It’s the Melissa Reaves Holiday Show!
On Dec. 11 and 12, High Country rocker Melissa Reaves will once
again unleash her holiday extravaganza on the populace.
The 12th annual Melissa Reaves Holiday Show is returning to Char in downtown Boone.
This year, Reaves has put together another impressive list of performers who will help her bring this festive concert to life. The musicians include backing band Gregg Smith, Freddie Banner, Jonathan Priest, Doug James and South Carolina steel guitarist Sean O’ Shields. The special guests slated to appear include Soul Benefactor’s David Brewer, the Northern Star backup singers, also known as Liz Riddick and Hope Harvey, and the Heavenly Trump horn section, featuring Ross Robinette and Beaver Ross Robinette.
Reaves is returning to Boone after a year of triumphs and heartbreak. She spends part of the year in North Carolina and another in the artist town of Bisbee, Ariz.
“If you were to look at the whole year, it’s been great,” Reaves said. “There have been a lot of wonderful things happen. It’s been an interesting year with a lot of awesome shows, including playing at the Siren Mountain Jam and the Blue Bear Mountain Festival (both first-time events in the High Country). Then, my dog had been sick for several months with cancer, and I wanted to get her back to North Carolina, and I was able to do it, and I was grateful for that. It was a tough time, because she was my baby.”
Reaves has bounced back, however, and she is ready to bring some positivity to the Christmas Show. This year’s concert will have a distinct feel to it, she said, one of fun and groove.
“I have a set list ready, and I’ll have three costume changes,” Reaves said. “I want to make it a Christmas juke joint, a soul and blues throwdown. We’ll have a lot of soul Christmas music and some blues, and it will definitely be danceable. We’re going to really raise the roof this year.”
Reaves met steel guitarist Shields at a gig in Wilkesboro, and she was impressed with his playing, and they became fast friends. Riddick and Harvey are talented singers whom Reaves has known for a long time.
“I met Liz when she used to work at the beansTalk, which was a great little coffee shop in Boone,” Reaves said. “She didn’t work there long, but that is where I first met her and her smiling face. She loved to sing, and she eventually went on to play music with Jay Sanders of Acoustic Syndicate and others when they were younger and all hanging out in downtown Boone. There were some other good musicians who played in that band, called the Liz Riddick Fantasy. She is a lot of fun and an awesome woman.”
Harvey is a powerhouse vocalist who has performed in the High Country for many years. When the Banner Elk Park Concert Series closes out its season, Harvey and the Whip Daddys bring their well-attended dance party to the stage every year.
“I have wanted to work with Hope for a long time,” Reaves said. “I thought, ‘Man, I’m going to do it. This will be the perfect type of show to get her onstage.’ And she was real excited about it. I’ve known her through music. I appreciate her as another female vocalist and musician, as, over the years, we haven’t had as many front woman singers here, and I just love that. I think she is a great musician, and she has good energy, and she’s sweet, and that speaks more to me than anything. With Liz and Hope, we’re going to have a fabulous time.”
The fun starts at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11, and at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, at Char, located at 179 Howard St. in downtown Boone. Cover costs $9, and tables are available for reservation by calling (828) 266-2179. For more information, visit http://www.melissareaves.com and http://www.char179.com.
Editor's note: This story was modified from its original version to include an additional performance date. Originally booked for one night only, the concert quickly sold out, prompting organizers to schedule an encore performance the following evening.