Music

Enjoy performances exclusive to the Cheerwine Festival from these four bands from 2 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, May 21! Sponsored by Hotwire Communications.

Blues Traveler 8:30-10:00 p.m.
Spin Doctors 6:30-8:00 p.m.
9daytrip 5:00-6:00 p.m.
Tsunami Wave Riders 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Lauren Light Trio 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Blues Traveler promotional photo
Blues Traveler logo

Blues Traveler

More than 30 years ago, the four original members of Blues Traveler—John Popper, Chandler Kinchla, Brendan Hill, and the late Bobby Sheehan—gathered in their drummer’s parent’s basement in Princeton, NJ to jam. From these high school sessions emerged a band that would go on to release 13 studio albums and counting, four of which have gone gold, three platinum, and one six-times platinum- selling more than 10 million combined units worldwide.

Over an illustrious career Blues Traveler has played over 2,000 live shows in front of more than 30 million people, and, in “Run-Around,” had the longest-charting radio single in Billboard history, which earned them a Grammy® for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. Their movie credits include Blues Brothers 2000, Kingpin, Wildflowers and others. A television favorite, they have been featured on Saturday Night Live, Austin City Limits, VH1's Behind the Music and they have the record for the most appearances of any artist on The Late Show with David Letterman.

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Spin Doctors promotional photo
Spin Doctors logo

Spin Doctors

Thirty years. It’s an eternity in rock ‘n’ roll, and a marathon for the bands who fly its tattered flag. Revisit the class of 1988, and the casualties are piled high: a thousand bands that blew up and burnt out. In this chew-and-spit industry, the Spin Doctors are the last men standing, still making music like their lives depend on it, still riding the bus, still shaking the room. They’ve never been a band for backslaps and self-congratulation. Even now, plans are afoot for a seventh studio album and another swashbuckling world tour, adding to their tally of almost two thousand shows. But faced with that milestone, even a band of their velocity takes a breath for reflection. “I’d never have guessed,” admits drummer Aaron Comess, “this would have turned into thirty years of making great music together.”

Like all the best rock ‘n’ roll mythology, the final page of the Spin Doctors’ biography remains forever unwritten. But if the band’s story is to begin anywhere, it should be at New York’s New School university in the fall of ’88, when a fateful door-knock sparked the first meeting of Comess and guitarist Eric Schenkman. Trading as the Trucking Company, Schenkman, local legend John Popper and a charisma-bomb vocalist named Chris Barron had been making a glorious noise in the clubs downtown. But when Popper committed himself to Blues Traveler, the remnants sought new blood. Having assured Schenkman that he’d “check them out,” Comess formed a ferocious rhythm section with Bronx-raised bassist Mark White. “When I first met them,” recalls White, “I thought, ‘These are some funky-assed white boys.’ I’m the black guy in the band, and they had to teach me to play the blues.”

Barron still recalls the circus when Pocket Full Of Kryptonite exploded in 1992 (“When we were selling 50,000 records a week, I’d walk into a mall to buy underwear and 300 kids would surround me”). Pass a record store and you’d hear the tills ring, as that all-conquering debut album marched towards 10 million sales. Pass a news-stand and you’d see the lineup staring back from the cover of Rolling Stone. Flick on MTV and you were serenaded by planet-straddling follow-up hit “Two Princes,” whose irresistible groove and scream-it-back chorus took it to #4 on the Top 100 singles chart and more US radio spins than any other rock ‘n’ roll song in 1993. “When you’re freaking popular,” says White, “and people are throwing themselves at you, if you don’t like that, you’re on the wrong planet.”

The numbers were staggering. But it was the Spin Doctors’ capacity to reinvent themselves throughout the unfolding decade that confirmed their status as a great American band. In 1994, they struck back with Turn It Upside Down: a bitter-sweet album that has some superb songs, from “Cleopatra’s Cat” to “You Let Your Heart Go Too Fast. “

Thirty years. A thousand twists. But whatever happens down the road, rest assured that the Spin Doctors will always be the last men standing, still making music like their lives depend on it, still riding the bus, still shaking the room. “It’s been a great ride,” considers Comess. Then he adds: “So far…"

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9daytrip promotional photo
9daytrip logo

9daytrip

9daytrip’s own recipe of soulful blues, homegrown Carolina country and rock-n-roll roots mixed with psychedelic jam presents an Americana sound all their own. Songwriters, singers, multi-instrumentalists Shelby Stover and Chad Butler formed a childhood friendship that creates a creative musical bond that can be heard throughout their incomparable entangled harmonies and sounds. Bassist, guitarist, percussionist Terry Moore’s lead bass style brings unique melodic support to solidify their harmonic and rhythmic style. Antonio ‘Aminal’ Brown’s intricate beats brings an overall rhythmic quality to the group and is an integral player in overlapping genres throughout the listeners audio experience. Classically trained multi-talented violist, pianist, guitarist and vocalist Emanuel Wynter generates a fierce energy and anomaly of familiar but enigmatic sounds to the band’s realm. As a whole, the band’s diverse backgrounds and musical influences create an energized atmosphere that electrifies the air and tickles the bones of an often atypical audience. “I love how every show is its own entity that forms a genuine community vibe and before you know it...it’s over,” says Stover.

