PEMBROKE — For the third year in a row Pembroke Town Park will come alive with music and activities thanks to the Peace in the Park Concert series, taking place every Thursday in September.
The month-long event, which was founded by native singer-songwriter Charly Lowry, who sings for the indie rock band Dark Water Rising, will take place from 5:30 to 9 p.m. each Thursday and will feature performances by a number of local and regional artists, as well as nightly themes.
“The goal of the music is to really bring all kinds of genres that locals wouldn’t get a chance to hear on a regular basis because we don’t have a true music venue in Robeson County,” Lowry said. “We try to have a bit of everything.”
This Thursday will feature performances by KasCie Page and local rockers the Henry Berry Band and be themed around Mother Earth.
“For me, driving and seeing on the side of the road all of this trash, it is evident that there are ignorant or lazy or are unthinking people throwing these things out and it hurts,” Lowry said. “It bothers me inside, and I feel like it has some kind of strain on the community as a whole. Those little things, they place a strain on the overall morale.”
As part of the Mother Earth theme, Lowry says that she invited The University of North Carolina at Pembroke’s technology department to bring plants to be sold.
This will be the Henry Berry Band’s first year performing as part of the Peace in the Park series. The classic rock cover band, which has been performing for nearly 40 years, has become a local favorite. The line up for the Thursday show will include guitarist Robbie VanHoy, Rodney Oxendine on bass, Boss Locklear as lead vocalist, Charles Howk on drums, Tim Locklear on keyboard and Stan Draughon, also on guitar.
“We are more than thrilled to be part of the Peace and the Park concert series,” VanHoy said. “Especially as the opening act to kick off this year’s series. We are very grateful to Peace and the Park and Charly Lowry.”
The Henry Berry Band, which is named for Lumbee folk hero Henry Berry Lowrie, will be performing classic rock tunes from artists such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bad Company and Eric Clapton.
“We have always played covers, but we put our own touch to the songs,” VanHoy said. “We stick to the original song format, but we embellish them a bit to make them our own.”
VonHoy will serve as one of the many local voices featured on a 9/11 tribute album that will be made available during all four Thursdays of the concert series, entitled “Anthems of Honor.” The album will feature ballads from a number of local and regional talents, including Lowry, Brent Tyler, KasCie Page, Vee Oxendine and more.
The second night, Sept. 11, will fittingly be referred to as “Fallen Warriors & 9/11 Tribute” night, and will feature performances by singers Tyler Cole, of Red Springs, and Frank Waln.
On Sept. 18, the theme will be “Just be You,” which Lowry describes as a celebration of individuality and creative thought. In keeping with that theme, the Robeson County Arts Council will be using the event to finish its Art Cruising project during which the Arts Council will tour the county in a motorcade of antique cars. They will also be holding a raffle for a three-day cruise.
The music for that night will be provided by L Shape Lot, a Wilmington folk rock band.
The series’ final night, Sept. 25, will carry the theme of “Peace,” and will be used to celebrate the Pembroke Area Chamber of Commerce’s 40th anniversary. As part of the celebration, the chamber will be holding its fall Business After Hours Mixer from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in conjunction with the event. The series will end by having attendees form what Lowry refers to as a “living peace sign.” For that night, the music will be provided by New York-based funk band Thousands of One.
“Being a musician with Dark Water Rising, anytime we had to play somewhere it was away from our home, the music scenes were everywhere else except for home,” Lowry said. “We had to bring our own sound equipment and I started thinking about my nieces and nephews growing up with no live music scene to speak of. I know they aren’t the only kids thinking it is boring out here and there is nothing to do.”