The Alive After Five Summer Concert Series closes out the season this week but the show’s not quite over yet, with a two-day encore to provide the soundtrack to the 28th annual Court Square Street Fair in October.
In the works since the beginning of this year, the lineup for first-ever “Alive After Five Street Fair Main Stage Concert Series” is set. The Fantastic Shakers will hit the stage Friday night, Oct. 10, as a prelude to the street fair. Four more bands, The ViewMasters, The Magnificents, The Malpass Brothers and Spare Change, will play to the masses during Saturday’s (Oct. 11) Court Square Street Fair & BBQ Cook-Off.
“The Alive After Five Committee along with its approximate 110 sponsors is excited to provide the ‘Alive After Five Street Fair Main Stage Concert Series’ as partner with the City of Clinton,” Ray Jordan, president of the Sampson Arts Council, AA5 committee member and executive director of the Sampson County Agri-Exposition Center, announced.
Alive After Five is a partnership between the Arts Council, Sampson County and the City of Clinton and that partnership is growing with the summer series’ expansion into the fall. Steve Owens & Summertime will wrap the summer series this Thursday, Aug. 21, and following a September hiatus, AA5 will return in its new iteration in October.
“The ‘Main Stage’ concerts will offer a day full of live performances for attendees during the upcoming Court Square Street Fair & BBQ Cook-Off,” Jordan attested of the Saturday, Oct. 11, event.
Friday night’s kickoff will feature The Fantastic Shakers performing from 6 to 9 p.m. at the “Main Stage,” located at the city parking lot next to the Train Depot on Elizabeth Street. As with the summer series, the “Main Stage” concerts are free to the public.
A crowd favorite and past AA5 performer, The Fantastic Shakers boast five lead vocalists and up to three horns, performing almost any style of music from up-tempo dance and rock to smooth easy listening. South Carolina’s Grand Strand has become the band’s summer home and their hit single “Myrtle Beach Days” catapulted The Shakers’ as one of beach music’s best.
Jordan said that is just the beginning, with Saturday to “feature four outstanding groups providing a variety of music genres that is sure to provide wide audience appeal.”
“The Court Square Street Fair Committee is very pleased to partner with the Alive After Five Committee and sponsors to bring the Alive After Five Main Stage and bands to downtown Clinton for a great weekend of fun and a variety of music,” said Clinton-Sampson Planning director Mary Rose, a member of both committees. “Our event partners truly make this a wonderful event with something for everyone enjoy.”
The first concert of the day for October’s street fair will feature one of Sampson County’s own gospel groups, when The ViewMasters Gospel Quartet takes the stage at 9:30 a.m. The ViewMasters have been singing Southern Gospel music since 1975, taking their name from Plainview Pentecostal Freewill Baptist just north of Clinton.
The band consists of three original members, Wayne Weeks, Frankie Puryear and Charles Jernigan, as well as Roy Fryar, Millard Owen and his wife Deborah.
At approximately 10:50 a.m., The Magnificents will take the stage. With a wealth of live performance experience and a variety of styles including beach, top-40 and dance music, the six members feature four distinctly different lead vocalists and travel with some of the best musicians around. They are also no strangers to the local Alive After Five series, having headlined it just last month.
Following The Magnificents will be The Malpass Brothers, deemed “as authentic as stone-ground grits, country ham and red-eye gravy, hush puppies and chopped pork barbecue … and they’re every bit as good.”
As young boys, Christopher and Taylor Malpass soaked up the music of their granddad’s phonograph records. Christopher earned his first talent show trophy at age 7, and Taylor was playing mandolin by the time he was 10. Today, as 20-somethings, they promote the work and music of classic country artists they treasure while creating new music and pledging to make those who come to their shows fans of “classic old-time real country music.”
The Malpass Brothers toured with the late Don Helms, former steel guitarist for Hank Williams, have opened for music legend Merle Haggard on multiple concert tours and appeared on stages from the Shetland Islands to Ryman Auditorium to Merlefest. The brothers have shared billing with artists including Ray Price, Willie Nelson, Rhonda Vincent, Marty Stuart, Doc Watson and more. The title cut video from their “Memory That Bad” album hit CMT Pure Country’s Top Ten.
The Malpass Brothers are set to play from 12:25 to 1:20 p.m.
Closing out the day’s concert schedule is Spare Change, scheduled to hit the stage at 2:15 p.m. The group got its start in 2002 as a four-piece band made up of a group of friends. Traveling throughout the Southeast, Spare Change offers a diverse selection of music, from rock, country, beach, funk, rap and classic rock, while featuring an arry of instruments ranging from the mandolin to the violin.
Another Alive After Five alum, Spare Change rocked the stage during last year’s series.
Providing a full slate of entertainment all day Saturday will be a tremendous boost for the street fair and great exposure for sponsors, the community and the long-running local fair.
“It’s a great kickoff to the street fair,” said Jordan. “This is an excellent opportunity to add a new component to the street fair that is sure to increase the attendance of the festival. That will in turn provide a positive economic impact to the community as well as the many vendors and exhibitors participating in this year’s event.”
Limited seating will be provided at the shows, however event attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and sunscreen. There are no coolers or pets are allowed.
For more information about the Alive After Five sponsored concerts visit: www.aliveafterfiveclintonnc.com; or contact Ray Jordan via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information and details about the 28th annual Court Square Street Fair & BBQ Cook-Off, visit downtownclinton.com/street-fair/ or contact Betty Holland at 910-299-2904.
See future editions of The Sampson Independent for updates on the street fair closer to the event.
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-249-4616. Follow us on twitter @SampsonInd.