Top of the Grade Concerts in McCreery Park begin May 8 in Saluda

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, May 5, 2015


Miss Tess & The Talkbacks are set to perform Friday in McCreery Park.

The Top of the Grade Concerts in McCreery Park open their third summer season on May 8 with Miss Tess & The Talkbacks. Recently relocated to Nashville from New York City, this tight quartet promises to fill the park with rollicking rockabilly swing. Led by talented songwriter and skilled guitarist Miss Tess herself, the band has been hailed as one of the most exciting acts blossoming on the Americana Scene. Their latest release, “The Love I Have For You” (2013), pays homage to songwriting greats such as Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Ted Hawkins, and Hank Williams.

Miss Tess & The Talkbacks is the first of five Top of the Grade concerts.  Running from May through September, the concerts showcase a wide variety of musical genres from blues to classic rock to Americana.

“We’ve brought back some local favorites,” says Cathy Jackson of Saluda Downtown Association. “And we’ve brought in bands from across the region.”

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All concerts take place in the heart of town on the Ella Grace Mintz Stage in McCreery Park. They begin at 7 p.m., rain or shine. (In case of heavy rain, bands will move to the pavilion in McCreery Park.) Concertgoers are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets. Coolers are welcome, and local restaurants are open.

The Top Of The Grade Concerts are made possible through a community grant from Polk County Community Foundation. All concerts are free to the public through a Free Community Events grant. Top of the Grade concerts are coordinated by the Saluda Downtown Foundation and produced this year by Peter Eisenbrown of Block Party Productions.

For more information, contact Cathy Jackson at 828-817-4316 or or

Top of the Grade 2015 Schedule:
May 8: Miss Tess & The Talkbacks
June 12: Sound Investment
July 10: Aaron Burdett
August 14: Gigi Dover and The Big Love
September 11: 6 String Drag

– Submitted by Peter Eisenbrown