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Rhythm Riders walk the line for Auburn nonprofits

Cash, Cline paid tribute Feb. 11
By: Krissi Khokhobashvili, Journal Features Editor
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The classic sounds of Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline are coming to Thunder Valley Casino Resort, and three Auburn-based nonprofits will reap the benefits of the show.

Dee Price and her husband, Auburn native Johnny Price, front the band as Cash and Cline, paying tribute to the musicians’ timeless songs. The Rhythm Riders are lifelong musicians who have toured together for five years, including shows in Tennessee, New York, Ireland, Wales and a Marine base in Camp Pendleton, where they performed for the troops.

“I have always done her music,” Dee Price said of singing Cline tunes. “Ever since I was a child, it was her music that had my attention more than anybody. I just always had a love for it.”

Last year they played a benefit show to a sold-out crowd at Thunder Valley, and will return Feb. 11 for a performance where all proceeds will go to the Boys & Girls Club of Auburn, Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center and Vinh Son Montagnard Orphanage in Vietnam.

Several Auburn residents who are also Vietnam veterans have been working since 2005 as the Friends of Vinh Son Montagnard Orphanage, raising money for orphans overseas.

“The Vinh Son Orphanage is run by our Vietnam vets, and I have a real connection with those fellows,” Johnny Price said. “I just love them and all the good that they do.”

The Prices also have a soft spot for the Boys & Girls Club, where their grandchildren are members. Randy Tooker, chief executive officer, said benefits like the Rhythm Riders concert are much appreciated to help provide for the 250 youth who come to the club each day.

“To have something like this that is dollars that go straight to our programs, that help support our youth development programs, is huge,” Tooker said.

Those programs include Power Hour, where students spend supervised time working on their homework, and the Bright Spot Reading Center, which helps children focus on literacy.

Paul Ogden, president of the executive board of the Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center, said it’s a little-known fact that the cost to keep the State Theater and its programs up and running is about $60,000 a year.

“Ticket prices support some of what we do, but they don’t support all of it,” Ogden said. “We’re depending on several revenue services. This concert was certainly a big help to us last year.”

In addition to the support provided to APPAC, Ogden said, it was also a fun night spent watching talented performers bring Cash, Cline and their music to life.

That sentiment was echoed by Tooker, who also attended last year’s show.

“I’m a big Johnny Cash fan,” he said. “Seeing them up there – they sounded great, they put on a wonderful show. People had a lot of fun.”

Reach Krissi Khokhobashvili at krissik@goldcountrymedia.com.

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Rhythm Riders concert

When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11

Where: Thunder Valley Casino Resort, 1200 Athens Ave., Lincoln

Tickets: $40 and $50 at www.thundervalleyresort.com/entertainment

Info: www.rhythmridersmusic.com