Thursday, Apr 26, 2018
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Gospel concert draws big crowd to little Bellevue


The Lewis Family leads a powerful lineup of stars scheduled to perform at the annual Bluegrass Gospel Concert.

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Ivy Gibson can't quite put her finger on why, but she knows that bluegrass gospel music is a part of her.

"I just like the sound of it. It's a different type music, and it's hard to explain what's so good about it," she said.

She's not alone. For the 20th year, little Bellevue, Ohio, is expected to draw a big crowd for the Bluegrass Gospel Concert, which was started by Gibson's late husband, John Gibson III.

And once again, the show, which is at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Bellevue Junior High School, has drawn a powerful lineup of industry stars, led by the Lewis Family, known as the First Family of Bluegrass Gospel Music.

The Georgia natives' single, "So Many Years, So Many Blessings," is nominated for a Dove Award at the Christian music awards show on April 28. They have recorded more than 70 albums.

"We've known them since 1977. The way this show got started was that the Lewis Family had a show in Fremont 20 years ago that got canceled. They asked if we could find a building to play in, and we did, and they've continued to come back every year," Gibson said.

Also scheduled to play are The Marksmen, who have been named the "Gospel Quartet of the Year" three times by the Country Gospel Music Guild. They are best known for their No. 1 hit, "Potters Wheel."

Mike Stevens returns for a second year. The Canada native is one of the best harmonica players in the world. He has been named the "Entertainer of the Year" five times at the Central Canada Bluegrass Awards. He has played at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry more than 300 times.

Rounding out the lineup is crowd-favorite Lily Mae & the Dixie Gospelairs, who are from Kent, Ohio.

"When people come out, they can expect to have a good time. It's all gospel music, so there's a message in about every song," Gibson said.

The John Gibson III Memorial Bluegrass Gospel Concert begins at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Bellevue Junior High School, 215 North St., Bellevue, Ohio. Tickets are $14 at the door. Children ages 6-12 are $7, and under the age of 6 are free. Information: 419-483-7026.

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