VILONIA — Tall for his age and unassuming, Drake Toll looks completely comfortable in a football jersey with a banjo on his knee.
The Vilonia Middle School fifth-grader began playing the banjo at age 8. He’s 11 now, and the straight A student loves the stage just like he loves playing football.
Toll will be on stage Saturday night to open a concert to benefit Vilonia’s new Museum of Veterans and Military History. The show will start at 6 when Toll opens for the One Way Road Band. He said his song list will include "Up on Cripple Creek," "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" and "I’ll Fly Away," which are among his favorites.
The One Way Road Band members are Dean Barton, Diggit Johnson, Bob McGinty and Ben Comer. The band’s music ranges from country to soft rock to patriotic tunes.
Barton, the group’s lead singer and guitarist, is a more contemporary country boy with songs from such artists as Jason Aldean, Travis Tritt, Kenny Chesney, Zack Brown and Garth Brooks. Johnson, the lead guitarist and a vocalist, will include songs from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Tom Petty, Poison, Bon Jovi and more. McGinty, considered by some as one of the best bass players in this area, wears many hats. Comer, the drummer, is in the Air Force.
One band member described the group as "country meets rock, potatoes meets gravy."
The event will be held at the Bill Jones Roping Arena on Highway 64. Tickets at the gate are $10. Veterans with identification and children under 5 will be admitted free.
Prior to the concert, the 501 Area Code Talent Quest will be held at 3 p.m., with several local entertainers vying for the title. The winner will perform on stage with The One Way Road Band.
Toll also will perform during the talent show intermission.
The Museum of Veterans and Military History is scheduled to open on Veterans Day.