Carson Peters (Tony Casey/Johnson City)
ELIZABETHTON — Several hundred people packed the space facing the stage placed in front of the Veterans Memorial on Thursday night, sitting in folding chairs, with their phones pointed at not a man, but a boy.
Carson Peters of the Carson Peters Band, at just 10 years old, was the focus of all those phones and attention, performing on the fiddle with his father and bandmates at the 48th Covered Bridge Celebration.
“He’s my ride home,” Peters joked to the crowd about his dad, who preferred the slow songs to his son’s preference, the fast ones.
Despite his age, the young Piney Flats entertainer laid into his co-performers’ bald heads with the jokes of a comedian three times his age.
“Blue Moon of Kentucky,” “John Henry” and “Sadie’s Got a New Dress On,” along with a handful of what he called “gospel tunes” is what Peters played for the crowd. The elder Peters even got some out of their folding chairs and into dancing in the streets with one of his son’s quicker numbers. And if it appeared to be a “kid-friendly” concert, that’s because it was — being led by the boy who’s already performed on the “Tonight Show” with Jay Leno, something that caught the attention of one man in attendance.
“They say he’s been on Jay Leno,” Sam Austin said. “I told my family I remember seeing Ricky Skaggs playing on Johnny Carson and ‘Hee Haw’ when I was younger.”
Not only did Austin experience a younger Skaggs, he remembers the first Covered Bridge Celebration, noting that it’s always been the same, which is a good thing, and very family friendly.
Megan Stewart brought her sons, Isaac and Asher. Isaac and his mom were both shocked to see Peters up on stage, performing at the same age as Isaac, something he said he’d never be able to do. He and Asher were tossing a football to and fro just a few feet from the stage on which the young fiddler was performing.
“I’m in awe of the little guy,” Megan Stewart said about Peters.
She and her sons were at the event for the second time that day because they lived so close by. They wanted to check out Peters and then were planning a rather large fair-like dinner. Stewart joked that they were going to eat some barbecue chicken, then some funnel cakes, then probably some doughnuts, too. As high as her hopes were for the food, she said she had to come check out Peters because of the style of music he was playing.
“Bluegrass is the thing around here and I like bluegrass, so I came out,” Stewart said about her first time at the Covered Bridge Celebration because she’s recently moved from Charleston, South Carolina.
She and the others in attendance will have more time to enjoy the shows that will grace the event’s stages. After Thursday night, there will be two more nights of events and performances, with today being designated as the Country Night with the Dandy Line Dancers, Bakersfield, Jeff Sharpe & Friends, Acoustifried and the Twang Bangers set to play.
Saturday night, the evening for rock ’n’ roll fans, will have the likes of Shooter, Trail Blazer Cloggers, Thursday Night Boys, The Bulls Eye Band, The Beach Nite Band, Watts Dance Studio and Brad Puckett playing for the enjoyment of those in attendance.
For those looking to sweat off fair food weight, on Saturday morning there will be a 5K race and 3K walk at 8 just by the Covered Bridge.
More information about the event can be found at www.elizabethtonchamber.com.
Follow Tony Casey on Twitter @TonyCaseyJCP. Like him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tonycaseyjournalist.
comments powered by Disqus