Steel guitarists from Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi will be showcased on June 13 at the Hacketts Gospel Singing Shed, located at the intersection of highways 65 and 165, halfway between McGehee and Dermott.

Ten steel guitar players, backed by a full band and accompanied by various singers will perform throughout the day on June 13 in 30-minute ongoing sets of gospel music.

Hal Higgins

Hal Higgins

The featured guest is award-winning steel guitarist, Hal Higgins from Denham Springs, Louisiana.

Higgins, a minister of the gospel and an evangelist, began his professional career as the steel guitarist for country music star Dick Curless in the 1970s on a national tour with the Buck Owens Show. That stint took him to famous concert halls througout the U.S. and then to Nashville where he was a member of the Connie Smith band often performing at the Grand Ole Opry.

As Smith began to slow down her travels, Higgins became the steel guitarist for Arkansas’ own legendary giant of rock-a-billy and country music legend, Sleepy Labeef. That run that lasted nine years.

Following what seemed like a career in country music, Higgins following his true calling became “a man of the cloth”, but carried his talent and feel for the steel guitar into his ministry. After pastoring in the church for 25 years he has taken his steel guitar and his ministry to the people.

Today, Higgins plays an Excel brand pedal steel guitar, manufactured in Tokyo, Japan by Mitsuo Fujii, with much of the design inspired by, legendary steel guitarist, Bill Stafford of Gulfport, Mississippi, a longtime innovator of steel guitar design.

The Steelin’ the Gospel Steel Guitar Showcase will begin with a prayer at noon on June 13, followed by a special flag day presentation in song by Higgins. Higgins will finish with his showcase set at 5 p.m., with a set of gospel standards.

A special concert featuring the Hackett’s will begin at 7 p.m.

The event will also feature an “Early-bird Tune-up Jam” on June 12, beginning at 6 p.m. The tune-up jam, which has become very popular is open to all players and singers.

Admission is free and is non-denominational and open to all ages.

The venue is a comfortable climate-controlled auditorium that will seat an audience of more than 250.

For more information and directions call 870-538-8348 or 870-538-4479.