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Members of the Back Porch Rockers (from left) George Mitchell, Joey Brinn and Randy Wood will perform during Saturday's grand finale of East Carolina Star Search. The show benefits Eagle's Wings food pantry. Kevin Scott Cutler/Daily News
Members of the Back Porch Rockers (from left) George Mitchell, Joey Brinn and Randy Wood will perform during Saturday's grand finale of East Carolina Star Search. The show benefits Eagle's Wings food pantry.
Kevin Scott Cutler/Daily News

Archived Story

Back Porch Rockers to ‘rock’ Star Search finals

Published 6:49pm Thursday, June 5, 2014

 

Joey Brinn discovered his love of performing at an early age.

“I’ve been playing guitar and singing since I was 6 or 7 years old,” Brinn said. “I began singing for customers at my grandmother’s beauty shop.”

Brinn’s grandmother was Erma Lee Carter and her Main Street beauty shop was a Washington institution for decades. Brinn and his fellow Back Porch Rockers band members George Mitchell and Randy Wood will perform Saturday evening on the stage of another local landmark, the historic Turnage Theater. They are among the 15 acts chosen as finalists for East Carolina Star Search, a fundraising endeavor benefiting Eagle’s Wings food pantry.

“We’ve all played together for a lot of benefits and fundraisers with other people, but we started playing together as a trio just before this event,” Brinn said.

Mitchell, a volunteer with Eagle’s Wings, was told an anonymous benefactor had offered to sponsor the Back Porch Rockers in the Star Search talent competition, so he approached Brinn and Wood with the idea. They immediately got on board. Joining with Brinn’s guitar and vocals are Mitchell’s mandolin and vocals; Wood said of his contribution to the trio, “If it’s got strings, I can beat a tune out of it.”

For the Star Search audition round, held in April, the Rockers performed a medley of “Stray Cats Strut” and “Hit the Road Jack.” For the finals, they’re putting the finishing touches on a Joe Crocker standard, ”Feeling All Right.”

Like so many of the other performers featured in Saturday’s show, members of the trio admitted they were excited about the idea of performing on the Turnage stage.

“I remember going to movies at the Turnage when I was a boy,” Mitchell said. “We’re looking forward to performing there.”

They said they were also drawn to Star Search because of the opportunity it presented to aid Eagle’s Wings in its mission to feed the disadvantaged citizens of Beaufort County. The organization distributes food each Tuesday from its Washington facility.

Wood noted that the recent tornadoes that struck the area helped residents realize the need to help others who are less fortunate. “It’s caused a lot of people to help each other,” he said.

And while Star Search will result in first, second and third place winners, the Back Porch Rockers aren’t particularly interested in the competitive side of the event.

“We wish everybody good luck,” Mitchell said. “We hope everybody has a good time.”

Win or lose, the Rockers are looking forward to performing and they even have plans to keep the trio going after the curtain falls on the contest. In fact, they’re hoping to book performances for wedding receptions, family reunions and other gatherings. Brinn invited folks to contact him at 252-945-8853.

East Carolina Star Search is co-directed by Debbie Adams and Janet Cox. The talent showcase is presented by Eagle’s Wings and Le Moulin Rouge de Danse. Cash prizes for the top three finalists are donated by Lee Chevrolet and F. Ray Moore Propane. First place receives $1,000. Second and third prize winners will be awarded $500 and $250, respectively.

Advance tickets for the final competition may be purchased at Frank’s Pizza and Italian Restaurant, Backwater Jacks, Russell’s Men’s Wear, Eagle’s Wings and the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce. Tickets may also be available at the door, if seating is still available. Curtain time for Saturday’s show is 8 p.m.

For more information, visit www.ecstarsearch.net.

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