BoCo Music Festival back for an 11th year

Published 5:10 pm Monday, April 22, 2019

Beaufort County Traditional Music Association is bringing back the music for an 11th year running.

The BoCo Music Festival will take place all day Saturday at Arts of the Pamlico’s Turnage Theatre in Washington. All performances are free, but any donations will be donated to AOP’s “Raise the Roof” campaign.

“We play at the Turnage on Thursday nights and Saturday mornings, so it’s our home, and it’s important to have a home with a roof,” said BCTMA Chairman Linda Boyer. “The roof is pretty bad — there are leaks all over, and we thought, ‘Well, this will be the obvious choice (to donate to).’”

The festival starts with jams in the morning, which all musicians are invited to join in and all music lovers invited to sit back and enjoy. From 10 a.m. to noon, it’s players choice in the open jam. Bluegrass takes over at 12:15 p.m., followed by Old Time at 1:15 p.m. The jamming part of the day wraps up at 2:15 p.m. with folk music.

At 4 p.m., the performances begin with Uncle John & The Hollis Trio, a bluegrass band. Next up will be Twisted Knot, five-piece Celtic band from Greenville, a new addition to the musical genres represented at the festival, Boyer said. J.D. Joyner, from Rocky Mount, will perform at 6 p.m.

“He’s a wonderful guitarist,” Boyer said. “And for our headliner band, we have John Howie Jr. and the Rosewood Bluff. John is tall and dark and has big glasses and a real deep voice, and he’s just as country as he can be, but they play honky tonk, rockabilly and country. So they’re a new thing for us.”

The last time John Howie Jr. played at the BoCo Music Festival, Mother Nature cut his performance short: in 2011, severe storms were forecasted and though no severe storm hit Washington directly, a gust of wind did tear down the tent where Howie was playing on the waterfront, Boyer said.

In addition to music all day inside the Turnage Theatre, raffles for a Martin guitar and a Dean guitar donated by BCTMA’s Rob Cuthrell will be held, along with a raffle for a Blounts Creek “Idle About,” a two-hour pontoon boat ride and tour by Bob Daw, BCTMA member, Blounts Creek resident and avid fisherman.

“We hope folks will come and play with the jams and stay for the bands and just have a good time at a day full of music,” Boyer said.

For more information, visit