A group of eager golden agers have gathered to watch as the musicians enter the building. Quiet reigns as band members arrive.
Many of the men are dressed in plaid shirts and some wear cowboy hats. A woman casually mixes with the musicians as she strums on a guitar.
They quickly set up a sound system and nimble fingers tune guitars, mandolins, banjos and even brass instruments.
Leon Cook, who has been a part of the band for more than 15 years, laughed as he talked with Tom Carter, narrator.
“Tom and I joined a group of the old timers in the early 1990s,” he said. “The late Ray Cook, Gordon Haney and Bob Harris were among the men who initiated the band, which came from this tri-county area.”
Most of the band members are retired but have two things in common – a love of picking and singing. They sing gospel and blue grass favorites in a round robin style.
They volunteer their time and give performances at senior centers, nursing homes and for retired groups in Rome, Cedartown, Dallas, Hiram and other locations.
“We have a busy schedule,” Cook said. “It is something we all enjoy, and we sometimes get a free meal.”
He said women are invited to take part. “Come and get in line if you play an instrument and love music,” he said.
Patsy McDaniel said she had been a band member for six years or more.
“I visited the senior center and enjoyed the band’s performance,” she said. “They invited me to join. I did! It has been great.”
Tri-County Band members performing at Rockmart Senior Center include Leon Cook, Barry Gillis, Mike Drass, Billy Swift, Robert Carter, Tom Carter, Jimmy Deaton, Casey Jones, Patsy McDaniel, Don Sorrells and Grover Hilliard. Other members are Larry Prater, Gail Coker, and Andy Snow.
For more information about the Tri-County Band, call Cook at 770-684-5581.