One of Ozark Mountain Country’s most popular entertainers is set to take center stage as “Clay Cooper Country Express” standout Matt Gumm will host “Matt Gumm & Company,” a special variety show on Labor Day, Sept. 2 featuring himself, Thom “Gabby,” Sandy and Jamie Gumm, Travis Spratt, and the Country Express Band.
According to a release, this will be an “over-the-top, all-ages, family-friendly, variety show”” featuring two hours of comedy, impersonations, and “power-house vocals” backed by Branson’s most talented band from Clay Cooper’s Country Express.
“To share the stage with my family and friends again, at my home theatre in Branson, is truly a dream come true,” Gumm said in a release. “It’s the best of both worlds.”
Gumm, a comedian, singer and musician, is originally from Lake of the Ozarks and got his start watching, then performing alongside, his father, “Gabby” Gumm, who has been a comedian for nearly 60 years.
“When I was 13, they put me in the show full time,” he said. “After I went to (Southwest Missouri State University) for a year, I got a call from Lee Mace’s Ozark Opry at Lake of the Ozarks. That show was an institution.
“I was there for five years and learned so much. I call it my ‘Comedy College Years.’”
Gumm returned to work alongside his parents in 2003, and three years later, Clay Cooper was on vacation and caught Gumm’s act.
“He called me up the next day and asked me if I wanted to work with him in Branson,” Gumm said. “And I’ve been here ever since, and I just love it.”
Joining Matt is his father “Gabby” Gumm, who is celebrating his 50th year of bringing laughter and joy to the Lakes region. The younger Gumm attributes all he’s learned throughout his comedy and musical career to his father, and seeing them share the stage together in Branson is most assuredly something that doesn’t happen very often.
Along with Matt and Thom, Sandy Gumm, who is celebrating her 47 years performing in live music shows, brings her vocals, musicianship, and “an anointed spirit” through her emcee work and “contagious smile.”
Rounding out the lineup of Gumms is Matt’s sister Jamie, who delivers the aforementioned “power-house vocals.”
Finally, standout vocalist and Branson standout Travis Spratt is joining the show. Spratt performed with the elder Gumms at Lake of the Ozarks before moving to Branson, and he’s more like family than a friend. He sang lead with the Pierce Arrow vocal group for the last four years, and is now pursuing his music ministry full time along with other business ventures.
Backing the Gumm family will be The Country Express Band, led by Musical Director RP Harrell, who also happens to be Matt’s father-in-law.
“He will keep your toes tappin’ and the energy flowing,” Gumm said in a release. “These musicians are the best of the best, and having backed Clay Cooper for the last many years, they know what it takes to put on a stellar production. We’re thrilled to have their support.
“For the last 14 years, Clay and Tina Cooper have been two of my biggest fans, cheering me on and spurring me on to be greater. To perform his show, on their stage, is gracious and exciting.”
Tickets available by calling the Clay Cooper Theatre box office at 417-332-2529, and there are also special rates for locals.
Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 2.