Friday, October 07, 2005

Fall Is At Ocracoke's Door

On Ocracoke Island
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Although fall arrived to Ocracoke, the humidity and heat remained for much of last week. Ocracoke fared well during Ophelia with little wind or water damage. We keep an eye on possible approaching storms and look forward to the fall and a bit of extra creative time.

This week Molasses Creek and Fiddler Dave hosted percussionist Patrick Jubal Creech in Gary Mitchell’s Soundside Studio. Jubal completed the final tracks for Molasses Creek upcoming 8th release. The new Molasses Creek album title is hush hush as Gary Mitchell begins mixing out the 14 tracks. Release date for MC008 is set for Thanksgiving of this year.

Jubal also completed the percussion on Fiddler Dave's new all-original instrumental album which is due to hit the streets around the turn of the year. Recording began in January 2005 on this project with an incredible pianist, Dave Wiesler of Wilmington, DE. Fiddler Dave and Dave Wiesler met at an Ogontz Dance week put together by Merle and Donald Davis in the summer of 2004. For Fiddler Dave’s new project Jubal broke out as many vaudeville instruments as he could find from vibraslaps to wee whistles, to thundermakers. What an adventure!

Molasses Creek’s Deepwater Theater finished up its 2005 summer season last week with a final Ocrafolk Opry and Molasses Creek performance. The Ocrafolk finale included, Martin Garrish, Jule Garrish, Capt. Rob Temple and Sundae Horn, Molasses Creek, Roy Parsons, Coyote with special guest Emily Divan on cello, singer-songwriters Maya Wilkins and Nora, and Katy Mitchell and an assortment of Mumphries.

On Thursday, Molasses Creek was joined by singer-songwriter Noah-Paley from Hatteras, NC. The ensemble spent a wonder evening revisiting many of the classic Paley songs and finishing out with “Wonderful World” as recorded on Molasses Creek’s “Best of” album.

Ocrafolk Festival Outreach Program has been sponsoring some drama classes for Junior High/ High School students at Deepwater Theater. Cynthia Mitchell (friend but no relation to Gary and Kitty) is teaching the classes. If any of you folks have witnessed the Ocracoke Cabaret’s throughout the years, you are familiar with Cynthia’s humorous and spicy style.

The arrival of October brings Ocracoke School carnivals, spook walks, and trick-or-treating as well as many on-island Halloween parties. Looking on towards November, Ocracoke prepares for Village Days, an island celebration November 4-6 featuring Arts Tours, Shopping, a community square-dance, and more!

Off Island
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Molasses Creek just returned from a weekend playing at the Petersburg, VA Nostalgia Festival. The event was held at the Sycamore Rouge in downtown Petersburg and featured performances by Molasses Creek, the Sha-nniece James Project, and Grammy nominee Barbara Higbie. Barbara swapped fiddle licks with Fiddler Dave and mandolinist Gerald Hampton, tearing up Whisky For Breakfast, Blackberry Blossom, June Apple, and Back Up and Push. The event was presented by the City of Petersburg in conjunction with the Sycamore Rouge, a new non-profit performance arts facility created to look like an Italian Village. (

On October 15, Molasses Creek will travel to perform 1 to 4 PM at the Harvest Festival at the Meadow Farm Museum outside of Richmond ( The Harvest Festival will feature many hands-on activities and demonstrations depicting typical homemaking and farming tasks of the era. These include cider making, quilting, candle dipping, basket & wood weaving, beekeeping, corn husking, corn shelling, blacksmithing, woodworking, and coopering.

That’s all for the moment. Tune in for more next week!

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