Even rain cannot damper the musical spirits in Crockettsville
|Halfway 2 Hazard – by Jessica Blankenship|
Saturday afternoon, country music fans gathered in the small community of Crockettsville, Kentucky, for the 3rd Annual Crockettsville Charity Concert and Trail Ride. Nestled in the hills of eastern Kentucky, the Abner Farm, hosted the event that was coordinated by Chad Warrix, Breathitt County native. Proceeds from the event would go to benefit the Buckhorn Children’s Home, an organization committed to caring for suffering children in the region. Saturday was filled with acoustic sets by various performers, while Sunday was a fun day on the Eastern Kentucky Trail Ride system.
Starting off the mid-afternoon show was Texas native, Craig Wayne Boyd. Even though he is not officially on a label, country fans have been noticing the talent of this young man as he has been opening shows for the likes of Jamey Johnson and Travis Tritt. His set on Saturday evening was filled with well-written pure country tunes. He would be followed by Chuck Cannon, who has written hits for several artists, including, “I Love the Way You Love Me” for John Michael Montgomery and “Strange” for Randy Houser. Cannon would be laid back throughout his set that showcased his songwriting talents. It is always interesting to hear the songwriter’s take of the song that someone else would sing and make it their own.
Nashville Star contestant, Gabe Garcia would take to the stage, singing a mixture of his own tunes, as well as several George Strait hits. One of the highlights would be “Turn On the Texas” with the honky tonking feeling that got your boots tapping. This would be Garcia’s third consecutive performance at the event.
Just before the storm clouds appeared, newcomer Randy Montana would bring his own blend of country music to the fans. What some may not have known, this would be one of his last shows before heading out on the road to open for Sugarland on their fall tour. His set would include, “Someday,” “Boys of Summer,” and the radio single climbing the charts, “Ain’t Much Left of Lovin’ You.” Just as he sang, “Goodbye Rain,” the rain clouds would soon grace the sky and the heavens opened up as rain would start to fall down. Eventually has the storms rolled through, Montana’s set would be cut due to lightning as fans would have to seek shelter.
Nothing is as calming as listening to the rain fall down on the mountainside as the clouds would roll out and the sun would soon shine. Once the storms would pass over, Randy Montana would continue his set. He would conclude it with, “Love Has a Thousand Faces” that he plans on releasing in January.
Amongst all the male performers, Danielle Peck would shine on her own with her southern country style. Being no stranger to Crockettsville, Peck would entertain the crowd with her third consecutive performance. In honor of those affected with the events of 9/11, Danielle Peck would sing a powerful reindition of “God Bless America.” Her set would include the sassy Tammy Wynette tune, “Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad,” as well as her own tunes. She would shine with passion while singing “I Don’t” and showcasing her vocal powers full of emotion. With a voice like that, there is no reason why Danielle Peck should not be the top of the ranks of the females in country music.
An electricifying energy came over the crowd as Keith Anderson would have a full band set, featuring the guitar licks from Chad Warrix. Starting off with “Come On,” the crowd would raise to their feet ready for a rocking time. Chad Warrix felt right at home playing guitar for his hometown crowd. The boys would go on to sing, “Lost in This Moment,” “XXL,” “I Still Miss You,” and “Picking Wildflowers.” Keith Anderson would be full of smiles with the great performance that brought country-rock to town.
The moment that everyone was looking forward to was the reunion of Halfway 2 Hazard, featuring Chad Warrix and David Tolliver. The duo previously took a break earlier in the year to refocus their energy on other things. Both would continue to support each other and Saturday night, it felt just right to see the two back again. It is very evident that both know where they come from and are honored to play for their hometown crowd. Halfway 2 Hazard showed that they still have heart, pride, and passion for their music and the Appalachian region. Prior to their set, they honored those with 9/11 with a moment of silence.
Halfway 2 Hazard’s set was chalked full of southern country rock tunes, including “Taking Me On,” and “Countrifried.” During “Daisy,” the guys would pay tribute and thanks to the fans in the crowd and to those that have helped the event. Chill bumps would come over you as lighters and cell phone lights would light the darkness as everyone sang along to the tune that helped put the duo on the music map. It would be perfect to say that the best setting to sing “I Know Where Heaven Is” is right in the heart of the Appalachian mountains in the community that came together for one cause. Another powerful moment was the heartfelt “Devil And The Cross” that brought a silence over the crowd as they listened attentively to the lyrics.
Following Halfway 2 Hazard to conclude the night was the rock band, LIT, from Fullerton, California. Guitarist Jeremy Popoff is no stranger to the event as he was here for the first one. Not only has he help in the talents with the band, he has also had a knack for writing country songs. From the beginning of the band was on fire with their rocking set. Singing tunes such as “My Own Worst Enemy,” as well as “Over My Head.”
Even with the storms passing through, the spirits were never dampened in the community. On Sunday, fans alongside celebrities were on hand to take part of the trail ride through the back roads of Kentucky. In all, they were there to support a wonderful cause and to show the support for their local communities.
Jessica Blankenship is the owner and founder of Kentucky Country Music website with over 20 years experience in music journalism, concert planning, photography, and promotion. Jessica is a Kentucky Colonel and alumni of the 2019 Leadership Kentucky BRIGHT Class and a recipient of the Laurel County’s Ten Under 40 Award. Listen to her each week on WFKY on Friday mornings for the Nashville News Roundup.