The D-Rays are Athens' only surf-rock band and do a fantastic job filling that role. Erick Coleman, Melissa Pence and Maceo Gabbard make up the band and write their own tunes.
Coleman, their guitar player explains, "We were writing equal amounts of tunes with lyrics and just instrumentals, and when Maceo joined the band, we stuck to the instrumental stuff."
They are playing two shows with the legendary Dick Dale of "Misirlou" fame in August. "It's exciting!" Coleman and Pence agreed. Yet, they're no strangers to playing on bills with big-name acts as they have played the Nelsonville Music Festival in past years. They're set to play at 12:30 p.m. Saturday on the Porch Stage.
Weird Science is another name that pops up on the Athens music scene quite often. They are set to play Friday on the Porch Stage at 4:45 p.m. and should really pump up festival goers. When asked what type of music they play, Zach Fuller explains, "Positive energy super rock. I hate getting asked that question," he adds with a laugh.
The Nelsonville Music Festival always puts a heavy emphasis on local arts and foods and includes great local musicians in the festivities as well. These artists know each other well.
"They may be playing different types of music but everyone seems to be really enthusiastic and supportive of what everyone else is doing in the music community." said Fuller, who has played in several Athens bands throughout the years. "Even though it's from different genres, it seems to all fit nicely here in Athens."
This year will include events at the Campground Tent, and one of these is DJ Barticus & John E. Clift playing records for everyone who is camping or who drifts over from the festival ground to check out what's happening at camp. They will perform Friday at 11:30 p.m. when the music ends on the festival stages, until 2:30 a.m.
"We will have some great projectors going and sound effects going underneath the stars," promised DJ Barticus.
Barticus (stage name) is well known for his '80s and '90s dance nights at various venues in Athens. Clarifying what he will be spinning during his time slot, he said, "A little bit of everything. I will get some disco in there, too. We will be trying to get people to dance."
He adds, "I will probably pick up some records from the four stands selling records at the festival and play some stuff from there, too. I will play it by ear."
Asked what bands they're excited to see, The D-Rays and Weird Science both cite each other's names and added Oblivians (Saturday, 9:15 p.m. on the Porch Stage) who are doing a reunion of sorts. DJ Barticus mentions Weedghost, another Athens band (Thursday 9:45 p.m. in the No-Fi Cabin). "They are kind of a staple at Nelsonville Music Festival," he explains.
Other local bands that will be featured at NMF include Dead Hand of Man (Thursday, 6:45, Porch Stage), The Summoners (Friday, 12:30 p.m., Porch Stage), The Wild Honeybees (Sunday, 11:30 a.m., Porch Stage), Chris Biester (Saturday, 11:30 a.m., No-Fi Cabin), Scott Hedrick (Saturday, 8:45 a.m., No-Fi Cabin), Mike Elliot (Saturday, 4:45 p.m., No-Fi Cabin), Boys of the Hock (Sunday, 12:15 p.m., No-Fi Cabin), Feathers (Sunday, noon, No-Fi Cabin), The Teardrops (Sunday, 3:15 p.m., No-Fi Cabin), Bram Riddlebarger (Friday, 1:15 p.m., No-Fi Cabin), Chris Monday (Friday, noon, No-Fi Cabin), Nathan & Bredan Moore (Friday, 2:45 p.m., No-Fi Cabin), Megan Wormz Binh (Thursday, 6:15 p.m., No-Fi Cabin), and Stuart's After School Bands (Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m., Porch Stage).