Hope’s Night Owl Country Band is ushering in the holiday season with their annual holiday concert at WILLow LeaVes of Hope at 6 p.m. Saturday.
Following a virtual performance last year due to the pandemic, the guys are looking forward to playing live and in-person this year, says lead singer Matt Lee.

“We love playing at WILLow LeaVes,” Lee says. “It has become an annual thing to play the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Being able to play WILLow LeaVes and coming back home, we are really looking forward to it.”

Saturday evening’s show is a bit different from the norm, Lee admits. More laid back in its ambiance, the evening’s acoustic set will feature a range of NOCB favorites, as well as a few new tunes, and some holiday favorites, Lee says.

The casual nature of the show also allows for some play in the set list for improvisation, he adds.

“We also tell stories from the road that we’ve had over the past year,” Lee says.

As 2021 marks the sixth anniversary of the band’s founding, there will definitely be plenty of stories to share, Lee adds.

Guitarist Brett Denney says WILLow LeaVes is always a venue he looks forward to playing for many reasons.

“I love that place,” Denney says. “That is a totally different place, very intimate. We are really up close and they keep the lights on. It is fun to interact with the audience there.”

Vickie Tedder, co-owner of WILLow LeaVes, says tickets are already selling well and it looks like it will be a wonderful evening as she and the staff of WILLow LeaVes are certainly looking forward to welcoming the NOCB guys back for this holiday performance, she says.

“It is always relaxing for us,” Tedder says. “We like to sit down and listen to their music.”

Additionally, this show affords fans the opportunity to bring family who, up to now, may not have heard or had an opportunity to catch the band live and what a better introduction to the NOCB than via the intimate setting of the WILLow LeaVes stage.

“It is one where family comes in early for Thanksgiving the weekend before,” Lee says. “They can all come and join in the fun at WILLow LeaVes.”

The show’s set list will likely be a festive cornucopia of outlaw country favorites with a few surprises in between, the guys say. And, don’t forget the timeless holiday favorites, like Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas.”

“This is one of the few places we get to add some of the gospel songs, too,” Denney says. “The people enjoy hearing our gospel stuff. We will probably perform ‘I’ll Live in Glory,’ which is the one we performed on the Grand Ole Opry stage [in Nashville], so it will be fun to do that one again.”

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and dinner follows at 6 p.m. with the show at 7 p.m., Tedder says.

As always, Lee and the guys are looking forward to seeing new and long-time fans and celebrating this unique kickoff to the most wonderful time of the year.

“This show, playing at WILLow LeaVes for this show feels different than other shows,”

Lee says. “It feels at home, all warm and toasty.”