Wishgrove performs November 7

Published 3:55 pm Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Lennon. McCartney. David Bowie. Radiohead. Aerosmith. The Who. Rolling Stones. Yes. King Crimson. Genesis. The Eagles. Sound familiar? These are just some of the artists who have influenced Tryons Wishgrove. Wishgrove will be in performing in concert with the StereoFidelics at the Tryon Movie Theater on November 7 at 7 p.m. to benefit the Upstairs Artspace.

Wishgroves breakout single Carolina, from the bands CD I Lost My Head, is getting daily airplay on WGWG.

Wishgrove is Tryon portrait and gallery artist Rich Nelson on guitars, keyboards, and vocals, Mark McCullough on bass and vocals, and Tony Bell on drums. The band formed eighteen months ago just to make music and have fun. We had no agenda, said Rich. But as their distinctive sound started to gel, the idea grew to writing, playing and then recording whatever came naturally.

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Theyve all been playing in bands since they were kids. Nelson was in his first real band when he was 14. In his early 20s, Nelson was in a Detroit band (Bitter Sweet Alley) that enjoyed some success in Michigan and Canada. Chad Smith, who was in the Purple Gang with Nelson in the late 80s, is the drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Nelson, a nationally renowned portrait artist, is characteristically self-deprecating when he talks about his own vocal talents:

I never intended to be the singer. We worked with two singers, but it just didnt work out. Now Im the primary singer. Wishgrove is well into the new music for the bands next CD. The November 7th concert will feature much of that new material.

Rich and Kim Nelson both grew up in Detroit and were married in 1995. They moved to Tryon in 2004. Their three children Luke, 12, Lily, 10, and Sam, 8 are constantly involved with soccer, gymnastics, TFAC plays and many other activities. Kim is a familiar sight in the Nelson van, shuttling kids around Tryon. Rich recently took Luke to a concert in Atlanta and laughed that he felt like a music educator in the car, turning up the radio and telling Luke about the history and backgrounds of different bands. They went to see the English alternative rock band Muse at the Gwinnett Arena and Rich said Luke loved it!

Rich said, The best thing about Wishgrove is I have these two friends I get together with each week and we get to make music. Its like our bowling night. He said hes not a big strategic thinker for the bands goals or future, but it would be fun if one of their songs took off on YouTube.

On the larger front, Nelson has a vision for the Tryon area becoming, increasingly, a place where artists, painters, sculptors, songwriters, poets, writers, and novelists come to live and work.