By Tina Alvey
An outpouring of concern from the musician community of the Greenbrier Valley for one of their own has blossomed into a benefit festival the likes of which this region has never seen.
Spread across five indoor venues, the Greenbrier Valley TNT Music Festival planned for Feb. 2 will feature an estimated 25 acts representing a wide variety of musical genres, all bound by the common purpose of raising funds to help Tim and Tammy Pyne recover from a Dec. 20 fire that destroyed their Ronceverte home and its contents.
A respected local drummer employed at The Greenbrier resort, Tim Pyne expressed appreciation for the generosity of his fellow musicians, saying he hopes this festival can sow the seeds for future fundraisers that can help other members of the area’s large musical community who face sudden adversity.
That is also the hope of festival organizer Jim Snyder, who said, “If this festival is well-received, we may continue with regular events to create an emergency fund for local musicians.”
Snyder, a musician who will perform in the Lewisburg area for the first time in 10 years during TNT, has been involved in similar long-term endeavors in other states. He volunteered to help organize this fundraiser, along with co-coordinator John Foster, out of his regard for the Pynes.
“Tim is the central factor in bringing all these musicians together,” Snyder said. “An event like this unifies the music scene, even if just for one night, for a common purpose.”
Comparing the TNT Festival to Charleston’s FestivALL, Snyder said, “Lewisburg has never seen anything like this before. I don’t think southern West Virginia has ever seen anything like this before.”
Of TNT’s five concert venues, four are along Washington Street in downtown Lewisburg, with the fifth, and largest — Wild Bill’s Roadhouse — just 5 miles away at Harts Run. The Lewisburg venues are the Irish Pub, Greenbrier Valley Theatre, the Wild Bean and the Sweet Shoppe.
All five venues are opening on a staggered schedule Saturday, to allow concert-goers to sample the ambiance and entertainment at more than one site throughout the evening.
Greenbrier Valley Theatre will open at 5 p.m., offering a cash bar and hors d’oeuvres, along with musical acts such as pianist Lori Evans, the duo of Gary Roper and Jim Snyder and the West Virginia Jazz Orchestra.
The Irish Pub will be next to open, at 6 p.m. Owner Patrick O’Flaherty will share his Celtic stylings to start the pub’s concert line-up. Others scheduled to perform there include Little Sparrow, the Half Bad Bluegrass Band and the TNT Rockestra, which will play from around 10:15 until the pub closes.
The only venue that will not be serving alcohol, the Wild Bean, will open with Axis at 7 p.m. Other performers at the coffee house will include a couple of groups comprising area high school students, along with Little Sparrow and Paul Johnson.
Wild Bill’s will open at 8 p.m. with a line-up that is scheduled to include Rush Run Philharmonic, A.C.E, Nashville Departure, Rootz Rock and the much-anticipated reunion of Steel Pterodactyl.
The final venue to open will be the Sweet Shoppe. Minimuk is slated to perform when the bar opens at 9 p.m., with the Half Bad Bluegrass Band taking over later in the evening.
“The bands will both complement each other and bring diversity to each venue,” Snyder explained.
The purchase of an official TNT wristband buys the customer access to every venue, all evening long. Bought in advance at the Greenbrier Valley Theatre box office, a wristband is $18. Each venue will also have a limited number of wristbands for sale on a $20 cash-only basis the night of the festival.
All venues have agreed to grant admission only to those with wristbands, and all of the musical acts are freely donating their talents to this fundraising festival, Snyder emphasized.
For more information on the Greenbrier Valley TNT Music Festival, e-mail Snyder at firstname.lastname@example.org or text him (no phone calls, please) at 304-661-0655.
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