July 4, 2010, is over now. But since I’m off work today, and since I’m watching Kingsport, Tenn.’s, Independence Day Parade on television right now, and since I went to Unicoi yesterday for Freedom Fest, I thought one last article about Independence Day was in order.
I have got to start out by congratulating the Town of Unicoi on their fantastic fireworks display. We’re talking about a town with little more than 3,500 people. And they put on a fireworks display that lasted nearly 20 minutes, was accompanied by patriotic music, and was definitely as enjoyable as the show in Johnson City (a town of nearly 62,000 people!) that I saw on Saturday night. The people in Unicoi certainly have sometime to be proud of – this is one of many festivals this small town sponsors each year. And every event they put on is well organized, fun and entertaining.
One of the performers at this year’s event was the Adam Larkey Band. Adam is 13 years old, and has been playing the fiddle since he was 6 years old. And was one of the young musicians invited to play at the White House last year as part of Michelle O’Bama’s White House Music Series. You can read that article by clicking here.
He has appeared on WCYB TV’s Family Focus, CMT, BCMA’s Pickin’ Porch, and the Carter Family Fold, as well as many other bluegrass featured radio broadcasts. He has been honored to be a featured performer in Nashville, along side accomplished artists such as The Little River Band, Kim Karnes and Penny Gilley.
If any of you ever have a chance to see this young man perform, you will not be sorry. He’s a real professional, with stage presence and showmanship that puts him at the level of artists with many more years experience. Adam’s sister, nine-year-old Sarah Grace, joined Adam on stage to perform an Allison Krauss song, and she opened the event with the National Anthem. She is definitely following in her big brother’s footsteps. She is talented, and like her brother, definitely enjoys entertaining the crowd.
The headliners for the day were Blue Mother Tupelo. The group, with lead singers, married couple Ricky and Micol Davis, are based in Nashville, and were a welcome addition to our little event here in northeast Tennessee. They were married in 1994, and began their career doing open mic night at Sassy Ann’s in Knoxville. Their debut album was released in 1997, and they moved to Nashville in 1998.
Micol is a singer, songwriter, pianist, tambourine player. She grew up in a family with a dad who would not allow her to listen to secular music – he was a preacher. Her bio tells us that through her teenage years, she was the church pianist, sang in various choirs, and eventually earned a degree in music education from the University Of Tennessee. Bonnie Raitt, Van Morrison, and Bobbie Gentry proved to be an enormous influence on her. She possesses the phenomenal natural gift to write songs and deliver whatever she’s singing with absolute conviction and gut-wrenching soul, depth, and emotion.
Her husband Ricky is also a singe4r and songwriter. He plays electric, acoustic and slide guitar, as well as other instruments. He is also a producer. Their music is described as a “unique Southern Soul sound.” I think that description works well – when I heard them for the first time, my thought was that they had a bit of a country-rock sound. But ‘soulful’ is probably more accurate.
They put on a 90-minute show, and the audience really enjoyed having them here in our part of the state. I hope you will all visit their web site, you’ll find out a lot more about this group.
Here are a few more pictures from the event in Unicoi, Tenn., and the official end of my July 4, 2010, celebration.
I’m going to leave you all with this video of Adam Larkey – with Bubbles in the background by sister Sarah Grace.
I will talk to you all real soon! Enjoy the rest of your Monday holiday from work! Write when you have a minute! I always love hearing form you1