It's not John Schneider's first rodeo, but it's special nonetheless.

The actor/producer/country singer who now calls Holden home will give a couple of two-hour concerts at the Angola Prison Rodeo on Sunday, Oct. 20 and Sunday, Oct. 27.

At this weekend's acoustic show, Schneider will play guitar and sing, backed by Nashville, Tennessee, harmonica player, Tim Gonzales, once called the "Carlos Santana of Harmonica." Gonzales previously played at the 59-year-old Schneider's annual "Bo's Extravaganza" birthday celebration at his Holden studios.

On Oct. 27, Schneider will perform with his whole band.

"I'm excited about it. We'll play on stage right outside the arena," Schneider said Monday from Nashville, where he's cutting songs for his next album.

The former "Dukes of Hazzard" star said today's audience can expect to hear some of his old hits like "I've Been Around Enough to Know," "Country Girls" and "Love, You Ain't Seen the Last of Me," as well as selections from his recent "Redneck Rebel" album.

"Some bluesy, Southern delta rock," as he described it.

Next week, he and the band will focus on songs from "Redneck Rebel," including "Backwoods Soul," "Nanner Puddin'" and "Stoned on the One."

"I've always wanted to go to the rodeo because the first movie I ever made was called 'Eddie Macon's Run' (1983) and I was in a prison rodeo in Huntsville, in Texas, in the movie." Schneider said. "And I've been hearing about the Angola Prison Rodeo since I came here in 2007."

After playing a concert for inmates and guards and touring the Angola facility last year, Schneider said he learned about the penitentiary's inmate rehabilitation efforts. Proceeds from the annual rodeo and Schneider's concert will go to the prison to assist with such efforts.

"There's an amazing thing going on at Angola … it's a faith-based program, it's a character-driven program inside the prison," Schneider said. "And once you've been in it for two years, you're transferred to another prison to start that program anew in another prison. It's been largely responsible, from what I can glean, for turning one of the considered most dangerous prisons in the country into one of the best, if not the best.

"It changed my whole outlook on the penal system, on the people in it, and on the plan that helps people, who know they're going to be where they are for a long time, want to be better people," he said. "What this program has done is it's given a purpose to people who have done something they will be paying for, in many cases, for the rest of their lives. It's a remarkable thing.

"Perhaps we're seeing people at their best," he added, "but it is really impressive."

Schneider said rodeo attendees should be ready to have their perspectives changed.

"It's gonna be fun. … And I love a corndog, so you know."


John Schneider in Concert

WHEN: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays, Oct. 20 and 27

WHERE: Angola Prison Rodeo, 10000 La. 66, Tunica

TICKETS/MORE INFO: $20 at angolarodeo.com

Email Judy Bergeron at jbergeron@theadvocate.com.