Highland Center Hosts Concert During Hands & Harvest Festival


As part of Highland County’s Hands and Harvest Festival, the Highland Center is holding the Third Annual Memorial Concert in honor of Mary Hille McCoy and Elizabeth P. McCoy.   Two bands are set to perform Saturday evening.

Karl Behr and Double Derringer kick things off at 5 p.m.   Karl Behrens, from Pocahontas County, is the lead singer and a guitarist in the group.

“I’ve always I guess since I was young, just really enjoyed music,” says Behrens.   “I remember listening to Glen Campbell and thinking he was really something and then just throughout my life I’ve really been interested in music.  As a teenager I just started thinking about it more, more seriously.  I didn’t take up the guitar until I was about seventeen years old.  But then throughout the course of my life I just kind of hung on and playing music was something I always returned to because it’s important to me.  And just the last couple years I just decided to really go all out with it and take it as far as I can go.”

“We play country music, and that’s both traditional country like Hank Williams and Johnny Cash,” says Behrens.  “And then we play also kind of the more Top 40 that you hear on the radio like Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean type music.  We play oldies rock and we also play some bluegrass music.  I’ll also be playing a couple of original songs that I’ve written recently and I’m really looking for to debuting them there at the Hands and Harvest Festival.”

Lynda Smith and 7th Street take the stage at 7 o’clock on Saturday night.  Smith is one of the lead singers in the band.

“I started when I was two years old,” says Smith.  “My Dad created a country music theatre in Mathews, Virginia where I grew up.  Other than in church, which we did often, that’s where I started singing.  So I’ve been lucky to be able to have been performing since I was two years old.  In public and in person and just fell in love with it and have been doing that ever since.”

“7th Street band does a mix of disco, beach music, Motown, some southern rock, we might even throw a country song in there every now and then,” says Smith.   “It’s a nice variety of music, but we try to make everything we do very high energy and danceable.  So it’s a party and those are the types of things that seem to get people up and dancing.”

“It’s truly the love of music and the love of performing,” says Smith.   “We love what we do and even you can be tired, you can just have had a bad day and as soon as that first note hits it is a joy in our hearts to be on that stage and to be able to do what we love to do.”

Lynda Smith and 7th Street perform at 7 o’clock Saturday, October 10th at the Highland Center in Monterey.   Karl Behr and Double Derringer start playing at 5 p.m.   There will also be a maple tap room, which opens at 5.   The concert will be held either outside or in the auditorium, depending on the weather.   All activities are free will donation.

The concert is sponsored by the Charles Pinckney Jones Charitable Trust and the Highland Center.

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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