Greenbrier Valley’s TNT Music Festival, Feb 2nd

TNT Music Festival A Giving Community of Musicians Unite to Perform an Evening of Music. A Benefit for Tim and Tammy Pyne. by Susanna Robinson-Kenga

Just three days before Christmas we got the news. Our much-loved friends (and fellow musician, drummer extraordinaire) Tim Pyne, his wife Tammy, and their teenage daughter had lost everything they owned to a house fire. Clothing, memorabilia, their beloved dog, Tim’s drums and musical accoutrements, Christmas presents already bought and wrapped, beloved photos of the son they had lost many years ago: their treasures and their favorite things and their home of many years…gone. What could be done?

Within hours, Lisa Stansell had started a Facebook page called Pyne Family Love, and people began to post what was needed, what was being done, how to donate, where to leave things, and updates on how the family was coping. That same afternoon, a bank account was set up by Shannon Ninneman, where folks could donate immediately to the cause. Money began to trickle in, then flow. One lovely child I know took her little piggy bank in and donated her entire $34 plus change to the cause. Pure spirit, touching and tender in the act, and she was one of many who wanted to help. And so it began.

The thread that links so many of us together in this family’s unfortunate situation is Tim’s experience, his innate ability to play music with anyone and everyone, and his complete professionalism (combined with the silliest sense of humor of almost anyone I’ve ever played music with; oh, I’ve laughed till the tears rolled). And Tammy is one of the most giving women I’ve ever known. Her ability to keep a positive and loving attitude despite many obstacles is inspiring. Her own heartfelt giving to those who are in need is never faltering. A heart of gold. So the musicians have joined together to see what can be done.

The reigns were taken by John Foster and Jim Snyder, with others helping where they were needed. Snyder had been instrumental (no pun intended) in starting a Music Emergency Relief/Resource Fund in Louisville in the past, so it seemed right that he collaborated with Foster, since they had worked together musically in a blues night scenario, affiliated with the Colesmouth Concert Series. So they have created the Greenbrier Valley TNT Music Festival, to be held Saturday, Feb. 2 (from 5pm to 1am), and is quite an accomplishment, as it involves pretty much nearly every kind of music to be had in Greenbrier County (25 bands!), and is making use of the donation of the use of no less than five venues, sound technicians included! And all to be held the same night!

Here’s how admission will work: one charge will purchase a wrist-band/pass to any or all combinations of 5 venues. Advance tickets are $18 and are available at the Greenbrier Valley Theatre Box Office, which opens daily at 1pm. Tickets will be $20 the day/evening of the event, and will be available at EACH or ALL venues, but at the venue, the actual admission fee must be CASH ONLY. The wrist-band/pass will secure admittance to any or all of the events.

Here’s how the schedule will work: the opening of each venue will be staggered so that, every hour or so, another location will begin its music while the others continue until their designated closing time. (Eventually there will be music simultaneously in all five places.)

The first to jump into action will be the Greenbrier Valley Theatre at 5pm, piano music with the lovely and talented Lori Evans, with a cash bar and Hors d’oeuvres. Continuing through the evening you will hear TRIO Grand featuring Scott Logsden , ExZeuduS, the WV Jazz Orchestra, and finishing with THE WEIGHT (comprised of Morgan Cornwell, Adam DeGraff, Dan Lively and Billy Ayres).

Second to commence will be The Irish Pub at 6pm, featuring John Foster & the Cantankerous Connoisseurs, Patrick O’Flaherty, Gary Roper, The Robinson-Kenga Trio (yep, that’s me, with Bill Hoffman an amazing Roanoke jazz guitarist and master of the bass/historian John Sellards), Jim Snyder filling in, between acts, Little Sparrow (Jeanne Hoffman and Mary Dailey), Possum Holler Glee Club! (Jay and Charlie and those guys), and finally the TNT BAND, featuring the man of the evening, Tim Pyne.

Meanwhile, the third venue out of the gate is the beloved Wild Bean at 7pm. Starting with upcoming variety band AXIS and moving into bluegrass with Harmony Creek Junction, additional sets by Robinson-Kenga Trio and Little Sparrow, with Gary Roper “floating” musically between sets, and then culminating with Paul Johnson and Corey Lee McQuade until closing around 10-ish.

Fourth: On to Wild Bill’s Roadhouse at 8pm, with A.C.E, Rush Run Philharmonic (Patrick Gabbert, Phil Rolleston, and company), Nashville Departure featuring Randy Goodson, and Rootz Rock with Dan Lively. Then, ladies and gentlemen, it’s Steel Pterodactyl closing out the night. Bring your dancing shoes. And your wrist-band.

Last one: At my home-away-from-home, The Sweet Shoppe, the music starts at 9pm with a pared down version of Camp Run-A-Muk called MINIMUK and finishes with a set by Half-Bad Bluegrass Band. Great night!

By the way, they still need volunteers to help with logistics, to load and unload equipment, work the door, help with “gopher” jobs, and generally do some behind the scenes assisting. If anyone is interested, please go to Pyne Family Love on Facebook or email Jim at

What does all this say about the spirit of community among musicians here? AMAZING things, in that everyone is somewhat putting themselves aside to give for the common good, to a couple who means the world to everyone who is participating. It’s all the same act of giving, all the common camaraderie, the same solidarity being shown to our musical buddy and his family. Musicians are being billed in alphabetical order, each the same. Another remarkable aspect of this whole thing is that Tim Pyne is the common thread that ties many of the featured musicians together. Many had only heard of each other but had never met, though their histories with Tim were similar. So this has brought us together spiritually, physically, and musically, and we are all richer for it. And it speaks volumes for the Family Pyne to be so beloved by so many. Pyne Family Love, indeed!

– Susanna Robinson-Kenga, LBSPY #25. (Jan 28-Feb 11)

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