A host of musical entertainment, mostly free, is on tap for those attending this year’s Vinton Dogwood Festival. The annual event runs for five days beginning on Wednesday, April 25, and continuing through Sunday, April 29.
“Music has always been a part of our tradition and this year is no different,” said Mary Beth Layman, a member of the Vinton Dogwood Festival Board and Town Liaison.
First up, headlining on the Coles Carnival Stage on April 25 from 7 to 10 p.m., is the Faded Travelers Band that got its start in Vinton in 2015 and is still based here. Members describe themselves as an Americana/Country band. They have been called a modern-day “Byrds” with a sound somewhere between “Outlaw Country and Bob Seger.” The band’s first album, “Restless Souls,” was recorded at Railroad Town Records in Vinton and mixed at OMNI Studios in Nashville. It was released in August 2017 as the band was featured at Vinton’s first CreekFest with Twin Creeks Brewing Company.
Faded Travelers members are Andrew Nicely (vocals, rhythm guitar, and piano), Brent Dickerson (lead guitar, mandolin, and ray gun), Mitch Ferguson (pedal steel, dobro, and harmonica), Kevin Van Dyke (drums and percussion), and Austin Nicely (bass, back-up vocals, and saxophone). There is no admission charge for carnival stage concerts.
The WORX will be performing on the Vinton Farmers’ Market stage on Thursday, April 26, from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Gates open at 6:15. Admission is $5. Children under 12 are admitted free.
The WORX is an award-winning Mid-Atlantic band, entertaining audiences for over 27 years. The professional musicianship, variety, and versatility will impress the hardest critics and leave an audience wanting to see more. The WORX “has a deep pride in their reputation and strive to keep it the best.” The WORX is one of the most sought-after bands in the region.
Uptown Band takes the carnival stage on Friday, April 27 from 7 to 10 p.m. Uptown is a brand-new pop/dance band, based in Roanoke, “playing favorite ’70s funk, ’80s dance, pop, today’s top 40 and some classic rock.”
Five Dollar Shake appears on the carnival stage on Saturday, April 28 from 7 to 10 p.m. Band members include Josh Smelser, Jason Hill, and Aaron Oberg. They play rock and roll, oldies, and variety. They say they “get in the groove” playing everything from U2 to Men at Work and more.
There is live music on two stages during the Dogwood Festival on April 28 throughout the day including bluegrass, jazz, contemporary Christian, country, oldies, and steel drums.
The Roanoke Fiddle and Banjo Club will be performing on the Vinton Baptist Stage from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Various musicians will play a variety of bluegrass, old-time and gospel tunes. The Fiddle and Banjo Club has been dedicated to preserving the tradition of bluegrass since 1969.
The William Byrd Jazz Band will perform at 10 a.m. on the Vinton Farmers’ Market Stage. This renowned band is under the direction of Dan Plybon who describes them as “highly motivated, spirited, and smooth.”
The Valley Church Worship Band will follow at 11 a.m. Using a mix of popular Christian worship music and original songs, the band creates a unique, soulful musical experience enjoyed by all ages. They are regularly sought after for retreats and conferences but perform weekly at Valley Church located in Roanoke. They will be releasing their first EP later this year.
Island Trio performs at noon at the Farmers’ Market and then again in the Dogwood Parade. The Island Trio’s high-energy performances though the playing of steel drums and percussion are geared to entertaining and engaging audiences of all ages– with a Caribbean flair The trio offers a familiar and varied repertoire from Calypso to classical, including “Margaritaville,” “Yellowbird,” “Tequila,” and “That’s the Way I Like it.” A favorite of theirs is “Day-O.” They thrive on audience participation.
Jerry Parris and Terry Hannabass, the Jerry and Terry Duo– two of the best musicians in the area– will be playing everyone’s favorite tunes at 1 p.m.
The Dogwood Parade will include musical entertainment as well with the William Byrd High School Marching Terriers, the William Byrd Alumni Band, the Staunton River High School Marching Eagles, the Virginia Highlands Pipes and Drums, and the Island Trio.
The Holiday Band will be performing at the Vinton Farmers’ Market on Sunday, April 29, from 3 to 6 p.m.; gates open at 2 p.m. The band includes Mike Taylor (vocals, guitar and keyboards), Bob Martin (saxophone), Tim Taylor (vocals, bass guitar), Ronnie Farrington (vocals, bass guitar, keys), Wayne Moore (drums and vocals), with Maurice Leggett running sound. This line-up provides the strongest and most diverse band that the Holiday Band has seen ever, and it shows in the faces that see the band play.
The Holiday Band also has award-winning “beach songs of the year” originals such as “Love of A Lifetime” and “Man Enough.” A brand-new CD was just released in March, “Back Against the Wall.”
Their music includes beach, blues, Motown, and funk. Tickets are $5 with no charge for children under 12 years of age.
The Dogwood Festival Board news release said “the 63rd Annual Vinton Dogwood Festival is full of fun for the whole family. Save the dates to come out and enjoy our spring celebration In Vinton!”
Organizers appreciate the support of major sponsors including the Town of Vinton, Cox Communications and BJ’s Wholesale Club.
For more information, call 983-0614 or visit www.vintondogwoodfestival.org to download a Vinton Dogwood Festival Schedule of Events or check facebook.com/vintondogwoodfestival for updates.