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FRIDAY JAM: Good times at Briar Patch 2014 | VIDEO & PHOTO GALLERY

Damascus music festival has plenty to offer music fans

Thomas Wynn and the Believers at the 2014 Briar Patch Music Festival


Thomas Wynn wows the Briar Patch Festival crowd with his Orlando-based band the Believers during their Friday-night performance. (Staff photo: Brad McEwen)

Thomas Wynn wows the Briar Patch Festival crowd with his Orlando-based band the Believers during their Friday-night performance. (Staff photo: Brad McEwen)

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Thomas Wynn and the Believers

Thomas Wynn and the Believers at the 2014 Briar Patch Music Festival

Thomas Wynn and the Believers at the 2014 Briar Patch Music Festival

DAMASCUS — People who show up for the first time at the party you’ve been holding every year should never presume that their take on that party is more meaningful than that of the people who’ve been there from the beginning.

It is, therefore, with that understanding that we — first-time Briar Patch Music Festival attendees both — show a little love for maybe the most laid-back musical gathering we’ve ever been a part of.

Thomas Wynn and the Believers Ride Siblings' soaring vocals

Brad’s Top 5 memories from Friday night at the Briar Patch:

— Meeting Thomas and Olivia Wynn was like bumping into some like-minded kids at a rock show. They were genuinely friendly and pleased to be able to share their amazing music with the Briar Patch faithful.

— Nearly an hour and a half after meeting Thomas Wynn for about five minutes prior to his and his band, the Believers, hitting the stage for an unbelievable set as day gave way to night, I approached him to thank him and tell him what a great job the band had done. Wynn’s response: “No, Brad, thank you for coming to hear us, it was great to meet you.” Dude was super humble.

Orlando band's song deserves spot among musical greats

— Not sure if my credit card purchase of two shirts after the show went through due to the suspect connection out in the country, Olivia Wynn simply hugged me and told me not to worry about it. She said she was just glad my family and I came out to hear them. Seriously!? How cool. (The charge did go through and I’m glad as I firmly believe you’ve got to support the artists that speak to your heart any way you can.)

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Evan Barber & the Dead Gamblers bassist Austin Lee cools off during a between-songs break while the Briar Patch Bunny entertains youngsters in the festival crowd. (Staff photo: Brad McEwen)

— An hour-plus set of absolutely righteous, pro quality Southern rock/blues/soul music laid down by TW and the Believers, one of the best new bands I’ve heard in quite some time. Or as Briar Patch co-organizer Bo Henry called them: “Maybe the best band we’ve ever had on that stage.”

— The look of sheer delight on not only my wife Tay’s face, but also on those of my son Bear and my daughter Milla as Thomas Wynn and the Believers brought the thunder throughout a killer set that culminated in an epic rendition of the band’s “Turn It Into Gold.” As she’s prone to do, Milla summed things up perfectly when we got in the car to leave: “That rocked!”

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Olivia Wynn, who with her brother, Thomas, provides the powerful vocals for their band, wails at the Briar Patch Festival in Damascus. (Staff photo: Brad McEwen)

CF’s random list of favorite things from Saturday at the Briar Patch:

— Ben Sutton Band guitar player Micah McCravey’s stellar licks … Bonus: The faces McCravey made as he got deep into a solo.

— Sausage pizza from Glenn Eames’ mobile wood-fired pizza oven … It belongs to Eames’ sister, Stacy, who owns seven restaurants in Atlanta, but Eames definitely knows his way around the thing.

— Jeb Tabb and his family … The man did not sleep during the festival, he was too busy making sure everyone in the campgrounds was OK. Tabb and some of his fellow music-loving Damascus buddies came up with the Briar Patch idea, and it’s definitely worth the 45-mile trip from Albany. Note to everyone: Plan to be at Briar Patch 2015.

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Ben Sutton Band guitarist Micah McCravey offers a blistering solo during the band’s Saturday performance at the Briar Patch Festival. (Staff photo: Carlton Fletcher)

— Talking music and stuff with Bo Henry … We take him for granted, but this man does a lot for Albany and his story is pretty amazing.

— Bibb City Ramblers singer Gini Davidson … Definitely nice pipes.

— The Evergreen Family Band … Those boys remind you why bluegrass music is so much fun.

— Running into people like Phil Cody who really appreciate, really love and REALLY SUPPORT local music.

— The Briar Patch water bottles and T-shirts. (I would have bought one, but I had to save my money to get the “Pretty Little Liars” Season 4 DVD for my daughter’s 12th birthday, which is today. Happy Birthday, Hannah!)