Down The Hatch 2017

DTH Chair

TICKETS AND INFO AT:

https://dth2018.eventbrite.com

 

Down The Hatch 2017 Recap

Down The Hatch 2017 in the Outer Banks of North Carolina was in its 9th year and, thus far to me, felt like the best one yet – and that’s not just me talkin’!

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I strive to raise the bar each year with all facets of the experience. The joy of discovery is at the core of why I do any event and I always hope that each attendee has that moment where they gasp in revelation at the talent they are exposed to, all while exhaling in total relaxation—a few days away from the regular grind to live life.

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As always, thank you so much to the attendees who take a chance on this event; you have so many options for rest & relaxation and I’m humbled you choose DTH as your getaway. It truly motivates me each year to improve the adventure, even if that means less adventure ;)

Almost there...12 hour commute from RI
Almost there…12 hour commute from RI

4 Days, 4 Nights.

The token, I'm here, you're not selfie
The token, I’m here, you’re not selfie

Wow, we did it. We’ve doubled the length of DTH since its beginnings! I mean at this point we might as well as call it what it is. DTH WEEK! I pulled into town on Tuesday to do the normal run around, meet with my amazing team of Colleen Connor, Kevin and Tara McFadden & Patrick McAloon to go over last minute details and sneak in a calm-before-the-DTH-fun-storm fish taco feast at Tortuga Lie (a place I’ve been going my whole life). Between The Kill Devil Diner and Tortuga Lie, what other delicacies does a man need? Love me some OBX chow.

 

 

used-19442000_10154788854342549_7161286435872080187_oWednesday morning, the DTH crew and I further set up. Say, did ya dig my Grateful Dead-sized merch display? Who knew pieces from my home walk in closet could be so useful! (Sorry Tara for the missing pieces.) ;)

McFadden cheering up the always grumpy McAloon ;)
McFadden cheering up the always grumpy McAloon ;)

We got the sound loaded in and the band sound-checked at both Ramada Ballroom and Capt. Andy’s, the site of the first official performances to kick off the fun. DTH attendees hung on the beach, chilled at the gazebo bar and relaxed on their decks, very smoothly slipping’ (& likely sippin’) right into the OBX state of mind.

 

P.S. McAloon is NEVER grumpy. (btw, check out his lid)
P.S. McAloon is NEVER grumpy. (btw, check out his lid)

Wednesday @ 5 PM we convened over at Captain Andy’s, with it’s rustic fishing pier, stunning views of the Carolina coastline and, wouldn’t you know it, after a brief summer rainfall, out came the rainbow. The artists performed for the DTH faithful while they properly hydrated with libations and enjoyed some local seafood.

Ink & Ash
Ink & Ash

Patrick McAloon and Jonathan Williams kicked it off with heartfelt performances including a guest sit-in by Ruby McAloon.

The very talented McAloon duo.
The very talented McAloon duo.
Ink & Ash
Ink & Ash

Gareth Asher and Nicki Thrailkill (Ink & Ash) did as only they can do, be authentic as hell.

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Colby James, during his stellar set, even included the kids in a rare performance of the song he claimed to play for his daughter each night.

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Boy Named Banjo closed it out with their unique brand of bluegrass folk. Those young pickers are well on their way to success. What a setting for an opening night kick off!

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DTH makes family (photo by: Laurie Molletta)
DTH makes family (photo by: Laurie Molletta)
DTH is clearly the pot of gold
DTH is clearly the pot of gold
Somewhere between From The Wood & Revel
Somewhere between From The Wood & Revel
Brian Dunne being awesome
Brian Dunne being awesome

Wednesday @ 9 PM Pat McGee Band was scheduled to perform both From The Wood and Revel albums, back to back! We did just that and Brian Dunne showed up just in time to do a sweet set on our break between albums. It was a blast to play some of those old tunes that we hadn’t touched in many years, even decades.

 

 

 

Michael Christman and some dude with a SWEET shirt.
Michael Christman and some dude with a SWEET shirt.

Thursday @ 10 AM Michael Christman, our DTH Trainer, imported from The Indianapolis Fitness Garage, had a solid group out for the first of three morning beach workouts. Yep, I only made it to Thursday. But, hey, I had a whole lot going on and from what I could tell, I was the ONLY one who didn’t return each morning. The weather was perfection, and based on the survey results so was EVERYTHING about Michael Christman… ladies, you’re welcome. Michael, we really hope you’ll return for 2018. I’m guessing you’ll double your attendance, maybe even mine!

 

 

Reach for the stars kids
Reach for the stars kids
DTH Workouts for 2017 were LEGIT!
DTH Workouts for 2017 were LEGIT!
Jockey's Ridge Climbers!
Jockey’s Ridge Climbers!

