Music Under the Wellhouse
A (mostly) unplugged summer concert series
The wonderful tradition of great music, delicious food, and great friends continues in Wartrace. While the Wartrace Chamber of Commerce is the official host of the Music and Arts Festival, scheduled on July 23, 2022, music returns to downtown throughout the summer for a (mostly) unplugged concert series that features a return to traditional music: americana, bluegrass, country, and everything in-between! More information about the Music & Arts Festival 1853 can be found here.
It is with great joy that we announce musicians are returning to Wartrace in 2022 as the town brings back the tradition of Music Under the Wellhouse - mostly unplugged! The south section of the parking area will be closed from about 4:00 - 7:05 p.m. Bring your own seating, bring your toes to tap! And know these concerts are very casual, scheduled the first Saturday of each month from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. from June through October. There is no charge to attend any of the shows of the summer concert series and every musician performing is here for the love of music and their own affection for Wartrace. That said, tips to the musicians are encouraged!
Here's our lineup to date!
Saturday, June 4, 2022, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
JENNY JOHNSON & THE SIMPLE SAINTS
Saturday, July 2, 2022, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
JENNY JOHNSON & THE SIMPLE SAINTS
A soulful, cutting edge artist of the americana persuasion Jenny's music is a modern day twist on the singer/songwriter, guitar driven sound of the 1970’s that inspired her. Jenny's music embraces the triumphs and the tragedies of life, love, and the pursuit thereof. She began writing songs at the age of 18 and since the early 2000's she’s taken every opportunity to learn the craft by performing and co-writing with other artists in Nashville and surrounding areas. Her third studio release of new music, “Sage”, is now available on all streaming platforms. “Singing is how I speak best to others, and I believe that I can share my adventures in a way that everyone appreciates and understands." Visit her webpage for a sampling of Ms. Johnson's talent!
Saturday, August 6, 2022, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
With a brand new album set to drop in June, Pontiac Alley is a sizzling hot act. Their music is a mixture of Americana, Bluegrass, Rockabilly & Country and includes original music such as Highway 99, My Heart Said So, and Everything I Wished. The duo is comprised of Chellanie who moved to Nashville in 2004 to immerse herself in the music industry and Ben Potter who found himself in Nashville in 2005 as a songwriter and producer. Once their paths crossed and he produced one of her records, they realized they should be performing together. The powerhouse group hasn't looked back since and will absolutely delight our Wartrace residents and visitors!
Saturday, September 3, 2022, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
EVERETTE BROWN & DON JONES DUO
He says he's got it all together, but he forgot where he put it. Retired after 40 years of factory work, you just know in your heart that Everette's music will speak to anyone who's had to face a boss day in and day out! Mr. Brown plays both original songs and old timey and new timey covers. However, when Everette and Don play together, buckle up for a winsome strum or a high kick of a plucked guitar! If you visit Everette's facebook page, music ranges from traditional Christmas songs to songs from the days of Andy Griffith. Or visit this recording of a live broadcast from the Bell Buckle Cafe on WLIJ to get a full dose of the beautiful music coming to Wartrace in September! Come on down and join the fun ... you won't be disappointed if you love traditional songs of the south!
Saturday, October 1, 2022, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
The Tobin Family
The Tobin Family is a popular gospel singing group from the Wartrace area. You can visit them here: TobinFarm - Home. Or stop by Seven on Main and visit their shop!
A History of the
Wartrace Music Fest
The first music festival in Wartrace was the brainchild of a local guitar maker Don Gallagher after he and his dad, J.W., attended the 1968 Union grove Fiddlers Convention in North Carolina. Mr. Gallagher, along with two of his friends, Wendel Hartman and Jimmy Atkins, pooled their money to incorporate and produce the Wartrace Pickin' and Fiddlers Convention to be held on August 17 and 18, 1979. J.W. passed away in June of that year so the festival was dedicated to him.
Good weather, combined with the attendance of fans of the many acoustic musicians who performed lifted attendance to approximately 2,000 at the Wartrace Horse Show grounds that first year. Mr. Gallagher rigged lights along the north side of the field and built a pavilion for the 40 craft vendors who came. The first stage was on a flat-bed truck trailer in the middle of the field. Musicians participated in a Friday night jam session and an all day competition with ten different categories on Saturday.
With so many national guitar picking champions in attendance, Mr. Gallagher thought the event should be proclaimed the official Tennessee State Championship. He contacted former State Representative Pete Philips who presented a resolution on the floor of the State Legislature. It was approved. Philips came to the next year's festival to officially make the proclamation.
As it always is, weather was a concern for Mr. Gallagher and the producers of the early festivals. "One year there were thunderstorms all around us," he said. "You could stand in the middle of the field and see lightning in every direction you looked, but not a drop fell on the festival." He further relates that the final year was a total washout. "Fortunately, because of the program ads and sponsorships, we showed a small profit of $300, which we donated to the Child Development Center."
Mr. Gallagher remained involved in the festival's revival under the Wartrace MusicFest banner in the early 2000's serving as chairman of the MusicFest Committee, as well as Wartrace's mayor. Now retired from Gallagher Guitars, he attends MusicFest as a fan and affirms, "The event remains dear to my heart."