A Cocolalla man planning a series of concerts in his hayfield has not only hit a sour note with Bonner County officials but with one of his would-be performers.
Rhythm and blues legend Sam “the Soul Man” Moore, of Sam & Dave, canceled his appearance at Les Kuty’s ranch for July 26, saying Kuty has failed to make promised payments to him and his band.
“He signed the contract but never did what the contract called for,” Joyce Moore, Sam Moore’s wife and manager said Tuesday. “He never sent the money. He kept saying it was on its way. I have a stack of correspondence back and forth.”
Kuty could not be reached late Tuesday.
The band already bought plane tickets, Moore said, but will not show up without being paid by Kuty. Moore also has hired an attorney to deal with Kuty.
“I’m sitting on several thousand dollars in plane tickets,” she said. “It looks like we are eating them, and I can’t find out what sauce to put on them to make them palatable.”
Kuty has advertised and is selling tickets for three weekends of concerts at his 100-acre ranch south of Sandpoint. The county has told Kuty he needs a special use permit and specific plans to handle traffic, sanitation and fire protection if he wants to have the shows.
For a month Kuty has wrangled with the county over the permit. He says he doesn’t need one because he only expects 400 people at his concerts which is supposed to include a performance by Willie Nelson. According to county law, if there are 400 or fewer patrons, no permit is needed.
Civil attorney John Topp said Kuty is trying to skirt the law. He asked a judge to stop the shows. A court hearing is slated for July 22.
County officials and others have questioned whether Kuty has actually booked the acts he advertised on a flier. His promotional material said Ricky Skaggs and Doug Kershaw are booked to appear. Last week, Kuty’s ticket office at the ranch said Skaggs canceled.
Kuty has claimed the county is conspiring against him and that his performers are canceling because of threats on their lives and the red tape about permits.
Moore said the county had nothing to do with it. Kuty defaulted on the contract and used her husband’s name and photograph to advertise before finalizing the show. That amounts to false advertising, she said.
“Money aside, there’s a very serious problem,” Joyce Moore added. “It’s the unacceptable practice of selling tickets to something that is not going to happen. It looks bad for Sam and we are really unhappy about it.”
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