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SHERIDAN — You name it, they play it.
That’s the basic premise behind a night of entertainment with the Dueling Duo, a lively musical act to be featured at Sheridan Rotary’s fundraiser Jan. 27.
The Dueling Duo calls itself the “World’s Largest Pair” since it’s actually a threesome — Ryno Merriam and Andy Gibson on dueling pianos and Dan Witte on fiddle and saxophone. The group has been together seven years, Gibson said, making full-time work out of fulfilling audience members’ every musical request around the Midwest.
“The Devil Went Down to Georgia”? Yes, they play that.
“Greased Lightning” from the hit musical “Grease”? Only if people let loose and do the choreographed dance.
Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban? Sure, no problem.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” sung in the voice of Elmo? It’s been done before…for a generous donation.
“We never know what’s coming. We’ve learned to just roll with it,” Gibson said.
For approximately 90 percent of any show, the group plays by ear or memory. For the other 10 percent, they will pull up music or lyrics on an iPad and pull off an entertaining rendition. They add beat boxing, acapella singing and drum rhythms played by Gibson on his keyboard to keep the music fresh. The ultimate goal of every show is simple: to have fun.
“They are incredibly energetic, just great entertainers and amazing musicians. It’s impossible to stump them,” Sheridan Memorial Hospital Compliance Officer Lynn Smith said.
Smith has attended several Dueling Duo shows the last couple years, enjoying the opportunity to let loose, dance and see what crazy requests will be fulfilled. One of the most surprising she’s heard was Steve Martin’s “I’m Picking Out a Thermos for You” from the movie, “The Jerk.”
“I feel like I’m some kind of weird fan girl or something,” Smith said with a laugh.
Smith’s advice to make the most of the evening? Come with cash — requests accompanied by $5, $10 or $20 bills have a better chance of getting played, and the money is split between the performers and the fundraiser cause — and be ready to sing and dance along. It’s also a good idea to have a few songs in mind that you’d like to throw in for consideration.
Event organizer Sasha Johnston said money raised at this year’s fundraiser — the third annual with the Dueling Duo — will support scholarships for local youth to attend Rotary Youth Leadership Awards leadership camps in 2017. Since 2017 is the 100-year anniversary for Rotary, funds will also support a special anniversary project.
Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. Jan. 27 at the Kalif Shrine, 145 W. Loucks St. Tickets are $50 in advance, on sale now at Barney & Graham, LLC, located at 247 Coffeen Ave., and Sheridan County Title Insurance Agency, located at 23 S. Main St. The event will include a raffle, appetizers and cocktails. For more information, call Johnston at 672-6478 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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