Experience Hay Street Live

07 haystreetliveThe world has changed a lot in the last six months. We’ve changed the way we shop, worship and celebrate. We’ve changed the way we greet each other, and when we are lucky enough to meet in person, that’s changed, too — masks on and 6 feet apart, please. What hasn’t changed, though is our desire to have fun. To connect. To be entertained. To interact. Also unchanged is the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County’s passion to bring art and entertainment to the community. The organization has reimagined ways to support artists while engaging residents. Gallery tours are virtual now. And a new program called Hay Street Live provides an interactive and entertaining alternative to passively binge-watching yet another series. The next Hay Street Live is set for Friday, May 15.

Remember going to a live performance and laughing and chatting with friends? Watching the mixologist show off their newest recipe? Connecting with the energy of a talented performer? Hay Street Live has remixed that experience. It’s part talk show, part convo, part mixology lesson and 100% entertainment. And in this case, the audience is up close and personal with the host and the talent. Tune in to the Arts Council’s Facebook page at 6 p.m. for the Facebook
Live event.

The flow of the evening takes the natural course of a night out — some chatting, then maybe some entertainment and a short conversation with the performer. Cutaway to the mixologist for some chit chat and a new recipe and demonstration, then back to the performer for another song, etc. Attendees participate throughout the event, commenting and using Facebook’s interface to let the other people involved know how they feel about what is going on.

 This week’s host is Kia Anthony, founder and president of Circa 1865.

R&B singer Leme Nolan headlines the musical portion of the event with a combination of original and cover songs. Her original piece is “Love with a Ring Attached.”  She will also perform pieces by Erykah Badu, Mary J. Blige and SWV.

Nolan said one of her favorite things about performing is the connection she creates with the audience. “With music, it is all about connecting and being real. It represents who I am, and it comes naturally to me. I am really thankful for this opportunity. We are going to have a good time.”

Nolan also plans to relaunch her dance challenge at Hay Street Live.

Jaquetta “Lady J” Gooden is the mixologist for the week. She’s no stranger to the show, having been the host as well as the mixologist in the past.

This week, she’ll be making her take on a blood orange margarita and another tequila-inspired cocktail.

In addition to being fun, the program is important. “Hay Street Live is a virtual show that gives local artists a platform to showcase their talents,” said Gooden. “ … I believe what makes Hay Street Live stand apart from other streaming events (is that) it is providing a sense of going out without leaving your home. It’s like attending a concert from your home — and you get to learn how to make some fun cocktails along the way.”

Hay Street Live lasts from 6-7 p.m. and is set for every Friday through June 12. To find out more about the Arts Council and Hay Street Live, visit www.theartscouncil.com. Find out more about Nolan at https://www.lemenolan.com/ or check out her music on Youtube.

Rock’n on the River returns

09 01 Stonecloud picA cool evening breeze drifting lazily up the banks of the Cape Fear River. Live music wafting through the air. Friends and family gathering to enjoy an evening in the fresh air. This is what longtime musician and Fayetteville native Greg Adair had in mind when he set out to bring Rock’n on the River to Fayetteville in 2017. And he had the perfect spot in mind, just across the river from Fayetteville proper near Campbellton Landing.

09 02 Bad Inc“It is such a cool place — a quaint place with shade and a meadow off the river,” said Adair. “Using the Cape Fear River is always a plus. It has always appealed to me. … I love being riverside.”

He first had his sight set on the Sol Rose Amphitheater, home of the Cape Fear Regional Theatre River Show for many years. In the end, he chose to partner with Craig Williams, owner of both the nearby eatery Deep Creek Grill and the sporting goods store Deep Creek Outfitters. “Craig built a stage behind  Deep Creek Grill with a permanent top on it,” said Adair. “It’s perfect for what we wanted to do. We figure we can 09 03 Throwback Collaboration Bandfit 1,100-1,200 attendees.” And they’ve already come pretty close to that.

Rock’n on the River hosted its first concert in October of 2018. About 400 people showed up to hear Adair’s band, Rivermist, and  The Guy Unger Band.

2019’s season had three successful concerts. The first brought in close to 400 people. The second had over 500 attendees and the third saw 915 eager listeners show up.

09 04 North Tower picThe 2020 season will have a late start but will include six concerts. The first two concerts had to be rescheduled, but  even if it means doubling up, the season will be completed, Adair said.

There are two bands at every show, Adair said, a regional or local band performs at 6 p.m., followed by the main headliner. “The headliners are all tribute bands this year,” he added.

