Saturday: With or without Morgan Freeman, John Michael Montgomery comes to Dorton Arena

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John Michael Montgomery, coming to Dorton Arena without the State Fair
  • John Michael Montgomery, coming to Dorton Arena without the State Fair

Driving home from work earlier this week, I was taken aback when I saw Morgan Freeman’s name appear on the North Carolina State Fairgrounds’ marquee at the corner of Hillsborough Street and Blue Ridge Road. Not only did I wonder why the hell an award-winning actor would be making an appearance at the Fairgrounds without some major publicity push, but I was also puzzled by the accompanying photo of a blonde teenager. (No, this is not the time for a joke about Freeman’s rumored relationship with his much younger step-granddaughter; we’re talking about Red here).

Subsequent research revealed that Morgan Frazier—a young country music starlet whose name, I found out later, appeared correctly elsewhere in the marquee’s rotation—is opening for John Michael Montgomery at Dorton Arena Saturday, Nov. 3. Growing up on a heavy diet of commercial country, I recognized Montgomery as one of the genre’s biggest stars of the mid-’90s. Although he hasn’t released an album in more than four years, Montgomery still has a handful of No. 1 hits to his name—including two tunes also made popular by R&B quartet All-4-One—and a strong set of baritone pipes intact.

If last night’s CMAs got you pumped for a big country show with Walnut Creek’s slate still months away, consider too that this show’s for a good cause—proceeds benefit the Raleigh Professional Firefighters Association, which promotes a number of causes related to the occupation and otherwise. General admission tickets are priced at $26 with doors at 7 p.m. and music at 8.

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