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Friday, October 19, 2018
LEFT: Dean Simmons performs his tribute show to country musician Garth Brooks at the Alburtis Tavern Jan. 21. BELOW: Terry Bender joins Dean Simmons for a photo at Alburtis Tavern Jan. 21 following a performance by Simmons.PRESS PHOTOS BY LORETTA FENSTERMACHER LEFT: Dean Simmons performs his tribute show to country musician Garth Brooks at the Alburtis Tavern Jan. 21. BELOW: Terry Bender joins Dean Simmons for a photo at Alburtis Tavern Jan. 21 following a performance by Simmons.PRESS PHOTOS BY LORETTA FENSTERMACHER
Terry Bender joins Dean Simmons for a photo at Alburtis Tavern Jan. 21 following a performance by Simmons. Terry Bender joins Dean Simmons for a photo at Alburtis Tavern Jan. 21 following a performance by Simmons.

Garth Brooks tribute show draws country music fans

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 by LORETTA FENSTERMACHER Special to The Press in Local News

Country music fans enjoyed a Garth Brooks tribute show at Alburtis Tavern Jan. 21.

Garth Guy, starring Dean Simmons, gave an outstanding performance. Audience members were clapping, whooping and singing along during the 90-minute show.

With high energy, Simmons really worked the crowd. He looked like, moved like, sang like and even talked like Garth Brooks. A gracious performer, he honored requests from the audience, even a song by another country singer, to please the crowd. Following his last song, “Friends in Low Places,” Simmons returned for an encore.

After the show, Simmons happily posed for photos with fans.

Simmons, a third generation country musician, singer and writer, has been performing since he was seven years old, playing guitar in his father’s band. Growing up with his granddad, dad and uncle, who were all performers, he aimed to follow in their footsteps.

His granddad, Buddy Simmons of the group “Buddy Simmons and The Drifters,” was considered a country music pioneer. The family lived in Portland, Ore., a hotspot for country music at the time. Eventually the family moved to Memphis, Tenn. and ended up in Las Vegas.

A lover of Garth Brooks music, Dean Simmons learned all of the musician’s songs and was told he had a strong resemblance to Brooks when he sang, so as a tribute to Brooks he created and has performed as Garth Guy for 23 years.

“My favorite thing is connecting with the audience,” Simmons said.

Simmons is married and his 19-year-old son is going into the U.S. Air Force. Simmons has performed in nightclubs, at fairs and festivals throughout the Pacific Northwest. He performed for military servicemen and women in the Far East, the Caribbean, the South Pacific and the U.S. He recently traveled to Australia for a six-week tour with other country music performers.

Terry Bender, the owner of the Alburtis Tavern, flew Simmons from Las Vegas where he currently performs and lives.

“I’m impressed with what Terry has done with this place and what he does here,” Simmons said.