FLOYD — More than 500 people — a full house of young and old — heard some 40 soloists sing songs, play guitars and show off their talent Saturday night at the Floyd Lions Club 54th Annual Country Jamboree.
Gathered at Floyd High School’s old gymnasium, the audience heard songs written by Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and Glen Campbell, among many others.
The event was down-home and country, featuring a band of musicians who came from places like Farwell and Portales.
Filling the air with music were words like, “… Lean to the Father and his Holy name. Don’t go ridin’ on that long black train,” and “… it’s just me tonight and I’ve got two more bottles of wine to go.”
Fifteen-year-old Will Banister of Portales played his guitar and sang a Hank Williams song, “California Blues.”
Tammy Hulce, also of Portales, sang “The Auctioneer,” a tricky, fun tune that involved imitating an auctioneer.
While the soloists were the main-stage performers, they couldn’t have done it without the backup of the six-member band: Lynn Trimble of Clovis on steel guitar; Bill Rice of Portales on drums; T.J. Floyd of Pleasant Hill on guitar; Fred Chandler of Farwell on fiddle; Wayne Buchanan of Crossroads on guitar; and Linda Brown of Floyd on bass.
“We’re all individuals, and we play like it,” Trimble said before the show began at 7 p.m.
Trimble and other musicians in the band were invited as individuals to back up the soloists.
Asked before the show how long he’d been playing steel guitar, Trimble said he didn’t know.
“I just wanted to learn and started playing,” he said.
Rice, a drummer who works as a registered nurse in the emergency room at Roosevelt General Hospital, said this was his 15th year to perform at the jamboree.
“We’re not a band with a name,” he said of the musicians. “Some of us have just been playing together off and on. I see a lot of us at work.
“I love playing with T.J. and Fred,” he said. “They know so much about music.”
Floyd (T.J.), 70, said he’d been playing guitar since third grade.
“We came from a musical family,” he said of his talent. “My dad, brothers and all of us played instruments at some time or another.”
Floyd, who was performing for his third year at the jamboree, said he plays a variety of music, mostly country and western. But he also likes to play “the ’20s and ’30s stuff” and hymns.
“I’ve got a pretty good library, I do,” he said of the songs he plays.
Dave Nash of Floyd emceed the event.
Nash told jokes and had something good to say about every soloist he announced.
“We are proud to have you here,” he said to the audience at the beginning of the show. “We may have you dancing in the aisles in a little bit, so you all better put your seat belts on.”
The jamboree started Thursday evening and continued Friday and Saturday evenings. A Gospel Music Show will be at 2 p.m. today.
The community of “Floyd will be 101 years old this year,” Nash said. “We love our small town. We still care about each other and help each other as neighbors.”