ROCK CAVE - The first annual BBQ & Live Music event kicks off this weekend at the Banks District Volunteer Fire Department in this small southern Upshur County community and event organizers are hoping for a huge turnout.
Activities kick off Friday night with a 70s and 80s country music concert featuring Johnny Cochran and the Trailblazers with a special guest appearance by upcoming Nashville country music recording artist Emmalea Deal.
Johnny Cochran, a former fiddle player for George Jones, Johnny Paycheck and Lynn Anderson, has put together a group of professional musicians known as the Trailblazers. Cochran, a four-time West Virginia state fiddle champion, can play any instrument with strings but his heart belongs to the fiddle. He has also been known to pick up the acoustic guitar, upright bass, dobro, banjo and even the mandolin.
A child prodigy, Cochran began his musical career at the age of three and by the time he was four he was performing for the public on WWVA'S live Radio Show and "The Wheeling Jamboree" broadcast from the old Capitol Theatre in Wheeling. He began performing with his father, Frank Cochran, and soon his sister and three brothers joined in to form the bluegrass and country band known as "The Cochran Family."
Cochran won first place in the 2010 West Virginia State Fiddling contest and, most recently, Tamarack and Mountain Made, a label focusing on West Virginia artists, accepted his CD.
On Friday night, doors open at 6 p.m. and admission is only $7. Various vendors will be on hand as well as BBQ and other food vendors. Guests are encouraged to bring a lawn chair.
On Saturday, gates open at 11 a.m. with live music kicking off at noon. Admission for Saturday is only $10 and is an all-day admission. Hitting the stage at noon will be Jocelyn Stout, an upcoming Nashville country music artist hailing from Harrison County.
Recipients of the 2008 Int'l Bluegrass Music Association recorded event of the year. The Lilly Mountaineers, will take the stage from 1:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Singer, songwriter and official band cut-up, Daniel Lilly keeps the audiences entertained with his vast repertoire of songs, and laughing with his outrageous on-stage antics. Lilly was a member of industry favorites the Nashville Pickers. He was invited to join the legendary Jim and Jesse on the Grand Ole Opry and toured the country with national recording artist Stella Parton.
From 4 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. Upshur County's very own The New Beginnings will perform bluegrass gospel.
Following at 5:30 p.m. will be The Grass Stains, an innovative, progressive style bluegrass band that picks it the way it should be... from the heart. The Grass Stains put decades of experience to good use performing traditional bluegrass and newgrass music mixed with an occasional bluegrass gospel number. The Grass Stains call the southern West Virginia counties of Kanawha and Lincoln their home. Their special brand of bluegrass, after it reaches your ears, will surely put a smile on your face.
Ending this year's event will be Ryan Cain and the Ables, who will kick off a two-hour set at 7 p.m. Ryan Cain and the Ables are a high energy rockabilly band from Clarksburg. Formed in 2011, this band plays traditional rockabilly/hillbilly and western swing music.
In late 2012, the group released a CD titled "My Pistol Rides Shotgun," a collection of songs written by Ryan Cain. "My Pistol Rides Shotgun" was recorded at Zone 8 studios in Granville and produced by Mark Poole. The CD has received extensive radio airplay and charted on the Roots 66 chart, the Roots Music Report Chart, and in December 2012 was a most-added CD on the Americana chart.
In addition to original songs, a Ryan Cain and the Ables show is a history lesson on the early influences of rock and roll. Equally versed in guitar, standup bass and piano, Ryan covers music from Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Eddie Cochran, Elvis Presley and a whole lot more. The Ables perform much more than a concert, it is a musical journey paying tribute to the pioneers of rock and roll, rockabilly and early country music.
Vendor applications are still being accepted for this year's event. Those interested can go to the Banks District Volunteer Fire Department Facebook page. Pinned to the top is a Google Document application form that can be downloaded.
For more information regarding this event, please contact Sharon Bonnett or David Taylor at the Banks District VFD at 304-924-6864.