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3rd Annual Ol Front Porch Music Fest
Sunshine. Strings. Smiles.
October 24, 2016

T
he Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival did it again. The simple idea of musicians turning Oriental’s front porches in to stages created some seriously joyful sounds. This 3rd annual OFPMF also lucked out with pitch perfect weather, a contrast to the Hurricane Matthew floods farther up the Neuse.

front porch music fest 2016
Gregory Green, Darryl Gibbs, Stacy Gibbs, and Derwood Bryant were part of the Gospel Ensemble, made up of singers from several Oriental churches who got together for this year’s OFPMF. They drew an enthusiastic crowd on Freemason St.

The flooding did cause some bands to cancel – the Flat Mountain Dulcimers in particular could not get out of their Goldsboro neighborhood. And festival organizers believe the flooding on the Neuse kept put a dent in attendance. But those who ventured here — following The Route — were rewarded.

front porch music fest 2016
The Carmonas playing the finale performance at the 3rd Annual Ol’ Front Door Music Fest. From left, siblings Chad, Aaron, Allison Carmona. (Photo: Dori Arrington)

The Carmonas returned, the brothers Aaron and Chad introduced their sister Allison to Oriental, as they closed the festival from the Neuse-facing porch of the Rose family’s home on Freemason Street. Shiloh Hills opened that headline show. And throughout the day the music just kept coming from porches around Oriental as 2 dozen bands played. Moore’s Creek Bluegrass, Green’s Creek Bluegrass got big audiences at Cheryl Thompson’s porch on Neuse Street.

front porch music fest 2016
Moore’s Creek Bluegrass.
front porch music fest 2016
Ernest Dunn of Greens Creek Bluegrass. This year’s OFPMF was dedicated to his late wife, Mary-Clyde Dunn.

Two gospel groups played this year, bringing the spirit of their churches to the porches. The Gospel Ensemble made up of singers from several black churches in and near Oriental had gotten together just for the OFPMF and left a lot in the audience hoping they would continue afterward.

When they opened the porch to others to join them, Dennis Cash stepped forward. The inductee in the American Old Time Country Hall of Fame had played a set that morning. On the porch on Freemason Street, he launched in to “Jesus on the Mainline” and seamlesssly, Oriental’s Gospel Ensemble was right there with him before Cash passed the mic back.

front porch music fest 2016
Saltwater Gold drew a large audience to Kip and Paul Fairbank’s porch near the Rotary Club’s Car Show.

Close to the Neuse and the Rotary’s Car Show, Saltwater Gold had a big crowd for its eclectic classic rock. One new venue this year was the Inn at Oriental whose side porch was the stage for a young band from Chapel Hill with a refreshing mix of traditional and inspired originals.

There was also classical music. Pamlico Flutes and Coastal Notes Woodwind Quintet performed on South Water Street at Wilma Kennedy’s porch. Wilma offered drinks to spectators and with a donation jar set up on the table raised $400 for flood relief. At the Shiloh Hill/Carmona concert at the end of the day, more than $1000 was donated.

front porch music fest 2016
While musicians played on her porch, Wilma Kennedy poured drinks and raised more than $400 for flood relief effort.
front porch music fest 2016
Two girls danced through most of the Carmonas’ set.

Ahead, many pages of photos and a thank you from OFPMF organizer, Dottie Osmun.

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front porch music fest 2016
Carmonas on the Rose family’s porch facing the Neuse River. The banner announced next year’s OFPMF.

Chief organizers, Dottie Osmun and Leslie Kellenberger were elated with the day.

The Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival wishes to thank all for the magnificent job that was done to produce such an awesome festival! Not only did our workers pull together to orchestrate such a meaningful day for all in attendance, but all the residents of Oriental helped as well. I saw many frantically cleaning up from Hurricane Matthew so their yards would look lovely for Festival Saturday! People were raking leaves, planting mums, putting out pumpkins so all would look like autumn! The saying, “It takes a village,” was indeed true. Thank you one and all!

I’d also like to express my deep appreciation to all the groups and solo performers who participated in our 3rd annual festival, as well as the hundreds of fans who came to our small village for a day of fantastic music and fun. We love you! We hope to see you next year when the festival occurs a week earlier – Oct. 6-7, 2017.

front porch music fest 2016
Honey Magpie on the deck at the Inn at Oriental that made a great stage to watch the Chapel Hill band. (Photo: Dori Arrington)
front porch music fest 2016
Greens Creek Bluegrass – Ernest Dunn, Ken Belangia and Becky Ackiss – has played at the OFPMF since its start. Decades earlier they played on the “original” porch of the Ol’ Store owned by Ken and Ernest’s in-laws, Billy and Lucille Truitt.
front porch music fest 2016
Fiddler from Chapel Hill’s Honey Magpie. The group played at the Inn at Oriental. (Photo: Dori Arrington)
front porch music fest 2016
The Gospel Ensemble, made up of singers from several Oriental churches, got together for the festival. From left: Yvonne Jones, Betty Gibbs, Robert Green, Gregory Green, Darryl Gibbs, Stacy Gibbs, and Derwood Bryant. Delcine Gibbs, Kathy Mozelle and Katie Green were also part of the group.

Listen to The Gospel Ensemble:

front porch music fest 2016
Keyboardist Katie Green of The Gospel Ensemble.

