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Randy Travis to Open Black Hills Amp

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SPEARFISH, S.D. ( 5/20/09) – Nationally known country artist Randy Travis will perform in concert on Friday, June 19, at the Black Hills Amphitheater, the new music, theater and entertainment venue in Spearfish.

Travis, whose smooth voice and simple songs helped launch the revival of traditional country music, has won six Grammy awards and dozens of other music honors, including 10 American Music Awards.  From his 1985 breakthrough hit “On the Other Hand” to his 2009 single “Turn it Around,” Travis has demonstrated flawless taste in lyrics and immense finesse as a vocal stylist.

In addition, three of his performances -- “On the Other Hand” (1986), “Forever and Ever Amen” (1987) and “Three Wooden Crosses” (2003) -- earned Country Music Association Song of the Year honors.

In recent years, Travis has turned to Gospel music, winning seven Dove Awards from the Gospel Music Association. In April his latest album, “Around the Bend,” won the 2009 GMA Dove Awards’ Country Album of the Year honors. He is currently on tour in support of two new albums, “Around the Bend,” and “I Told You So: The Ultimate Hits of Randy Travis.”

An Evening with Randy Travis begins at 8 p.m. The gates open at 5 p.m., and concessions will be provided by Spearfish area food vendors. Tickets prices range from $30 to $50. For ticket information, visit

Travis’ concert will be the inaugural event for the Black Hills Amphitheater, the 6,200-seat outdoor venue in Spearfish. Marty and Deborah Hogen of Cross Purpose Productions, which recently leased the theater property, will stage a variety of music and theatrical performances to the Black Hills “Amp” this summer.

The schedule also includes:

July 4: A concert featuring Phil Keaggy and the Randy Stonehill Band along with Bryan Duncan and Nehosoul Band. The event will include the opportunity to buy a picnic dinner to celebrate.

July 15: The Beach Boys, the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame inductees whose unique Southern California surf music became a musical style in its own right, will perform in concert.

Aug. 4 and 5: The Darrell Mansfield Band, the Christian blues act that has recorded 25 albums in 30 years, will perform during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Music acts for concerts on Aug. 22 and Sept. 7 will be announced at a later date.

In addition, the Hogens will stage theatrical productions six nights per week this summer under Black Hills Amphitheater’s rain canopy. The lineup will include “Mountain Spirit,” on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and “Buffalo Gals,” written by Black Hills resident Kristi Thielen, on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Nightly performances will include a buffet dinner. The theater season at Black Hills Amphitheater will begin Wednesday, July 1, with “Buffalo Gals.”

On Sunday afternoons, Marty Hogen will perform “The Witness,” a dramatization of the story of Jesus from the voice of John the Disciple. Hogen has performed “The Witness,” for audiences around the world.

A native of Spearfish, Marty Hogen majored in theater at Black Hills State College. For two decades, he has worked as a professional actor and producer.  Deborah is an artist and leather worker whose business is named Sondance Design Leather. They met while attending Black Hills State in the 1970s.

They recently returned to Spearfish to pursue their dream of creating a place where family entertainment, quality music and living history can converge. Since signing the lease for the amphitheater property, the Hogens, their son Kai and daughter-in-law Amy have been busy converting the property into a venue for a broad variety of entertainment.

Next summer, the Hogens will launch a major season-long musical stage production with an historic theme.

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