GAFFNEY — Well-known musicians, Freddie Vanderford and Brandon Turner, will perform during the reception for CAVA’s annual juried exhibit held in conjunction with Gaffney’s Peach Festival. CAVA is the acronym for the sponsoring organization, the Cherokee Alliance of Visual Artists. CAVA’s reception will take place Thursday, July 13, at the Gaffney Visitors Center and Art Gallery.
Vanderford and Turner will perform selections that go with the theme of the exhibit, “I AM Man.” Their music will deal with the male or relate to the male sex. As visitors wander through the exhibit, hopefully they will be aware of the masculine content of the music. The duo may even perform as troubadours wandering amongst the crowd during the reception.
No strangers to Gaffney or the Visitors Center, Vanderford and Turner have performed numerous times at the Capri Theater in downtown Gaffney and at Daddy Joe’s Bar-B-Q. Their life style is truly that of professional musicians. They said they are lucky to be able to make a living through what they love to do. Their typical week includes several area and regional performances and perhaps one farther away. For the past ten years they have had a standing engagement each Tuesday evening at Shady’s, a family style restaurant in Union, SC, to which they still look forward.
Both Vanderford and Turner have a wider reputation than our Piedmont area; they have performed from California to the East Coast. Their resumes and accolades are extensive. Just a few of the musicians with whom they have played include Pink Anderson, Ricky Skaggs and Will Kimbrough. Vanderford received the prestigious 2010 South Carolina Heritage Award.
Even though they come from very small towns, both identify themselves with their roots. Although he has lived all over the U.S., Vanderford does not mind saying he is from Buffalo, SC, just a few miles from Union. Turner, from mill town Pacolet, SC, often identifies himself as “just an old mill hill picker,” hardly identifying himself as a guitarist with his solid and sought after reputation.
Their backgrounds are similar. Both started playing instruments when they were young and even gained area recognition as youths. Vanderford was interested as a youngster in guitar. But as a teenager, he made the acquaintance of the legendary Piedmont blues harmonica player, Peg Leg Sam (Arthur Jackson). From then on, Vanderford associated himself with the harmonica. Peg Leg Sam instilled in the teenager his knowledge and appreciation for the Piedmont style with which Vanderford is most associated today.
Music was part of Turner’s background growing up. His father was a drummer, and Turner said his home was always filled with musicians. He said he started playing electric guitar at age nine. By age nineteen, he was an accomplished artist, playing with Vanderford and accompanying well-known singer-songwriter, Fayssoux McClain.
CAVA’s exhibit committee hopes visual artists will bring works that prompt various readings about the male subject matter. According to Jolene Setliff, chairman of the exhibits committee, the size of the show will probably be larger than in previous years. Juror for the exhibit is Sandra Rupp, director of the Hampton III Gallery in Greenville, SC.
The reception for the “I AM Man” exhibit will take place from 6-8 p.m. in the Visitors Center Art Gallery at 210 W. Frederick Street, Gaffney, SC. The awards ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. For additional information about the exhibit or reception, contact CAVA at 864-489-9817 or 864-489-9119.