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front porch music fest 2016
Gospel from the choir of Arapahoe’s Mt Zion Church. They played at the Old Hotel.
front porch music fest 2016
Dennis Cash, who led the band Carolina Sonshine and is in America’s Old-Time Country Music Hall Of Fame, played at the Strickland home on Factory Street – and in the afternoon joined the Gospel Ensemble for a song.
front porch music fest 2016
Moore’s Creek Bluegrass. (Photo: Dori Arrington).
front porch music fest 2016
Audience in front of Cheryl Thompson’s porch where Green Creek Bluegrass was followed by Moores Creek Bluegrass. (Photo: Dori Arrington)
front porch music fest 2016
Brown Mtn Lightning Bugs on the Roes’ porch.
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front porch music fest 2016
Darryl Gibbs and Stacy Gibbs of the Gospel Ensemble.
front porch music fest 2016
Fiddle player with the Carmonas.
front porch music fest 2016
Saltwater Gold played on the porch of Kip and Paul Fairbank’s home. (Photo: Dori Arrington)
front porch music fest 2016
Coastal Notes Woodwinds Quartet on South Water Street.
front porch music fest 2016
An audience takes in classical music on Wilma Kennedy’s porch on South Water. There were two other attractions as well: shade, and a bar.

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front porch music fest 2016
Becky Ackiss of Greens Creek Bluegrass.
front porch music fest 2016
Arapahoe’s Mt. Zion Choir performed on the porch of the Old Hotel. They were one of two gospel groups to sing at this year’s festival.
front porch music fest 2016
Bob Jones on the porch of the Village Gallery.
front porch music fest 2016
Moore’s Creek Bluegrass’s rhythm section.
front porch music fest 2016
On South Avenue a new porch joined the lineup of venues this year. It is a very new porch. Harbor Sounds played at the recently built Aeschelman home. (Photo: Dori Arrington)
front porch music fest 2016
Harbor Sounds.

front porch music fest 2016

Brant Island Strings – Perry Cheatham, Ginny and Rick Vogt – on the Town Hall porch Saturday morning.

front porch music fest 2016
The stage at the Roe’s home.

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front porch music fest 2016
Brothers Chad and Aaron Carmona.
front porch music fest 2016
Shiloh Hill on the last porch to be used as a stage that day. They, and then the Carmonas were the last bands of the day. (Photo: Dori Arrington)
front porch music fest 2016
View from above the stage where Shiloh Hill and the Carmonas capped the 3rd Annual OFPMF
front porch music fest 2016
The Carmonas after their show.
front porch music fest 2016
Mac McWilliams at Nautical Wheelers. (Photo: Dori Arrington)
front porch music fest 2016
Music wasn’t all that was sampled. Bill Wheeler offered wines to taste in front of Nautical Wheelers. (Photo: Dori Arrington)

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front porch music fest 2016
Dale Montgomery, who usually tells tales during his nighttime ghost walks, shared stories on the porch of the Village Gallery.
front porch music fest 2016
Salty Paws at the Strickland home on Factory Street. As they have for the past three years Bentley Smith and Jim Austin arrived by boat to play the festival.
front porch music fest 2016
Cellist from Honey Magpie. The Chapel Hill band played on the back porch of the Inn at Oriental.
front porch music fest 2016
Honey Magpie at the Inn at Oriental. The hats gave a signature look to the Chapel Hill band but were a last-minute accessory/necessity for playing in the full sun. Innkeeper Lucey Athey came to the rescue with hats she had in a closet. (Photo: Dory Arrington)
front porch music fest 2016
Pamlico Flutes on South Water Street.
front porch music fest 2016
Shiloh Hill guitarist tunes up – and tells a joke — between songs.

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front porch music fest 2016
Shiloh Hill.
front porch music fest 2016
Dixie and Asa Gatlin of Harbor Sounds.
front porch music fest 2016
Gumbo Lily performed on the porch of Frank and Jennifer Roe’s home.
front porch music fest 2016
The Del Rios.
front porch music fest 2016
On Broad Street Saturday morning, a family group, the Strung Together Band played. Half of the band pictured here.
front porch music fest 2016
Saltwater Gold sax player.

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front porch music fest 2016
On Broad Street Saturday morning, Jennifer and Pat Del Rio played.
front porch music fest 2016
Will Huff of the UHOO’s, Oriental’s uke-playing group. (Photo; Dori Arrington)
front porch music fest 2016
UHOOs – Oriental’s ukulele squad – at Marsha’s Cottage.
front porch music fest 2016
Carmonas bass player.
front porch music fest 2016
Mitch Hayes at M&M’s porch.
front porch music fest 2016
Arsenal of harmonicas.

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front porch music fest 2016
Some of the Brant Island Strings on the porch at Oriental Town Hall.
front porch music fest 2016
First performer of the day – Randall Whorton played in front of the Provision Company, next to the Oriental Farmers’ Market. He’d been scheduled for the Bean porch but high waters on Hodges forced the change of venue.

front porch music fest 2016

“When there are dogs and music, people have a good time.” – - Emmylou Harris.

front porch music fest 2016
Mike Roberts’ and band on a King Street porch.
front porch music fest 2016
Street clown Karl Koch played to one-one audiences. (Photo; Dori Arrington)
front porch music fest 2016
A young dancer during Saltwater Gold’s set.
front porch music fest 2016
Big shoes to fill. Street clown Karl Koch. (Photo; Dori Arrington)

Posted Monday October 24, 2016 by Melinda Penkava


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