The sounds of American Blues Music will be rocking in Downtown Hillsborough for July 4th Weekend as the Annual Picnic in the Park concert returns on June 30. Produced by The Alliance for Historic Hillsborough and Music Maker Relief Foundation, the free concert features four musical acts, food trucks, community groups, kid’s activities and more. It will take place at the Farmers Market Pavilion at River Park on Sunday, June 30 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Bring your own chairs and set up for a great day of live music
11:00 – LIGHTNIN’ WELLS
Mike “Lightnin'” Wells brings traditions together in his entertaining, informative and down-home one-man shows. His latest album, titled O Lightnin’ Where Art Thou?, displays his range as never before as he plays and sings his way through songs from early country and bluegrass to blues, gospel, and old time mountain music. Born in West Virginia and largely raised in North Carolina, Lightnin’ was smitten early by the famed WWVA Jamboree radio show out of Wheeling, West Virginia. When his family moved to the Chapel Hill, North Carolina area, he discovered a rich vein of piedmont blues and old time music as well. On this episode of Across the Blue Ridge, we hear selections from the new album, plus an interview and songs from his 2016 appearance at Muddy Creek Music Hall in Winston-Salem, NC. Also on the show, a selection of classic cuts from the three most significant bands in the early history of bluegrass music: Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys; The Stanley Brothers; and Flatt & Scruggs & The Foggy Mountain Boys. There’s some great old time string band music as well from The Reed Island Rounders and The Camp Creek Boys.
12:00 – DEDICATED MEN OF ZION
The Dedicated Men of Zion all grew up in the church together in Eastern North Carolina and led by Anthony Daniels. “We were all each others’ fans,” Daniels says, and they jumped at the opportunity to join together. Daniels recalls that music was taken very seriously in his home. His mother taught him to sing in harmony, and by age 7 he led his church’s choir. Each member grew up deeply immersed in song and faith. Together, the Dedicated Men of Zion have recored two albums and are establishing themselves as an emerging group across the state of North Carolina. “We love what we do, we love the purpose,” Daniels says.
1:00 – HARVEY DALTON ARNOLD
Harvey Dalton Arnold is a singer, guitarist and North Carolina-native who has a passion for the blues. He sold millions of albums as a member of southern-rock band The Outlaws from 1976-80 and has played at Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall. Harvey performs a left-handed finger-picking style and slide playing on electric and acoustic guitars.Though he made a career of electric rock, his roots are in bluegrass and old country from his upbringing in eastern North Carolina. In 2005, Harvey was diagnosed with head, neck and tongue cancer. After a year of treatment, his health recovered along with his passion for music. He taught himself to talk and sing again, returning to the music of his childhood: the blues.
2:00 – ALABAMA SLIM
“I grew up listening to the old blues since I was a child. I spent summers with my grandparents who had a farm. Them old folks would get to moanin’ while they worked, and I just started moanin’ with them. That’s where I learned to sing.” – Alabama Slim Slim grew up playing in juke joints in Alabama and moved to New Orleans in the ‘60s. Since joining MM, his music has been felt at performances in the States and abroad and he has recorded The Mighty Flood, an album featuring Slim & blues guitarist Little Freddie King.
The event will also include community vendors and food from the food trucks Taco Grande, American Meltdown, a Loco Pops.