ryan’s forecast

by Ryan Snyder

upcoming shows you should check out


Forget, for a moment, the massive racks of juicy ribs ready to be devoured on the sweltering blacktop of the Dixie Classic Fairgrounds at the Twin City Rib Fest this week. The musical bill this year is just begging to be consumed as well. While it’s unfortunate that Vanilla Ice couldn’t make it back to headline for a second consecutive year, one of the greats of New Orleans music will be around to headline this Saturday night. There’s something great to hear (and taste) every day, however, and starting on Thursday, that something will be the smoky jazz and swing of Tennessee’s Christabel & the Jons, a band so good that it’s kind of hard to believe that they’re kicking the whole thing off at 6 p.m. on Thursday. Stick around for the Hot Seats, a Newgrass ensemble of explosive energy, as they close the day out. Friday night focuses on the contemporary country sound and features Texas crooner Darren Kozelsky, a man burning up the Lone Star circuit these days. It’s Saturday night, however, that no one can afford to miss. Cyril Neville, the youngest of the four Neville Brothers, is the honeyed bark on this rack of baby backs. The former Meter and New Orleans Social Club member is fire on percussion and vocals and his band is one of the staunchest vestiges of traditional New Orleans sound. On Sunday, be sure to get there early for Superfriends, a collective of some of the finest rock musicians in Winston-Salem. Tickets for the festival run from $7 to $35, and the festival happens Thursday through Sunday. For more information, visit


Essentially, Charlie Poole was like Hank Williams before there really was a Hank Williams. Without Poole, there might not have been a Hank Williams like we know him, that much is almost certain. The hard-drinkin’, hard-pickin’ Poole was one of the most influential and unsung voices in all of early 20 th century music, providing the musical template for not only Williams, but Bill Monroe as well. His legacy is celebrated every year in his hometown of Eden at the Charlie Poole Music Festival, which will happen this weekend from Friday to Sunday and is in its 15 th installment. The festival is unique in that it doesn’t specifically focus on performances — though there are plenty to be seen and heard. This festival is a bit more competitive and academic in its pursuits. Those who want to show themselves to be the best clawhammer or finger-pickers in the Old Time tradition only need sign up to prove their worth.

While you can come to see great musicians from all around perform, this is really the place to be for anyone who simply wants to learn more about the history of country and bluegrass music; Poole was the cornerstone in both of their developments. Tickets for each day are $15, or $25 for a weekend pass. On-site camping is only $10 per night. The festival is a project of Piedmont Folk Legacies Inc., a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote and preserve the musical and cultural legacy of the Piedmont region and to celebrate its influence on the development of American vernacular music, as exemplified by Charlie Poole. More information and competition sign-up can be found at

James Taylor and CaroleKing perform on June 2. (photo by Jessica Mashburn)