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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Steppin’ Back plays ‘Music Under the Stars’

  • The band Steppin’ Back opened the 2014 Music Under the Stars season Thursday, June 5, with ideal weather and the usual large crowd filling the Mark Twain Boyhood Home mall.
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  • The band Steppin’ Back opened the 2014 Music Under the Stars season Thursday, June 5, with ideal weather and the usual large crowd filling the Mark Twain Boyhood Home mall.
    Before introducing the band, Henry Sweets, executive director of the sponsoring Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum, asked how many people had attended all eight years of Music Under the Stars concerts, and many raised their hands.
    Steppin’ Back members Jim Phillips, Paul Lewellen, Gentry Youse and Greg Asmussen also have played together for many years.
    Before the concert their lead vocalist, Chloe Lovelace, was asked to name one of her favorite songs to be heard that evening, and she selected “Hold On, I’m Comin,” which the band was to perform in public for the first time. Another favorite was “Listen to the Music,” which she said, “gets people dancing.”
    Lovelace was looking forward to seeing people dancing during the concert, especially the people with special needs who attend each week. “They really enjoy the music,” she said.
    “I lost my son (Chase Anderson, 16) to muscular dystrophy three years ago,” Lovelace said. “Nothing is more rewarding than to see people with special needs get up and enjoy life. … I know Chase is dancing in heaven.”
    Some members of the audience try to attend the concerts each week, such as friends Kristie Darley and Vonda St. Clair.
    “How can you beat this - free entertainment in a lovely setting,” Darley asked.
    St. Clair added that, “it’s great weather, and you see a lot of friends.”
    Darley said her favorite among the bands that play each year is Dr. G and the Mudcats, which will play on June 12. Steppin’ Back is her second favorite.
    Perhaps the youngest child at the concert Thursday was Paxson Henry, 6-week-old son of Paige and Jarrad Henry of Houston, Texas. They were in Hannibal to visit Jarrad’s parents, Greg and Millie Henry.
    Each week food is sold at the concert by a different agency, and this week it was offered by the Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce. Among the people eating steak sandwiches was Becky Ferrel, who said they had great flavor.
    Before the concert, members of the Chamber Ambassadors, including Fred Cruse, Guy East and Dr. Matt Klemm, were busy grilling the meats at a nearby parking lot.
    Chamber Executive Director McKenzie Disselhorst said they expected to sell 300 sandwiches.
    She explained that earlier Thursday, at 5 p.m., they had sold the sandwiches in boxes as a “drive-through” so people could pick them up in advance of the concert.
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