The Louisiana Hayride in Story and Song features odes to Hank Williams (Patrick Ryley)

The Louisiana Hayride in Story and Song features odes to Hank Williams (Patrick Ryley)

New Elvis tribute grabs a ride aboard the Hayride

The Louisiana Hayride in Story and Song rides again, taking over the Vernon Performing Arts Centre Sunday.

After eight sold-out shows in the North Okanagan, the Louisiana Hayride in Story and Song rides again, taking over the Vernon Performing Arts Centre Sunday.

The show will once again come complete with the Louisiana Hayride set, live singers and band, and for fans of The King, an all-new Elvis tribute.

“We have a new young Elvis that won the Pacific Northwest Elvis Festival in Penticton,” said Gil Rising, guitarist, bassist and vocalist with the Hayride band. “He has been really well received by the audience and is another great addition to the show.”

Adam Fitzpatrick’s first experience with the world of Elvis tributes was in 2008 when on a dare, he entered the Penticton Pacific Northwest Elvis Festival with 14 other acts, and ended up winning the amateur division.

The 27-year-old Penticton native has since performed in numerous shows, including an appearance at the Pacific National Exhibition’s Elvis Tribute show and with the popular Appaloosa Show Band along with the Uptown Hornz, who are the official horn section for the Pacific Northwest Elvis Festival.

Fitzpatrick performs all three eras of Elvis’ musical career: the high energy moves of the ‘50s, the raspy vocals of Presley’s ‘68 comeback special, and the powerful vocals of the Vegas years, complete with authentic costume changes appropriate to the era.

“I consider it a great privilege to be able to perform with the Louisiana Hayride,” he said. “No one can ever be Elvis, he was and still is unique. My  goal in the show is to give the  audience as much as possible, what they might experience from attending a real Elvis concert.”

For those who haven’t caught the Hayride, the show is based on the actual live radio show that was broadcast nationally from Shreveport, Louisiana from 1948 to 1960.

It was instrumental in establishing the careers of such artists as Hank Williams, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash and because of that earned the nickname The Cradle of the Stars.

“The list of artists who performed at the Hayride is impressive and in addition to Williams, Presley and Cash, also featured Patsy Cline, Jim Reeves, Marty Robbins, Roy Orbison and many others,” said Lori Risling, who wrote, produced, and acts in the Hayride.

Risling wrote a syndicated country music column, which appeared in The Morning Star, for 10 years and has interviewed countless country music artists, including Shania Twain, Vince Gill, Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Dwight Yoakam and Johnny Cash.

“It’s hard to find this classic music anywhere and it’s really hit home with those who have seen the show. The memories bring laughter, tears and joy,” she said.

Also in the cast is Andrea Anderson, who has an uncanny vocal resemblance to Patsy Cline and has sang the American national anthem for the Phoenix Coyotes, Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago Cubs. A Vernon native, she won the 2004 Okanagan Idol contest and has performed at the Merritt Mountain Music Festival. Joining her is Patrick Ryley, the morning host and assistant program director at Salmon Arm radio station EZRock, who also has striking resemblance to Hank Williams, making him a crowd favorite.

Besides Risling, musicians in the band also include William Brookfield on double keyboard, guitar, banjo and vocals, and Mike Melnichuk on stand-up double bass, electric guitar and vocals.

The Louisiana Hayride in Story and Song takes place Sunday at 7 p.m. in the Vernon Performing Arts Centre. Tickets are $35 (all ages) available at the Ticket Seller box office. Call 250-549-7469 or order online at