By Frank Lewis
People who have wanted to see more locally-oriented entertainment at River Days will have a lot to look forward to at this year’s event. Teresa Bratton of the River Days committee said many of the acts this year have local ties in one way or the other.
The entertainment kicks off on Thursday, Aug. 28, with Scioto County’s own award winning performer Steve Free on stage from 6-7 p.m. At 7:30 p.m. Teazer will take to the stage. The band’s lead vocalist, Dave Moritz, is originally from Wheelersburg.
“I went to school at Clay. I graduated in (19)75,” Moritz said. “I’m kind of excited about this. It’s kind of a homecoming for me. I’ve played music all my life since I was a teenager. I’ve moved away and live in Tennessee now but this is very personal to me to be able to come back home and play for my hometown and the crowd, all of my friends and I still have a lot of family there so I’m really excited about it.”
Moritz said his band will be arriving on Wednesday, Aug. 27, from Nashville, on a tour bus, and he said he is looking forward to being in the area all weekend.
“I come to River Days every year,” Moritz said. “Growing up in the area when I was a kid to me it (River Days) was like the signature end of summer. Every year I still come back because it is the one time of the year that all the people that live there get together and people who don’t live there anymore still come back. It’s kind of like a reunion.” Teazer guitarist Mark Goodman and Max Potter live in Chillicothe and other members of the group include Kyle Welch, Marty MacKweever and Tony Cottril.
Moritz said the band did a song with Ronnie Milsap and some videos which are available on their own You Tube Channel called Teazer Rocks. They also have some CDs available on their website rockwithteazer.com and on sites such as Amazon and CDBaby and in stores.
Headlining the Thursday shows will be one of the most successful country music acts, Shenandoah, which has scored nine number one songs including “Church on Cumberland Road,” “Two Dozen Roses,” “Sunday in the South,” “Next To You Next To Me.” Shenandoah will perform at 9 p.m.
On Friday, Aug. 29, City Heat will kick things off at 7:30 p.m. Local businessman Ron Hadsell is the lead vocalist and Dr. Dan Howard, a Grayson, Kentucky, dentist plays lead guitar. At 9 p.m. Beatles fans will get their fill of their favorite Beatles songs as The Return does a 50th anniversary tribute to the Beatles.
On Saturday, Aug. 30, one of the tri-state’s best known performers, Larry Pancake will take to the stage at 7:30 p.m. f0llowed by the classic recording star Eddie Money at 9. Pancake and Money are familiar with each other’s music. In fact they had performed together. Pancake was raised in Flatwoods, Kentucky and he and his band have just released their third CD “Fair Weather Friend.”
In 2007, when Money appeared at River Days, Larry was introduced to Eddie and mentioned he had just recorded one of Eddie’s songs, “Gimme Some Water.” Money listened to the recording and asked Larry to sing it with him that night at River Days. They have remained friends ever since.
A full lineup of entertainment brings the celebration to a close on Sunday, Aug. 31. From 6-7:30 p.m. Josh Stewart will take the stage. Josh is a singer/songwriter from Lucasville, a 2012 graduate of Valley High School. Justin Wiget from West Portsmouth is on the keyboard while Jacob Boo of Minford plays lead guitar. Other members of the band include Erin McClaskey, Daniel Grey, Caleb Murray and Michael Black.
At 7:30 p.m. one of the area’s best known acts, the Campbell Sisters, will perform. At 9 p.m. Doc Roc and the Remedies will play some well known classic rock songs. Members of the group are Dr. Clyde Fenton on vocals and guitar; Becky Climer on vocals and keyboards; Bob Mascari on vocals and bass guitar; Carol Mascari on vocals and saxophone; Doug Parsley on vocals and guitar and Kevin Castle also on vocals and drums. Rounding out the group is sound and lights man Ed Swanner.
At 10 p.m. the fireworks extravaganza brings the curtain down on the 2014 edition of River Days.
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 1928, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.