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2017 Ol' Front Porch Music Festival
4th annual festival has two days of tunes
October 10, 2017
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B
rown Mountain Lightning Bugs. Honey Magpie. Downeast Dulcimers. The Red Clay Ramblers. The Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival drew bands who’ve only recently had their first radio play as well as those who’ve been on the circuit, and winning Tony awards, for more than four decades. All came to play on the porches of Oriental for the Festival’s fourth year.

Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
Dennis Cash, a member of America’s Old Time Music Hall of Fame, plays an autoharp outside of Marsha’s Cottage.

Decades ago, impromptu jam sessions were common on the front porch of the Ol’ Store at South Water and New Streets. In 2014, Dottie Osmun and Leslie Kellenberger, with the help of local volunteers and musicians, guided the effort to create a bluegrass music festival inspired by memories of those pick-up sessions.

Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
Saturday morning finds Green Creek Bluegrass at the Wiggs-Thompson porch.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
One of many upright basses seen around the festival. This one was on the porch of The Thompson Home.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
Green Creek Bluegrass, closer.rt

Originally a single-day festival, the OFPMF this year became a two-day event. Grammy Award winner Dom Flemons, formerly of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, performed at the Old Theater Friday night. Several musicians kicked things off, playing four porches on Friday afternoon. Among them, the Pamlico High School Jazz Band who were appearing at the OFPMF for the first time. (They were one of two jazz acts to play this year at the fest that was first conceived as a bluegrass event but which has grown more musically diverse – folk, country, Americana, gospel – each year.)

On Saturday the Village Market had artists selling their works while across the street, Lou Mac Park became the Food Park, a first for the fest. At a dozen booths, festival-goers could buy grab and go food from local non-profit organizations who had partnered with Oriental restaurants.

Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
The Gospel Ensemble draws in their audience from a porch on Freemason St.


Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
The Gospel Ensemble in a moment of rest.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
Dulcimers were also in abundance on Saturday.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
Bentley Smith of Salty Paws belts it out while covering Bob Dylan.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
The Brant Island Strings play the porch of the Cartwright House.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
Country singer Brittany Jean is from Brewster, a small town in Washington state.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
And her guitar.

As is customary, tip jars were set out to collect from those who might be inclined. The ‘jar’ was up to the musician’s interpretation.

Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
One interpretation of the tip jar with sign clearly displayed.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
Another takes advantage of the use-what-you-have approach.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
The porch of the Roe home, featuring the Brown Mountain Lightning Bugs.

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Posted Tuesday October 10, 2017 by Allison DeWeese


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