“People would come every Sunday for 16 years. They wouldn’t miss a Sunday and would apologize if they did – everybody had a good time,” Brown said. “We love the view, and the people. People would come up here every Sunday to visit with each other.”
The last time the group played together at the Grandview was two years ago after the band’s lead guitarist passed away, and a benefit was held in his honor.
“We talked about playing up here (The Grandview) again, but we never did, so we just finally picked a day – the first day of fall sounded good,” Brown said.
In addition to performing country music and old-time gospel tunes, the Mountain Railroad band will perform several originals, which are written by Brown. One of the groups favorite original songs to perform is “Mississippi Lullaby,” on which Brown’s daughter, Marla, sings the lead vocals.
“We do some of my songs, but just a few here and there,” Brown said. “Marla, she does a couple that I’ve written, like ‘Mississippi Lullaby,’ which is beautiful, and not because I wrote it, but because of the way she does it.”
According to Steve Vanstrom, who partners with Debbie Carpenter to own and operate the Grandview, it’s a pleasure to have Maurice Brown and the Mountain Railroad band back at his venue.
“Maurice did a concert here last year, and I was amazed at how many people came – he’s got a regular following,” Vanstrom said. “For years and years and years he did it up here, and we’re than happy to have him come back.”
Admission to the event includes a $5 donation, but children 12 and under are free. Food and beverages will be available. The Grandview is located at 1116 W. Hill Road in Ellington. For more information, call 287-2006 or search for “The Grandview of Ellington” on Facebook.