Putting Country back into Country Music

The Nashville of Porter Wagoner, Patsy Cline, Robert Altman and Tootsies Orchid Lounge has all but vanished – along with a lot of real, traditional Country Music. When Amber Digby made her Grand Ole Opry debut in the Ryman Auditorium on December 19, she put Country back on the Opry stage.

The night before in Austin at Ginny’s Little Longhorn – simply the best honky tonk in Central Texas and anywhere else – Randy Bobo Lindley, her husband and Midnight Flyer band leader, announced to the packed crowd of Amber Fans that “Amber’s gonna put the Country Back into the Opry tomorrow night. ” Tuning into WSM Radio’s Opry show the next night confirmed that when audience whoops and hollers applauded the one song Amber sang – “Silent Night/After the Fight.”

Amber with Justin Trevino, producer and bass

“I’ve know Amber since she was 13-years-old,” said Ronnie Millsap as he introduced her onstage where Emmy Lou Harris had just sung. “Amber is the best young voice in traditional Country Music,” said Milsap who had also recorded  the song Amber sang at the Opry.

Couldn’t ask for more, Amber. Simple, direct and true.

Singing at the Opry one week before Christmas was a homecoming for Amber. Daughter of Dee Digby, who sang harmony with Connie Smith, and Dennis Digby, the bass player in the Loretta Lynn band for almost two decades, Amber grew up in Nashville and began singing and playing piano at age 4 <see her website photos>. She left Nashville for Houston in the early 2000s and has recorded four albums, two of which produced by Justin Trevino.

Amber and Midnight Flyer make it to Ginny’s Little Longhorn about every six weeks.

Check their MySpace calendar. Dicky Overbey, Amber’s step dad, plays steel. – Damian O’Grady piano; Ben Collis, bass; and Tom Lewis, drums, round out the Flyers. Go to Amber’s website and MySpace page for Amber Opry Debut photos by Cynthia Coffey whose distinctively personal photos grace Amber’s last two album jackets <website, too>.

See y’all January 16 at Ginny’s in Austin.

Bob Kinney photos taken at Ginny’s on December 18, the night before Amber played the Opry.

Amber sings with Randy's dad

Justin Trevino produced the two most recent Amber albums

Midnight Flyer - led by Randy Lindley, center, guitar

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Categories: Country
  1. December 30, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Welcome to the Blogosphere Bob! Good stuff! I’ll be checking back often. We went to the Opry a year ago. Nashville’s an interesting town, but I’ll take the Continental, Threadgill’s, Ginny’s and all the rest any day.

    Keep Austin Weird!!!!!

    • December 30, 2009 at 6:49 pm

      Sad thing is that Nashville till the mid-80s had a lot of spirit that Continental, Threadgill’s and Ginny’s has to this day. Nashville record executives sold out for the crossover demographic — the three clubs you mention never did. Bob

  2. Steve Bishop
    December 31, 2009 at 6:29 am

    Bob,

    Great blog! I’ve got it bookmarked and will be checking in regularly.

    Steve

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