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Local musicians putting string of concerts for senior centers

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By Stephen Thomas

 MOUNT WAHSINGTON - A group of regional musicians is stringing together some free shows for Bullitt Countians.

The Preston Highway String Band features a collection retirees who decided to play community concerts featuring Bluegrass, Country and Old-Time Gospel music.

Bill Fowler, a 40-year employee with L&N Railroad, emcees the shows while also singing some of the songs and keeping pace on the dobro.

"We all are retired and do this to hopefully make life a little better for the people that we meet and play for," Fowler said.

In keeping with that spirit, the Preston Highway String Band perform many of their free shows for nursing homes, senior citizen centers and church groups.

Local concerts have featured an appearance at Green Meadows Nursing Home in Mt. Washington and the Colonial House in Shepherdsville. Their next scheduled Bullitt County appearance takes place at Elmcroft in Mt. washington Wednesday, Nov. 30.

Though the shows are free, the band does accept donations for the Galilean Children's Home located in Liberty, Casey County. The Christian, non-profit organization cares for abused and neglected children worldwide who are in need of medical treatment.

"It is a wonderful ministry that helps out with the severely handicapped," Fowler said. "We feel so blessed to help out in our small way."

Band member Johnny Sadler is the former owner of Sadler Battery Sales located on Old Preston Highway in Hillview. Sadler plays bass and guitar and performs on vocals.

Sadler and Fowler are joined in the band by Fowler's brother, Mike. A retired US Government surveyor, Mike plays the clawhammer banjo. Occasionally a third brother, Frank, jumps in on guitar and vocals. The Fowler brothers are originally from Elizabethtown.

Rex Smith  plays guitar and sings, sometimes joined by his wife, Rebecca. Smith, a Glasgow native, retired after 43 years with Brown and Williamson.

Bill Veach also retired from Brown and Williamson, plays guitar and sings the Gospel songs.

During the Christmas season Santa Claus also makes an appearance with the band, dancing clogging style.

Fowler said the band's wives come to many shows and visit with the audience, especially at the nursing homes. The band schedules about 12 shows per month, even playing on occasion for Ft. Knox soldiers.

"We love playing the Old-Time Gospel, Bluegrass and Country Music," said Fowler. "But most of all, we love the people that we play for."

For more information on the Preston Highway String Band contact Bill Fowler, (502)964-3922.