Several bands from the Sandhills will come together at the annual Shady Grove Music Festival, to be held in Carthage in Moore County this weekend at the Laughing Place Farm in the Jive Hive.
Located at 2151 Vass Carthage Road in Carthage, the Jive Hive is a remodeled barn that brings many musicians to the stage as they tour North Carolina year-round, including the festival-favorite Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band and Grammy-winning David Mayfield Parade.
Jonathan Rachels, party host and musician, is from Richmond County and spent his childhood years growing up around Rockingham. He said he loves both counties and wants to give back to the communities that raised him by hosting the event.
The Country Punkins, a local Richmond County band comprised of four musicians, will open the two-day music festival with covers and originals. The festival is today and Saturday, May 10-11.
Vocalist Chris Herring said he and Rachels went to Richmond Senior High School together, but had lost touch over the years.
“I hadn’t seen him since high school,” said Herring. “Then a friend told me about the Jive Hive and we went out there. (The band) played there in the fall and we talked about playing at the festival.”
Herring said the band hasn’t met any of the other bands scheduled to play at the festival, such as 15 Minute Freakshow, Dirt Road Senate, Boxcar Bombshell, Carolina Still, Gasoline Stove, Chicken Plant Road, Positive Friction, The New Old Fashions, Sarah Shook & The Devil, Jeremy Gilchrist, J.R. (The Rapping) Cowboy and Monster Zero Acoustics.
Herring’s band consists of him, Chuck Smith on lead guitar, Ray Hildreth on bass guitar and Roger Campbell on mandolin and violin.
“I’m blessed to be surrounded by great musicians,” said Herring. “Ray is Mr. Dependable. Chuck is a musical memorization master and they are the structure. Then there is the artistic chaos. Roger can play anything and I’m the worst musician, but I just enjoy singing. Anybody that hears us play loves us.”
Herring said he especially appreciates Marvyn Celso, a reliable stand-in, and Herring’s number one fan, his 92-year-old grandmother Lottie Ruth McDonald of Rockingham, who goes to all his shows.
“She will be front and center at the festival,” said Herring.
Tickets to the festival, weekend passes and other information can be found on the Jive Hive website, www.thejivehive.org.
Rachels, owner of Laughing Place Farm, built a stage in his barn after his wife had enough of his band’s jam sessions. He and his friends liked the barn’s acoustics much better, and other musicians soon joined, bringing audiences. Several bands have formed there since 2010 including 15-Minute Freakshow, Positive Friction and Dirt Road Senate.
“We love to support local music,” said Rachels, during the Jive Hive’s regular Wednesday night live sessions. The Jive Hive features a different band every Wednesday, with jam sessions open to anyone during set breaks.“We provide a venue for local and regional talent, with a family atmosphere.”
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at email@example.com.