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Six strings, a country heart and a passion to entertain

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By JAKE BETHEL

Feature Writer

 

PERRY COUNTY – Perry County musician Ryan Pfeifer is no stranger to the stage, having been in the local cover band, Carter Valley Boys, for a few years with friends before striking out on his own in recent years. 

He has played for years with fellow musician and friend, Eric Schank, and it was in Schank’s presence that he found his voice the first time. “We were sitting around one night and they started playing a song that I knew,” Pfeifer explained, “and I started singing along and everybody just stopped and was like ‘wait, you can sing?’”

He said the collective attitude among he and his friends was “this is going to be good,” after that moment.

They played the bar scene around Perry County, including once at Braunie’s. Pfeifer said over 200 people were in attendance over the course of the night, based on how much the band made from door cover charges. That show rivaled one or two others at the then Derby Tavern, when he said there was standing-room-only, even before the equipment was set up.

In his solo work, more recently, Pfeifer has stuck to the trusty county bars in his gigging. He cited The Roundup in Troy, Bandon Tavern and Rocky Point Bar and Grill as his frequent performance halls, but said he has been talking to potential venues in the surrounding area, including Ferdinand.

Pfeifer said he gave an impromptu performance at Spurs in Tennyson in Warrick County. The performance of Chris Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey,” was made memorable for Pfeifer by Georgette Jones, who accompanied him on the song, originally her father George Jones’ song.

Pfeifer said he has found the most success and the largest crowds in his back county locale during the winter months. He said people come to the bars having been cooped up all day inside. “I capitalize on cabin fever,” he said, with a chuckle.

Of Perry County’s musical talent, Pfeifer had more than a few words, saying there are gifted musicians throughout the towns therein. “This county has so many untapped resources,” he said. Everywhere you turn, he said, there’s a musician who can “tear the neck off a guitar.”

He has two original songs in the works and plans on using his wife’s Christmas gift of a five-hour recording session at Powerplant Studios in Tell City to get the pair of tracks laid down sometime this year.