Thursday Noon, a solid group of low/medium level adventure seekers joined Chardy & I for a pilgrimage to Jockey’s Ridge State Park. We took in the breathtaking scenery, about as long as Clark Griswold and his family took in the Grand Canyon, snapped some photos and saw the rare OBT-reX ;)

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DTH Golf Crew
DTH Golf Crew

Thursday was also the day my father Hugh McGee organized a golf outing for those looking to swing a club or two. I heard Tolcher was on point, somebody shot a 71, some stunk, some were average, you know, a normal game of golf. My dad later whispered to me that he got 2nd place but didn’t want to rub it in to the others. Go Papa McGee!

Photo By: Laurie Molletta
Photo By: Laurie Molletta

19250406_10154788989197549_4027096723480704629_oThursday on the beach in front of the hotel was just like the other days at DTH – blue skies and warm sun. There were beach games and Boy Named Banjo did an impromptu set at their beach chairs. That’s about as chill as it gets.

 

 

 

 

 

Boy Named Banjo keeping it real chill like.
Boy Named Banjo keeping it real chill like.
when in obx...
when in obx…

This was all building up to my favorite night at DTH, Songwriters In The Sand. Mother Nature was so kind and blessed us with a beautiful evening to showcase most of the artists attending for 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

SONGWRITERS IN THE SAND
SONGWRITERS IN THE SAND
Reeve, Jonathan, Colby & Patrick
Reeve, Jonathan, Colby & Patrick
Colby James
Colby James

There is something so special about this night, the vibe is so welcoming and the musicians really deliver, inspired by each other’s performances and the audiences reaction to those incredibly intimate moments. It’s what makes live music so wonderful when the audience is THAT into it.

Patrick McAloon
Patrick McAloon

Each group of songwriters got up there and served up the goods, lots of laughs, goosebumps, tears and standing O’s.

Ink & Ash
Ink & Ash

Just amazing stuff, and you have to be there to truly appreciate it. I loved seeing the looks on people’s faces when the new DTH artists started in with their first tunes; Kyle Davis, Willy Porter & Griffin House all just blew people away within moments of starting.

Adamo.
Adamo.
Griffin, his beautiful kids and Willy.
Griffin, his beautiful kids and Willy.
DTH's first taste of Mr Porter's mad skills.
DTH’s first taste of Mr Porter’s mad skills.
Griffin enlightens DTH faithful
Griffin enlightens DTH faithful
Brian Dunne
Brian Dunne
Tolcher, never lets you down.
Tolcher, never lets you down.
Keaton
Keaton
Boy Named Banjo closing up shop
Boy Named Banjo closing up shop
Bring on the night
Bring on the night
DJ Masters: Jason, Patrick and Pat
DJ Masters: Jason, Patrick and Pat

Later that night, well, that’s a whole other story. Headphone Disco brings out the crazy in everyone who adorns the cans (“cans” is music biz talk for headphones). The only way I can explain Headphone Disco is it brings you back to when you were young and by yourself in your bedroom, dancing like an idiot to your favorite jams. Except this time all your friends and strangers are doing it with you, sometimes to different songs and the best thing… nobody cares how bad of dancer you may or may not be. It’s one hell of a good time and always entertaining to see the artists DJ the night away. You really get a taste of what they dig. Adamo, I had no idea you were so into Madonna and McAloon, your Bruno Mars was on point. I still feel as if I won the DJ battle when Chardy, myself and a few other metalheads had a full-on moshpit/slam dance to vintage Metallica. Chardy claims I broke his high heel off. Sorry bro, price of the pit.

Burnin' The Midnight Oil
Burnin’ The Midnight Oil

I know it was one of the nights, not entirely sure which one, but we all headed to the beach for a play till sunrise hang… that’s most likely why I never made the 2nd morning workout. I do recall feeling like Headphone Disco coupled with my 4 AM Interpretive Sand Dancing of Jonathan Bryan Williams’s beach set was ample enough exercise to last the rest of the weekend. “San(d) Antonio Rose” never sounded or felt so good ;)
Friday brought another sensational beach day to behold. After beach workouts, artists rotated all day long while attendees relaxed in their chairs, body surfed in the sea, played some cornhole and enjoyed an adult beverage or two or three…

Glen Phillips dished Toad classics along with his killer solo work
Glen Phillips dished Toad classics along with his killer solo work

Seeing Glen Phillips play “Walk on The Ocean” AT the ocean was for sure a goosebumps moment and Willy Porters blistering set of guitar and songwriting mastery while dolphins were jumping was just epic–like watching a National Geographic show but you’re in it and the soundtrack is amazing. All the artists brought the goods, such a magical setting.

