Annual Siler City music festival, celebration set for Saturday

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Siler City’s Downtown Music Series continues this Saturday with a special event: the annual Koo Day Tah celebration, which also serves as the birthday party for celebrated Siler City luthier Terry McInturff — the renowned electric guitar-maker who’s produced instruments for some of the greats of rock ‘n roll.

To prepare, we caught up with Michael Feezor, the executive director of the N.C. Arts Incubator, to get a preview.

We spoke back in April, just before the “re-start,” of the Siler City Downtown Music Series. As we get ready for Koo Day Tah, let’s start with a so-far: how have the four events in the series gone? Have you been pleased?

We’ve been thrilled with the community support. We consistently have great crowds averaging about more than 100 people. We’ve managed to have worked around those famous North Carolina Summer rainstorms. It’s absolutely wonderful to reconnect with the community and see old friends and supporters, and welcome all of the new faces to Downtown.

What’s it been like for you to be a part of that scene in downtown Siler City — live music, food, all post-pandemic?

We’ve been an anchor in historic downtown for over 20 years so we’ve seen the ups and the downs. It’s amazing to see change and redevelopment on this scale in downtown. We are proud to be part of the history of downtown and honored to be a driving force in the evolution of downtown. Together with The Chatham Rabbit (a coffee shop), we plan to continue offering events to welcome our community downtown. We are welcoming new neighbors to downtown on a daily basis as our community grows and rebounds post-pandemic. In addition to the music series in partnership with community members, we are hosting pottery classes, voice lessons, yoga and a chess club. There is something for everyone!

Let’s shift to Koo Day Tah. For those who aren’t familiar with this event, and with Terry McInturff, give us some history and background.

Koo Day Tah was conceived in 2016 by Brooke Simmons at The Chatham Rabbit and Terry McInturff. Brooke was organizing the Downtown Music Series at that time. Terry had been having an annual show as part of his birthday celebration at his home and Brooke invited him to make it part of the music series in Siler City.

This year we also will be celebrating Terry’s recent marriage to Terri Nobles. We are beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate with the community!

Brooke, the operating partner of The Chatham Rabbit, says Terry is the longest-running studio artist and a fixture in Downtown; he adds a lot to the eclectic culture there.

He’s has created custom guitars for over 40 years for some of the best guitarists in the world, including Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin and Dave Hidalgo of Los Lobos. He is a true master of his craft and we are so lucky to have such a talent working right here in Downtown.

This event will feature two bands, and Terry himself is known to take the stage and join in — it is a guitar fanatic’s dream.

What’s the set-up for this year’s event, which will be held from 6 - 10 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20?

We’ve got two bands: Whoop and El Mirage; Whoop will take the stage at 6 p.m.

Formed in the fall of 2020, North Carolina’s Whoop is a mélange of backgrounds and influences spanning indie, jazz, rock, reggae and hip-hop. Whoop thrives by letting raw musical instinct be the band leader. Nothing is overplayed or overproduced; nothing is superfluous or gratuitous in their innately authentic, ego-free explorations of groove, melody — and of the everyday human condition.

El Mirage will take the stage immediately after. Hailing from Chatham County, El Mirage is a four-piece combo playing high-energy, instrumental surf music originals.

We will have great food from The Travelling Café — meals are available by donation. This month we will have French roast beef on baguette with pistou French country salad, mini cheese assortment, palmier cookies and dark chocolate mousse. We will also have some amazing local food from Siler City’s own Pupusa y Taco.

Beer is being provided by Chatham County’s newest independently owned craft brewery, Thirsty Skull Brewing, The only brewery in Siler City, it was started in 2018 “by four individuals that shared a vision for creating a small, high quality and locally focused brewery.”

Why should people attend?

It’s a great opportunity to connect with members of the community, support local businesses and hear some great music.

We’ve really worked hard to expand our community outreach. There is so much exciting revitalization happening downtown, together with our partner, The Chatham Rabbit coffee shop, we love opening our doors to everyone.

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