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Due South has Hall of Fame talent

Local musician Bennie Rose was recently inducted into the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame with the Due South Band. The band’s members include Upson County Sheriff Dan Kilgore and David Thompson. They all started playing together just five years ago in 2009. ’We all met up at the Williamson Music Barn,’ said Rose. ‘Dan and David are like brothers to me and we’re brothers in music, no doubt. First and foremost, the band gives all their thanks to God above. We’re family oriented, God fearing folks. We’re not your typical bluegrass band because we play bluegrass tinged with rockabilly and boogie-woogie, country music, blues and gospel music. We call our kind of music bluegrassabilly. We play whatever the crowd wants to hear and always have a great time.’ The Due South Band was one of the only bands to be inducted into the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame Saturday, Nov. 29, but several individual musicians were inducted at the time. The band was asked to play a 20 minute set in the Bluegrass Room but ended up playing for 30 minutes to an encouraging audience. More than 450 people were present at the awards ceremony. ’We were very honored and very blessed. All my kids and grandkids were there as well as other family and close friends,’ he said. ‘It is a great honor to be inducted into the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame. We’ve all three played music all of our lives. It’s such an honor to be recognized by fellow musicians.’ Rose was born and raised in Pike County, Ky., but left his hometown when he was laid off from his job as a certified underground electrician in the coal mines there. The family lived in several states over the years before settling in Pike County, Ga. He said the Kentucky county also has towns named Williamson and Zebulon. He started learning to play guitar at age 11 when his friend Kenneth Collier started teaching him. ’We had a colorful route making it to Georgia. We moved to Pike County in 2002 and we love it here. It’s my home and will be until I die,’ he said. ‘David, our mandolin player, and I met up at the Williamson Music Barn and started the Due South Band. Dan joined Due South in 2009. We’ve played all over the place since then. We play shows here, there and everywhere.’ The Due South Band has taken the stage at many venues including the Williamson Music Barn, Hollonville Opry House, Pike County Arts Council music on the square, The Rock Ranch, Smoke on the Water, the Cotton Pickin’ Fair, the Chitlin Hoedown, Thomaston-Upson Arts Council and on a local radio station. They’ve also played on the riverfront in Savannah and opened for Travis Tritt at Bickley’s Lake in Thomaston. They frequently perform at charity events. The Due South Band plans to produce a new CD over the winter. It will feature original songs written by Rose. ’We had a CD one time which we sold out but we’re trying to find a studio locally to produce a new CD this winter in our downtime,’ he said. ‘We’re hoping to be able to release it in the spring.’ Songs written by Rose include ‘Lonely Evening Blues,’ ‘Rain’s Pouring in My Heart,’ ‘CNN Blues’ and ‘Work.’ Rose lives in Molena with his wife Tammy. He has three children who all live in Pike, Autumn and Justin York and their children Ben, Alex, Gracie and Bella York; Sarah Beth and Beau Jackson and their children Kaitlyn and Eli Jackson; and Bennie Steven Rose and Maggie Rose and their children Sadie, Kenzie and Mindy Rose. His daughter Autumn manages the band’s Facebook site. Find out more about the band by searching Due South Band on Facebook.

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