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Goldwing-Express_DSC_0057One of the hottest new bluegrass/gospel/country music/comedy groups in the Rio Grande Valley is Goldwing Express, a former Branson show that is taking the Valley by storm.

With a packed tour schedule of performances all across the Valley, this ensemble performed Friday at the Border Theater in Mission, where we caught one of their shows.

The group consists of a father, Bob Baldridge, and his three sons, Paul, Steven and Shawn, who are half Creek Indian. They are highly talented and put on a high-energy show. They have been performing together for 30 years across the United States and Canada.

Dad sings lead and emcees the show while Paul plays guitar, Steven picks a mean banjo and plays dobro, and Shawn plays stand-up bass and sings bass. In 2003, they won the Midwest Division for Entertaining Bluegrass Band of the Year presented by the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America.Goldwing-Express_DSC_0055

Pop does a little yodeling and emcees the jokes. He tells Texans present that Texas is simply a suburb of Oklahoma, which is where they originally come from. He sings songs like “Strutting in the Streets of Mission, Texas,” and other humorous tunes.

Shawn is known for his train whistle sound vocals, which truly sounds authentic. He sings deep bass and loves to sing Don Williams and Conway Twitty songs.

When not picking a mean tune on his banjo, Steven plays songs like “Whoa Mule, Whoa,” and makes all sorts of unusual sounds by sliding or pinching strings on the banjo that add to the enjoyment of the program. He is also an accomplished dobro player.

Paul plays guitar and sings harmony.

They ended their show at the Border Theater with a tribute to their Native American heritage and to veterans.

Goldwing-Express_DSC_0052A hand survey showed that many members of the audience had already seen them before and had come back to see their show again.

In a surprise move, Goldwing Express announced they would honor their commitments to the parks this year, but when they return in 2012 they will rent the Border Theatre in Mission for 2 p.m. matinees during the month of January. By doing this they will be able to set up acoustical equipment that will give their performances the rich sound of their shows that were held in the theaters in Branson.

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