Holiday Band to host local CD release party

Published 9:14 am Wednesday, February 23, 2011


The Holiday Band members, from left, are Michael Neese, Doug Neese, Bob Martin, Bill Ward, Mike Taylor and Duane Neese. The North Carolina band has picked Franklin as one of several cities to debut its new album, “Sweet Love.” The event will be held 7 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, March 12, at the Franklin-Southampton County Fairgrounds.

FRANKLIN—After years of performing at venues surrounding the city, The Holiday Band will perform from 7 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, March 12, at the Franklin Southampton County Fairgrounds.

Best of all, the six-man band has picked Franklin for one of its many release parties to debut its seventh album, “Sweet Love,” which is due out March 3.

Band leader Mike Taylor said the group has been working on the new CD for about two years. Recording was completed in mid-December and manufacturing followed.

Asked to describe the band’s style, Taylor said it’s “more bluesy than Carolina beach music. Actually, the best description is variety.”

A few factors helped in getting the group to visit. First is Jay Jenkins, an area disc jockey who will emcee the performance.

“We’ve become very good friends with Jay. He’s done a wonderful job of playing our music,” said Taylor, who added that the two have talked about playing in Franklin for quite a while. “This will be a first-time visit. I’ve often wondered why we’ve not played here.”

Jenkins affirmed that relationship with The Holiday Band.

“I’ve known him (Taylor) for a long, long time,” he said. The two men have talked about the idea they had, but Jenkins also credits another reason — Stan Rich.

He acknowledged the interest the two had in getting the band here.

“We thought this would be a great thing for Franklin,” said Rich. “I try to get beach music to Franklin every chance I get.”

But he in turn recognized Amelia Spivey as “the driving force” for getting a local shag club organized.

“She spent a whole lot of time getting the club together,” Rich said.

Other sponsors for the event are Southampton Antiques, Liberty Coin and Downtown Franklin Association.

“Many people are expected from out of town,” said Rich.

Based in Chapel Hill, N.C., The Holiday Band has been together for 20 years. The band is also comprised of Mike Neese, Bill Ward, Duane Neese, Doug Neese and Bob Martin.

Taylor explained that originally some of the members knew one another and wanted to start a band.

“Mike and me knew each other for years,” said Taylor, who said Neese called him about forming the band, which had just “barely got started.”

What began as a part-time venture of 30 annual performances has grown to a full-time career. Beginning seven years ago, the group began playing 200 times annually.

Admission is $15, and tables can be reserved for an extra $25. Tickets can be bought at the Downtown Franklin Association, 120 S. Main St., or from local merchants, such as Southampton Antiques, Train Depot, Fred’s Restaurant and Simply Divine.

Beer, food, sodas and wine will also be sold.

The first 100 people in may buy a CD of the band’s album for $5.

For details, call 562-6900.