May 09--Two local bands will take the stage at next week's Theater of the American South. Although they have different roots, they both have stories to tell.
The Monitors will kick things off Thursday night with an outdoor concert at the Wilson Arts Center.
Band co-founder Bill Myers said The Monitors will play music from various periods incorporating several styles including gospel, blues, jazz and Latin.
Myers said that in recent concerts the group has recognized the African-American Music Trail by incorporating these musical styles and by talking about them.
Following that same theme, Michelle Lanier, one of the authors of the UNC Press book "African American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina," will be at Thursday night's event that starts at 6. Lanier is director of the N.C. African American Heritage Commission and the Traditions and Heritage Program of the N.C. Arts Council.
Also on the agenda for Thursday night's patron party is a Southern menu by local caterer Kitty Mears and a visual arts show with Garland Mattox, Victoria Sexton, Renee Moore and the Wilson Active Artists Association.
Myers said The Monitors will play to the crowd, as always, and there will be plenty of music for dancing Thursday night. He knows a local crowd at an outdoor concert (even if it is under a tent) will want to do some line dancing, and the band will accommodate with some dance tunes."I'm sure we'll do several of those," said Myers, who will be on keyboard.
Playing for The Monitors Thursday night will also be Sam Lathan on drums, Gerald Hunter on guitar, Dale Bryce on bass, Donald Tuckson on saxophone, Dick Knight on trumpet, Clark Mills Jr. on keyboard, Leonard Palmer on keyboards, Mollie Hunter singing and Elvis Townsend on congos.
Hear Sherlocke on stage
The band Sherlocke will take the audience back to the music of the 1970s when they play at the Boykin Center the Saturday night of Theater of the American South, May 17.
It won't just be music, though, said band member John Harris, who recently wrote a book about the band, "Sherlocke: Wilson's Band of Brothers."
"We've really been working on the music part, but it's also going to be a story," he said.
Harris, who lives in lives in Wilson with his wife, Janet, is corporate director of special projects for Capital Broadcasting Company/ WRAL in Raleigh.
At the concert, he and other band members will trace their history, starting in 1966 when Duran Broadhurst and Johnny Hackney started the band The Inspirations.
Those two will be the first on stage and will be joined by other band members in the order they were added. Doug Boone and Keith Hamm came next, then Harris, who started with the band in ninth grade, and Steven Leder. George Gunsa will not be able to play trumpet at the concert, but Harris hopes he will be in the audience. Bill Boles will play trumpet for Sherlocke, as he has the last few years, Harris said.
Also in the audience will be Robert Hackney, the group's only manager, and that was in high school, Harris recalled. He and his wife will be traveling from Connecticut for the concert.
Harris said the band will be playing the main line songs they were popular for including "Long Train Running," "Free Ride" and "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" Also expect a tribute to former band member the late Sheldon Leder.
Before the concert, the band will be in Hammond Gallery at the Boykin Center for a booksigning. There will also be some band photos on display, Harris said, "So people can walk around and get a good laugh!"
The pre-concert party starts at 6 p.m. and will include Allgood Hot Dogs, Captain Poncho's Taco Truck, Coastal Beverage, Jeffrys and Grapenuts. The party will extend to the Thomas and Farris parking lot.
Earlier in the day, Harris and the band will participate in a forum at the Boykin Center. Harris will talk about the book and the writing process. The others will chime in, he said, and they will take questions from the audience. After the 10 a.m. forum ends, Sugar Plum Shoppe will have lunch available.
Theater of the American South, a celebration of culture and theater, is a three-day event this year. Friday's events will take place at Barton College'sLauren Kennedy and Alan Campbell Theatre and include a reception, a performance reading by David Winstead of "Bad News for Our Four Letter Words" and a presentation by Gerard Lange of his book "Light from Darkness, or War and Baseball."
Tickets and a Bus Ride
The ninth annual Theater of the American South is May 15-17 in three locations. For a complete schedule or ticket information, call the Arts Council of Wilson at 291-4329 or visit theateroftheamericansouth.org.
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