Willy doin' Willy, it's mesmerizing.
Willy doin’ Willy, it’s mesmerizing.
Guitar Workshop
Guitar Workshop

Thursday and Friday we hosted Guitar Lesson and Songwriter Workshops with the fans and artists. This year was really great, Willy Porter taking charge along with Keaton Simons to show the group their unique approaches to playing tasty notes with meaning and fluidity.

 

 

Guitars are cool. Go get one.
Guitars are cool. Go get one.

They led us into a 14-man version of “Knockin On Heaven’s Door” (showing the use of 3 chords, which I managed to play improperly). At the end we had a group jam on “Melissa” in tribute to Gregg Allman. For the Songwriter class, all the artists gave valuable input to the attendees’ many questions and as Willy so wisely put it, “find your safe place to suck”. Ha! I love that.

Songwriter Workshop
Songwriter Workshop
The Groovy McAloons
The Groovy McAloons
PMB
PMB
Big Boss Man Williams.
Big Boss Man Williams.

Friday evening got going around 8 PM in the ballroom with some sweet original sets by DTH artists; but, you see, it was “Woodstock” theme night and the costumes were downright far out, so the music had to follow suit.

 

 

 

 

 

Brian, Keaton & Bentz gettin' after it!
Brian, Keaton & Bentz gettin’ after it!

19441804_10154788980527549_3123269393328233814_oThe artists each delivered 1-5 star costumes along with some sweet acid rock covers starting with Glen doing “White Rabbit”. I thoroughly enjoyed playing “Feeling Alright” with Willy. Keaton nailed “Red House”, Kyle rocked some Sly, Colby totally crushed “Ophelia”. Reeve Coobs channeled Janis beautifully on “Piece Of My Heart”, Adamo owned “Voodoo Child” …ugh, so many great moments.

 

 

 

 

behold, living clean... in the flesh.
behold, living clean… in the flesh.

Oh, and this one….

no comment
no comment

Although when Griffin House played shirtless, he was the envy of every other musician (and likely all males in the room) who wishes he could rock that look all the damn time. #maybenextyear ;)

Well Alright, Alright, Alright. (nuthin against your fine physique JBW!)
Well Alright, Alright, Alright. (nuthin against your fine physique JBW!)
Brian Dunne
Brian Dunne
Bad Moon Rising
Bad Moon Rising
DTH 2017 ARTISTS
DTH 2017 ARTISTS

Saturday morning, ahhhh another fabulous day in paradise. Morning workouts looked solid (from my deck, DOH!, sorry guys, the major needs his rest), the beach was open for business and the artists set up shop for another day of musical ecstasy to the backdrop of the gorgeous Atlantic.

PMB on da beach
PMB on da beach
Harrow Fair, not used to the Southern Sun, being from Toronto and all
Harrow Fair, not used to the Southern Sun, being from Toronto and all

19441989_10154788829662549_1482513119852073161_oHarrow Fair from Canada rocked it for sure and we were honored to have Miranda from HF slay it on violin each night with PMB. I’m sure she’s still spinning from the madness that is us wrapped up in DTH. Talk about “being thrown to the wolves”. Miranda, you were bad ass, hope we can do it again soon!

 

 

 

 

Reeve always sounds amazing, but even feeling under the weather, she was breathtaking as always… what a voice!

Reeve as sweet a voice as she is a person.
Reeve as sweet a voice as she is a person.
Willy, Pigmans Crew and McGee
Willy, Pigmans Crew and McGee

Around 5 PM Pigman’s BBQ laid out a succulent spread of saucy, swine-y sweetness. Sorry, I got carried away with that description, but it’s damn good ‘Q that I’ve been eating since my childhood and I love sharing it with you guys.

Doug and Jason, or IS IT?
Doug and Jason, or IS IT?

Saturday night was the closer for DTH and attendees went all out for the TV Land theme. PMB tried to pull off The Sweathogs, but we fell a little short. Chardy ended up going as Mighty Mouse and Robby was Jack Tripper – still a valiant effort. Jason Adamo’s Superfriends were again the kings of the costumes, they always bring it 110%. Even their entrance was a total reenactment of a classic Batman fight/chase sequence, most impressive.

Mr Kotter not buyin' Juan Epstein's note from his mother.
Mr Kotter not buyin’ Juan Epstein’s note from his mother.
Brave guys, real frickin' brave.
Brave guys, real frickin’ brave.
Son's (& Daughters) of Anarchy RI Edition
Son’s (& Daughters) of Anarchy RI Edition

Colby’s crew was not to be messed with in their Sons of Anarchy get up. Two artists, not sure who exactly, thrusted their way into out hearts as the Ambiguously Gay Duo… genius.

who could this possibly be?
who could this possibly be?
Ponch and Baker takin down Mista Kottaaree
Ponch and Baker takin down Mista Kottaaree

The attendees truly shined….Chips, Carol Burnett, Three’s Company, even my parents were the HGTV’s Fixer Upper couple. Just too many good ones to name, great job everyone!

