String Fling III set to begin on May 31

Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Among the bands returning to the annual String Fling is Roam County Radio, whose guitarists play the basic instrument for the event, acoustic guitars, albeit with plenty of microphones.

CHAPEL HILL -- A big-hearted host's concept of an open house is as deep as the bassman's big stand-up fiddle when it comes to down-home neighborliness at the annual String Fling, a backyard concert of the host's favorite kind of music -- acoustic.

More than a couple hundred friends and associates were at Gary Francis' open house within the first two hours of the shindig last year, and Francis' open invitation seemed to be attracting more that night. This year, his party becomes an annual event since it's the String Fling III, a concert delivering on its recurring promise.

Folks are again invited to bring folding chairs, straw hats, ice chests, long necks and open ears for cool sounds on a hot Saturday.

Scheduled to start at 4 p.m. Saturday, May 31, in Francis' back yard just south of Henry Horton State Park, 3910 Nashville Highway, the organized event includes parking in an adjoining field to the south. Gate open at 2 p.m.

Francis is the director of sales and marketing at Teledyne Lewisburg, a high-tech communications business. That helps explain how he has a recording studio in his home that lends itself to an annual backyard concert.

"Set in a large grassy area shaded by huge, old oak trees, the festival site is located behind Gary's house," according to his party poster.

Talk about an organized host.

"Bring a lawn chair or a blanket and enjoy an evening of the area's finest bluegrass and acoustic music," Francis says in his open invitation.

He simply asks that folks behave like adults, and they have.

Scheduled entertainment is listed as: Groundspeed, Flashpoint, Johnny Boyce and Lacey Ann, Now and Then, Rank Strangers, Highland Rim, Roam County Radio, Bruce Keedy, Travis Jerome, Scot Phagley, Stacey Jagger, Greg Spears, Scott Myatt, and others.