Musician/songwriter David Childers has played Merlefest and other prime gigs all over the Carolinas, but none quite like the place he’s going next: the Kings Mountain National Military Park.
The historic Revolutionary War site in South Carolina sings in his imagination.
One of Childers’ ancestors fought on the Patriot side in the legendary 1780 battle. And his band, The Overmountain Men, is named after the militia that helped American forces defeat the Loyalists at Kings Mountain.
Childers, a Mount Holly lawyer, has carved out time from his legal work to become a popular entertainer with fans worldwide. His original Americana music has touches of folk and country, blues and rock.
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The upcoming show is a benefit for the park organized by the Brigade of Friends. The all-volunteer nonprofit provides support and funding for special projects at the park about 35 miles southwest of Charlotte. It’s one of South Carolina’s top tourist attractions, drawing about a half-million visitors a year, park officials say.
Called Muster at Kings Mountain, the concert will be held in the park’s 300-seat amphitheater.
“This means a lot to me,” said Childers, 62. “It’s hallowed ground. It’s part of my consciousness.”
Loretta Cozart of Charlotte, event coordinator with the Brigade of Friends. called the Muster at Kings Mountain a prequel to the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary in 2016.
The friends group plans to offer concerts and other special events “to support the National Park Service in their effort to reach out to a new generation of Americans and encourage them to visit the park,” said Cozart, 54, a native of Kings Mountain, N.C.
Sponsors of the June 14 event include Duke Energy, S.C. Rep. Steve Moss, S.C. Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler and N.C. Rep. Tim Moore.
Chris Revels, chief ranger at the Kings Mountain military park, said the Brigade of Friends’ fundraising efforts are much appreciated as park budgets get tighter. If the Childers concert is successful, he said, the park might host other concerts.
Best known for his work with David Childers and the Modern Don Juans, Childers is also a founding member of the Overmountain Men. The name was chosen by Childers’ son, Robert, and Bob Crawford, bassist with the Avett Brothers.
Crawford collaborated with David Childers on the band’s first record, “Glorious Day,” which came out in 2010, and its second, “The Next Best Thing,” in 2013.
Childers has written songs about such historical figures as Alexander Hamilton and Theodore Roosevelt.
At the Kings Mountain concert “we hope to run the gamut,” said Childers. “It’s an honor to play on that spot. People can expect us to give our best of what we have to give.”