Live music weekend at Sandhills Convention Center

The Drew Phillips Band played live country music for about three hours Saturday night at the Sandhill’s Convention Center, following the rock of Jack and Pros on Friday night.

The shows were part of a series of live music that the new managers of the Sandhills Convention Center / Ramada Inn in North Platte have put together.

Jack Bunger and his band of seasoned musicians — Stan Raetz on sax, J.D. Warren on bass, Gregg Todd on drums — entertained a small but enthusiastic audience on Friday with a choice selection of rock and blues tunes from the 1960s to the present day.

Jack and the Pros, from left; Brandon Baxter on sax, Stan Raetz on sax, Drummer Gregg Todd & Bassist J.D. Warren

Brandon Baxter also briefly sat in on saxophone.

On Saturday, Drew Phillips belted well-known country songs such as Dixieland Delight, Fishing in the Dark and Country Roads for an audience that often filled the dance floor and sang along. The band also played songs by the Eagles, Koe Wetzel and Zac Brown.

Bunger did double duty over the weekend, backing Phillips with his dexterity on lead guitar. Drew Connelly played drums and Maggie Lashley played bass.

The staff at the Sandhills Convention Center is intent on a regular series of entertainers. On Jan. 21, the popular regional band Jud Hoos, will play. A comedy night is planned in early February, and other shows have been set up although they are not yet announced.

The convention center has everything needed for live music — plenty of room, a big stage, lights, food, drinks and overnight rooms too.

Sales Manager Josh Windle has worked in hotels on both coasts. He recently arrived in North Platte with the goal of putting the large convention center in the forefront of everyone’s mind.

Drew Phillips with Drew Connelly at left and Jack Bunger. Photos by George Lauby.

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