WHITMIRE — The fourth and final concert of the Tyger-Enoree River Association’s Fall Concert Series is slated for today.
This weekend’s concert — headlined by Mill Billy Blues featuring Freddie Vanderford, Shane Pruitt, and Brandon Turner — will be held from 4-7:30 p.m. today (Saturday, Oct. 26) at the Strand Amphitheater in Heritage Park, Whitmire. The event is open to all ages. Food and games will begin at 4 p.m. in the park, and music will begin at 5 p.m.
“It has been a wonderful month of shows thus far, and we expect no less tomorrow,” said event organizer and TERA co-founder Jon Durham on Friday.
Durham called Saturday’s headline group Mill Billy Blues “a virtual super group featuring some of the Upcountry’s finest musicians.”
The band was formed early this year and produced a self-titled album full of Piedmont blues — a genre of soulful music which is indigenous to this region. The name of the group came from the fact that each band member comes from a South Carolina mill village.
Each of the band members already had a lifetime of experience performing, and they decided to come together as friends and musicians to create a new old sound to identify the mill villages and the back roads of the Piedmont region.
Vanderford, who studied under Piedmont blues founding father Peg Leg Sam and is known for his work in preserving the Piedmont blues, discussed the origin of the band’s name.
“Growing up in the small textile communities, we all heard these older guys sitting around playing with family and friends,” Vanderford said. “It was blues, but it was pretty much mill village, mill-hill blues, so Shane came up with the name ‘Mill Billy.’”
With their earliest influences being country, gospel, folk and Piedmont-style blues, the four musicians honed their individual skills over time, creating an acoustic sound unique to each of them. Now, the combination of those sounds has been dubbed “Mill Billy Blues.”
Find more about Mill Billy Blues at www.millbillyblues.com or on Facebook.
Opening for Mill Billy Blues will be Prosperity-based band Albatross, featuring Jake Kiehl, Ben Kiehl, and Zach Stoudemayer. Albatross can also be found on Facebook, and in the band’s description on the page, one statement says it all — “We make rock and roll.” The page goes on to describe them as a rock and roll band who plays blues rock, classic rock, country rock, and rock ‘n’ soul.
The concert series event will also include a cornhole tournament with cash prizes. Registration is $15 in advance and $20 the day of the event.
Sponsors for the TERA Fall Concert Series are WNCW 88.7, Roche Pharmacy, and Piggly Wiggly.Visit www.tygerenoree.com or call (803) 271-6701 for more information.