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North Carolina Welcomes the Summer Heat and a Couple of Palooza Parties

Sunshine & Music Make Wally Palooza 2 Hot Hot Hot!

Wally Palooza 2 ~ Day One

Festival organizer Wally Peterson out in the heat during Wally Palooza II

Wally Palooza II occurred at High Water Social in Washington, NC, on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, June 21-23, 2024. It featured 24 acts throughout the weekend. Sunshine and high temperatures were also a highlighted feature. Festival organizer Wally Peterson (above left) found out the hard way on his first day in the field. He was put on time out by a staff member at High Water Social on Friday after spending too much time in the heat without proper nourishment. Thanks to the quick thinking of a staff member, Peterson avoided having a heat stroke, and almost everything else went on as scheduled.

Nic, Keane, and Nannette sitting on the grass during Wally Palooza II

Five acts were scheduled for Friday evening, but only four had performed. Of the four, I caught three of them. Nic, Keane, and Nannette opened the show, and my friend Nancy Mason was there and got the credit for the picture below. Several years ago, I first caught this trio on stage for an open mic night at Backwater Jacks. The boys have grown up, and Nannette has grown young in their company. I am sorry I missed their show. Nannette Garrett also plays in a duo with C Conoley Blake, Voices Carry. You can catch those girls tonight at Cru Bar & Wine Store, where they will rock all the familiar favorites from 7 pm until 10 pm.

I did make it in time to catch Noah Cobb. The 17-year-old singer-songwriter teamed up with some heavy hitters from our local scene. Joining Cobb on stage were Brian Burke on bass and Chuck Phillips on drums. They were billed as Noah Cobb and the Back 40. This young man has an impressive vocal range, and his guitar skills match. The trio offered a complete set of original music for the growing crowd. Keep your eyes on this young man. He won't be in Greenville, NC, forever.

Next up was Brian Burke, aka Back Pocket Buddha, offered a robust set of original tunes, including several new tracks and a few selections from his last release, Constellations. An album that was recorded in 2023 at Chuck Phillips Studio. Be sure to check out Burke soon. He shares much of his life in his music and is worthy of your ears.

One of the bands was canceled due to a medical emergency. Afreyed Knot’s bass player, Taylor Bright, was hospitalized with some cardiac concerns. He was released from the hospital early this week and hopes to be rocking with the band later this weekend, on Sunday, June 30, 2024, at Turnage Theater.

Closing out the first night of Wally Palooza 2 was one of the area's hardest-working music makers. Morgan Hudson has been blazing on my Facebook feed since 2022. Even though I was not publishing anything then, I was still watching the scene via my Facebook feed, and she always had exciting updates. She still does. This week, she started things off on our local news for Music Monday with Shannon Baker. Next week, the performer will compete to appear in Rolling Stone Magazine. Be sure to cast your vote her way!

MoCo Morgan and Company

Morgan Hudson, lead singer and acoustic guitarist, was joined on stage to close out the evening by Brian Burke on bass, Kurt Hauser on drums, and Ryan Griffin on lead guitar. Overall, this quartet represents a powerhouse of talent supporting our scene uniquely.

I want to take a minute to applaud Brian Burke, who always lends a hand or assists area music makers when needed. He still hosts open mic nights in the area and lends his time and talent when he can. Last Friday night was a good example; he played with three of the four performing acts. See the gallery above.

In many behind-the-scenes stories, the musicians are the glue, and the club owners are the posterboard that helps them stick. However, this case is a little different as guitarist Ryan Griffin and drummer Kurt Hauser provide the venue and perform with one of the area's hottest bands, which, by the way, was formed in their establishment. The two musicians and friends own Nash in downtown Greenville. It is within those four walls that dreams unfolded and music blossomed. Griffin and Hauser are long-time friends, yet neither acknowledged their love of music until Griffin dusted off his dream book and brought his idea of owning a restaurant that offered southern cooking and live music to his buddy. When the downtown location opened, so did Nash.