Harmonizing to tunes such as, Billy Joel’s ‘The Longest Time,” on the elementary school bus in southern Rowan County, NC was the beginning of Stover and Butler’s alluring and oscillating melodies. Stover recalls, “singing together and playing percussion to the back of the bus seat.” Butler received his first guitar at the age of eight years old. “My dad played guitar and sang, and my mother played the piano and sang. They sounded amazing together. Mom taught me the beauty of harmony and dad showed me everything he knew about guitar.” Music as their most common ground, Stover and Butler went through many of their years growing together, playing together, writing together and eventually melting their musical paths while playing duos shows into their young adulthood. In 2013, Butler was asked by some old band mates from the 90’s, including well versed guitarist Terry Moore, if he would be interested in jamming together. Knowing Stover as a talented singer/songwriter, Butler quickly enticed him into the ring. With crazy work schedules and necessary family demands, the newly formed jam band, lost their drummer and eventually their bassist. As an important gig approached, Moore reluctantly rose to the occasion. Butler speaking on Moore, originally also a guitarist for the band and his transition to bass, “[Moore] was not happy at all trading the six strings for a four string, but he stepped up and found that he actually liked having his own sonic space to shine in. Before we knew it he was selling off his guitars and amps for bass gear.”

Coming across soulful and technical, yet unrefined drummer ‘Aminal’ Brown with his deep pocket groove was exactly the beats that their sound had been longing to feel. Brown invited his friend Emanuel Wynter, then described as “probably the best violist [you] will ever hear,” to a show in Mooresville NC to listen. “Wynter set up and finished the show with us” and quickly became a part of the innovative team. These five gentlemen have formed an instrumental union that is not only powerful and evolving, but beautifully delicate and can stir emotions. Since performing their first public show in late 2015, they have perfected the beauty and prowess of the late night American bar scene. With over 250 shows in music halls and festivals across five states, they remain hungry for growth as artists and a longing for bridging with a larger fan base.

9daytrip incorporates talented musical enthusiasts who strive to gratify and thrill their listeners. In 2016 they recorded an EP, “Two Sides to Every Tale,” recorded with Rob Tavaglione at Catalyst Recording and were then nominated for Best Americana Group by the Carolina Music Awards.They released a new single titled, “9daytrip” in 2017, winning Best Americana Group of the Year Award. Working with Tavaglione at Catalyst in 2018 resulted in the release their first LP, “Into the Great Unknown,” and yet another nomination. The band released, Truth and Other Folklore July 2020. This album being their best work to date, and is a great addition to their already ample catalog of ingenious work. Although they enjoy the studio, 9daytrip live performances are exhilarating to both the audience and the band. Their novel story line songs have a way of intimately captivating to the listener in ways that are both personal and endearing.

Tsunami Wave Riders promotional photo

Tsunami Wave Riders

Dancin' in Paradise:

That's what you feel like when you listen to the fun-loving tropical party music of the North Carolina-based Tsunami Wave Riders. The band takes you on a musical “cruise around the islands” with a mix of their own popular originals along with songs from artists such as Bob Marley, Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown, and the Beach Boys.

The Tsunami Wave Riders are led by the energetic Ronnie Tsunami, a Hawaiian-born singer/songwriter and keyboard, steel drum and ukulele player. At the Cheerwine Festival he is joined by two of his regular bandmembers: Angela “Leilani” Jackson, a half-Hawaiian singer who plays congas, percussion and the Hawaiian lapsteel guitar, and Joanna “The Tropical Lady,” a former resident of Hawaii and self-proclaimed “tropaholic” who loves all things tropical and plays Caribbean double second steel drums, ukulele and percussion.

The Tsunami Wave Riders were formed in 2005 by Ronnie, who had been a member of other tropical bands for many years, and Joanna. Homesick for Hawaii, they decided to recreate the tropical experience for themselves and their audiences no matter where they were in the world: through music, dance, tropical decorations, and fun activities. They call themselves the Tsunami Wave Riders not just because of Ronnie Tsunami’s name, but also because they believe that taking people on an island escape - even if only for an hour or two - makes it easier for people to ride the challenges, or “tsunamis,” in life.

The band has traveled throughout the south, up and down the east coast and to Hawaii playing hundreds of private and corporate shows, luaus, festivals, charity fundraisers, and Parrothead (Jimmy Buffett fan) events – trying to spread the aloha spirit wherever they go.

The Tsunami Wave Riders are excited to bring with them several of the beautiful and talented Aloha Island Hula Girls, whose authentic costumes and vibrant island music transport you to the shores of Hawaii, Tahiti and beyond. The dancers love to entertain the whole family with limbo and hula hoop contests, hula participation and more!

*FREE LEIS FOR THE FIRST 200 GUESTS, and CONTESTS AND SURPRISES FOR THE KIDS!*

Some of the Tsunami Wave Riders’ awards include:
“Single of the Year” - Hawaii Music Awards
“Top Beach Band in North America” – Rising Star Awards
“Best World Music Artist” - Charlotte Music Awards
“Best Country Artist” - Charlotte Music Awards

Lauren Light Trio promotional photo
Lauren Light Trio Band logo

Lauren Light Trio

Pop Singer-Songwriter, Lauren Light is a force to be reckoned with. The Berklee grad has played over 800 shows, in over 30 states across the US. Playing a mix of Festivals, Colleges, music venues. On stage, she artfully crafts the perfect blend of pop, and powerfully soulful vocals.

You can hear her music featured in the Marvels hit show “Runaways,” “Billie” Razor Brand Ad, “Hailstorm” Ad and YouTube Nashville sessions.

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Awards


SFEA Award

Centralina Award

2020 NCRPA Award

NCFEA Award

NC Main Street Award