Like many country musicians, Lewis Duncan started playing guitar and singing at his church in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. His mother played four instruments, leading family jam sessions with his brothers and sisters.
He made a decent living backing country stars in Nashville, but didn’t like the way he was treated, so he started his own band, Country Fever, when he moved to Kingman in 1977.
Country Fever will be ringing in the New Year at 8 p.m. Sunday at VFW Post 10386, one of several New Year’s Eve parties around town.
“I’m getting up in age, so I’m not playing like I used to,” said Duncan, who worked at Avi Resort and Casino in Laughlin. “I’m too old to be out there working every night.”
Following the New Year’s Eve gig, Country Fever plays the Eagles Club on Jan. 12 and Jan. 19, and Avi Casino on Feb. 15-16.
“We work hard, but it’s a passion and you’ve got to have fun,” said Linda Dorado-Corwin, singer and percussionist. “The audience feeds off your energy and I try to put it all out there for them.”
Country Fever draws its set lists from traditional “honky-tonk” songs by the greats like Hank Williams, George Jones and Merle Haggard, along with current country singers, and throws in an occasional rock classic to keep people hopping.
“Once you get on stage and play, I can tell what they want, what they’re dancing to, and I keep it going,” Duncan said.
Originally from California, Corwin was invited to be “guest singer” for Country Fever after meeting some of the band members at Kathryn Heidenreich Adult Center, which hosts Thursday afternoon jam sessions.
“I love getting in the groove with the guys on stage. We just have a blast,” she said. “As long as I can sing, I’ll never quit.”
Among her favorites are the late Dawn Sears and Patsy Cline. She also likes Suzy Bogguss, Martina McBride, Danni Leigh and Reba McIntire.
Other members of Country Fever are Sammy Alvarado, bass; Mark Thompson, lead guitar; and Mike Mueller, drums. Bill Bailey occasionally sits in on steel guitar.
The VFW is at 3036 John L Ave., and is open to the public for New Year’s Eve.
Elsewhere around town
Rickety Cricket Brewing (House of Hops): Keg drop at midnight, specialty beer released at 12:01 a.m., 312 E. Beale St.
Fireside Bar and Lounge: live music by Terry Wayne Project, party favors, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., 1716 Hoover St.
Canyon 66 Restaurant and Lounge: Live music, large dance floor, drink and appetizer specials, free admission, 3100 E. Andy Devine Ave.
Sundowner Saloon: Live music by The Swillers, games and prizes, champagne toast at midnight, free taxi rides, 4400 Stockton Hill Road.
Hualapai Mountain Resort: Live band, filet and lobster dinner special (until 8 p.m.), free appetizers, champagne toast at midnight, 4525 Hualapai Mountain Road.
Castle Rock Bar and Grill: Sing in the New Year with karaoke, pizza and beer specials, 3743 U.S. Highway 93.
Stetson Winery: Bites and Bubbly, catered by Siren’s Café, live music by The Aces, midnight ball drop, $80 a person, 10965 Moonscape Way.
Cerbat Lanes: Music by VJ NeonLeon, DJ L.U.C. and DJ AMK, balloon drop at midnight, 3631 Stockton Hill Road.