Country music fans packed the Granada Theatre, located at 807 Commercial St., for performances by Emporia native Ricky Fugitt and the Tyler, Texas-based quartet JB & The Moonshine Band on Oct. 26.
“I went to (Emporia State) for a semester, then my first daughter was born,” Fugitt said. “I grew up here. I started doing opera houses in Emporia around 1995.”
Fugitt’s producer, Jeff Parker, who is a guitarist and owner of Cimsound Records, joined him onstage. Fugitt signed with Cimsound last year.
“It’s kind of weird how it happened,” Fugitt said.
In summer 2008, Fugitt received radio play in Texas and Oklahoma when he penned the song “Red Dirt Music,” which came in at number 99 on the Texas Radio Charts. His music has also been played on 11 radio stations in Kansas, as well as Las Vegas and Nashville.
“It didn’t bring me everything, though,” Fugitt said while introducing his song “Don’t Mean A Thing.” Fugitt said he was, “still broke. Radio play didn’t really mean a thing.”
The song describes the financial instability he experienced during the time his first single began getting radio play in Texas.
But Fugitt’s recent success has landed him in opening spots for some of his own favorite artists, such as Merle Haggard, Cody Canada and Logan Mize. Parker said he and Fugitt have two more tour dates with Logan Mize in November.
Fugitt said he “started doing (his) own acoustic shows back in 2002, after a period of writing.” He also said he went through a few different bands in Kansas over the years.
Fugitt’s newest album, and consequently his latest single, are both titled “Cursed Town” and are available on iTunes and Amazon.com.
JB & The Moonshine Band consists of vocalist and rhythm guitarist JB Patterson, drummer Gabe Guevara, guitarist Hayden McMullen and bass guitarist Chris Flores. This was the band’s first time playing in Emporia.
“We play music that we write – raw music,” Patterson said. “We listen to stuff like Hank (Williams) Jr., Willie Nelson and Metallica.”
The quartet has released two albums: “I Ain’t Goin’ Back to Jail,” which Patterson said the band recorded in his living room “with a zero dollar budget,” and “Beer for Breakfast.” They also released a music video for their single “No Better Than This” from the latter album. The video was recently featured on Country Music Television.