The songs of Mike Murphy and Zachariah will be remembered and performed Saturday amid an afternoon and evening of free music at the annual Flatwoods Music Festival.
The event will begin with a Song & Talent Contest from noon to 4 p.m. Jim McKnight, one of the festival organizers, said a few slots remain open for the contest, with applications available at Callihan’s American Pub & Grill and the Flatwoods city building. The grand-prize winner will receive a multimedia presentation, a session at Studio 21 and photo shoot with Marty Conley Photography, a single-song recording session at Thunder Bay Studios with the result to be played on WTCR’s “Homegrown Country” show, and a review from Nashville producer Joe Scaife.
Stage performances will begin at 4 p.m. with a set by guitarist and vocalist Tom Wintz, who will play a solo set and later join the group Appalachian Manifest to sing several Zachariah songs. Wintz will be followed by Philip Dain Powell of Lavalette, perhaps best known for his award-winning CD “God Is Love,” and his tribute to military veterans, “Save Me a Place at the Table.”
Veteran musicians Jason Mayes and Rodney Crisp will team to play a selection of originals and classic rock, with guitarist Crisp later joining Appalachian Manifest as the band’s drummer.
McKnight said Appalachian Manifest “evolved from Zachariah tributes with many singers.” The tribute group began with a picnic performance at McKnight’s home in 2005 on the 30th anniversary of the band’s formation and has become an annual tradition. The band, made up of Crisp on drums, Gene Pack on bass, Wintz and Avery Floyd on guitars and vocals and Phil Osborne on guitar, with McKnight providing vocals on several songs, will have one rehearsal before Saturday’s show.
Singer and songwriter Bobby Cyrus of Louisa will bring the festival to a conclusion. Cyrus is working in Nashville and recently released a video for the song “The Milkman’s Eyes” co-starring his cousin, Billy Ray Cyrus, and more recently recorded a video for the song “Give Me Wings” from his new CD “Homeplace.”
McKnight said he also wants to use the festival as an opportunity to meet with those who want to be included in a Murphy documentary/memorial he hopes to have ready for 2015’s 40th anniversary of the late musician’s formation of Zachariah.
“It’s just people that were friends of Mike’s that have interesting stories about him,” McKnight said of the project, adding he wants to collect and present an accurate and honest account of Murphy-related memories that will remain respectful to the musician’s family. With a chuckle, McKnight said he hopes to find stories interesting “and verifiable ... there’s some wild stories out there about him. Some are true and some aren’t!” Anyone interested in participating is asked to leave a message for McKnight at (606) 836-0429.
The festival, at Bobby Crager Park behind the city building, will also feature vendors and inflatables. Also planned are a cornhole tournament at 6 p.m. (players must sign up before start time), with the winners receiving a dinner for two and an evening at Greenbo Lake State Resort Park.
TIM PRESTON can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2651.