Tickets on sale Aug. 1 for 'Country 2006' Sept. 9

Tickets on sale Aug. 1 for 'Country 2006' Sept. 9 at Gainey center in Owatonna

Tickets go on sale Tuesday, Aug. 1, for a country concert in some beautiful “country”: the grounds of the University of St. Thomas’ Gainey Conference Center in Owatonna.

Grammy-nominated Nashville singer-songwriter Jamie O’Neal, up-and-coming Texas band Rio Grand, and veteran Minnesota high-energy country rockers High Noon headline this year’s Music in Owatonna concert, “Country 2006,” on Saturday, Sept. 9, at the Gainey center.

Country fans young, old and in between are welcome. Gates open at 1:30 p.m. Bring your own chairs for great music, rain or shine, from 2:30 to 8 p.m. “Down-home country cookin’ ” and a beer wagon are promised, too.

Tickets, available only in advance, are $10 and go on sale Tuesday, Aug. 1, at two Owatonna businesses: Tone Music, 114 N. Cedar Ave., (507) 451-5196, and Kottke Jewelers, 115 N. Cedar Ave., (507) 451-6644.

  • About Jamie O’Neal: The headlining singer-songwriter O’Neal, 38, has been nominated for three Grammy Awards, three Country Music Association awards and more. Her first two singles, “There is No Arizona” and “When I Think About Angels,” reached the top spot on Billboard’s country charts in 2001. Born Jamie Murphy in Sydney, Australia, to professional musician parents, O’Neal spent her childhood touring America with her performing family. She first was offered a songwriting contract with Nashville producer in 1996. The exposure led to an artist-development deal with EMI Music. She was a backup singer for established country acts such as Clay Davidson and Ronnie Milsap, while performers LeAnn Rimes and Chely Wright covered her songs. Two years later, she had a recording contract of her own with Mercury Nashville. Her Grammy-nominated country-pop debut album, “Shiver,” was released in early 2000.  After a break to start a family – she married her band leader, singer-songwriter and recording engineer Rodney Good, and their daughter, Aliyah Kailin Good, was born in 2003 – O’Neal released a second album, “Brave,” in 2005. Last fall, as a Capitol Records recording artist, she scored a cut on the soundtrack to the “Desperate Housewives” series: “Damsel in Distress,” by O’Neal and her father, Jimmy Murphy, and stepmother Pat Murphy. Sample O’Neal’s music on her Web site,
  • About Rio Grand: An already popular newcomer from Odessa, Texas, Rio Grand blends a “rough, earthy sound” with flavors of Southern rock favorites like the Allman Brothers and Marshall Tucker. Rio Grand’s original members, singers/songwriters from Odessa, Dallas, Corpus Christi and the Rio Grande Valley, recently released their first single, “Kill Me Now,” and added two more members to the band. The group recently signed with country hit-maker Curb Records in Nashville , and its first CD is scheduled to debut in August. Their stop at Gainey is part of a Midwest tour this summer that also brings them to Iowa, Michigan and Indiana. For a preview, visit the band’s Web site at
  • About High Noon: This veteran Twin Cities band has been entertaining country-r0ck music-lovers since 1983. Everyone in the six-member group hails from North Dakota and Minnesota, and for one member – Darrin Rosha – this concert is a homecoming: he was raised in Owatonna. High Noon has recorded five albums (including two in Nashville), played on TV’s “Star Search” in 1989, and toured nationally in the late ’80s and early ’90s. High Noon has performed in concert with country music legends such as Vince Gill, Reba McEntire, Travis Tritt, The Judds, Mary Chapin-Carpenter and Toby Keith. Today the band plays about 100 shows a year, primarily in Minnesota nightclubs and resorts and at fairs and festivals. For more on High Noon, visit its Web site,

Music in Owatonna is a civic group dedicated to hosting high-quality music performances in the Owatonna community. Over the past 12 years it has hosted music festivals and performances featuring the Minnesota Orchestra and chamber orchestras; blues, jazz and sacred music; and traditional Irish music. Major sponsors of this year’s Music in Owatonna concert are Federated Insurance Foundation, the University of St. Thomas and the Wenger Foundation.



Rio Grand


High Noon