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Ted Etheridge from Music Box Studio ready for the Fest
Woodlandstock 2018 is in the books! Months in the making and a year in my thoughts! Many think that this festival is for the community, and it is, but is also for us, the performers to have a day and evening together. A stage to sing and crack jokes from. A chance at being together and enjoying each others music and comedy. Last year's inaugural Woodlandstock 2017 set the tone and anticipation for this year's event! So without further ado, and skipping over the drama that comes with any event coordination, let's talk Woodlandstock 2018! This event is more than a music festival, it is about sharing! Sharing music, ideas and smiles! It is about community, both near and far! It is about working together! It is about the individual stories of those that overcame to be part of this year's shindig!
People have asked me how I got so many performers to perform. How much were they paid one person asked me. Nothing was my answer! They came to sing and play their heart's out for the love of it! There are two kinds of performers, those who want the paycheck and those that love to perform! I prefer the latter, though a paycheck is always nice! So what do I mean by sharing? Well that is easy to answer! Lets start with recruiting for the event, which started six months ago, it was the easiest part of it all. Everyone wanted to be part of the festival, even those who performed last year, but could not this year because of other obligations. However I am not going to bore you with the trivial details, not when just talking about Woodlandstock itself will paint the proper picture! Set up for the day started with an unexpected hand from "Mother Nature" herself by giving us a moderate temperature day, not like last year's boil fest! About noon time when I first stepped onto the field I took a deep breath and mentally prepared for the day and night of who knows what lol.
Surprisingly I was beaten there by Ken Guynn, who not only donated the use of his sound system, and even had it already set up! Woodland mayor Ken Manuel was out and about putting up signs and unlocking bathroom doors! Thank you to Ken Manuel and the town of Woodland for hosting our event! With their recreation fields, stadium lights and zest for community choosing Woodland as our home for this festival is a no brainer! A big thanks to Ted Etheridge from Music Box Studio for running sound through the nine hours of performers! A huge thanks to William Metcalfe for an exhausting nine hours of picture taking! They are beautiful pictures by the way!! A big thanks to Wanda Roberts from "A Touch of Elegance Event Services" for coming with her set up and not only doing macaroni art for the kids, but also having a fun raffle, offering the prize of a pair of tickets to the upcoming, "The King & his Princess - Father & Daughter Dance" happening June 2nd at the Shriner's Club in Murfreesboro! We had some surprise guests in the form of the Rage Wrestlers who hung out with the kids and had a short but funny stage skit. Oh and extra special shout out to Laura Davis who helped me greatly behind the scenes!
Before I get to the performers, I want to thank the community vendors and participants who made the event even more fun. The Cultivator Bookstore from Murfreesboro was there with free books to help their fight against illiteracy! Vidant Hospital came with giveaways for the attendees, the food and drink vendors (or we would have starved), a big save from Barbara of the Grapevine Cafe, the Sheriff's Dept for sending an officer with toy badges, every child became an officer! Fantasy author Leslie Heath who did an impromptu book signing of her work. And lets not forget Chief Ruppe for the safety and reassurance of Woodland PD! If I left anyone out, I apologize!! Okay lets get to the stars of the event, the performers! The show opened with myself as host and part time comedian, which is my favorite thing to do. After all, the pride in my friends both new and old I hope shown thru as my company "Whats Happening Entertainment.com" was the coordinator of the event! Okay okay! Personal plugs are done lol. After a few minutes of flying solo I was joined by my partner in crime "Gator" Ricky Ross, a local comedian and singer who is just a wonderful compliment to any show! After some bantering and goofing we introduced our first performers of the event, a local singer, songwriter who likes to take long walks off short piers, who cried at the ending of Star Wars Phantom Menace, a big part of the music scene here and a good friend to us all! Tyler Maynard!! Tyler pulls a mix of classic standards with a nice blend of alternative and entertains with every song.
by Tim Flanagan
Amazing Photos by William Metcalfe
I had the privilege to introduce the next performer, a young lady who is near and dear to my heart! This young lady is the embodiment of music, from an early age she thought she had super powers, and though I have never seen them myself, she still insists she can fly! Singer song writer, solo and as the lead electric for the band 7100...our friend...Laura Davis! Gator introduced another local favorite, many know him around the Franklin way, from playing for the enjoyment of it at the downtown Franklin Farmer's Market, some might have caught him last year along with Seventy One Hundred at the Iron Order MC event, and a million other venues. This master of calm has a powerful voice, and a serious persona that draws everyone to him! Give it up for Justin Luke McCurry!! Next I had an unexpected discovery in the audience, thanks to a greet from Virginia Beach rocker Shane Graham, I met a very cool retro artist with a warm smile and a hint of mischief, who with very little coercion graciously agreed to do a four song set. At Woodlandstock if you want to perform we will usually accommodate you! Though if you suck, we will cut it short lol! So away she went, I got to introduce, pick up music sheets for and find her a music stand...all the way from the Virginia Beach way...Riescha Bass! Thanks for ending the set with "Whats Up"!
