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Strand to host concert Saturday

The Pride of Atmore is continuing its fundraising efforts for the next renovation phase of the Strand Theatre by holding a concert Saturday night featuring Mobile band, 5:50 Express.

Bub Gideons, president of Pride of Atmore, said the concert will help provide funds to replace the front of the Strand and the new marquee, which is the second phase of renovation efforts of the theatre.

“We’re hoping that people will turn out,” Gideons said. “I know it’s the summer and right before school starts.”

Last November, the Strand completed work on its roof. Once that was complete, efforts shifted toward the front of the building, Gideons said.

Gideons said one reason this concert is special is that 5:50 Express is playing the concert for free.

“We’re just glad to be able to find a means to bring the arts to compliment, and also bring a quality of light entertainment to Atmore so you don’t have to go to Pensacola,” he said. “The goal is $100-125,000 to have a period marquee, and 5:50 Express is helping us do it.”

5:50 Express is a three-piece band based out of Mobile.

Vocalist and guitarist Eddie Rowell said the band plays just about anything.

“We play some classics, with a little train, rock and blues,” Rowell said. “We do anything from Rick Springfield to Dwight Yoakam. We do a wide variety of stuff.”

The band is comprised of drummer and vocalist, Mike Poulton; and bassist Randy Lemons, along with Rowell.

Rowell said during the performance, which starts at 7 p.m., a special guest, Robbie Durr, will come on stage to sing with the band.

The origin of the band’s name came out of nowhere, Rowell said.

“5:50 really didn’t mean anything,” he said. “It just kind of came to me. The express part came to us because where we were practicing or playing, we had to travel. Mike has to come to Monroeville, or Randy and I run to Mobile. We’re burning the road up like an express. It means absolutely nothing. It just kind of stuck around.”

Rowell said Lemons and himself have a personal connection to the Strand, and playing for free is the least they could do.

“It’s an honor to be a part of something that is kind of keeping something going,” Rowell said. “Randy and I went there and saw movies.

“We’re excited about it,” he said. “We’re hoping for a good crowd. It’s going to be a fun time because we’re going to make it a fun time.”