Montgomery's Inaugural 'Fall Equinox Festival' A Huge Success October 04, 2017 10:49
Words by Inge Hill: Druids Charity Club
The 1st annual Fall Equinox Festival put on by the Montgomery based Druids Charity Club was a great success, both in terms of money raised for a great cause and smiles created. Set in Montgomery’s iconic Union Station Train Shed on Sunday, September 23rd, the event pulled in more than $70,000 through a combination of generous donations from sponsors and day of event sales. The occasion of the day was a benefit for Hogs for the Cause, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit supporting families afflicted with pediatric brain cancer. As a result of the event, grants have already been going out to local families in need.
As advertised, the event proved to be a family-centric affair with wide appeal across generations. Kids (and some adults) in pig noses could be heard squealing in delight in the ‘Pig Pen’ while they played in the two bouncy houses, ate cotton candy, had their faces painted, and participated in various arts and crafts adventures. For the sports inclined, the Alabama and Auburn games were each broadcast on an enormous LED TV setup. No one left the event hungry as the BBQ was both plentiful and delicious. Moe's Original BBQ served up Alabama style dishes; their pork ribs were a solid fan favorite. Druids BBQ focused on Texas Hill Country (beef brisket and sausage) while Mojo Hand focused on Carolina style ‘Q (pulled pork with mustard sauce). Taken as a whole, Montgomery was treated to a remarkably rounded BBQ review of some of the more distinctive styles that can be found in America.
The music was phenomenal and true to its advertising of a diverse bill spanning Blues and Americana influences. Family Reunion Trio, consisting of Montgomery mainstays, William Barnes, Dave P. Moore, & John Mark Turner, got things going in the shed with a classy sit down acoustic affair. Moore treated the crowd to soulful vocals across a wide range of blues and roots music standards, while Barnes and Turner accompanied with mandolin and guitars. It was a fine collaboration for a group of musicians who have meant so much to the Montgomery music scene through the years.
After a 30 minute rain delay that made things interesting for a spell, Anthony ‘Big A’ Sherrod and the Allstars hit the stage with a foot stomping set of electronic Mississippi Delta blues. The quartet out of Clarksdale, MS came dressed for the occasion and determined to bring a little bit of that Delta sound to Montgomery. Big A demonstrated that he is a performer in every sense of the word, often interacting with the crowd between blues numbers which were usually punctuated with shredding guitar solos.
Last but not least, The Band of Heathens out of Austin took to the stage to take the bill to a more Americana realm. As a testament to their varied influences, many of their tunes (almost exclusively originals) had a familiar feeling even to first time listeners in the shed. Gordy Quist and Ed Jurdi displayed their vocal range throughout while the crowd was treated to numerous fan favorites and treats from their new album, Duende. While this band of musicians can jam with the best of them (“Look at Miss Ohio”, “Daddy Longlegs,” and the jam out of “Hurricane” come to mind) the band trended towards a disciplined structure underlined by an approachable down-home style. Together, diverse in influences yet similar in spirit, the three bands created a five hour musical jigsaw puzzle that came together piece by piece as the event unfolded. May their roads go on forever.
The Druids are pleased with the result of year #1 of the Fall Equinox Festival and look forward to building on that success heading into next year. A healthy amount of money was raised for local families and a good time was had by all doing it. The Druids would like to thank their countless volunteers and corporate sponsors whose generosity made everything possible. We would also like to thank Live and Listen for their support and promotion. As life goes, the last few years have not been short on challenges - all the more reason to find time to light those fires, plug in those guitars, put on those dancing shoes, and remember that life on this world is precious.
Fall Equinox Festival Will Feature BBQ, Blues, Americana, & Much More June 21, 2017 08:14
The Druids Charity Club is pleased to announce their 1st annual Fall Equinox Festival, a charity event benefitting Hogs for the Cause and their quest to support families struggling with the effects of pediatric brain cancer. The 2017 Fall Equinox Festival will be held in Montgomery’s Union Station Train Shed on Saturday, September 23rd, the day after the Autumnal Equinox. Noteworthy for being the time of year when the day and night are equal in length, this is a time for balance and reflection before the night slowly overtakes the day in the winter months. For ages, this has been a period of celebration of the harvest and giving thanks. To mark this special time, the Druids Charity Club BBQ team has joined forces with Moe’s Original BBQ to put on a festive experience in downtown Montgomery running from the early afternoon into the evening.
To honor the harvest, Druids and Moe’s will be smoking delicious BBQ for the event’s patrons, creating both Alabama and Central Texas BBQ styles. Additional local BBQ vendors will be added to the program shortly, please stay tuned for further announcements.
