Sunday, March 29, 2015

Molasses Creek's "Waterbound" CD Cover Unveiled! Ocrafolk Festival News. Gary Travels to Offshore Drilling Hearing.

Howdy friends!

Spring is popping up all over the island . . . new lettuce seeds are sprouting in Fiddler Dave's garden, and spring breakers are trickling onto the island and wandering around the village. Ocracoke Arts Week begins tomorrow at Ocracoke School featuring classes in steel drumming, Paperhand Puppet construction, dance, pottery, and Spanish interpretive poetry.  Springtime is one of the busiest on Ocracoke for residents as they create the latest incarnation of their business for the new season.

This month, Molasses Creek will be releasing a new CD, and touring in Eastern Carolina with a new version of the ensemble featuring Gary, Fiddler Dave, Gerald Hampton, and Kim France on bass. Performance details at the end of this post.  Hope to see you folks out on the road! Here's the news!

Molasses Creek Unveils the Cover of "Waterbound"

 This past week, Gary and I (Fiddler Dave) have been busily finishing up tracks in the studio, preparing the new Molasses Creek recording, Waterbound, for mixing and mastering before being sent off for duplication at the beginning of April.  At the same time, we have been bouncing album design concepts back and forth with our design guru, Justin Casey of Washington, NC.  Ocrafolk Festival fans might remember Justin from his performances with his band, Carolina Still, but you might not realize that Justin has also been the designer (and photographer/videographer) behind our last two Molasses Creek releases, as well as the Ocrafolk Festival printed program.

Justin does fabulous work and his steady hand helps guide the visuals for our annual spring Ocrafolk Festival/Molasses Creek marathons.  Thanks Justin!  We anticipate having the new album available for our spring teenie-tour, April 17-19.

Ocrafolk Festival 2015 Announces Performer Lineup


The Yes Team

Victor and Penny

Los Tarascos de Michoacan

Kaira Ba
Blue Eyed Bettys

We had a great time this winter finding new music for the Ocrafolk Festival 2015!  Groups making their debut this year include the Blue Eyed Bettys, Kaira Ba, Los Tarascos de Michoacan, Victor & Penny, Mahalo Jazz 2, and the Yes Team. Returning to the stage we have . . . festival hosts Molasses Creek, storyteller Donald Davis, Martin Garrish, Mipso, The Outliers, Donald Thompson Band, The Alberti Flea Circus, Paperhand Puppets, Craicdown, Jacob Johnson, The Green Grass Cloggers, Bob Zentz & Jeanne McDougal, John Golden, Louis Allen, Philip Howard, Capt. Rob Temple, Chainsaw Artist Clyde Jones, Jef the Mime, Ocrachicks, and more.

Ocrafolk Festival Unveils the 2015 Artwork, Entices Sponsors with Fabulous Rewards!
Click on this link to find out more how to become a sponsor.  Donations are tax-deductible.
This year's festival artwork is by our friend and fellow musician, April Trueblood. April plays at the Ocrafolk Opry during the summer as well as in Raygun Ruby with Lou Castro and Kenny Furr.

June 5-7 will herald the 16th annual Ocrafolk Festival on Ocracoke Island. The flagship event of Ocracoke Alive is one of the most popular weekends for visitors, as word of the event spreads across North Carolina and beyond. Last year, Our State Magazine featured the event as a top ranked NC festival, and several years ago it was ranked as one of the top 10 Island Festivals in the world by Coastal Living Magazine.  The Ocrafolk Festival's unique setting, and Ocracoke Alive's attention to detail helps create a weekend that is treasured by visitor and resident alike.

 The festival features musicians, storytellers, artisans, and characters from the NC region and beyond.  Popular events include a Fish Fry, Squaredance, Art Auction, Paperhand Puppet Parade, Gospel Sing, Bluegrass Jam, and performances by over 27 groups that will make fans of folk music and storytelling swoon.

Sponsors are a critical component of bringing the Ocrafolk Festival to life each year. The sponsors' passion for preserving the event through their donations fuels almost half of the total cost of the weekend. And the Ocrafolk Festival staff works hard to create unique rewards that make contributors feel a special part of the event.  As a sponsor you can not only receive the usual festival T-shirts and media recognition, but also an invitation to an Admiralty Party aboard Ocracoke Alive's Skipjack Wilma Lee, pre-release tickets to limited seating events, passes to the Fish Fry, reserved parking near festival grounds, and Supporter Level Buttons that enter you in drawings all weekend. Best of all, your sponsorship helps make sure that this unique event continues for another year! Come join your Ocracoke friends for a fabulous weekend!

Gary Travels to Hearing to Speak Out Against Offshore Oil Drilling

Gary's daughter Katy (left), Ocracoke resident Mickey Baker (center). Photo Outer Banks Voice.

On March 19th, Gary Mitchell traveled up the beach to Kill Devil Hills to join about 670 other Outer Banks residents and members of LegaSea to say "No" to oil exploration off the coast of North Carolina. LegaSea was formed 25 years ago in response to Mobil Oil Corp. efforts to sink an exploratory well off Cape Hatteras. The open forum was held by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in order to receive community feedback on a proposed lease sale of up to 14 sites between 2017-2022 within planning areas along the mid and south Atlantic, Alaska and Gulf of Mexico coasts. North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory's administration is currently in support of the plan.

Executive director of the Outer Banks Visitor Bureau expressed his concern of the potential threat that offshore drilling could pose to tourism brought by the natural environment and pristine beaches of North Carolina. “Why then would we gamble with a proven industry?” Nettles addressed to the audience “Offshore drilling is a threat disguised as an opportunity,” he said.

If you are a fan of Ocracoke Island and the Outer Banks, we encourage you to speak your mind! Public comments on the proposed leasing program will be accepted by BOEM through March 30 at!submitComment;D=BOEM_FRDOC_0001-0312;p=1 . Read more about the issue in an article by Coastal Review Online at Thanks for helping out our communities!

Upcoming Molasses Creek Travels

Hope you can join us in Washington or Fountain, NC this month!

Friday, April 17, 6-8 PM, Molasses Creek at Cycle NC Event in Washington Civic Center, Washington, NC

Saturday, April 18, Private event, Washington, NC

Sunday, April 19 7-9 PM (Fiddler Dave's birthday!) Molasses Creek in Concert at the Fountain General Store, Fountain, NC

That's all for now!