HUNTINGTON — On Saturday, July 24, the Greater Huntington Park & Recreation District and the Taps At Heritage are reviving the Party on the Patio live music series.
This week, at Heritage Station located downtown at 11th Street and Veterans Memorial Boulevard, Scott Honaker and crew will take the stage for a free concert surrounded by soft drinks and ice-cold beer. The show begins at 7 p.m. and lasts until 11 p.m.
Honaker is a singer and songwriter who was raised in St. Albans, West Virginia. Eventually, he and his wife made the move to Nashville where he worked his way through the maze that is the highly competitive music industry.
Finally, after over a decade in Tennessee, Honaker and his family, now containing two kids, moved back to Poca, West Virginia, to be near parents and grandparents. While he still pursues music and travels to Nashville a couple of times a month to perform at the Opryland Hotel in the Grand Ole Opry complex, he has also formed a trio here in the Mountain State that brings classic rock ‘n’ roll to the people.
The Scott Honaker Band concentrates on the rock music of the late 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s, bringing to life all of the hits that people still love to party to and enjoy.
While in Nashville, Honaker represented West Virginia well, performing at legendary places such as The Bluebird while adjusting to big-city life.
“We had planned the move to Nashville way ahead of time,” said Honaker. “We were living in St. Albans and had saved up some money, so it wasn’t a matter of one week we decided to go and the next week we were gone. We planned it for about a year and a half and we didn’t have kids at the time. So, we packed up what we had and put it in a U-Haul and left.
“It was fun to go down there where you had a chance at making something out of yourself, but it was also strange to live in a different place and in a different state. While Nashville was already a big city when we moved there, it exploded as the population, the traffic and the tourism just skyrocketed.”
The first thing Honaker did in Music City USA was to connect with other songwriters and go to the various songwriter nights at the clubs.
“Some songwriter night events were friendlier to beginners than others,” said Honaker. “So, the main thing I tried to do was to make connections with people. It took me a couple of years to play at The Bluebird. They did have Open Mic Nights on Monday, which I did play at a couple of times. But, I was also able to audition and get to play at their (famous) Sunday night Songwriter Rounds. The goal was to not only get out there and play the songs that I had written, but to also listen to other people and get feedback. Sometimes, you can get inspired by other people.”
Honaker also worked long hours at his day job at Gibson Guitars while in Nashville at the same time he did studio work and performed at various clubs and restaurants. After moving back to the Mountain State, Honaker had to adjust, yet making music is still his passion.
“We wanted to come back to be closer to family,” said Honaker. “But, then again, by moving back, I knew there were a lot of things that I had not accomplished that I had set out to accomplish that would probably never happen. Thankfully, though, after coming back to West Virginia, while I’m not as busy as I was, I still get to go back to Nashville to play and sing at Opryland. And, I get to do that here, too. There are some days when I miss not being in Nashville, but I do enjoy being home. So, it kind of goes both ways as I don’t think I would be 100% happy in either place and it helps that I am able to drive back and forth.”
Honaker’s trio consists of himself on electric guitar, keyboards and vocals, Dave Thompson on drums and Bob Brown on bass.
“I’ve told people for years that there is so much talent in this area that never gets heard,” said Honaker. “We play anything from Lynyrd Skynyrd to Eddie Money, from Def Leppard to music from Poison, Ratt, Warrant and the Doobie Brothers. We try and hit the whole gamut of the 1970s and ‘80s. We have a great time. It is always cool to see people up and having a great time and wanting to hear those songs. We may have found our niche after all of these years.”