P O W E L L, W y o. - Actor and country western singer Larry Bagby will perform at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 10, in the Nelson Performing Arts Center at Northwest College in Powell. The Northwest College Wind Band will open the show at 7 p.m. The concert is one of several events planned the second week in April as part of the college's Spring Arts Festival.
There are many ways to recognize Bagby. He starred alongside Joaquin Phoenix and the Academy-award winning Reese Witherspoon in "Walk the Line," the movie based on the life of Johnny Cash. Movie goers will recognize him as Marshall Grant, Cash's best friend and stand-up bass player.
Or, it might be the movie "Saints and Soldiers" that stirs of a sense of familiarity. Bagby played the role of Shirl Kendrick, the cigarette-loving southern boy, in the movie that picked up 21 best picture awards from film festivals around the country.
Television viewers might peg him from his stints on "CSI," "JAG," and "Malcolm in the Middle," although he was most noted for his recurring guest spot on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" as football hero Larry Blaisdell. His many television commercials will probably stir up a memory for many.
Of all the ways people might recognize Bagby, it's probably his "Walk the Line" role that falls closest to the role he'll play in Powell Thursday night. He'll provide lead vocals, guitar and piano with the five-member Larry Bagby Band. The other four are Johnny Hawthorne, who handles lap steele, lead guitar and vocals, Eliza James on fiddle/violin, Evan Hillhouse on percussion and vocals, and Curt Piar on bass.
The group's sound falls squarely within the country music tradition. The group's aspirations land somewhere higher, according to Bagby. While most musicians want their audiences or listeners to walk away from their performance feeling like they've been entertained, Bagby says, "I want them to want to go home and learn how to play guitar or piano and teach their kids to do the same. I also want them to love each other more and laugh more together and to just feel inspired to create and to be better people."
His television audiences could probably best gauge how close he's getting to that goal. Bagby was chosen out of 20,000 competitors to go to Nashville to compete with other regional finalists on the USA Network's "Nashville Star" during its fifth season. More recently, he was nominated for best male vocal by the Los Angeles Music Awards for his song "Still." Bagby is more proud that he performed the only original song, "Counting My Lucky Stars," on the "Cold Case" episode featuring the Tim McGraw soundtrack.
Those who want to rediscover Bagby on the big screen are invited to free presentations of his movies "Walk the Line" and "Saints and Soldiers" at 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, April 7 and 8, in the Trapper Rendezvous Lounge of the DeWitt Student Center.
Those who want to see and hear the country western singer in person will have to shell out just a little dough. General admission to his Thursday, April 10 concert is $8. Senior citizens and all school-agers pay $6. NWC students, staff and faculty pay $3.
The Bagby Band concert and film presentations are just a few of the art events scheduled during the April 7-10 Spring Arts Festival at Northwest. Click here for information about other events.