Main Stage performers lineup at Franklin-Southampton County Fair

Published 2:11 pm Friday, August 12, 2022

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Mountain Highway — Friday, Aug. 12, at 5:30 p.m.

With a style all their own, Mountain Highway® is an authentic young family band steeped in traditional bluegrass, country and gospel music originally made famous by icons like Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs and Ralph Stanley. The band is comprised of four sibling singers who play banjo, fiddle, mandolin, and guitar, and their father playing upright bass. The group is often heralded for its tight family harmony.

Based in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Mountain Highway travels extensively to perform at popular events from New York to Texas. A few notable bookings are Bluegrass Christmas in the Smokies (TN), Camp Springs Bluegrass Festival (NC), Jerusalem Ridge Bluegrass Celebration (KY), Lake Ozark Music Festival (MO), and the Wind Gap Bluegrass Festival (PA). The band’s endorsements include: Deering Banjos, GHS Strings and Shubb Capos.

After seeing them perform in Nashville, Debra Jean Wagoner said, “I had chill bumps. Their music transported me back to the days when my father Porter Wagoner took me to hear bluegrass at the Ryman Auditorium.”

Silver Street Band — Friday, Aug. 12, at 7:30 p.m.

The Silver Street Band has been around since the late 70’s. Over the year’s members have changed but the goal remains the same — keep the crowd having a good time! And making that happen are Jeff Davis, (drums and vocals), Benjy Beale, (keyboard and vocals), Ed Marks, (lead guitar and vocals), Steve Hudgins, (bass guitar and vocals), Ray Davis, (sound engineer), Willis Scott, (sound engineer) and Luke Scott, (light engineer.) Silver Street plays locally for private parties, clubs and organizations. Voted “Best Local Band” in The Tidewater News Hometown Choice Contest 2021 you don’t want to miss them as they open for Jake Worthington and Mountain Highway at the 2022 Franklin Southampton County Fair on August 12.

Jake Worthington — Friday, Aug. 12, at 9 p.m.

Hailing from La Porte, Texas, Jake Worthington is a traditionally influenced Country artist whose honky-tonk swagger first impressed fans as a finalist on Season 6 of NBC’s The Voice (2014). Following his time on the show, the singer-songwriter released a pair of EPs (2015’s Jake Worthington and 2017’s Hell of a Highway), which featured tracks like “How Do You Honky Tonk,” “Don’t Think Twice,” and “A Lot of Room to Talk,” amassing more than 8 MILLION on-demand streams and more than 230,000 social-media followers while touring alongside Cody Johnson, Riley Green, Pat Green and more. Now signed to Big Loud Records, the rising star is poised to make an impact on the mainstream Country format, working with co-writers like Craig Wiseman, Ernest Keith Smith, Tony Lane and more on a fresh batch of original music. Worthington is also featured with Ronnie Dunn and Jake Owen on “Jonesin’” from the HIXTAPE: Vol. 2 Country collaborations album.

The Daniel Jordan Band — Saturday, Aug. 13, at 5:30 p.m.

“The Daniel Jordan Band” is a Country Rock band that entertains throughout Eastern North Carolina and South Eastern Virginia and always pumps the crowd up with their engaging style of music. They have played at great venues in the Outer Banks and Virginia such as Kelly’s, Fishheads, Outer Banks Brewing Station, Elevation 27, Eagle’s Nest, Old Beach Tavern, Mobjack Tavern and more. Daniel has also shared the stage with Keith Urban. They play many covers of stars such as Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryant, Luke Combs, Jason Aldean and more. The band’s latest release, “Raised Carolina” is in regular rotation in radio stations across the Eastern Seaboard. The Daniel Jordan Band sponsors the “NC Rock Autism Music Festival” held in Elizabeth City, NC which supports the education and awareness for autism.”

Band members: Joe Mastrangel, (banjo and vocals); Chris Grey, (electric guitar); Daniel Jordan, (acoustic guitar and vocals); Jerry Drew, (drums); Michael Yu, (bass and vocals) and Paul Grey, (electric guitar and vocals.)

The Mikele Buck Band — Saturday, Aug. 13, at 7:30 p.m.