The Rock’n on the River concerts are set for the third Friday of the month. “We worked around other events, so it gives everyone somewhere to go without  putting anything on top of each other,” said Adair. “I feel like everyone was getting out before, but I think when things are back to normal, people will really show up.”

09 05 Joyner Young MarieDeep Creek supplies food for purchase. The menu usually includes barbecue sandwiches, corn on the cob and grilled burgers. “They sell soft drinks, and Healy Wholesale Company, our presenting partner, provides beer for purchase,” said Adair. “The CARE Clinic distributes the beverages. Sandy’s Automotive has also contributed, and BOB FM has been nothing short of great.”

Parking is $10 per vehicle and  $5 for a motorcycle,  but the concert free. The parking fee allows Adair and the event sponsors to pay for security. “We’ve never had a problem, and we don’t expect to, but we want to be smart and safe. It is always better to have it and not need it than vice versa,” Adair said.

09 06 Heart Breaker Heart TributeAdair and the event sponsors have been thoughtful about providing a safe, unique and fun experience and have implemented all the practical amenities needed for a good time. Before each concert, Mosquito Squad comes out and sprays. “It knocks the mosquito count way down,” said Adair. “Then we have portable toilets brought out. They are always clean. We usually have two regular and one handicap-accessible.”

Rock’n on the River  is about people having access to entertainment. It’s about coming together and having a good time. “It is about having a place to go and having a good place to go,” said Adair. “There are several places we could go to fit more people, but I would 09 07 Rivermist BW Wlogo for trailerrather keep it close to the river and have it in a more intimate atmosphere.”


June 19 Stone Cloud opens at 6 p.m. followed by Bad Incorporated  at 8 p.m.

Stonecloud was formed in the spring of 2016 in Lumberton. The band is multitalented as they can play multiple genres from classical blues to rock and country.

09 08 Tuesdays Gone Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute copyBad Incorporated is a Bad Company/Paul Rodgers Tribute Band out of North Carolina, honoring the music of British super group Bad Company and its legendary front man Paul Rodgers.

July 17 Throwback Collaboration Band takes the stage at 6 p.m., and North Tower follows at 8 p.m.

Throwback Collaboration Band shares old-school music as well as original music they are proud to call their own.

09 09 Mostley Crue Motley Crue TributeNorth Tower is a Beach, Top 40 and Show Group. The band launched in October of 1978.

Aug. 21, at 6 p.m., Joyner Young & Marie take the stage, and at 8 p.m., enjoy Heart Breaker.

Joyner Young & Maries has played all over Fayetteville, Southern Pines and Pinehurst for over 30 years. They play a wide variety of music.

Heartbreaker is the Ultimate American tribute to the band Heart. They perform with the goal of playing each song with love, respect, and 09 10 Shoot To Thrill Girls ACDC Tributea true passion for the original material; their goal is to bring a truly transcendent, and pitch-perfect concert experience, both musically and visually.

Sept. 18 Rivermist, presented by Up & Coming Weekly, opens at 6 p.m. Tuesdays Gone takes the stage at 8 p.m.

Rivermist was formed in July 2014 in Fayetteville. The band is collaboration of musicians that have been playing in and around the Fayetteville area for more than 40 years. Rivermist is primarily a Classic Rock/ R&B/ Variety party band. They have been voted Fayetteville/ Fort Bragg’s 2017 Best Local Band, 2018 Best Local Band, and even more recently,  2019 Best Local Band by Up & 09 11 Cool Heat picComing Weekly readers. 

Tuesday’s Gone is the ultimate tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd and was formed in 2005 in Raleigh. They are dedicated to reproducing the original sound of one of the greatest and most legendary bands of all time. 

Oct. 23’s performance was originally scheduled for April and will feature Mostley Crue at 6 p.m. and Shoot to Thrill at 8 p.m.

09 12 TBF picMöstley Crüe is the ultimate tribute to one of the 80’s most notorious and legendary hard rock acts, Mötley Crüe. Möstley Crüe was formed in Raleigh in 2007 and quickly rose in popularity with local and regional hard-rock fans still longing for a taste of the 80s.

Shoot To Thrill is an all-female tribute to AC/DC. They decided on AC/DC in particular, because the band’s songs are a marriage of compelling music and creative storytelling.

The Nov. 16 show, which was originally scheduled for May, features Cool Heat at 6 p.m. and Trial by Fire at 8 p.m.

Cool Heat is a variety cover band from Southeastern North Carolina known for playing Motown, R&B, Soul, Funk, Beach and classics from the 60s, 70s and 80s. Cool Heat is made up of five accomplished musicians, three of which have played together since high school.

