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On their way... The Highway Men of 2018, (from left) Dene Allen, Ron Mitchell, Bryan Townley and Brendan Mason are getting ready to perform. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

A posse of southern country music stars, including Gore’s Ron Mitchell, are rounding up their talents for a special showdown at the Ascot Park Hotel in July.

Mitchell is a seasoned performer, but he said that in recent years, he had concentrated mostly on his daughter Jenny’s singing/songwriting career.

He was pleased with the way rehearsals had been progressing.

“We’ve had a practice or two. There’s some real good music in it.”

The Highway Men and Ladies of Country show combines the stagecraft of some of Southland’s best-known entertainers, performing songs that span genres and generations of country music styles, organiser Chris Chilton said.

“This classic show echoes the outlaw cool of four of country’s biggest male superstars – Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings – and some of the sassiest female singers too,” he said.

Featured male artists Bryan Townley, Ron Mitchell, Brendan Mason and Dene Allen will sing the hits of country’s greatest supergroup, The Highwaymen, as well as the best-loved songs of the four individual artists.

Bonnie Turner and Jo Ward are bringing music by the likes of Tanya Tucker, Shania Twain, Leann Rimes and Rita Coolidge to the mix.

“The experienced cast are quick to point out that it’s not a tribute show,” Mr Chilton said.

“They’ll perform the stellar songs in their own voices, but their combined power and range will make this a memorable, toe-tapping event.”

The stars would be backed by the Triple Shot Show Band, featuring former Southland entertainers of the year Steven Hayes and Simon Thompson, along with Matt Ward and Chris Chilton himself, he said.

There are two performances to choose from – a Saturday night dinner and show or special Sunday matinee.

The shows will take place on Saturday July 28 at 6pm and Sunday July 29 at 2pm.

Bookings are essential.

Phone the Ascot Park Hotel on (03)219-9076 or email ascot@ilt.co.nz to reserve seats.