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2017 Ol' Front Porch Music Festival
4th annual festival has two days of tunes
October 10, 2017

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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Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
Rachel Hurwitz of Honey Magpie covered Will you still love me tomorrow? It could be heard next door at The River Neuse Suites…
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
… where a wedding was underway. Both the wedding march and Carole King’s song could be heard as the bride was escorted down the aisle.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
Bob Jones returns this year to play the porch of The Village Gallery.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
A mandolin waits on the Main Stage.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
Harbor Sounds’ Paul Sykes grins at the camera between songs.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
Dixie Gatlin on fiddle.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
Frederick Ingram on Factory St.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
Frederick’s see-through guitar.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
Nautical Wheelers hosted MacMcWilliams on their porch and a wine tasting on their lawn. Mark Hoff sat in.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
The Downeast Dulcimers, true to their name, feature a dulcimer section…
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
…and at least one fiddle. Not pictured: an upright bass. Listeners at the Inn at Oriental were treated to Shenandoah and a cover of Yellow Submarine.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
Chris Daniels of Saltwater Gold plays the Main Stage.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
Detailing on a Red Clay trombone.

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Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
Chris Frank of The Red Clay Ramblers.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
Rob Ladd at the drums.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
The part of drumming you don’t see from the audience. Piglet water available as needed.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
A trumpet waits in the wings.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
Jack Herrick multitasks, playing the trumpet while supporting the bass.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
A painted mountain scene covers the bottom of Herrick’s upright bass.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
Herrick subtly shifts audience attention to the keyboard.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
Rambler Bland Simpson.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
Shiny bits on the drum kit.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
Larry Summers sells raffle tickets for a banjo or mandolin to benefit Sound Rivers.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2017
The banjo’s back side.

Posted Tuesday October 10, 2017 by Allison DeWeese


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