During an open mic night, the two pals learned of the other's desire to play music, and singer-songwriter Morgan Hudson heard the two jamming, and by the end of the night, she was proposing they form a band. That was several years ago, but I finally caught that band on Friday, June 21, 2024, and they were rocking like they've been jamming together for decades. Below is a video of their performance as the sun set and the full moon rose over Lil Washington, NC, to the sounds of MoCo.

Along with great originals, the band shared a few familiar songs. Check them out on all streaming platforms and social media outlets.


Media Recap for Wally Palooza 2 ~ Day 1


Wally Palooza 2 ~ Day Three

On Sunday, June 23, 2024, I caught seven of the ten acts scheduled to appear. It was another scorcher of a day, but most bands and their fans braved the brutal heat to rock the day away.

When I arrived, Blayke Scott was sharing his jams. This young lad is another inspiring one to watch. The guitarist is based in Chocowinity and has many country flavors in his stylings.

Following his performance, James Warren graced the stage to share a set of popular tunes. I met Warren several years ago at an open mic night in Greenville. It was nice to hear him sharing sounds again.

James Warren performing onstage during Wally Palooza II

The Hot Dog Professor, Erik Everhart, was the third act on stage, and sadly, I stepped out for a quick snack. When I returned, Thankfully Departed were jamming their grooves. The Grateful Dead tribute band is new on the scene. Their drummer, Craig, told me that Wally Palooza 2 marked their fourth gig as a band.

Thankfully Departed, a The Grateful Dead tribute band, playing onstage during Wally Palooza

Ronnie Cottle was the next act to grace the stage in the mid-afternoon heat. This solo act is a seasoned player who also helped run sound on Friday evening. This stinger has a few shows in the weeks ahead, so watch for those on the calendar below.

The Feuston Brothers are an original band from the Edenton area. I have been friends with vocalist and guitarist Darren Feuston for years on Facebook, but we met face-to-face on Sunday, and I got to hear the band. Wow. I love the music they are making. The Brothers are Darren and David Feuston on drums. Their good friend, guitarist Jon Royce, is the first to inspire the brothers to play music as kids and the last to join the band. The band got together in 2013. Their bass player, Robbie Weber, joined them in 2014. They look forward to finishing and releasing a new recording later this year. They do have a couple of shows coming up. You can catch them tonight at Nash on Saturday, June 29, 2024. The music starts at 7 pm. On Thursday, July 4th, you can see them live at Sagos on the River in Elizabeth City, NC. I hope more clubs in our area will consider these guys for showcasing original music. Below is a snippet of their song The Water's Edge:

Honeybee Kind was another fun act. The acoustic duo is dynamic and entertaining. Sarah Baumgartner and Jordan Dixon have been jamming together for more than a decade, and they also have partnered together in life and have worked on several band projects over the years. They were based in Raleigh and recently moved to our downeast region, so they are looking for more places to play around Pitt, Craven, Carteret, and Beaufort Counties. If anyone is looking for a fun duo, they fit the bill. Those wanting to see them soon are in luck; they are gigging this evening at Nauti Dawg Brewing Co. You can reach out to them via their Facebook page. Click the photo below to get there.

Honeybee Kind, an acoustic duo, performing onstage during Wally Palooza II

Closing out the three-day event was the popular party band TrainWreck. These boys always bring the fun to the stage, whether four or twelve pieces. They are always tight in their delivery and play the songs that make you dance. Friends and fans looking to catch TrainWreck have several opportunities available in July. 4- Mulberry House Roof Top in Washington, NC; 21- Greenville Music In The Park; 26- (Wilmington) Pantana Bobs; and 27- Gaffers EI. To follow the band, click on the picture below.

TrainWreck, a popular local party band, closing out Wally Palooza II


Media Recap for Wally Palooza 2 ~ Day 3