Trial by Fire is a tribute to Journey. Trial by Fire was born out of the hearts of five seasoned Charlotte-based musicians. They embrace the sound and visuals of the Steve Perry era of Journey.

Find out more about Rock’n on the River at the Rock’n On The River Facebook page.




Preserving history with scrapbooking

10 scrapbookingThis article originally ran in the March 2020 edition of Women's View Magazine.

I remember certain events from my children’s childhoods vividly, and yet some things I question, especially as the years pass by. So, I enjoy having as many memories preserved in photos  as possible to review and confirm details. I am also the historian in my family; when other family members can’t find a photo of a loved one, I am the one they come to see. I have scrapbooks meticulously organized, going back to my childhood.

My first experience with scrapbooking was through my stepmother, Nina, who faithfully preserved all our adventures in books for us to bring home at the end of  each summer. Of course, these were the old-fashioned scrapbooks with a film over the pictures to hold them in place. Her detailed preservation of family memories helped me to develop an interest in and create my own way of scrapbooking. Consider these tips before starting your first book.

First, get old pictures out of nonphoto-safe memory books as soon as possible. Those old books can damage pictures and are not the best way to preserve memories.
Secondly, convert your old photos to digital copies to prevent further damage. Mark them as close to the date taken as possible, to make it easier to find these photos in the future.

Lastly, save those digital copies in at least three different locations. One can be on a computer, another perhaps an external hard drive kept in a different location and lastly, maybe an online service or in the cloud.

Update these pictures with your new ones regularly in all locations at the same time, so as never to be caught by surprise if a smartphone or computer dies. Some popular sites for saving photos are Google Photos, DropBox, One Drive and the Amazon Prime app.

Many traditional scrapbookers are still out there,  those who still put the photo to paper with glue and decorations, but more people are scrapbooking digitally. If you still use traditional scrapbooking methods, be sure you are using photo-safe paper, tape and scrapbooks, so all pictures will remain vibrant for years to come.

Digital scrapbooking occurs in several ways. I like to make an annual book for my family to recap events from the past year, but I also create special books from time to time, particularly of vacations, such as from a 2008 trip to St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

I’ve also made special books for my sons from the major events in their childhood. Both children have baby books and albums of their sports and extracurriculars.

I print my photo books through Creative Memories, a service that also sells the supplies for both traditional and digital scrapbooking, but other services are available to consider. Do keep in mind that some of the low-cost options do not always have the best quality outcomes; the books should hold up for years to come. Some of these other options, though, do make it easy to drag and drop your pictures into precreated albums, a nice convenience.

My last suggestion is that you don’t just lay out pictures. If you are doing traditional or digital scrapbooking, be sure to record notes or captions about the picture or the day to enhance your remembrances. These details may be important to you or a descendent in the future. Either way, it is another memory preserved – that is what scrapbooking is all about.

This Easter, let the church bells ring for love, hope, unity and faith

09 MVIMG 20200402 175323When God closes a door, he opens a window. And, he does this by utilizing his people. Why? Simply put, for their good and his glory. It’s been a tradition each year that many churches in the Fayetteville and Cumberland County area join together for a city and countywide Easter sunrise service. This traditional service is a celebration of love, hope, unity and faith. This year, the grand event, which was planned by several area churches, was to be held at Segra Stadium in downtown Fayetteville. However, because of the COVID-19 situation, and in keeping with the North Carolina and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s health and safety precautions designed to limit the transmission of the virus, organizers had to cancel the event.

Rev. Robert James of Fayetteville’s First Baptist Church on Anderson Street in downtown Fayetteville was one of the coordinators of the event. He was looking forward to filling Segra Stadium on Easter Sunday morning with a congregation of all faiths for a service that would be a demonstration of unity, God’s love and encouragement as they celebrate the holy day amid the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I was so excited that our churches would be bringing the Annual Easter Sunrise Service to Segra Stadium this year,” said James. “It was a dream that each of the other pastors and I had been pursuing for months.  We saw it as a wonderful opportunity to bring our churches and our community together.  We hoped that by holding the event at the new stadium that even more churches and more of our neighbors would want to join us in celebrating Easter.  Having to cancel this service has been a grieving process for me, and I am sure it has been for each of my colleagues.”

James and the other event organizers will replace the service with another very special event that will also inspire the community and express a collective sense of hope, love, unity and faith: The Easter Ringing of the Bells. A communitywide church bell ringing event. On Easter Sunday, April 12, at sunrise — 6:47 a.m. — participating Fayetteville, Fort Bragg and Cumberland County churches are invited to ring their church bells and chimes continuously for five minutes as a symbolic gesture of ringing out assurances of hope, love, unity and faith during this time of crisis, social distancing and isolation. All churches are invited to participate. This will be especially meaningful for some congregations because some churches do not ring their bells during the entire Lenten Season — until Easter. This Sunday, they can ring out joyfully, celebrating the greatest Christian event since the beginning of time — the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Regardless of the weather, the bells will ring, and the prayers for humanity will rise from the hearts of those within their sound.

