Two bands to play at Rose Hill

Posted: October 12, 2012

The Winchester Star

Dirty Bourbon River Show
Sean Loomis of Drymill Road

Berryville — The Barns of Rose Hill will be barraged with music in the next few days as two very different bands take the stage in the upstairs concert hall.

Winchester-based band Drymill Road will perform its original Americana bluegrass at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the venue at 95 Chalmers Court, Berryville.

Then, at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dirty Bourbon River Show will bring its “New Orleans gypsy circus brass band” sound to the stage for a show the audience won’t soon forget, said Cheryl Ash, interim executive director.

While Drymill Road is a well known local band with a growing reputation, Dirty Bourbon’s local exposure comes mainly from playing at Watermelon Park Fest this year, she said. The Barns sponsored the band to bring it to the festival after Ash found them on the Internet and knew they would be a great addition to the area.

“I am hoping people leave here with a new appreciation for the eclectic style of that kind of music,” she said.

Drymill last played at the Barns in March at a concert to release their self-titled first album, said Robert Mabe, banjo player. Even though the band doesn’t have a new CD yet, it still will debut some new songs that it is working on for their next album.

Most of the songs were written by Sean Loomis, the band’s guitarist, singer and songwriter, and have the signature Drymill Road sound, Mabe said. The band, which has been together three years this month, also will perform a new “upbeat, uplifting and very flowing” instrumental song Mabe created and is calling “Barn Dance.”

“We are giving people a sneak peek at these,” said Mabe of Gerrardstown, W.Va. “Usually you will work on songs a lot longer than we have and get close to recording them before you really start getting them out.”

The band consists of Mabe, Loomis of Winchester, David Hurt of Winchester on bass, and Doug Ross of Berryville on mandolin. All of the members also sing on various songs.

The event will be catered by The Berryville Grille.

To make the concert extra special, 25 percent of all ticket and food sales will be donated to The Laurel Center, Mabe said. Each time the band plays at the venue, they hope to donate a portion of the proceeds to a charity.

The stage will be set for an entirely different kind of atmosphere when Dirty Bourbon takes the stage Monday. The five-member group describes its sound as “whiskey-soaked New Orleans eclecticism.”

The group consists of Noah Adams, founder, front man and multi-instrumentalist; Charles “Big Charlie” Skinner, vocalist and trombone player; Dane “Bootsy” Schindler, drummer; Matt Thomas, tenor and baritone saxophone, clarinet and vocals, and Jimmy Williams, electric bass, tuba, and sousaphone.

The five men each come from different backgrounds and music styles and have melded those sounds with influences in New Orleans jazz, brass, Latin and Caribbean bands to create their “gypsy circus brass rock,” Williams said.

“A lot of people call us a band but that is not exactly what we are about,” said Williams, who got his start in music as a classically trained double bass player. “We want every aspect of the show to be professional and entertaining.”

The concert is part of the band’s current nine-week tour, which also included Watermelon Park in September and shows at 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday at the Shenandoah Valley Wine and Music Festival at Long Branch Historic House and Farm in Millwood. Drymill Road also will perform at the festival at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Playing at Watermelon, the band’s original reason for coming to the area, went great, Thomas said. Even though the band does not play the kind of bluegrass traditionally heard at the festival, its broad appeal came in handy.

“We are lucky enough to entertain people and get them interested even if it is not what they are expecting to hear,” Thomas said. “A lot of times it is because it is not what they expect to hear.”

The band has evolved a great deal since Adams started it in 2008 with only Schindler. At that time, they called themselves “Buck Johnson and the Hootenanny Kid.”

Over the next few years, the band grew in its members and its sound, Schindler said. Since then, the group has recorded five albums, worked a six-month burlesque residency as the house band and ringmasters of the Big Busk!, and done numerous tours of the United States.

As a result, the guys in the group have become “a family, a unit, a tribe,” Schindler said.

“All in all, we get along really well,” he said. “We all have the same appreciation and interest in music and just about everything. We always enjoy laughing more than anything else in the world.”

— Contact Laura McFarland at