Area musicians making big strides

Musicians and singers with Wood County connections are creating excitement for their fans.

* Anthony Mossburg, a former Parkersburg resident and 2005 graduate of Frontier High School, will be performing Aug. 24 at Holiday World’s “Rock the World” Christian music festival in Santa Claus, Ind.

Mossburg, 26, a Christian artist who plays the acoustic guitar and sings, will perform during the day at the theme park, while Grammy-winning bands Switchfoot and Audio Adrenaline, along with other headliner bands, will play music at night.

Mossburg said he was excited to be chosen for the Indiana music festival because he applied last year but was not selected. “I forgot (I had auditioned) … then I got a call I had been selected.” Mossburg, who recently moved to Columbus from Parkersburg, has recorded two CDs and one single. He said he sings only his original songs at churches, festivals, benefits and amusement parks. His goals are singing full time, which he has done for two years, and growing as an artist and songwriter.

“The songs must be real to me and connect with people,” he said.

Mossburg, who played football at Marietta College, is the son of Stephanie Mossburg of New Matamoras.

* Former Parkersburg physician Jared Sheets and his family have carved a blues music niche in the foothills of Southeastern Ohio.

Sheets is president/director of the nonprofit Foothills Music Foundation, which promotes and supports music and the arts in the region, including Meigs and Athens counties. The Sheets family has restored an 1830s-era Pennsylvania Dutch bank barn on its 550-acre farm in Harrisonville, Meigs County, and transformed it into Charlie’s Place.

Three blues concerts, along with a wedding and private functions, will take place at Charlie’s Place, named for family patriarch Charles G. Sheets, this year. Jared, who practices medicine at Holzer Clinic in Athens, told me he hopes to add a fourth concert in the 200-seat venue next year. Jared (guitar/vocals), his wife, Laura, mother, Jenny, brother Adam and Jenny’s brother John Lohse are members of The Mudfork Blues Band. The band members will be performing as part of the Johnny Rawls Blues Revue at 6:15 p.m. Aug. 24 at the inaugural Simply Jazz & Blues Festival at Sandstone Drift Recreation Area near Hinton, W.Va.

And The Mudfork Blues Band will be opening the Sept. 7 show at Charlie’s Place for Larry Garner and Magic Mama Band. For more information, go to www.foothillsmusic.org.

* It has been a busy and fun entertainment season this summer for Hank Poole of Vienna, who turned 8 years old on Aug. 3. The Young Elvis Tribute Artist has appeared in 14 shows, lasting about 25 minutes each, since a May 10 Mother’s Day performance at the Williamstown Eagles Club – and more shows are planned before school resumes. Hank is a third-grader at Vienna Elementary School. As an Elvis Presley fan, Hank, in costume, also has performed in the neighborhood, with a sound system, besides at fairs and festivals and fundraisers, said his father, Bill. Hank and his mom, Samantha, are traveling to Memphis for Elvis Week activities this month. Hank is scheduled to perform at Graceland Crossing in Memphis and will be visiting Elvis’ birthplace in Tupelo, Miss.

* Singer/songwriter Tracy Allen of Parkersburg told me this week he had not heard how he fared in “The Voice” audition in New York City on July 28. One thing for sure is that many people auditioned that weekend for a spot on NBC’s singing competition. Allen said a long line of singing hopefuls was waiting to audition when he arrived at the Javits Center in New York City at 6:30 a.m. It was 10:30 a.m. by the time Allen, in a group of 10 singers, got to sing 90 seconds of Journey’s “Faithfully” to a person recording the performances. Allen said it was a great experience even if he is not selected for the TV show. Allen and Michael Burrell will be performing Friday night at Parkersburg Homecoming Festival and Allen will be performing next Saturday night with the band Mirror Mirror at Homecoming.

Contact Paul LaPann at plapann@newsandsentinel.com