The next performer I have never heard perform. I met her for the first time on the field, as I approached her a huge smile and kind eyes glanced my way. I was hooked, her energy was already busting through, wow, what will she be like on stage I thought. Well without further ado, to perform a genre of music I was excited to have added to our music festival...gospel baby! Give a huge welcome to Nicole Boone! What a powerful voice, a good story teller and she sang with emotion! I hope she joins us again next year. Great job Nicole!! With a tough act to follow, Gator introduced, a woman we affectionately refer to as the "golden voice"! All the way from Rocky Mount, the lady with down to earth Janis Joplin style, and a vocal versatility to make any singer jealous... Sharon Hackney! Next up I had the honor of introducing, from Virginia Beach way, a band rocker turned solo rocker, a man with an amazing resume, he has a gritty sound and a rock star energy...Shane Graham. I had Shane on my morning show on WDLZ 98.3 a few weeks back, and found a kindred spirit. Great set dude! Of course many of the artists performing in this festival have graced me on the morning show, many have played live acoustic of their originals! Heck Kevin Cribb and Laura Davis are co hosts on Thursday and Friday. Make sure to catch them!
In Order of Stage Appearance
So I am walking around the field troubleshooting, and trying to scratch my itchy eyes. Tyler comes up and asks if his friend Jacob could go up and perform a couple of songs with him, I am like sure! Now this young man was very affable, especially sporting one of the sheriff badges, so we nick named him Deputy Beale, so Tyler and the Jacob went up and rocked it! Good job guys, they were very cohesive, it was almost like they played together before! I stayed close to stage to spell Gator, who broke a bone a few days back and was dealing with pain. He is my super hero! Next up were a couple duo I caught a few years back at the Moyock Music Festival! After talking via Facebook for about a year and half, got them a few gigs at Don Panchos but could not make either event, so when they said yes to performing Woodlandstock...yippee! Ladies and gentlemen, welcome from Virginia Beach...Diamond and V! V's guitar style, loved it! Diamond is just so darn cute, can sing and has a look about her, plus she sports a red head, and obviously I like red heads lol. Enjoyed hearing their set, they made many new friends and contacts, it was nice to have had them come! Big shout out to my man Gator Ricky Ross who was joined on stage by Laura Davis and took us all by surprise with amazing renditions of Pride and Joy, Kiss and Every rose has it's thorn! Great job buddy!
Band Time! Moving from mostly solo performers to the three bands closing the show. First up was a wonderfully talented harmonious band named the Fueson Brothers & Co, that layed out a nice mix of classics and originals! They were highly recommended but never heard, but trusting the referral made it an easy pick, but to be surprised by how together and fluid they were was a treat! Lead singer Zoe Knill had one heck of a set of pipes on her! The guitar work, bass lines, drum timing and alternating harmony vocals...yeah dawg! The band is made up of a down right nice bunch of people! Jerry Parks on Lead Guitar, Robby Weber on Bass Guitar and Vocals, Darren Fueston with Lead Vocals & Guitar and David Fueston on Drums and Vocals! Awesome!!
Kevin Cribb - Seventy One Hundred
A Special big thanks to our What's Happening Entertainment sponsors and supporters who make community events like this possible! Ace of Ahoskie & Murfreesboro. Roanoke Valley Insurance of Ahoskie. A Touch of Elegance Event Services. Grayfox Electronics in downtown Franklin. Holmes Automotive & Performance in downtown Franklin. The Flanagan House Bed & Breakfast. Godwin's Country Meats in Ahoskie. WDLZ 98.3 in Murfreesboro. Mike's Auto Body Shop in Ahoskie and Liberty Coin Dealer in downtown Franklin. Thank you so much!!!
Band two are my friends Seventy One Hundred, which is made up of Kevin Cribb on lead vocals and lead acoustic guitar, Laura Davis on lead electric, Lee Thompson on bass guitar, JT Surace on electric guitar, and Shelton Walton on drums! The only problem, Shelton had a previous obligation. So they came and did a somewhat tamed down set with Kevin utilizing his sister Susan Westbrook who came in and shook it up with bongos, it changed their tempo and feel of all my favorites, and enjoyed it immensely! Their set list included Folsom Prison Blues an already popular standard that they nicely made their own! They performed several songs off their "Show Me" EP including my favorite "Homegrown"! Good job Seventy One Hundred!
Closing out the night is a local fan favorite...the rock band Countersuit, who is made up by lead vocals and guitar Bill Waugh, lead electric guitar and vocals Matt Godsey, and drummer and vocals Johnathan Sharpe! I have see Bill perform solo many times, but have never seen Countersuit! I am glad I did! Bill Waugh's manly singing style, Johnathan's commanding drum beats and Matt's lead guitar work and vocals kicked butt! Loved Matt's bare naked "magic foot" as shown in the photo. Also enjoyed the bands throw back hair nation meets alternative look. They received a lot of Facebook live views as I watched people click in to see the performances broadcast on Whats Happening! Countersuit is a definite gotta come back band! Thank you guys.