From Indie Rock to Country Blues, The 50th brings it all!
Volunteer Appreciation Night with
7th Grade Girl Fight
Peach Street Revival
Bart Chucker Band
Shoot to Thrill
Comedy Hour w/Sarah Ahmed & Friends
Time flies when a group of people are gathering to have so much fun! That is right - 50 years of MOA rallies!. I was not there in the beginning in Morgan Hill, California, but I am pretty sure it was not quite like the Nationals we enjoy today.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Wes and Paula Fitzer, your 2023 Rally Chairs - not only for all the months of hard work they have done in preparation for the 50th, but also for inviting me to participate again this year as the entertainment chair. This my 14th year in a row to be honored with this position. I wish to thank each and every rally chair for the experience of a lifetime. When they say you gain a lot when you volunteer, I am here to assure you that you gain a world of friends for life!
You know Wes, right? Yeah - Wes Fleming, the guy in all the ON magazines dispensing mechanical wisdom on all things BMW motorcycle. Yes, the 200 Miles Before Breakfast and Chasing the Horizon podcast guy? The guy behind the scenes of all that technical stuff that keeps MOA communicating and website working and is at every rally working behind the curtain? Yes, that Wes! Well, Wes has been hiding a little secret from most of us. Turns out Wes is a real rocker! Wes is the lead guitar player in a Central Virginia-based indie rock group called 7th Grade Girl Fight. They have been woodshedding for a while, getting out in the regional clubs and playing a few private gigs. They are going to set Wednesday night on fire for those dedicated enough to come a day early and volunteer to help set up for the rally. 7th Grade Girl Fight takes the stage at 7 PM.
Thursday is always busy. Get registered, find a campsite or favorite hangout and start finding old friends and making new ones. A full day of vendors and seminars are scheduled and posted, so make your plans accordingly. Just make sure you're back at rally central to hear the music.
Peach Street Revival is a four-piece band from Grand Junction, Colorado. Classic rock, blues and punk inspire the band’s original sound. PSR gives a rockin’ performance of their original songs and covers some of the greats: Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Heart, Fleetwood Mac, Rush, Queen and the like! Afterwards, a staple in Richmond's music scene for many years has been The Bart Chucker Band, a five-piece Americana group playing many favorites from Tyler Childers to the Stones and from Johnny Cash to Prince.
Friday night starts at 7 PM with Shoot To Thrill, a five-piece all-female AC/DC tribute band that has been touring the country and tearing up stages with hard-driving rock and roll. AC/DC never looked or sounded any better that this! Find out more on their website.
Our headliner on Friday is Yates McKendree. Although just 21 years old, McKendree's experience as a professional musician goes back more than ten years. That early experience includes playing regularly in some of Nashville’s most notable venues like The Bluebird Cafe, The Ryman Auditorium, 3rd & Lindsley. It also includes North American and European tours and multiple appearances on national television (Imus In The Morning, CBS Mornings). He has played on and engineered many recording projects, most notably for Delbert McClinton and John Hiatt, who told Rolling Stone Magazine, “Yates was our secret ingredient.” His debut album just released Buchanan Lane features both classic cover tunes and original compositions Yates co-wrote with Gary Nicholson. The LP highlights Yates’ skills, remarkable style and taste as a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, with an emphasis on guitar.
Yates' father Kevin was the keyboard player in Delbert McClinton's band way back at the rally in Johnson City, Tennessee, in 2009. He has a unique recording studio called The Rock House outside of Franklin, Tenn., where Yates has been soaking up the vibes and honing his chops. I knew it would not be long before this kid grew up to play the blues.
Saturday as soon as closing ceremonies are completed, hurry back to Rally Central and find yourself a spot on the lawn, bring your Kermit chair or have a seat on one of the benches provided for you.
We will begin a little different this year! It seems Richmond is a hotbed of comedians, so we rounded up a few of the best to perform for us for about an hour. Sarah Ahmed will lead this group of hilarious folks and keep the laughter rolling.
Then hold on for a treat! I first met Bonnie Bishop at a party to celebrate Capricorn Records reopening in Macon, Georgia, just a couple of years ago. A Texas songwriter who has worked in Nashville, toured Europe and was getting noticed by some big name producers like Dave Cobb who produced her Ain’t Who I Was album in 2016. Bishop's first album came out in 2002.
A divorce in Nashville and her return to Texas fueled her soulful record in 2019's House Sessions, followed by The Walk. She has been touring and writing ever since. I even hear she is almost ready to release a new album - watch her website for more info on that, or follow her on Twitter (@BonnieBishop), Instagram (@bonniebishopforrockstar) or Facebook (facebook.com/bonniebishop).