For some Christians, these circumstances may not seem so unusual because they believe, as I do, that God sometimes uses events to remind us that when life and things around us seem to careen out of control, his son is the “Christ of the crisis.”

Even though we may be curfewed, hunkered down, sheltered in place and practicing social distancing, we are still bound together by God’s love. As that old song says, “We’ll be one in the Spirit, one in the Lord, and we pray that all unity will one day be restored.”

Basil Hume once said, “The greatest gift of Easter is hope.” Well, these are desperate and challenging times in which we live. Dark clouds of uncertainty continue to form on the horizon and threaten our way of life — and possibly our existence. It is during these times that we need chimes and bells, lots of bells, ringing out loud and clear as a gallant call to arms, invoking prayer, hope, love, unity and a firm proclamation of faith. This world may never be the same. The COVID-19 crisis could prove to be a game-changer for all humanity. Only God knows the future. In the meantime, may the ringing of church bells this Easter Sunday morning restore your hope and faith in humanity, dispelling any fears that may be lingering in your heart. Inspiration and hope come from the very one for whom Easter is celebrated, the one who proclaims, “Fear not, for I am with you, for I am your God, I will strengthen you. I will hold you up with my victorious hand.”

“In a time of so much fear and uncertainty, it brings me hope and joy to imagine church bells all over our community ringing out in unison our faith in God’s resurrection power,” said James.

Let those bells toll on Easter Sunday morning, not only in Fayetteville and Cumberland County but across America and around the world. Christ has risen and he has risen for all of us, abolishing fear and death and spreading the message that we, too, shall live and become more than conquerors. And that includes the coronavirus pandemic.

Listen up. The bells will ring for you and your family. I am thankful to live in a community that places such high values on love, hope, faith, unity and humankind. Happy Easter!


Pictured: Rev. Rob James ringing the church bell at First Baptist Church, Anderson Street. 
Photo credit:  Ryann McKay

Danny Gokey coming to Dunn

14 ConcertThe health of members in our community is important. Due to the spread of the coronavirus, as a precaution, several events have been cancelled throughout the community. Please call to confirm events. 

Shows like "American Idol" and "The Voice" have captivated the eyes and ears of people all across America for over a decade. These shows seemingly find some of the best vocal talent right off the street and plop them into living rooms in front of the whole country as they compete to see who has what it takes to be America's next hit performer. So, many people whose lives and voices tug at your heart strings filter through season to season but seem to disappear after it is all said and done. You're left saying, “Hey, what happened to that guy?” or “I really liked that one girl!” but have no clue what they've been doing since the show's finale. 

In 2009, on Season 8 of "American Idol," we met Wisconsin native and former church music director, Danny Gokey, who quickly won the hearts of the nation with his larger-than-life voice. However, there was more to Gokey than just his voice. Just four weeks before his audition, his wife of 12 years died due to heart disease but not before encouraging him to audition for one of her favorite shows — "American Idol."

America watched Gokey nail every performance in the middle of his overwhelming grief as he rose to third place that season. But, after the season ended, he seemed to disappear into the background of the music industry. 

After a couple of less-than-successful mainstream pop records, Gokey made the move musically to go back to where his heart could truly sing — he was signed to Christian music label BMG in 2013 and released his first Christian album in 2014.

Since 2014, Gokey has been nominated for eight GMA Dove awards and a Grammy, and he won a GMA Dove award in 2016 for Christmas Album of the Year. He most recently won K-LOVE Fan awards for Male Artist of the Year and Breakout Single for his song “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again” in 2018. Gokey has seen many milestone career moments, with all four of his albums debuting at No. 1 on Billboard Christian, RIAA Certified Gold Single, over 750,000 albums sold and over 175 million online streams. 

Even better news? His current tour, Unplugged: Stories and Songs featuring Coby James, is coming to our area. Mark your calendars for Thursday, April 2 at 7 p.m. at Central Baptist Church in Dunn. Get your tickets at www.christian1057.com, and click the Danny Gokey banner on the homepage.

Latest Articles

  • Local leaders seek healing and reconciliation in Fayetteville
  • Fayetteville monuments honor rich history
  • Local ice cream spots make summer sweeter
  • FTCC’s paralegal technology program offers rewarding career
  • Shift happens