The McGee's HGTV's Future Dream Home Winners!
The McGee’s HGTV’s Future Dream Home Winners!

So all in all, it was one heck of a good time, I went home with a mohawk (again) and then proceeded to shave it off at a NJ rest area by my creeper white rental van, looking like a full on fugitive in action. I got to close out the night by playing solos with Keaton while we laid on our backs on the dance floor.

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I knew you guys would embrace the new artists as you always do and welcome the veterans back year after year with open ears and arms. Give it up for yourselves, without you guys coming, we as artists don’t get to create outside of our homes. So, let’s do this again next year, eh?

 

 

 

DTH Crew
DTH Crew

Big shout out to the PMB of DTH…Patrick McAloon, Jonathan Williams, Steve Bentz, Chardy McEwan & Robby Wilson, that was a ton of material to rock. And without my DTH crew who give so tirelessly day and night, this event would be total and complete chaos: Colleen Connor, Kevin and Tara McFadden & Patrick McAloon you 4 were unbelievable. Pat Hester, thanks for the sound engineering work along with the sound gear from Leggette Sound & Lights. Thanks Pigmans BBQ team for always bringing the southern goodness with a smile.

 

 

19243054_10154789250247549_4818230365997743772_oThanks to the Ramada for continuing to be our most agreeable partners in this circus that we bring to town. Thanks Fishman Electronics for the amazing sound gear and Telefunken for the pristine microphones. Thanks Curt Mangan for guitar strings and Gibson for guitars. Thanks Capt Andy’s Bar. Mike Massa, thanks for these photos, they rock big time. (Excuse the ones clearly taken with random artists cell phones, those are below par, but funny.)

 

 

 

DTH Makes Friends…

these guys.
these guys.
McGee, Tara and Kevin McFadden: these two are amazing.
McGee, Tara and Kevin McFadden: these two are amazing.
Doug, Keaton & Jason
Doug, Keaton & Jason

As I look back on each DTH, what always keeps me smiling and craving more is the quality relationships we form with each other, artist to artist and fans to artists; it’s all one loving and supportive community that I think we need more of in today’s society as well as the music “business”.

 

 

 

Rev McGee & The Williams' (I married these two lovebirds)
Rev McGee & The Williams’ (I married these two lovebirds)
Willy & McAloon
Willy & McAloon
Two solid looks for two solid bros.
Two solid looks for two solid bros.
Ink & Ash (I think I have that backwards)
Ink & Ash (I think I have that backwards)
Just trying to get the looks to be 100% Woodstock authentic.
Just trying to get the looks to be 100% Woodstock authentic.
Pat McGee, Kyle Davis, Willy Porter
Pat McGee, Kyle Davis, Willy Porter
Colby and Jonny, two massively talented singers.
Colby and Jonny, two massively talented singers.
McGee, Porter, Phillips
McGee, Porter, Phillips
McHarrow Fair?
McHarrow Fair?
Met this dude down in OBX, thinking' of doin' some stuff with him.
Met this dude down in OBX, thinking’ of doin’ some stuff with him.
Epstein, Griffin and Taxi Driver.
Epstein, Griffin and Taxi Driver.

Lastly, may I suggest staying until Monday? Sunday on the beach is quite nice..

McGee and McFadden mapping out DTH 2018
McGee and McFadden mapping out DTH 2018

You should see what I’ve got in store for next year’s huge 10 Year Anniversary of Down The Hatch: new artists, old artists, new beach activities, more downtime… you’ll see, I think I finally got this thing figured out and it’s all because of you! Info coming out soon, make sure you’re on the mailing list.

Thanks from the bottom of my Irish heart. I truly appreciate that you come to DTH.

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This blog is dedicated to the memory of Kevin McCarthy. Kevin, your smile, positivity, passion and zest for life is infectious… rest in peace my friend.

photo by: Laurie Molletta
photo by: Laurie Molletta

For those of you looking to visit me in my home state of Rhode Island this fall and hear amazing music, and eat the best seafood of your life, check out: Pat McGee’s Ocean State of Mind

Oct 1-3, 2017, PMB, Alternate Routes, Colby James, Nicky P, Reeve Coobs, Jason Adamo, Amy Gerhartz, Patrick McAloon & Jonathan Bryan Williams
Oct 1-3, 2017, PMB, Alternate Routes, Colby James, Nicky P, Reeve Coobs, Jason Adamo, Amy Gerhartz, Patrick McAloon & Jonathan Bryan Williams