Mercy Creek, 2:00-3:00

Mercy Creek

Based in Virginia, Mercy Creek performs original music they call aggressive folk rock. Singer/guitarist Cheryl Nystrom and song writing partner/drummer Jim Ball combine elements of modern folk, world beat, rock, and hints of blues and bluegrass to create music that is fresh and unique. From world beat to folk, the musical styles used in Mercy Creek’s songs are anchored by Nystrom’s beautiful voice and intelligent lyrics.

Mercy Creek has released 7 independent albums and have been a full time performing act since 1998, playing across the country at clubs, festivals, and concerts. Paul Mahern, (Iggy Pop, John Mellencamp, Juliana Hatfield, Lisa Germano,
Over the Rhine, The Fray, vocalist for punk band Zero Boys) recorded and produced 6 of the band’s 7 CD catalogue. The recordings have charted on radio stations nationally, were used heavily in Playnetwork’s retail outlet store Eddie Baeur, have been used in nationally syndicated radio shows, and have been played on XM Radio.

Sarah Williams, 3:15-4:15

Sarah Williams

Nashville-based singer-songwriter and pianist SARAH WILLIAMS writes and records an original blend of country, soul, and rock-and-roll. It’s fresh and eclectic with a classic groove.

Bobby “BlackHat” Band, 4:30-5:30

Bobby Blackhat band

Bobby “BlackHat” Walters, recording artist, harmonica player, vocalist, songwriter and actor hails from Cleveland, Ohio and has been playing harp for over 40 years. Bobby is a retired U.S. Coast Guard Commander with 27 years of distinguished service which included serving as Military Aide to the President and being awarded the Coast Guard Medal for Heroism.

While a member of the Black Rose Blues Band he had the honor of opening for Blues Legends B.B King, Taj Mahal, and Steady Rollin Bob Margolin. Bobby has shared the stage with Kenny Neal, Lil Ray Neal, Bill Deal and the Rhondels, Jason Ricci, Eddie Shaw, Daryl Davis, Ruthie Foster, Sherman Robertson, Tas Cru, and Memphis Gold.

In 2016, the Bobby BlackHat Band advanced to the FINALS of the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN. Bobby has won two Blewzzy Awards for “Song of the Year” (I Hear Mama’s Voice, 2012 and Please Mr. BlackHat, 2015). He was also awarded two 2016 VEER Music Awards for “Best Blues” and “Song of the Year” (HRBT Blues).

Bobby BlackHat brings together the finest blues musicians in Hampton Roads to perform classic, modern, as well as original blues tunes that will keep your toes tappin and your hips shakin all night long.

The Ballast Band, 5:45-6:45

The Ballast Band

The Ballast Band released its debut album, “Constellation,” on July 26th, 2014.

With its strong harmonies, upbeat instrumentals and universally themed lyrics, The Ballast Band has been making audiences feel good throughout Eastern Virginia for the past two years. Decidedly home-grown, the band’s original music is rock ’n roll with a hint of blues and funk.

The band’s name comes from the nautical influence of Virginia’s Tidewater region, but it also represents the common quest for balance in people’s lives as they work, play, love and raise families.

As a new jam ensemble on the block, The Ballast Band also performs many popular cover songs at concerts from bands such as the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, the Allman Brothers, Neil Young, REM and many others.

Members of the band are Matt Williams, guitar and vocals; Frank West, keyboards and vocals; Ken Gibson, drums; and Charles Records, bass guitar and vocals. Williams and West are a combination of self-taught and classically trained musicians on their first foray into a rock ensemble, while Gibson and Records both played in bands during college.

By day, The Ballast Band members are leaders and business professionals in the Gloucester community. Matt Williams is the owner of Under Boats, a commercial diving and marine salvage company, while Dr. Francis West is a physician with MobjackMedical Group. Ken Gibson is an attorney with GibsonSingleton, PLLC, Virginia Injury Attorneys, and Charles Records is a developer/engineer with Zandler Development.

Because The Ballast Band members live and work in a 9-to-5 world, striving to balance professional lives and families, their original tracks reflect the joys and struggles of everyman.