Music series starts tonight with guitar duo

By Mary Katherine Murphy

February 20, 2014

LAURINBURG — In the first of three concerts, the Storytelling and Arts Center of the Southeast will begin its Winter Music Fest tonight with a pair of guitarists whose music has been described as “energetic,” “romantic,” and “spell-binding.”

Threefifty, a self-styled post-baroque folk rock duo comprising members Brett Parnell and Geremy Schulick, will perform tonight beginning at 7 p.m. A native of Red Springs, Parnell founded Threefifty with Schulick at the Yale School of Music.

The duo released the first of their three albums to date in 2006, and has taken its instrumental music, influenced by guitar heroes the likes of George Harrison, Randy Rhoads, and Chet Atkins as well as classical composers Handel and Brahms, on tour in the United Kingdom, Austria, and Bosnia.

Tonight will be Threefifty’s third Laurinburg performance.

“They give a great performance, they’re one of my favorite bands,” said SACS Director Jennifer McRae. “They can really make guitar music sound like nothing you’ve ever heard before.”

On Saturday evening, also at 7 p.m., the music will continue with a performance by Durham-based Irish/Americana group Barleycorn and Rye.

The band was first established in the spring of 2012 by Dan Ouimet and Michael Granatosky, who wanted to create a band incorporating traditional Irish folk ballads and American folk songs. The group fuses the sounds of bass, banjo, mandolin, guitar, violin, and drums to perform traditional folk music spanning two continents.

On Feb. 28 at 8 p.m., the storytelling center will bring the Greensboro progressive metal quartet Hephystus onstage in its first “true rock show.”

“Smaller towns don’t usually have many entertainment options so this is an opportunity to make new fans and give them something fresh,” Hephystus guitarist Brandon Miller said in a statement.

On their Facebook page, the group, named for the Greek god of fire, metal, and metalworking, describes itself as “not your father’s kind of metal. This is definitely not a hair band.”

“We just wanted to bring music that everybody and anybody would like,” McRae said. “Most of these bands have kind of a local connection and we thought it would be fun to bring something new to Laurinburg in the winter.”

Tickets for the Threefifty and Barleycorn and Rye concerts are $10 and will be available at the door each evening. Tickets for Hephystus are $5 at the door.

Mary Katherine Murphy can be reached at 910-276-2311, ext. 17. Follow her on Twitter @emkaylbg.