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3rd Annual Ol Front Porch Music Fest
Sunshine. Strings. Smiles.
October 24, 2016
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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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Posted Monday October 24, 2016 by Melinda Penkava

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