LENOIR, NC (July 31, 2017)…The 1st Annual SOUNDS OF HOPE 2017 features an impressive lineup of local and regional talent.

Sounds of Hope 2017 is a benefit concert event in support of Caldwell County Yokefellow, a faith based emergency crisis agency in the business of providing Hope to Caldwell County households every day.

Since 1969, Yokefellow has provided food, clothing and financial assistance to those in need and in 2015 added shelter – LEOS – to its list of services provided.

Opening the concert at 6pm will be the New Jerusalem Choir of St. Paul AME of Lenoir. The New Jerusalem Choir is a church choir representing St. Paul AME of Lenoir. They feature an uplifting Christian gospel sound and spirituals that will have the audience on their feet in praise and worship!

Second in the musical line up is Roger Miller, a long-time Caldwell County resident, may be best known as a member of popular regional band Backstreet or as a former Forester with the N.C. Forest Service. These days he continues to perform both with Backstreet and as a solo at many area venues. Roger includes many of the “top 100” (songs live performers must know to satisfy audience requests) in his standard set list, but his passion is interpreting folk and traditional songs, particularly those of North Carolina origin. Musical gems recovered from the depths of obscurity pepper his set list when he performs solo.

Roger’s solo performance for SOUNDS OF HOPE will be both performance and history of early North Carolina recorded music. A couple of original songs that tell Roger’s own Caldwell County stories may also show up in the evening’s set list.

Local favorite Tonie Carlton will perform next at 7:20pm. LaRhonda Tonell Carlton born “Tonie” to the late Pastor Myrtle and Thomas Carlton. She is the Minister of Music at Vision Hope & Peace United Church of Worship in Lenoir. She graduated from Hibriten High in 1996, and received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at UNCAsheville. Tonie is currently a 6th grade science teacher in the Caldwell County Schools. Tonie got her start at the age of 4, at Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church with her first song, “Gonna Move On Up The Mountain”. Since then Tonie has sung at many public occasions in our area. Tonie places primary emphasis on her spiritual walk with Christ, trusting and believing in Him at all times. Her 4 children, from ages 14 to 19 years of age, are the positive motivating forces within her life and God is the Catalyst!

Strictly Clean and Decent will take the stage at 8:10pm. Strictly Clean and Decent is an acoustic trio which features Patrick Crouch, Ron Shuffler, and Kay Crouch whose blend of brilliant vocal harmonies tops a solid instrumental foundation. They are dedicated to performing a variety of musical styles in an acoustic setting. Their eclectic repertoire includes modern folk songs by American, Canadian, and Irish songwriters, the fiery breakdowns and songs of family and home found in both traditional and contemporary bluegrass settings, and centuries-old Celtic airs and dance tunes. All of this is peppered with a healthy dose of popular jazz standards, swing and western swing music, and a few classic country tunes thrown in to provide a program certain to be enjoyed by all.

Area reviewers have been unanimous in their acclaim for the trio. The Hickory News claims that “what really sets this trio apart is the bluegrass/swing/pop/country influence of three musicians whose talents take them to virtually every style of music ever conceived!” The Morganton News-Herald states that “the music is quite lively and, while there are many intense selections, the band maintains a jovial rapport with the audience.” Of the trio, Focus says their “on-stage patter is refreshingly self-effacing and laid-back, and the band comes off as extremely likable… Don’t miss this band, because they are a truly unique listening experience.”

At 8:50pm concert goers will be blessed with the solo vocals of Lenoir native Scott Pennell. Born and raised in the foothills of North Carolina, Scott grew up in a very musical family. From a very young age singing was part of his everyday life. His grandmother played piano in the family church. Gospel music was the foundation for Scott’s early beginnings with singing.

He eventually landed a job singing on cruise ships that allowed him to entertain people all around the world. While still working on ships Scott was a top 60 country recording artist in Cash Box Magazine in 1991, 1992, and 1993. He was Cash Box Magazine’s #1 Indie country artist June 1993. He then moved to Nashville where he continued to sing, record, and write music. He was also a top 10 country recording artist in several European countries in 1998. But even with his accomplishments in country music he could not deny his true calling to sing gospel music. Scott started a music ministry that has allowed him to minister to many people. He also enjoys organizing benefit concerts for charitable organizations. His ongoing goal is to use his talent to touch people’s lives and to make a difference.

And the evening will end with the Linville Creek Bluegrass taking the stage at 9:30pm. Linville Creek Bluegrass is a North Carolina based Bluegrass Band with 5 members. They play traditional bluegrass and bluegrass gospel music. Band members are: Larry Horton on guitar, Keith Griffin on bass fiddle, Jack Holt on mandolin, McRoy Gardner on banjo, and Dan Issacs on fiddle. Linville Creek is an older group of players with a combined playing experience of about 200 years with each of them having played in excessive of 40 years each. They don’t have any particular band or singer that they pattern themselves after but use a combination of some of the old time guys and some newer guys. According to Larry Horton “Of course we consider anybody still living to be a newer time guy”.

Yokefellow is in the Hope business! This Annual benefit concert will benefit all programs under our ministry umbrella. Every day we teach how to build bridges from crisis into success and independence. Join us for the Sounds of Hope!