It was a sweet sunset stroll down the 1990s aisle last Saturday night as the seasoned stage pros that are All-4-One lit up the night with the Huntington Symphony Orchestra at Barboursville Park. The vocal band's humor and steady stream of well-polished radio hits serenaded a summer evening.
The band told an interesting story about their "nonhit" "I Turn to You," recorded for the 1996 "Space Jam" soundtrack. The song never got to its release as a single because the soundtrack had been loaded with such hits as R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly."
While All-4-One never got the chance to chart with the Diane Warren-penned song they first cut, it did become the very first hit for Christina Aguilera, a couple years later in the late 1990s.
If you want to keep that smooth 1990s R&B vibe rolling into this weekend, you are in luck.
One of the region's finest DJs, Charlie Brown Superstar presents "Return Of The Mack: An Evening Of 90's R&B," at the V Club, 741 6th Ave., Huntington.
Doors open at 8 p.m., on Friday, July 20, and CBS takes the stage at 9 p.m.
Cover is $5 for those 18 and up to enjoy the best of '90s R&B with a sprinkle of hiphop on top.
I bumped into CBS (aka Brett Fuller) late last week and he let me know about a unique collaboration he has been doing with ace drummer Steve Barker (Qiet).
The two will be jamming from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 2, at Black Sheep Stage, 279 9th St., Huntington (at Pullman Square) following the Ona headline show at Pullman Square Summer Concert Series.
DJ Day Party @ Heritage Station
It may not be tailgate season yet, but for anyone who needs a little "training," Marshall grad and veteran regional urban entertainment producer, Eric Easley is bringing a new concept to the region. From 2 to 6 p.m., it's a Rompers vs Sundresses Day Party, an adults only day-time party at Heritage Station with DJ Miz spinning some old school hip hop and R&B.
Cocktails available inside Sip Wine & Whiskey Bar. Food vendors will be on site. Casual summer attire suggested
Easley said the day parties spinning a little more old school, more R&B and soulful rap, has become trendy in a bunch of bigger cities. Easley has always been the first to bring fun parties to the region. It doesn't matter whether it has been foam or glow parties, he wanted to be the first to try an adult dance party out here. "The day party is all the rage and in a lot of cities they are starting to beat the night parties " Easley said. "A lot of people are gearing events toward more young professionals instead of primarily a collegiate thing. People go to work and they don't want to be out until 3 or 4 in the morning." Easley said. He's also trying out something he never has for the party, which is pay what you want. Go online at Romperswv.eventbrite.com to buy tickets. "It is a pay whatever you want to pay so it is for the cost conscience consumer as well as the person who truly appreciates the art," Easley said.
Also on Saturday from 8 to 11:30 p.m., Easley is hosting a drug-, tobacco-and alcohol-free dance party for teens ages 13 to 17 at Heritage Station.
The dance party will be celebrating his daughter Envy Easley's 16th birthday. The teen dance party will feature her 13-year-old brother, Xavion Easley, Xa the Kid DJ, a Beckley-based professional DJ with some serious game and a great personality to boot. We hired him to DJ the Huntington Middle School dance a couple years ago and since then he has been all over the state as one of the youngest working DJs including playing at a West Virginia Power baseball game.
The Heritage Station teen dance party is free and open to any teenagers in the Tri-State. Parents are welcome to stick around and chaperone. Refreshments will be available and bring a dollar or two to pin on the birthday girl. For more info text 304-908-9078 or Facebook.com/XaTheKidDJ.
Brewing up some good tunes
The clock is ticking and here soon we'll be announcing all the 2018 bands that will be playing the week-long Huntington Music and Arts Fest. One of the regional bands based out of Columbus I discoverd at last year's HMAF is the rowdy yet tasteful, Angela Perley & The Howlin' Moons. They'll be playing this weekend and next weekend in Southern Ohio. Perley, who plays a mean musical saw, and whose band chalks up more than 100 dates a year, is playing Friday, July 20 at The Union in Athens, Ohio. This will be during the famous 13th annual Ohio Brew Week. Then they'll follow up on Saturday, July 28 at Court Grill for Pomeroy's 18th Annual Big Bend Blues Bash. Go online at https://www.facebook.com/Bigbendbluesbash/ for more info on the Blues Bash and www.ohiobrewweek.com for more info on the massive craft beer in Athens that rolls through Saturday, July 21. More news on the Blues Bash and other cool late summer music fests later in the H-D.
Rails and Ales releases lineup
The Better Beer Coalition (BBC), which organizes the sixth annual Rails & Ales Festival has set two sessions on Saturday, Aug. 11. The lineup for music scheduled to play at Ohio Riverside at Harris River-front Park has been announced.
With another assist from Huntington-based booking agency Whizzbang BAM, the Rails and Ales has reeled in two bands from Lexington, the vivacious rockers, Johnny Conqueroo, and the sweet soul of Joslyn & The Sweet Compression. To accompany the Kentucky sounds are Huntington's own regionally traveling indie rockers, Of The Dell. Rails and Ales features more than 300 different craft and import beers and ciders, including many of West Virginia's breweries. There will also be an eclectic mix of local food as well as artisans and other vendors during the sessions that run from noon to 4 p.m. VIP tickets will allow early access starting at 11 a.m. General Admission tickets are S40, VIP are $60 in advance— and will sellout. Designated Driver tickets are $20 and are only available for purchase at the gate on the day of the event.
Tickets may be purchased on-line www.railsandales.com/tickets. The event will be held rain or shine. There will be no refunds for tickets purchased. Additionally, anyone who attends the event must have a ticket, a photo ID and be over 21 years of age.
'Stones, Rivers and Trains' and a road-trip to Red River Gorge
My Road trip pick this weekend is to one of my favorite spots of natural beauty in our region — Kentucky's Red River Gorge which is home to more than 100 natural bridges. The most natural bridges east of the Rocky Mountains.
This weekend, they've got a stout batch of great original music pairing incredibly well with the natural beauty as the Festival of The Red is firing up at the Natural Bridge Camp-ground in Slade, Kentucky. Friday through Sunday with dozens of regional acts including Luna and the Mountain Jets, Sean Whiting, Chelsea Nolan, Grits and Soul, Red River Revival and many more. The festival will also include Huntington's own rambling, writing man, Tim Lancaster, who has just released his new Max Nolte engineered album, "Stones, Rivers, & Trains." Songs were written by Lancaster during his unique song-writing residency Harpers Ferry National Historical Park a couple summers ago.
The album is now up and available for streaming and purchase on ilunes, Apple Music, & Spotify. Go online at https://www.facebook.com/timlancastersongs/ to find out more about Lancaster and go online at https://www.festivalofthered.com/ for more info on the festival, which also has a pet show, a car show, a trail ride and open mic session. The festival is about two hours drive southwest of Huntington in the Red River Gorge. Go online at http://www.redrivergorge.com/ to find out more about the Gorge.
Dave Lavender writes about music for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Facebook and Twitter @DaveLavenderHD.