{mosimage}Donnaha Station may sound like a curious name, but before you start scratching your head too hard, pull out a map of North Carolina and look toward the western edge of Forsyth County. Sure enough, you’ll find it. An old Native American village, Donnaha Station is the small town that welcomed guitarist Brian Spainhour into the world. And even though he’s moved down the road to Ararat, he’s given his band the name of his birthplace as a tribute to his heritage.

During a typical set, the band will play the Doobie Brothers, The Who, Lynrd Skynrd and even Chuck Berry. “They play rock ‘n roll that’s 30 years old,” joked Brian’s father, Michael Spainhour, who saw the band’s potential. He was the one that bought their first drum set and has been behind the band from the start. He pointed out the irony that, despite the average age of the tunes the guys play, the oldest member of Donnaha Station is only 27.

Starting out in little camper down by the river, Spainhour recalled, “They were all out just clanging on instruments when everybody noticed that Brian was kinda gifted č he could listen to a song and pick it out.” Then he would show the others how to play it. “And the next thing you know, they all took off.”

Brian Spainhour plays the guitar, Josh Cook sings and plays the drums and Robbie Sturgis plays the bass. Michael Spainhour is the manager, booking agent, provider and dad. He also writes the poetry that Donnaha Station puts to music. He describes Brian as one of the best guitarists in the state č and not just because he’s his son. “He’s often been told that hes’s one of the best that’s around,” he said, “he can really burn that thing up!” He said that Brian can play the little frets better than most people play the big ones, and that’s what makes the differenence. “He can do some wild stuff. It really is something to watch him,” he concluded.

Spainhour doesn’t hide his pride in the other band members either. He said that Cook “is truly a gifted musician, too.” Explaining that he can play anything, from the guitar, to the piano and the drums, “╔ but he’s excellent on the drums. That’s why he stays on them, I guess.” 

The newest member of the band is their bass player, Sturgis. They needed a replacement for long-time member Bruce Draughn who has been very ill recently. “He’s coming along just fine,” said Spainhour, “He rode the bus all the way here from Mississippi to join the band, he’s determined to play the bass.”

Spainhour described how the biker scene has responded really well to Donnaha Station. “They liked the 30- year-old music, and the young guys like some of the ACDC and Ozzy they play,” he said. 

The guys ended up playing a string of gigs at Daytona’s during bike week and were introduced to Jim Sawyer, president of The Special Forces Association, at a poker run. “They asked us to play there (at a benefit concert), but we had another gig set up for that day,” Spainhour explained, “but we went ahead and told them we’d play anyways.”

That’s when the ball started rolling. After some time and schedule wrangling, Donnaha Station decided to jump on board for the 3rd Annual Special Forces Association Benefit Festival, which will be held on Saturday, May 31, from 11 a.m to 11 p.m, at Festival Park. Donnaha Station will be one of seven North Carolina bands to hit the stage and rally funds for the Special Forces Association Scholarship, Tribute, and Benevolent Funds.

The festival will include a ride-in motorcycle and bicycle show, a 2008 Chevy Colorado pick-up truck raffle, cash and prize raffles throughout the day, as well as other family entertainment.

For more information about the Special Forces Association Benefit Festival, call or email Jim Sawyer at 309-0388 or chaptercpres@yahoo.com. 


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