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Locals Will Play In Thanksgiving Eve Show

By Staff | Nov 25, 2009

Robby Parsons & The Bootleggers

The Capitol Theatre in Wheeling will host the first annual Thanksgiving Eve Rock N’ Roll Feast tonight starting at 9 p.m. The headlining act is Robby Parsons & The Bootleggers. Other bands scheduled to perform are Cadillacs, Earl Randall Keener, and The Trainjumpers.

Parsons, a New Martinsville native, has announced at least two special guest musicians will sit in with the Bootleggers-Michael Parsons, Robby’s uncle and a longtime fixture on the local music scene will perform at least two songs with the band, while keyboardist Kofi Burbridge, a 10-year member of the Derek Trucks Band who has also toured with the likes of Santana, The Allman Brothers Band, and Eric Clapton will sit in with the band for the entire show.

“It’s truly an honor to have Kofi join us,” Parsons remarked. “He was kind enough to play on a CD we recorded awhile back. There were definitely some good vibes (in the studio). Naturally, we’re looking forward to having Kofi perform here in Wheeling.”

Burbridge was born in the Bronx (N.Y.) but raised in Washington, D.C. He picked up a flute at age six and began taking lessons shortly thereafter.

Burbridge’s musical education was rooted in classical and jazz for the flute. While attending college at the North Carolina School of Arts, he landed his first touring gig.

Kofi Burbridge, a 10-year member of the Derek Trucks Band, will sit in with Robby Parsons & The Bootleggers during their Nov. 25 show.

Later relocating to Atlanta, Burbridge joined forces with his older brother Oteil, who is the full time bassist for The Allman Brothers Band. Trucks invited Kofi to join the DTB in 1999. He’s been touring with the band since then.

“Kofi is a world-class musician. I’ve long admired his talent,” Parsons remarked. “Having an opportunity to share the stage with him is just a real thrill. It’s totally awesome. The last show he performed before traveling to the area for this show was with Derek Trucks and the legendary Herbie Hancock in Florida. This is probably a step down for him, but he seems very excited to be involved with our show.”

Parsons’ six-man backing band, the Bootleggers, are a cohesive unit in their own right.

Drummer Courtney Ferguson’s grandfather is none other than the legendary Doc Williams, a West Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame inductee. Trumpeter Jeff Tappe is of Smoke Daddy & the Crawfish fame. Sax man Jon Banco played with Easy Street and Bootleggers’ new guitarist, Dan Pierson, was trained at the Berkeley School in the Bay area.

Keyboardist Travis Hoard is the son of well-known ace guitarist Roger Hoard. Matt Penhos kicks out grooves on the bass guitar.

“No doubt, there are some unique bloodlines running (through our band),” Parsons noted. “We’re especially looking forward to returning to the Capitol.” The Bootleggers were part of the building’s opening night concert a few weeks ago.

Parsons noted his band will be performing primarily original songs with a few cover gems included in the mix.

The Trainjumpers will likely have the Capitol crowd on its feet. The five-man band has generated a steady fanbase since its 2007 debut recording, “Deadtown”. The band includes drummer/vocalist Brian Gorby, guitarist/vocalist Matt Heusel, bassist Tim Boyd, keyboardist Geoff Scholar, and guitarist/vocalist Clifton Landis.

On the band’s MySpace page, Gorby expressed delight in performing in the Capitol’s historic setting. “This is also a great opportunity to put the spotlight on a Wheeling music scene that is really starting to get going.”

The slick-sounding Cadillacs kick off next Wednesday’s gig at approximately 9 p.m. The Trainjumpers follow with Parsons & the Bootleggers closing.

Tickets, at just $10, are available through Ticketmaster or at the WesBanco Arena box office during business hours. College students with valid ID receive an additional discount.