Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers plan pop-up performances in Wellsboro for Hickory Fest

WELLSBORO — Hailing from the mountain towns of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland, Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers draw freely from old-time, bluegrass, jamgrass, rockabilly and swing music to create their own brand of high energy Appalachian bluegrass. Their goal is simple: write good songs, honor the music, have fun, and take it to the road.

On Aug. 15, the Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers will live up to that goal by helping kick off Hickory Fest with a Main Street Jam in downtown Wellsboro.

Band members include singer-songwriter Gary Antol, on guitar; singer Libby Eddy, on fiddle; singer Ray Bruckman, on mandolin and fiddle; and Evan Bell, on upright bass.

The jam will start around 3 p.m.

From there the band will head down Main Street. They may stop and play as the spirit moves them. There are some storefronts where they will definitely be jamming but the times may change. The band is tentatively scheduled to be at C S Sports Inc., 81Main Street, around 3:30 p.m.; at Dunkin Donuts, 7 Main Street, around 4 p.m.; at the United Methodist Church of Wellsboro, 36 Main Street, around 4:30 p.m.; and at Indigo Wireless, 64 Main Street, around 5 p.m.

Around 5:30 p.m., the band will start jamming on the sidewalk in front of the Deane Center for the Performing Arts,104 Main Street. Then, at 6 p.m., the Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers will go into the Deane Center lobby where the Hickory Fest Kickoff will begin with a reception.

There will be a special wine tasting by Mountain Lake Winery of Towanda and hors d’oeuvres by Brad Goodwin of the Red Skillet in Wellsboro. A group of teachers and students from the Wellsboro Area School District will have soda and water available. Playing piano music in the lobby will be Nathan Myers of Wellsboro Area High School, winner of the Sue Cunningham Hickory Fest Music Scholarship, and Wellsboro High School alum, Billie Jo Priset.

At 7 p.m. in the Coolidge Theatre, Dan Shipe of Wellsboro and Kenny Cox of Punta Gorda, Florida will open for Verlon Thompson. The Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter from Nashville will perform “Find Your Angel,” a riveting musical portrait of a courageous young woman from Vicksburg, Mississippi, and her life before, during and after the Civil War.

Antol and Eddy formed Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers in 2014. Since then they have released several CDs. The powerful songwriting, mesmerizing vocals and hard-driving rhythms of the Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers have earned them a growing national following. The band is popular on the festival circuit, have made many television appearances and opened for numerous bands, such as The Steep Canyon Rangers, Town Mountain, The Black Lillies, Pure Prairie League, Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen.

Tickets are available by calling the Deane Center 570-724-6220 or online by visiting www. DeaneCenter.com.