The Blue Sky Songtellers concert series and fundraiser returns to Sherman next weekend, and country music lovers are invited to hear from both internationally-recognized and local artists as they perform and discuss the inspiration behind their songs.


The first concert in the two-part series will be held next Saturday at Kidd-Key Auditorium at 7 p.m. and feature artists Jason Allen, Jody Booth and local father-daughter duo Phillip and Cara Wildman. All of Saturday’s chosen artists hail from Texas, and all ticket sales will be used to benefit the Sherman Police Association and Sherman Firefighters Association.


“It’s going to be a lot of fun and there will be a lot of good music,” concert organizer Scott Shadden said. “And of course we can’t say enough about the artists, the police and firefighters. They’re all just great people.”


With six albums to his name, Jason Allen has amassed a number of hit singles and has written songs for other well-known artists, including Kevin Fowler, Kyle Park and Jon Wolfe.


“Jason’s been playing since he was seven years old,” Shadden said. “Hard to imagine a little seven-year-old boy playing in a honky tonk, but soon as he opened up his guitar case, people started to put money in there, and that’s how he got his start. Most of his songs are true stories. It may be a story from his life or somebody else’s, but he’ll tell us all about that.”


Jody Booth hails from a long line of musicians and within his music can be heard the influences of George Jones, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard and even his own mother. His songs include “Love as Hard as You Can,” “Gold Digger” and “Carolina.”


“Jody’s got some great songs,” Shadden said. “He sings from the heart, about hard times and good times, and he writes songs about them all.”


Dorchester resident Phillip Wildman is known to many in Grayson County as a dedicated rancher, but his musical skills have also taken him to major venues such as the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Cara Wildman is an accomplished percussionist, pianist, dancer and bodhrán player. Her work has led her to perform with groups in the U.S., Argentina and Ireland.


“They’re great people and they’ve got a great musical chemistry,” Shadden said. “You’ll definitely see that when they’re up on that stage together.”


Tickets are only available for purchase online at www.outhousetickets.com and will not be sold at the door. Kidd-Key Auditorium is located within the Sherman Municipal Building, at 405 N. Rusk Street. A second concert will be held at the same venue on August 10 at 7 p.m.. For additional information, visit the Blue Sky Songtellers Facebook page.


“Don’t miss it this year,” Shadden said. “Come on out.”


Drew Smith is a reporter for the Herald Democrat. Contact him at asmith@heralddemocrat.com.