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Tunes in Thomson: Denim and Diamonds is Friday night

While the dress code this week at the Augusta National Golf Club is khakis and collars, the annual Chamber of Commerce concert in Thomson will be all country with class. "Denim and Diamonds" tomorrow night at 1810 Country Inn and Winery will feature Georgia's number one country band, 17 South.

The local band recently tied for first place as 2008 Georgia Country Band of the Year out of 25 nominated bands by

"Not only is 17 South as talented and entertaining as any band in the nation, the class and professionalism they have shown in their community is one of the things that will keep them in a successful career in music for years to come," said Allen Coefield, the president of the Georgia Country Music Association.

The winners of the contest are selected by both readers' and staff votes, which are based on recent CD quality and popularity, media relations of the artist, the number and quality of performances, and how well the band represents the state of Georgia.

"Without a doubt, 17 South sets the standard," Mr. Coefield said.

Described as high-energy country-rock, the band has opened for big names such as Tracy Lawrence, T. Graham Brown, Shenandoah, Toby Keith, Trace Adkins and Augusta natives Lady Antebellum.

Denim and Diamonds is the Chamber's revised version of their annual Beach Blast, which they've held for eight years. The concert is a bring-your-own-chair outdoor event. Forward McDuffie Director Mike Carrington said the big stage will be set up and a tally-ho wagon will take people from the lit parking lot to the event.

"We are just trying it with a country flair this year," Mr. Carrington said. "And we're hoping for good weather."

A new note this year is the addition of corporate tables. Any company may purchase a table for eight for $150 that will give them prime seating for the concert.

"We set the table and chairs up and you have a good spot," Mr. Carrington said. "We are doing this for companies that want to come to the concert and not have to do anything but just show up."

Although no coolers are allowed, food will be available from Poppa's Finest Barbecue and 1810 will have beer, wine and sodas available for purchase. The gates will open at 7 p.m. and the concert begins at dark on Friday, April 11. Tickets are $10 and are available at the gate. 1810 Country Inn and Winery is on Seymour Drive off of Washington Road at I-20. Call the Chamber office at 706-597-1000 for more info.

The Camellia Sponsor of the event is Stokes-Hodges of Thomson. Other sponsors include Milsco Manufacturing Co, Anthony Auto Sales, Inc., the Activities Council of Thomson, the Thomson-McDuffie Tourism Board, Williams Sewer and Drain, Poppas Finest Bar-b-que, The McDuffie Mirror and Jimmy and Dena's Body Shop.

Web posted on Thursday, April 10, 2008

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