top of page
  • ArtsintheMiddle

The Air will be Filled with Music at Arts in the Middle in June

When you visit the 10th annual Arts in the Middle Fine Arts Festival (AIM) on June 1st and 2nd at Hewick Plantation in Urbanna, you will once again experience an extravaganza of fine arts offerings: a weekend full of visual, performing, literary, and culinary arts.  

The art along the shaded pathways is amazing, but don't forget about the music. Local musician and AIM team member Clayton Neal has arranged an impressive line-up of live performances throughout Saturday and Sunday.

Performances will be at two sites on the festival grounds: The Main Stage under the "big tent" and the smaller Acoustic Stage nestled under the trees with the artists. Back by popular demand on both stages this year are a number of highly entertaining and musically gifted performers.

Husband-wife duo Jeff and Sherry Wagner will kick off music on Saturday at the Acoustic Stage. They have delighted audiences for years with their  acoustic Americana music and original award-winning songwriter compositions. The Wagner’s music is always a popular draw and they will  be sharing their talents once again this year as will Gary Archer, Clayton Neal, and Paige Melton.

Gary Archer, a multi-talented instrumentalist and vocalist, who honed his local reputation as the lead guitarist with the award winning band, Jumbo Lump Daddy and the Backfin Boys, will be entertaining festival audiences with a solo performance that reflects his joy and life-long passion for music. Local favorite, Clayton Neal will also be performing on the Acoustic Stage on Saturday with a solo performance of “rivahdacious” music that will put a smile on your face and joy in your heart. 

On Sunday, Clayton Neal and Gary Archer, founding members of Jumbo Lump Daddy and the Backfin Boys, return to the Acoustic Stage to deliver a duo performance. Also at the Acoustic Stage on Sunday will be Jeff and Sherry Wagner and a solo performance by Paige Melton. Paige, who currently resides in Philadelphia, will be offering a diverse selection of music delivered with an innocent 60's and 70's "flower child" attitude.

Wander down the tree-lined and you’ll arrive at the Main Stage where Arts in the Middle Fine Arts Festival is pleased to announce the return of several performers who have made significant contributions to the success of past festivals including The Gurleys, Tom Euler, George Robinson & the Gospel Robins, and The MelTones.

Bill and Pam Gurley gets the music started on Saturday at the Main Stage. The Gurleys are a husband/wife duo from the Northern Neck of Virginia, who delight concert goers with the sounds of Bill on guitar, banjo, and fiddle, and Pam’s warm and captivating vocals.

Performing solo on the Main Stage, Virginia's blues rock star, Tom Euler, an award-winning song writer/singer and guitarist tagged as the "young guy with an old soul" amazes audiences wherever he plays. Tom excels in traditional blues and original compositions delivered with blistering guitar playing and tasteful vocals.

Richmond's Haze and Dacey return to aim this year with the addition of mandolinist, Doug Austin. The Haze and Dacey Trio will have your toes tapping and bodies swaying at the Acoustic Stage with their home grown organic sounds ranging from folk pop to alt country to roots rock, all performed with lilting melodies, tight harmonies, and compelling rhythms.

George Robinson and the Gospel Robins are loved for their performances of gospel, contemporary, country, and soul music with both local and regional choirs. George’s performance on the Main Stage will be supported by the vocal talents of the Gospel Robins and Gospel vocalists from the tri-county area.

Paige Melton will be returning with her father, Randy. Together they form The MelTones, who will be performing an eclectic style of music that features Randy on keyboards and Paige on guitar and vocals. 

Arts in the Middle has become well-known for its line-up of popular returning performers, the vast array of musical genres, and always for the new groups who join for the festival weekend. This year two new musicians, Peyton Brabrand and Ray Pittman make their appearances on the Acoustic Stage and Main Stage respectively.

Peyton Brabrand is a youthful, tenor saxophonist whose soulful-stirring playing channels the spirit of the jazz age, transporting listeners to smoky jazz clubs of yesterdays. His techniques are homage to the masters, yet uniquely his own.

Ray Pittman is a well-known local musician, who has been a leading force for several popular bands including The Kingpins, The Ray Pittman Project, and Julius Pittman and the Revival Band. His music is always dynamic and soulful whether it be Old School Rock’n Roll, blues or funky soul.

On Sunday, Arts in the Middle presents a special group of musicians, The Urbanna Songwriters’ Group, on the Acoustic Stage. They are comprised of several local singer/songwriters, who enjoy performing both their own songs and those of others. Performers will include Roxey Coke, Heather Dodson, Jim Gale, and Sage Tietjen. They have been tooling their songwriting skills through participation in a series of workshops in Urbanna while developing and nurturing musical talent within the community.

The festival is open to all, with no admission fees, on Saturday, June 1st, from 10am-5pm and Sunday, June 2nd, from 10am-3pm.  Parking is free with a donation to help fund future festivals is appreciated.

9 views0 comments


bottom of page