Entertainment, Marquee

Wild and Wonderful Country Music Fest takes over Mylan Park Friday-Saturday

Local favorites The Davisson Brothers hope to bring Mountain State culture to the masses

Chris Davisson recalls more than one late night on a tour bus boasting to fellow musicians about his home state.

“We’ve been out on the road with just about everybody — country artists, jam bands, southern rock guys. We’re always trying to explain where we come from, why we love it and the things we do here,” said the Davisson Brothers Band guitarist who shares the stage with his brother, lead vocalist Donnie, bass player Russell Rupert and drummer Aaron Regester.

In their 13-year-long career, the Clarksburg natives who front the country outfit have performed at venues and festivals around the world. And when they come back to the Mountain State, they also share those stories with family and friends, always attempting to bridge the gap between tour and home.

Friday and Saturday, the brothers and their band will do that in a big way, with Wild and Wonderful Country Fest.

The gathering at Mylan Park features big-name acts such as Hank Williams Jr., Old Dominion, Scotty McCreery, Diamond Rio and, of course, The Davisson Brothers Band.

They’ll be joined on stage by area favorites, such as Mike Morningstar and Johnny Staats.

The festival features a “Holler” area, where there will be a moonshine speakeasy, turkey-call lessons, an informal jam site, a fly fishing pro and axe throwing.

“This is a real showcase of our culture and how special it is. We want everybody to experience that,” Donnie said. “It’s been a dream for a very long time.”

But it wasn’t until the Davissons were able to assemble the right group of people, that they felt comfortable turning their vision into a reality.

That team includes festival director Bob Durkin, who founded the Carolina Country Music Fest in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

“We’ve played Carolina Country Music Fest every year,” Donnie said. “They know how to do it right.”

Durkin said the brothers’ excitement and energy is contagious.

“They love the state and I took a trip with them to hang out and it was eye-opening,” he said.

“People don’t go to a festival to see a homogenized, vanilla country music concert. We want them to get immersed in the culture of West Virginia and what it has to offer.”

Though he added that they’re “all hands on deck,” gearing up to this year’s festival, the organizers hope to make this an annual event, with opportunities to expand.

“We want everyone to leave happy and have a good time,” Chris said. “We’ve talked about ramping it up and how to make it better, add a couple days, have camping next year. We’re in it for the long haul.”

“This is something where we want people to schedule their vacation around it … like a family reunion,” Donnie said. “This is our lifestyle, and they’re going to get a taste of it.”