July 17, 2008
Frisco Jubilee is one of Hatteras Island’s favorite live music shows
By JORDAN TOMBERLIN
Friday night, at 7:30, Frisco’s Little Grove United Methodist
Church becomes the venue for one of Hatteras Island’s favorite
live music shows, The Frisco Jubilee.
The church has been hosting the Frisco Jubilee for two years now, but
the show got its start about six years ago, when a few friends and
musicians decided to get together for a weekly performance.
Wes Lassiter and his wife, Rhonda Bates, own and operate Red Drum Pottery in Frisco. Five years ago their
location had a large, spacious addition, and Wes, a banjo player,
started talking to his friend and fellow musician Stanley
“Stash” Lawrence about getting a show together at the
Lawrence, who at the time was playing with the Diamond Shoals Band,
liked the idea, and soon he and band mates April Trueblood and Herb
“Speedy” Price, along with Lassiter and others, started
playing weekly at Red Drum Pottery.
Over the years, the show grew more and more popular, and the group grew
to about eight to 10 regular members. But when the Lassiters moved
their shop to its current location in Frisco, they no longer had enough
space to support the show.
Group Manager Bob Boyer came to the rescue, securing a new venue for
the group—the Little Grove Church, a small, wooden building
tucked away in the Frisco woods, just off Highway 12. The little church
has hosted The Frisco Jubilee each Friday during the season ever
Don’t let the location fool you, though. The Frisco Jubilee
isn’t designed to supplement a Sunday service. You don’t
need to believe in anything but good music to enjoy the show, and while
the group does play the occasional gospel tune, you won’t find
much of their weekly set-list in a hymnal. A portion of the
proceeds from the shows do benefit the church’s building fun.
You won’t hear anything from the top 40, either. Not from this decade, anyway.
The Frisco Jubilee plays somewhere pleasantly in between. The
group relies heavily on bluegrass and country-western styles, mixing in
a healthy dose of traditional tunes and folk appeal. Playing
instrumental Bluegrass standards, gospel favorites, timeless
traditionals, folk ballads, and everything else from Bob Dylan to Patsy
Cline, the Jubilee serves up an alluring blend of sounds that is sure
to strike a chord with any acoustic junkie.
The Jubilee’s regular members, including Stanley
“Stash” Lawrence, Herb “Speedy” Price, April
Trueblood, John Couch, Maylon Blue, Malcolm Peele, Ocracokers Martin
Garrish, Aaron Caswell, and Jack Willis (also known as Martin Garrish
and Friends), and newcomer Caitlyn Gray are all talented singers and
musicians, and each brings his or her own unique flavor to the eclectic
“Speedy” Price is a life-long musician whose credentials
include playing in Nashville alongside bluegrass legends. And,
yes, the nickname “Speedy” is a reference to the blur of
fingers you see when he’s picking a swift tune.
Physical dexterity aside, Price’s experience and impeccable
understanding of melodies and harmonies make him the unofficial musical
leader of the group. Though the typical band labels of lead
singer, lead guitar, etc., don’t apply to the Jubilee, Stosh
Lawrence is the unofficial front man, the emcee, as it were, and is in
charge of playing to the crowd.
And while all the members of the Jubilee can sing, the women of the
group, April Trueblood and Caitlyn Gray, provide the vocal highlights
of the show. Trueblood’s smooth and soulful voice is
reminiscent of Joan Baez, and Gray, a self-professed Patsy Cline fan,
has a strong set of pipes and an ear for country twang that would do
any country fan proud.
Admittedly, this music is not for everyone. Hard rock, heavy
metal, punk, and contemporary pop enthusiasts will likely be less than
entertained. But those who lean toward the more traditional, acoustic
side of the music spectrum are all but guaranteed to enjoy The Frisco
- If you want to go
The Frisco Jubilee is held on Friday nights at the Little Grove United
Methodist Church in Frisco. Admission is $10. CDs, including a new one
about to be released, are available for purchase at the
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