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Posted May 20, 2010 | comments Leave a comment

Cave Ridge Vineyard to host Barrels, Barbecue & Bands

By Laetitia Clayton - lclayton@nvdaily.com

MT. JACKSON -- Four bands will battle it out Saturday for a chance to open for bluegrass band Cherryholmes at the Shenandoah Valley Music Festival this summer.

Barrels, Barbecue & Bands will be held from noon to 5 p.m. at Cave Ridge Vineyard in Mt. Jackson, and will feature an afternoon of food, wine and music. In addition, those who attend will have the chance to vote for their favorite band, giving the winner the opportunity to open for Cherryholmes on Sept. 4 on the Orkney Springs stage.

This is the first time the vineyard, which opened its wine-tasting room in 2006, has hosted a festival of this kind, said Cave Ridge owner and winemaker Randy Phillips.

Phillips said the music festival board approached him about hosting the event.

"They were looking for another venue to have a fundraiser," he said. "We are a major sponsor of the music festival. So, I think it was a natural for us to do this."

Phillips added that the vineyard has new amenities to accommodate a large crowd, such as new kitchen facilities and an outdoor courtyard with pergolas. The attendance limit is 300 for Saturday's event, he said, adding that a lot of people wait until the last minute to get tickets for outdoor festivals.

"If they do that, they may be disappointed," he said.

The bands set to perform are Amanda Murphy and the Lost Indians, from Northern Virginia; Drymill Road, based in West Virginia; Lisa Brunot and Dixie Pride, from the Elkton area; and Soul Dressing, from Rockingham County.

People who attend the event will get a ballot when they enter, said Dennis Lynch, executive director of the Shenandoah Valley Music Festival. Each band will play a 25-minute set, and the audience will be able to vote once the bands have finished playing.

The group with the most votes wins, he said.

The bands are similar to each other in that they play acoustic, string music, Lynch said, "but there is variety within that," such as different styles of bluegrass and country.

"So the people coming to the event will have some variety," he said.

Lynch said the event is also a first for the music festival, but plans are already in the works to do it again next year. The bands were chosen and asked to participate this time, but there may be an application process for the next one, he said.

Phillips said holding the event at Cave Ridge fits in with his objective of having a vineyard and winery that offers a great atmosphere and experience as well.

"We like to feature the wine, food and music here," he said.

Admission to the event is $35 per person, which includes the live entertainment, a barbecue dinner, a complimentary glass of wine and a souvenir wine glass ordered for the event. The majority of the money collected will go to the music festival, Phillips said.

"It's gonna be a great time," he added.

Cherryholmes, performing for a second-straight year at the music festival, is being brought back by popular demand, Lynch said. Other performers for the festival's 2010 season include Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Temptations and Ronnie Milsap, who will open the season on July 23.

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