those who have never witnessed it, the phoenix-like ability of
Hatteras-ers to recover from natural disasters is at once daunting,
inspiring and heart-warming.
months after Hurricane Matthew’s relentless inundation of the Southern
villages on Hatteras Island, “Hatterasity,” a bluegrass celebration
that was originally scheduled for October of 2016, will be given a
springtime chance to shine on May 5th and 6th at the Hatteras Village
had some major talent lined up for the festival - Special Consensus and
Danny Paisley with the Southern Grass, along with other talented
performers,” said Peter Pappalardo, festival coordinator and one of the
musicians involved in the festival. “For ten days, I watched
every spaghetti model there was - courtesy of Beth Midgett’s incredible
links and updates - and for a day or so it looked like we might
actually be spared. Of course, Mother Nature had other plans.”
Up to six feet of water covered Hatteras village, causing damage not seen on the Island in decades.
year before, Joaquin came through the weekend before Hatterasity, and
there was still a ton of water left by mid-week, but by the weekend
things had settled down pretty well. Of course, by then many travelers
opted out of a trip and our attendance was on the light side. We
figured, ‘What are the chances of this happening two years in a row?’
and went ahead with the event for 2016. I guess we got our
answer,” joked Chad Darou, the other half of the promotional team for
first Hatterasity, in 2014, came about on a whim because Pappalardo had
recently completed a house yards away from the Hatteras Village Civic
Center and thought it might be a good idea to reach out to some of his
fellow musicians who were going to be attending another event the
first year, it was intended to be a fundraiser for the Cape Hatteras
Methodist Men, and Hatterasity attracted the robust support of area
businesses, who sent thousands of dollars to help support the food
pantry, disaster relief and the many other support services the
Methodist Men have provided to those in need on the Island. The
following year, a portion of the door went to the Hatteras Medical
Center, although attendance did not cover the cost of national
headliners like Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, IBMA pick for
instrumental group of the year in 2016, and the five other bands that
performed for a decent crowd over three days.
it was clear what was going to happen with Matthew, we had no choice
but to cancel the event, even though evacuation orders for Hatteras and
Ocracoke hadn’t yet been declared,” said Pappalardo. “It turned out to
be the right call, but that left us in a pickle. Dennis Robinson
and the folks at the Outer Banks Visitors’ Bureau, who have provided
grant money all three years we have tried to do this, suggested we
reschedule the event in May. Most of the bands had that date open, and
here we are.” He added that some locals had suggested the move to a
spring date after the first event, but the promoters were reluctant to
change the date once it had been settled because it might confuse
may be a blessing in disguise,” said David Carey, who with Darou and
Pappalardo make up the core of the Hatteras Irregulars - one of the
four bands who will be performing at Hatterasity.
2015, after Joaquin, the weather was glorious, but the skeeters were
deadly. We had hoped to have the music outside, but we decided
against it for that reason. Hopefully, May will give us great
weather and maybe a few less skeeters,” Carey said.
was an integral part of many societies where few people read or wrote,
a way of passing down the generations worth of wisdom, sorrow,
redemption and humor that made such a hard life bearable.
in particular was born of a desire by Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs, Lester
Flatt, Ralph Stanley and others to hold on to the old-time fiddle and
pipe music of the Scotch-Irish, which had settled into every fold, nook
and cranny of the Appalachians from the Canadian border to the
Tidewater region in the time during and after the American
Revolution. The back-bone of the “singing songs” of that time
were the ballad, usually a tale of loss and woe, and sacred songs from
church, which morphed into what is today called gospel.
most bluegrass songs are musically simple, the instrumentation is
complex, and bluegrass harmonies rely on tick-tight vocals that rival
any musical form. According to many musicologists, Monroe’s
genius was combining the simpler, older forms with elements of jazz,
blues and gospel in the 1940’s in a completely new way. That is
the distinction between bluegrass and old-timey music, which uses the
same instrumentation and repertoire but stays closer to the original
songs and tunes.
Doors open for Hatterasity at 4 p.m. Friday and music begins at 5 p.m., then again on Saturday at noon.
will be a two hour dinner break on Saturday from 5 until 7 p.m., and
the event winds up with a grand finale at around 10 p.m. Saturday.
are cash only, at the door, $25.00 for the day or $40.00 for the
weekend. Locals, veterans and active service members’ ticket
prices are $20.00 and $30.00 for one-day and two-day tickets, and kids
under 12 are free.
For more information, go to http://www.hatterasitybluegrass.com or call 570-856-2545.