Bad Popes, Swayback Sisters in Tryon

Published 6:23 pm Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Bad Popes

The Bad Popes and The Swayback Sisters fill the bill for the sixth and final show in Tryon’s 2012 Summer Tracks Concert Series. Sponsored by Tryon Fine Arts Center, the show takes place in Rogers Park in Tryon, Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. Concerts run until about 10 p.m.
The show begins with Western North Carolina favorites The Swayback Sisters. These “sisters” are comprised of Laura Blackley (guitar, banjo, ukelele and vocals), Cary Fridley (upright bass, banjo and vocals) and Mary Ellen Bush (upright bass, guitar and vocals). This close harmony trio specializes in old-school country soul, Appalachian-style folk ballads and dirty acoustic blues. The trio’s shows draw heavily on the music that came before them, paying homage to musicians such as Memphis Minnie, Ola Belle Reed and Bessie Smith.
Based out of Greenville, S.C. and playing together for 10 years, The Bad Popes are a five-piece ensemble consisting of Jef Chandler (guitar, vocals), Charles Hedgepath (guitar, vocals), Chris Garrett (bass), Mike Bagwell (pedal steel) and Joe Cash (drums). Adept in many different styles of music that fall under the umbrella term “Americana,” the band plays original material as well as covers of everything from western swing in the manner of Bob Wills to rock in the spirit of the Allman Brothers to straight-up country material like Hank Williams Sr. The group is currently touring to support its 2012 CD release, “Town and Country.”
As with all Summer Tracks concerts, the show is free, though a voluntary donation at the gate is encouraged. Audience donations along with the generous sponsorships of local businesses make these shows possible. JR’s wood-fired pizzas, ice cream, water and soft drinks will be for sale. It is requested that you leave your dogs at home.
Summer Tracks is produced by the Town of Tryon in affiliation with Peter Eisenbrown of Blockparty Productions. The popular series attracts people from all over the region. Last year, the concerts drew an estimated 2,000 people to downtown Tryon.
For more information about Summer Tracks and the performers, contact Polk County Travel and Tourism at 800-440-7848 or 828-894-2324 and visit

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