Forest City is fixing to rock.
Over the next two weeks, the town is sponsoring the Cherry Bounce festival and Alive After Five featuring music, food, and splash pads in the new POPS just off Main Street downtown.
Cherry Bounce gets underway with the IBMA award winning band, Balsam Range. According to the band's website, The 2018 International Bluegrass Music Association's Entertainer of the Year, Balsam Range, has become one of the genre's most award-winning acts. Since forming in 2007, the group has garnered 13 IBMA awards on the heels of eight critically-acclaimed albums.
The Balsam Range concert begins at 7 p.m. Friday.
According to Rolling Stone Magazine's reviewer David Menconi, "Balsam Range crosses plenty of boundaries, hitting a deft balance between the revered traditions of old-school bluegrass and the hopped-up eclecticism of contemporary newgrass."
Calling Haywood County home, the band tours throughout the United States and plays in the vaulted heights of the best venues and its award-winning record hints that the Friday night show will please.
Concessions will be available and local cooks promise dishes will be on hand with a cherry theme in the park and all along Main Street.
The second day of the Cherry Bounce Festival is from 10 a.m. -7 p.m. Saturday. The festival includes regional art vendors and live music from The Grit Lickers, The JackTown Ramblers, Wiregrass, and David Childers and the Serpents. Josh Owens from the show "Moonshiners" will be on hand from Noon until 3 p.m. signing autographs. Concessions will be available. Local Main Street businesses and restaurants will offer cherry-inspired dishes and beverages on Saturday as well.
According to the Facebook page for The Grit Lickers, a Boone duo, "The Grit Lickers met while living in the mountains of western North Carolina. Their musical tastes brought them together like a bundle of twigs on a cold Appalachian night. Their sound is rooted in tradition, ingrained with progression and is relentless as a freight train. Their steam-powered live show is full of punch and vigor, and aims at keeping the audience dancing, as well as listening."
The JackTown Ramblers Perform live bluegrass, swing and gypsy jazz music with an entertaining stage show and high caliber musicianship.
Wiregrass is based in Ellenboro and features Brad Davis. According to the Band's website, "Brad has been playing bass and guitar for over 35 years covering many different styles of music including country, rock, blues, pop, gospel, bluegrass, and more. Although he has no formal musical training, his love of music and performing onstage has guided him through. Brad's earliest influences were his parents who each had totally different tastes in music. His dad enjoyed country and western music such as Hank Williams Sr. and Johnny Cash, while his mom preferred rock by groups like The Beatles and Creedence Clearwater Revival. Somehow they found a common ground in that they both loved bluegrass music. With such a diverse musical background, it's not surprising that he would begin to develop the ability to play a wide variety.
"Growing up in Ellenboro offered little opportunity for aspiring musicians. So, at 18, Brad traveled and for the next 10 years played in music halls and dance clubs along the east coast and midwest. After working in places like Atlanta, Joplin, Tampa and Nashville, Brad has come full circle and once again calls Ellenboro home."
The other Wiregrass members are Jamie Harrison, Scott Lail, Jeremy Green, and Tyler Leonard.
Rounding out Saturday's lineup is David Childers and The Serpents. Dolph Ramseur wrote of Childers, "I first saw David Childers perform on a hot, humid night in July 2000 at the legendary Double Door Inn in Charlotte. Most of the songs he performed that evening were filled with the subject matter of Jesus, damnation, salvation, the devil, forgiveness, and redemption. I will never, ever forget it. It was such an inspiration that the next day I wrote David a personal letter asking him if we could make a record together about those things he was singing about. We have been friends ever since. No record or manager contract. Just a handshake. It is my hope David's greatness as a songwriter and artist will be recognized and appreciated by many in years to come. Please lend an ear to his latest release, 'Serpents of Reformation,' and experience for yourself the same power that moved me so, that mesmerizing summer night some 14 years ago." Childers is from Piedmont.
The following Thursday, June 20, at 5 p.m. Fantasy will rock the POPS with a high energy beach, motown, R&B show that has literally toured the world. The band's press material claims the show is beyond your wildest fantasy.
Alive after Five is a feature set for third Thursdays to help local folks unwind to great music, food and opportunities to fellowship with friends and neighbors.
For more info visit the Town Of Forest City's website or the sites of any of the bands.