Franklin County Agricultural Fair Offers Diverse Musical Performances
Attendees to the 2017 Franklin County Agricultural Fair were entertained and treated to a range of musical styles performing on the Harvester Stage during fair week at the Franklin County Recreation Park, 2150 Sontag Road in Rocky Mount. The Harvester Stage, sponsored by Harvester Performance Center, featured a dynamic lineup of six professional bands and community musicians.
The bands that performed on the Harvester Stage are: Latin Clave, Sons of Thunder, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Franklin County JAM students, Groova Scape, Matt Powell, and Julie Roberts.
Latin Clave is formed by a group of dedicated musicians in Roanoke, Virginia. Experience their fun energetic performance of upbeat Salsa, Cumbia, Bachata, Merengue & Latin Jazz.
Sons of Thunder
Son’s of Thunder – Roanoke’s newest most exciting Gospel group will uplift you with their rich, melodic voices. With many years of experience within the group, they have performed with many of Gospels greats.
Mason Creek features four artists of traditional, acoustic,bluegrass music. Based out of the Roanoke Valley area, Mason Creek cites their many local and legendary musical influences. The band is able to journey into a realm of their own, while still maintaining the spirit of sounds created within the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.
Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out
Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out is celebrating 25 years of making ground-breaking music. Moore is the International Bluegrass Music Association’s most awarded male vocalist, taking home the award a record five times. As journalist Jon Weisberger recently stated, “…it’s more than just longevity that gets Russell Moore’s name out front. The man is, to put it simply, one of the finest singers you’ll ever hear, and he makes it seem positively effortless.” Joined by four unequivocally talented musicians with Wayne Benson on mandolin, Justen Haynes on fiddle, Keith McKinnon on banjo, and Jerry Cole on bass, this band continues to bring fresh music to the ears while staying true to the tradition that has made them an industry favorite for over two decades.
Franklin County JAM Showcase
Franklin County JAM (Junior Appalachian Musicians) is a program that began in 2014, and is made possible by the Smith Mountain Arts Council. The program is held for 4-8 grade elementary and middle students at the Essig Center in Rocky Mount on Tuesdays from 4:30 – 6:00. Franklin County JAM currently offers instruction on fiddle, banjo and guitar.
Groova Scape brings a fresh, powerful vibe to their bluesy shows, which are always packed with fun and surprises. World-class vocalist Brittany Sparks and veteran guitarist Henry Lazenby front this five-piece known for its startlingly good original tunes. Groova Scape has a super solid foundation provided by the spot on and exhilarating drumming of Matt Leonard and tight funky bass grooves provided by Scott Sutton. Paul Tressel tops it all off with soaring keyboard lines.
When Sparks turns loose those pipes, audiences sit up and take notice, then howl for more.
Austin, Texas resident Matt Powell was born and raised in Rocky Mount, Virginia. Although considered a Texas artist for having lived in the “Live Music Capital of the World” for twenty years, the forty-three year old lefty still considers Franklin County, Virginia home. A talented singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist who plays almost everything on all of his records, he has led many versions of his own groups playing just about every place one can or could in Austin as well as all over Texas, out to California, up to Chicago, and back. Over the years and his time spent on the roads of this nation, Matt has created a blend of blues, country, rock, folk, pop, soul, and bluegrass that is entirely his own. As an accomplished guitar player Matt has also worked backing some of the biggest touring acts out of the Lone Star State. As a gifted writer he has had several of his songs recorded by mainstream and up-and-coming artists, as well as had them placed in movies, TV shows, and even a video game! These days, typically armed with his songs, his voice, and a guitar, Matt Powell live is a sure treat to anyone who understands and respects the art and craft of a seasoned, hardworking musician and tunesmith.
With her deep, blues-soaked voice that poignantly captures the pain of the wronged and forgotten, Julie Roberts has quickly become a favorite of the fans and music critics alike.
Entertainment Weekly awarded her self-titled debut CD an A, calling it one of the most auspicious debuts in years. The New York Times said Roberts aching and resolute hit “Break Down Here” was one of the year’s best country ballads. Spotting her talent early, CMT selected Roberts to be the first artist ever to appear in “In the Moment,” the music networks hour-long documentary on the making of a star. The album was certified gold and led to two Horizon Award nominations from the Country Music Association, Top New Artist and Top New Female Vocalist nominations from the Academy of Country Music, as well as a Breakthrough Artist nomination from the CMT Awards. She delivered two memorable performances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, was chosen over artists in all musical genres to sing the Good To Go theme song of the television show Good Morning America and joined pop superstar Rihanna in a Clinique HAPPY campaign. Roberts followed this with the equally critically acclaimed sophomore release Men & Mascara. Acclaimed music critic Bob Oermann called the title track and first single “captivating in the extreme.”
By June 2011 she released her first independent album, “Alive,” on her own label, Ain’t Skeerd Records. The Washington Post defined the album by calling it, “an album in which she traffics in familiar heartbreak but delivers her lyrics with a little more fire in her lungs. The music is striking.”
Julie rounded out 2011 with the second release from her own label, a Christmas EP, “Who Needs Mistletoe,” which received great praise from the New York Times, which called the title track, “one of several great songs on this release, which might be Ms. Roberts’s best work since her smoldering self-titled 2004 debut. Like that album, this EP is spare and desperate-sounding, with plenty of spaces for Ms. Roberts’s lovely husky voice to seep into.”
Prices, policies, programs, schedules, attractions and entertainment subject to change or cancellation without notice. No Rainchecks. No Refunds. No weapons, guns or knives allowed at the event. The Franklin County Agricultural Fair and/or County of Franklin reserves the right to refuse admission.