To punctuate the celebratory nature of the occasion, a music component consisting of three bands will be rocking the shed. This year will feature Blues & Americana style music. The headliner will be the nationally touring Band of Heathens, fresh off their 5th studio album, Duende. Big A & the Allstars out of Clarksdale, MS will provide a foot stomping set of electric blues; while the Montgomery rooted Family Reunion Trio will round out the bill. Please read below for band bio information.
Druids strives to create an atmosphere which is appealing to the entire family. As such, a Kids Zone will be provided in addition to a college football viewing station.
Hogs for the Cause
Hogs for the Cause (“Hogs”) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focused on helping families which have been affected by pediatric brain cancer. Many families in this situation find themselves facing overwhelming costs associated with their child’s medical treatment. In order to offset these hardships, Hogs provides monetary grants to families in need. Hogs is committed to maximizing the impact of every dollar to support these families. Currently, Hogs has distributed over $1.8 million via grants to families in need as well as donations to other related charities. Additionally, Hogs has committed another $1.6M towards Children’s Hospital of New Orleans to construct an on-campus housing facility so that regional families can remain with their sick children in a comfortable environment. This facility should open later this year. The Hogs fundraising cycle is capped by their annual BBQ and music festival held every spring in New Orleans. The Druids Charity Club has enjoyed a robust partnership with Hogs over the last three years, and we ask that you join our efforts now to lessen the burden on these families. While Hogs is based in New Orleans, every dollar raised at this event will benefit a local River Region family in need.
Collaboration in Service
Druids Charity Club is itself a 501(c)(3) (designation pending) non-profit organization consisting of a coalition of like-minded mid-30’s folks who were raised in Montgomery, along with their friends and loved ones. While a sense of duty regarding the need to better give back to the community we love had been simmering for some time, that sentiment was galvanized with a renewed sense of purpose when our good friend Wyatt Smith became sick with cancer. Wyatt isn’t with us in this world anymore, but his spirit lives on every time we enjoy some of the things that truly made him happiest: music, good eating, and doing right by others.
While we have had several private fundraising events in the past few years, we are especially excited to be putting on our first event in our hometown. It is with pleasure that we acknowledge the support we have received from Live and Listen in planning this event. We are equally excited over the upcoming collaboration between our BBQ team and the professionals at Moe’s Original BBQ, as well as the (pending) additional vendors. Can’t wait to see y’all in the shed!]
Learn More About The Lineup
The Band of Heathens
Watch Band of Heathens' music video for "Deep Is Love" here:
Big A & The Allstars
Hailing from the heart of the Mississippi Delta, many consider early 30-something Anthony “Big A” Sherrod to be the future of the “Clarksdale sound.” Big A picked up his first guitar at the age of 6 and hasn’t put it down since. Learning to play from local blues player, instructor, and mentor Johnnie Billington, Big A continues to act as an ambassador to the next generation of Delta blues musicians. Not unlike the confluence of the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers, his style incorporates many of the influences that collectively bubbled out of this great hotbed of American music. When Big A isn’t playing at the world renowned Red’s Lounge in Clarksdale, he can be found dazzling crowds at blues festivals throughout the country. Playing for you today as an electric blues trio, please welcome Big A & the Allstars.
Watch Big A performing at Briggs Farm in 2014 here:
Family Reunion Trio
Featuring William Barnes, Dave P. Moore, & John Mark Turner
Representing Montgomery’s own rich musical heritage we have William Barnes, Dave P. Moore, & John Mark Turner. These three have been family and colleagues since the early 90’s, but catching them all on the same stage at the same time is a rare and celebratory event these days. Barnes has been a staple on the southern music seen since 1992, leading his own groups like Far South Movement and collaborating with a diverse range of artists from Col Bruce Hampton to Snarky Puppy. Our audience will perhaps best know Moore and Turner from their collaborations together over the years within Blues Old Stand, a band which has achieved near mythical status dating back to its origins over 30 years ago. Together as a trio, these musicians will be serving up a set of gritty homestyle roots music spanning blues, country, Gospel, jazz and all points in between. If the sound of an honest tune being delivered by raw heartfelt vocals, crying guitars, and lonesome back-woods harmonica does it for ya, then you don’t want to miss this special hometown reunion show. These three “put it down where the goats can get it.”
For more information on Hogs for the Cause, please visit: www.hogsforthecause.org
For event sponsorship opportunities, please contact:
John Sullivan: 334-717-0107 (Cell)
Email: Click Here