Mikele Buck was born in the hills of West Virginia, where his family was steeped in the traditional music of the Appalachians. He played drums in rock bands through most of his high school days and picked up guitar after graduation. His original songs are a blend of all his musical influences, including Steve Earle, Garth Brooks, Travis Tritt and Red-Dirt artists like Randy Rodgers Band and Reckless Kelly. After returning from the Iraq War in 2005, Mikele record his first CD in Nashville and established The Mikele Buck Band near Greenville North Carolina The band’s popularity grew and soon they were drawing record crowds and national notoriety, opening up for major acts including: Jason Aldean, Joe Nichols, Jon Pardi, Brett Eldredge, Jason Micheal Carol, David Nail, The Cadillac Three, Hunter Hayes, Lady Antebellum, Reckless Kelly, Jerrod Niemann, Jimmie Allen, Parker McCollum, Confederate Railroad, Bucky Covington, Craig Campbell and Shenandoah. After competing on the Voice 2018, Mikele’s song releases have been pouring through car speakers all over the U.S., with the crowd favorites ‘With Me Now’ and ‘In Came You’ at the helm.

In addition to Mikele, the MBB is comprised of Kevin Garland (lead guitar), Caleb Keen (bass, vocals), Ray Waggoner (drums, vocals), and Sarah Anderson (fiddle, accessory, vocals).

The Kentucky Headhunters — Saturday, Aug. 13, 9 p.m.

By Johnny Loftus

The Kentucky Headhunters created a hybrid of honky tonk, blues, and Southern rock that appealed to fans of both rock and country music. The origins of the Kentucky Headhunters lie in 1968, when Fred and Richard Young began playing together with their cousins Greg Martin and Anthony Kenney at the Youngs’ grandmother’s house. Mark Orr also later joined them. The first incarnation of the band was called the Itchy Brothers, and the group played together informally for over a decade. After about 13 years, the bandmembers began launching separate careers: Richard Young went off to write songs for Acuff-Rose, while Fred Young began touring with country beauty Sylvia. Martin became a member of Ronnie McDowell’s band, while Kenney dropped out of music. In 1985, Martin decided to reassemble the Itchy Brothers. When Kenney declined to rejoin the group, Martin remembered Doug Phelps, whom he had met while on tour with McDowell. Phelps joined the new project, which was named the Kentucky Headhunters. Besides Martin and Phelps, the band also included the Young brothers and Doug’s brother Ricky Lee Phelps.

The Headhunters started playing twice monthly on The Chitlin’ Show, a program on Munfordville, Kentucky radio station WLOC. From these 90-minute performances, the Headhunters built up a following. They sent an eight-song demo to Mercury, and soon after, the label signed the group. The original demo tape was remixed, and became the basis of the band’s first album, 1989’s Pickin’ on Nashville, which received overwhelmingly positive reviews upon its release and quickly became a hit. “Dumas Walker” reached number 15 in the spring of 1990, followed by the group’s biggest hit, the No. 6 “Oh, Lonesome Me.” In 1991, the Headhunters released their second effort, Electric Barnyard. The album received mixed reviews, couldn’t muster a single, and sold weakly. In summer 1992, the Phelps brothers left the group to form Brothers Phelps, a more traditional country group.

The remaining Headhunters brought ex-Itchy Brothers Anthony Kenney and Mark Orr to the group, and the rehashed lineup released Rave On! in 1993. The album marked a progression toward bluesy Southern rock, which came to fruition later that same year with That’ll Work, a collaboration with former Chuck Berry pianist Johnnie Johnson. In 1996, Doug returned on lead vocals, and a year later the band issued Stompin’ Grounds. Songs from the Grass String Ranch followed in 2000, and Soul appeared in spring 2003. Big Boss Man was released in 2005 and Flying Under the Radar in 2006, both from CBUJ Entertainment. Dixie Lullabies, the group’s 12th album, and first studio recording of new original material since 2003, appeared from Red Dirt Records in 2011. In 2015, the Headhunters released another collaborative album with Johnnie Johnson, Meet Me in Bluesland, drawn from unissued sessions recorded in 2003, two years before Johnson’s death. Just before entering the studio to record their next studio LP, bandmates Richard and Fred Young lost their father. That loss, combined with the excitement of the band’s first European tour, added an emotional poignancy to On Safari, which was released in 2016.