One of West Virginia's Best Kept Secret

By: Stanley Jefferson Email
By: Stanley Jefferson Email

Music lovers got a blast from the past as they listened to old-time musicians performing songs using different instruments.

And Steve Parker is putting on the fifth annual Gathering at Sweet Creek to honor his late father, Kenny, who was responsible of putting this together many years ago.

"Most of these Musicians I've known through my father for for 35 to 40 years and when the Stonewall Jackson Jubilee folded up in Lewis County, West Virginia, we've moved the music portion of the old-time musicians to Mineral Wells," says Parker.

The old time musicians made their way to the stage coming from not only the region but around the world.

Judy Jones who's from Australia, is thrilled to perform with her Hominy Creek band at the event.

"I mean we feel like we're part of the West Virginia music family as well and we've known various members of the Parker family for as long as we've been coming over here just about so it's a second home actually for my husband and I," added Jones.

People watching the performance enjoyed every minute of listening to the old-time genre of music that's been around for generations.

"Very low key, very intimate, you can talk to the artists and the musicians. It's more family like," replied Mary Massey.

"I think it's wonderful. We wouldn't miss it for the world. This is like family to us, it's like a reunion. Our children had grown up here together and thinking we're all related and we're actually not," Jenifer Samples said.

Even though this festival seemed to be West Virginia's best kept secret, Parker is doing his best to spread the word about it to music lovers everywhere.

"It's something that you just got to do, it's just part of each and every one of those musicians out there. You take away their music, you take away a part of them," says Parker.

Parker also raised money at the festival in order to continue hosting it in the future.

The Gathering at Sweet Creek Festival's last day is Sunday from 10am to 4pm at 316 Sugar Camp Run Road off of State Route 21 in Mineral Wells (Old State Route 14).

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