Yanceyville native Megan Doss, along with her band consisting of Jesse Finney (drums), Matt Crowder (guitar/vocals) and Josh Moss (bass), are used to playing in places you wouldn’t want to bring your kids.
The quartet cuts its teeth playing bars where the beer flows freely and the smoke burns your eyes, a perfect setting for the band’s hybrid of classic and modern country and rock ‘n’ roll.
However, the setting was a different for the four Saturday morning. The quartet brought their unique blend of new and old country and rock and a mixture of Top 40 and dance, to the 38th Bright Leaf Hoedown Saturday on Yanceyville’s historic Town Square.
“What’s so special for us is it’s one of the few things where music is involved and you can bring your kids and family,” Doss said, after performing in front of a hometown crowd.
“Lots of the places we play are bars where you definitely don’t want to bring your children so when you have families, that kind of ties communities and everything together.”
There is one additional perk …
“We love playing in the daytime and we absolutely love getting home before midnight so that’s a win-win,” laughed Doss.
All four members have deep gospel roots, going all the way back to their childhoods. While the group played little gospel Saturday, it was good for the group to be around the salt-of-the-Earth people who comprise listeners of the genre.
“We’re just in really good company,” Crowder said.
The band is a regular performer on the Greensboro, Winston-Salem and Raleigh circuits. At the risk of beating a theme to death, the band enjoys playing in front of familiar faces.
“It’s cool because you don’t have to worry about parking or traffic,” Moss said, laughing.
Finney concurred, saying, “It’s a lot more logistical. A lot easier.”
The group’s drummer also added his own twist.
“Festivals like this are cool because we’re from Danville and we all come to another small town that’s connect to Danville and through something like this is really cool,” Finney continued. “It feels like home but it’s away from home. That’s neat.”
“Everything’s more familiar here, we know people,” Crowder added. “A lot of times when you go out of town, you’re playing in front of strangers. So, having your hometown crowd is always nice.”
Doss added, “Usually we know them all and we know they came for us so they already hopefully to some extent like us, so that’s a little less pressure as if we have to go somewhere new, we feel like we have to win them over so it’s a little less work.”
Of course, playing in front of those they know does bring pressures of its own.
“If you mess up, you have to look them in the eye later,” Crowder laughed.”
Like many in the area, the quartet grew up going to festivals such as the Hoedown. For the four, playing events like Saturday’s Hoedown, completes the circle.
“I have come to the Hoedown since I was little and I didn’t even know when I was younger, I was going to be a singer,” Doss said. “So, it exceptionally cool for me because I didn’t know I was going to do this. I literally came from this. It’s my story.”
“For all of us, all our dads played in bands. When my dad’s band would practice in the other room, I would try to sneak in and they would kick me out again,” Crowder said, laughing.
“But I went to a lot of these events with him and all of us went to these events with our dads, playing outside and doing things like this. We’re keeping the name alive.”
Moss concluded, saying, “I remember watching my dad playing these things and thinking, ‘I want to do that,’ and now I’m here. It’s great.”