July 17,  2008


Frisco Jubilee is one of Hatteras Island’s favorite live music shows
...With Slideshow

By JORDAN TOMBERLIN

Every 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.  F
ive 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 site. 

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 since.  

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 Jubilee sound.  

“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 Jubilee.

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 door.  

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