As you may have read in these pages previously, Portsmouth native son, singer/songwriter Rick Ferrell has made somewhat of a habit of supporting and promoting his hometown.
In June, Farrell presented the fourth annual version of his Dreamland Music Fest on Court Street. This year’s Dreamland concert was organized a bit differently than previous events, a fact which indirectly led to Ferrell’s latest hometown project, the first Kiwanis Bike Run this Saturday, done in cooperation with several sponsors, probably most especially including host site Frank-N-Steins Bar, 707 Chillicothe St.
Talking from his adopted home in Nashville, Ferrell said Kiwanis always has been there to help him with the annual Dreamland Fest. For this year’s show, Ferrell partnered with another local saloon, Patties and Pints. In the past, Kiwanis received the proceeds from beer sales at the Dreamland shows. Patties and Pints took over the refreshment duties this year, but Ferrell said he wanted to do something to help Kiwanis and show appreciation for their past support.
“They’ve been really good to us,” Ferrell said. “They’ve always been our charity of choice.”
On posters promoting Saturday’s event, the Kiwanis run is subtitled “Riding for the Kids.” Ferrell said the club’s commitment to youth is definitely one big reason he has been a supporter of the organization over the years.
Persons interested in joining the run can sign up at Frank-N-Steins starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, said Frank-N-Steins manager Trisha Webb. As she put it, kickstands will go up at noon.
Cost is $15 for solo riders, $20 for doubles. All proceeds go to Kiwanis.
Webb said the first stop on the ride is the Beaver VFW Hall. According to Google Maps that’s about a 28-mile, 45-minute ride, one-way. Upon heading back to Portsmouth, participants will stop at the Stag Bar and the Fish Bowl (two other named sponsors of the event) before returning to Frank-N-Steins.
Webb said organizers kept the ride on the short side, so participants could more easily stay in one big group. She added the plan is to make the run an annual happening.
At the end of the ride, food and drink undoubtedly will be available at Frank-N-Steins, where according to Webb, owner Scott Frasure is planning to smoke plenty of food.
Local band Seditious plays 5- 9 p.m.
“It’s funny the connection I have there,” Ferrell said in explaining his relationship to Portsmouth. “Obviously, I’ve moved to Nashville but obviously I grew up there… I really just like to give back to the community, especially to kids.”
Ferrell said lots of his songs were inspired by his memories of growing up in Portsmouth.
Ferrell probably has had his biggest success so far as a songwriter.
“Country music star Tim McGraw struck gold when he chose to record (Ferrell’s) song titled “Something Like That” (aka The BBQ Stain Song) and took it to #1 on the Billboard chart for a record-breaking five weeks in a row” the bio on Ferrell’s website reads in part.
Ferrell’s latest CD is “Home for the Weekend,” perhaps yet another nod to his native Portsmouth.
Not incidentally, Ferrell contends his hometown seems to be turning a corner of sorts, he added, as evidenced by the recent Plant Portsmouth event that brought some 1,400 volunteers to downtown Portsmouth for a day of community service, cleaning and spit shining streets and sidewalks.
Ferrell said some professional obligations unfortunately will prevent him from coming home for the weekend in time for the Kiwanis motorcycle run.
“We’ll be there in spirit,” Ferrell said.