The Place: Ziggy's in Winston-Salem, NC. Click here for directions.
The Time: New Year's Eve, 2003. Doors open at 8 p.m., show starts at 9.
The Bands: Marshall Tucker Band with Mood Cultivation Project.
The Price: $25, which also includes party favors and a champagne toast at midnight.

By Joel Hudson
The Appalachian Mountains have a long standing history of rich musical tradition--old time, bluegrass, and country music all began there and continue to flourish today. However, with "progress" comes new influence and change. This is the story of Mood Cultivation.

So, what exactly happens when hillbillies listen to Hendrix? What is the end result of Coltrane on country boys? What if The Mothership landed in the mountains? It seems there would be no choice other than to combine these elements in a manner becoming one's heritage. It was this philosophy that spawned the Mood Cultivation Project. The Mood began in 2000 just as its name states--as a project, simply a few friends from various local bands getting together to jam. But chemistry and karma took over and the core of the group was formed: guitarist George Smith, bassist Joel Woodson, percussionist Kelly Sanders, and drummer "Roo" Gates. Slowly but surely, the rest of the band came along, and with the addition of lead guitarist Josh Casstevens, singer Joey Johnson and, finally, keyboardist Tommy Smith, the band decided to take on the world--or at least North Carolina.

Starting in 2001, the band began playing around 100 shows per year with widespread, positive response. Hailed as one of the East's best up-and-coming bands, the Mood boys continued to play their hearts out and landed opening spots with Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Goose Creek Symphony, Gov't Mule, Marshall Tucker Band, Molly Hatchet, and even Lynyrd Skynyrd. Using their newfound exposure as fuel, the Project has since set out to light new musical fires.

The band played The Mid-Atlantic Music Festival in 2003, and continues to tour and write their special brand of music. Combining not only the influence of their Appalachian roots, but just about everything else you can name, the Mood boys put on a passionate, high-energy show that is constantly expanding and reaching new heights. A new full-length CD is in the works, which you can keep tabs on at Can you dig it?

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[Published on: 12/15/03]

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