John Denver sang about it for good reason. West Virginia is one of the most beautiful states in the country with its high mountain peaks, quaint countryside towns and picture perfect sunsets. While life may be “older than the trees” in the Mountain State, it is actually seeing its 155 birthday, and WVU Parkersburg is more than ready to celebrate.
Friday, June 23, WVU Parkersburg is hosting a West Virginia Day concert from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the College Activities Center (room 1536). The concert, which is open free of charge to the public, will feature local artists Steve Hussey and Jake Eddy as well as an opening performance by Tracie Goode. Not only is this an opportunity for the community to come together, but it a chance for it to recognize the music and heritage that the state is built on.
“We are excited and honored to host an event that celebrates the best of what being a West Virginian means, and doing so with some of our most talented local musicians. We hope our community comes out to celebrate this beginning to a new tradition with us,” Anthony Underwood, Vice President for Student Services said.
The Mid-Ohio Valley is full of talent like musician Tracie Good. Her full and powerful voice draws influence from the blues, folk pop and classical rock. The passion found in each of her songs truly matches the soul of original Appalachian music.
“Getting to use my songs to celebrate West Virginia becoming a state feels incredibly appropriate. West Virginians stood up for what they believed was right. Similarly, many of the songs on my album, Until You Feel Alive, are about learning to stand up for yourself and what you know is true,” Tracie said.
Another group that draws on the innocence and raw emotion of music is Steve Hussey and Jake Eddy. Both individuals are recognized state and region wide for their tunes. Steve is well known for his songwriting and performances with acts like Eddie Money and the Davidson Brothers. In addition, Jake, a state flat picking champion, just released the album “Smart, Phone!” in April.
The two started collaborating in 2014 and went on to record the full-length album “The Miller Girl.” The lyrics and rhythms transport the listener back to the simpler days. It is hard to stop the foot from tapping when listening to the meshing of the banjo and guitar and vocal harmonies.
“It means a lot to be able to play on this day. Americana music, and the banjo specifically, is well known in Appalachian culture. Sort of our claim to fame in a way,” Jake said.
Do not miss out on this event celebrating West Virginia’s birthday! However, be sure to arrive early to get a seat, because space is limited. For more information, or to stay up to date with various college activities and events, visit their website.