ELKIN — Elkin will be ready to rock this weekend at the annual Reevestock Music Festival with events scheduled downtown and in Elkin’s “hidden amphitheater” on Ivy Circle.
“We’re so excited to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the festival this year,” said event founder Sam Tayloe. “The energy around building the event this year has been electric. It is evident how excited folks are to start spending time together again around great music and great folks. We can’t wait for the celebration August 6 and 7.”
This grassroots festival has grown into a vibrant two-day celebration of music which is not only a signature annual event for Elkin, but a much-anticipated gathering for guests from all over the Carolinas and beyond.
Its tag-line is “Keep Yadkin Valley’s Music Alive (and Kickin’)” and it does just that, starting with the Downtown Get-Down Block Party at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, August 6, in downtown Elkin. During this free outdoor kick-off party, featuring dynamic violinist/singer/songwriter Emanuel Wynter, the Reeves Theater will be open for drink purchases. Following the Block Party, a ticketed show at the Reeves Theater will feature Abigail Dowd, and Damon Atkins & Friends.
The main event, on Saturday, August 7, from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m., gives the public the rare opportunity to visit Elkin’s Hidden Amphitheater, a privately-owned entertainment venue nestled in the wooded, gentle North Carolina foothills. The main stage is an artfully designed gazebo surrounded with a running stream with connected waterfalls. The amphitheater glows in the light of illuminated trees at night.
The headlining artist on Saturday, performing at 8:45 p.m., is Aaron Lee Tasjan, an utterly original and always compelling songwriter who has recently garnered praise from none other than Elton John, who said, of Tasjan’s latest album, “Every song, every single song on your album, is really beautiful.”
Also performing on Saturday will be Alexa Rose (1 p.m.), a showcase of artists from Carrboro’s Sleepy Cat Records, including Chris Frisina, T. Gold, and Blue Cactus (2 p.m.), Terry Baucom’s Dukes of Drive (3:45 p.m.), Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley (5 p.m.), John R. Miller (6:15 p.m.), and the host band, Time Sawyer (7:30 p.m.)
MC of the festival is award-winning broadcaster, producer, promoter, singer, musician, writer, and photographer Cindy Baucom, whose radio show, “Knee-Deep in Bluegrass,” is broadcast weekly in nearly a hundred markets.
This relaxed, family-friendly festival features children’s activities during daylight hours, plenty of shade, and free nearby parking, with free shuttle service. Local vendors will offer food, beer and wine.
The festival benefits the Reevestock Scholarship Fund, which awards scholarships to seniors at Elkin High School, East Wilkes High School, and Starmount High School.
About the artists:
— An obsessive creative, Aaron Lee Tasjan writes pop songs with a twist, a little overdriven, far too honest at times—performing them like ragged rock tunes that careen a little too close to the edge without actually falling over into the abyss.
— John R Miller is a true hyphenate artist: singer-songwriter-picker. Every song on his thrilling debut solo album, Depreciated, is lush with intricate wordplay and haunting imagery, as well as being backed by a band that is on fire. One of his biggest long-time fans is roots music favorite Tyler Childers, who says he’s “a well-travelled wordsmith mapping out the world he’s seen, three chords at a time.”
— Time Sawyer is interested in “real people and real songs” and that’s just what the listener finds in their music – a sense of realness. Time Sawyer blends a grassroots feel with heart-felt lyrics to put on an entertaining show. From introspective ballads to high-energy crowd-pleasers, Time Sawyer’s songs land in that rootsy sweet spot where folk, alt-country, and rock gather for a good time.
— Take a 15-time IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Dobro Player of the Year and a Tennessee-born guitar prodigy who made his Grand Ole Opry debut at the age of 11, and you have Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley, a powerhouse acoustic duo that has electrified the acoustic music scene.
— As a founding member of ground-breaking bands like Boone Creek, Quicksilver and IIIrd Tyme Out, Terry Baucom has amassed an impressive following in the Bluegrass world. This multi-award winning artist was inducted to the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame in 2014 and fronts his own band, the “Dukes of Drive”. The band’s current release, “Fine Time To Get The Blues” on Baucom’s own label, has had 5 singles to reach the top of the Bluegrass Today National Charts. Supported by band members Clay Jones, Troy Boone and Joe Hannabach, Baucom and company present straight ahead, hard driving bluegrass.
— Alexa Rose was born in the Alleghany Highlands of Virginia, raised in a tiny Appalachian railroad town. The musical legacy and storytelling spirit of the mountains are woven into her voice and songwriting. Her debut album, Medicine For Living, is a multi-layered Americana merger of old country music and traditional folk songs, the title track of which is the winner of the 2019 Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. She captures the sweetness of life without avoiding any of the pain, with songs about time and its constraints, peppered with precise details pulled from Rose’s own life that make universal themes seem personal, inviting the listener to make each song their own.
— Sleepy Cat Records is a partnership between Gabriel Anderson and Saman Khoujinian, built to support their art and the art of their friends. After a near-decade of shared music-making, the two friends founded Sleepy Cat Records in 2019. The label is, in the first place, a home-base from which to nurture and grow their creative community. In addition to the traditional role of releasing music from artists whose work the duo find meaningful, Anderson and Khoujinian are deep divers in the process of generating music from top to bottom – production, session work, audio engineering/mixing/mastering, art direction and design.
— Damon Atkins grew up in Surry County surrounded by music. His dad taught him to play guitar after he received one as a Christmas gift and the boy has put that gift to use. Now Damon resides in Nashville and spends most of his time writing and touring with his group, LoneHollow. Atkins has also toured with Jaime Wyatt, Sam Morrow, and Time Sawyer. LoneHollow has just released a fantastic new self-titled EP.
— Singer/songwriter/guitarist Abigail Dowd grew up under the longleaf pines of North Carolina and comes from a long line of musicians. Known for her storytelling and command of an audience, she has been called “a writer of the highest caliber” (All Scene Eye). Her soulful voice and unique classical guitar style combined with the edgy bass of Jason Duff has been described by Acoustic Guitar Magazine as “The guitar-driven introspective folk of the 1970s is a touchstone, but so are blues and roots rock ’n’ roll.”
— Emanuel Wynter is a violinist/singer/songwriter in the North Carolina Music Scene. Originally from New York City, he spent over a decade in the exposure of many different styles of music. He started his musical journey much like everyone else when he was signed up for violin classes in elementary school. in his adolescent years, Emanuel continued his passion for music, picking up guitar, piano, and bass along the way. His musical influences range from jazz and the blues to rock and neo-soul. In 2015, Emanuel immersed himself into the professional music scene, which has since taken him to countless venues in 13 states, both solo and along with various acts, all the while exuding a distinct energy that entices and captivates his audiences. In 2018, though, he displayed a new medium of artistry with the release of his debut single, titled Cosmos, followed shortly thereafter by the release of Iced Coffee, his second single, in early 2019. Emanuel continues to grow and develop as a musician and as a songwriter, giving dynamic and emotive performances to lyrics that explore topics of nostalgia, love, happiness, and heartbreak. His sweet and soulful displays are a unique spectacle that you don’t want to miss.