Tolley returning to Ritz stage

Friday, January 17, 2014

Country-Western artist Johnny Tolley will be back in Blytheville this weekend performing at the Ritz Civic Center for the first of his twice-yearly performances back in his home town.

As with past shows, Tolley will feature local talent in his performance, as well as introducing a number of songs off his recently released self-titled album.

Tolley's fourth studio album, which was released online in November and should hit retail stores in February, is the first release from Nashville-based record label King Rex Records. The first single from the recording is already being played on radio stations across the South and will hit roughly 2,100 stations nationwide today (Friday).

For Tolley, recording this album came with an added bonus -- knowing that his first single would get national airplay.

"It was really exciting recording this record because I knew it was going to hit national radio when it was released," Tolley said. "Also, I got to work with some of the same musicians I've been working with for years and I had the same producer I've had on all my other recordings."

Although Tolley said he is looking forward to performing a number of songs off the new album on Saturday, he said his favorite part of the show will be working with the local talent. According to the performer, the Ritz performances focus on the local acts, with some of Tolley's own stuff "sprinkled in there."

"I think these shows are good because it gives people a chance to see local talent and to come out to the Ritz," Tolley said. "It's important to support the Ritz, it's got such a significant history in Blytheville. And yeah, it does also give me a chance to get some of my new songs out there."

Johnny Tolley's Ole Time Variety Show is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday at the Ritz Civic Center in Blytheville.

cpinkard@blythevillecourier.com