Lee Ward – Staff Writer at The Independent
WURTLAND — When Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out perform April 18 at Wurtland Middle School to benefit the Greenup Meals on Wheels program, it might be more like a reunion than a concert.
“We have known Joan and Ed Tharp, who are heavily involved in the Greenup Meals on Wheels program, for many years and have become good friends with them,” Moore said. “Before the idea of a benefit concert was ever brought up, they were fans of the band, and our music, and would support us in any way they could, even cooking meals for us when they traveled to our live shows.”
He said their passion for the program is contagious, so they agreed to the benefit.
“We felt it was a good way to ‘give back’ to, not only Joan and Ed, but to the eastern Kentucky area that has been very supportive of the band since 1991 and where we have so many friends and fans,” Moore said.
The show will include two, 45-minute sets of traditional and contemporary style bluegrass songs, mostly originals, some more traditional country and some swing-influenced songs, Moore said, as well as some gospel and quartet and a cappella songs. The sets will be divided by a meet and greet with the band.
Performing in the area is a treat for the Cumming, Ga., band, Moore said.
“That region has supported us since day one and has been a mainstay of our touring schedule for many years! Some of our biggest fans are in eastern Kentucky and the fan base that we’re so fortunate to have is probably larger there than in any other state,” he said. “Our fans have grown with us and they know our music as well as we do and they don’t mind letting you know when they like something and that really gets our adrenaline flowing!”
In the band’s 23-year history, Moore said one of the things they’ve done right is to be true to themselves.
“We’ve always tried to be friendly and available to our fans. Our music and song selections have been a culmination of ideas from all band members, not just one, and I think that gives us some diversity and an identity that fans recognize,” he said. “We’re not afraid to take chances and throw something out of left field at our audiences from time to time, and we’ve become known for doing that.
“All in all, we have a wonderful relationship with our fan base and with our peers in the music, and they have rewarded us with many accolades and awards over the years! For us, it’s a blessing to be recognized for doing what we love to do and to know that we’re putting a smile on someone’s face and making the day better for them.”