Leesville, LA. Grant Blakeney is known for owning local businesses like Fox's Pizza in Leesville, but after the Leesville Lions Club Rodeo on October 7th, a video of his fiddle rendition of the National Anthem would resonate on Facebook. Since that Saturday, the post has been shared one thousand times with nearly 60 thousand views.
Grant Blakeney plays a fiddle version of the National Anthem on the violin at the Leesville Lion's Club Rodeo Saturday night, Oct. 7th. (KALB)
"It was an honor, it was overwhelming," said Blakeney. He joked that he wishes he had practiced a little more since it's been seen so many times.
It started years ago in New Orleans. Blakeney says he wanted to play the violin after hearing a teacher play the Star Wars Theme song.
Although he's played at weddings and funerals over the years, Blakeney says he's never played the National Anthem on the violin.
"(I was) a little bit rusty and definitely was a little bit nervous. (I) had shoulder surgery about a year ago and it's made it different and a little bit harder to play but I still love it."
Despite the mistakes perhaps only a trained ear would catch, Blakeney said he's humbled by the positive feedback. The post has at least a hundred comments.
"It was overwhelming to see the number of people. I read a lot of the comments. My wife shared those with me and we read those together and I was floored. Just showing what the song means to so many people and how moving the song itself is."
Playing the violin may not be Blakeney's day job, but his Saturday night performance continues to captivate listeners.
Blakeney was asked to play the National Anthem by a member of the Leesville Lion's Club. Since then he's been asked to play the fiddle rendition at an event in Natchitoches.