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Will Turpin to headline fall festival


By Melissa Robinson
Contributing Editor 

  Henry County’s own Will Turpin, best known as a member of Collective Soul, will be the headlining act at the first ever Hogs, Hotrods and Harleys Fall Festival set for Saturday, October 13, 2012.

Special photo

  Turpin and his band, Will and the Way, are the main event for what is expected to be the premier fall festival in the area, featuring a full slate of musical guests, including Joel Kosche, fellow Collective Soul band mate and lead guitarist.

  The 38-year-old Turpin started out playing in his father’s recording studio, at that time in Stockbridge. He and the other members of Collective Soul got their beginning there, but hit the ground running and found themselves touring the world for nearly two decades.

  “Yeah, my dad owned and raised a family in the recording studio in Stockbridge and that’s the hub where Collective Soul met.” said Turpin.

  And although he has toured all over the world, and exudes the charm and confidence of the bona fide rock star that he is, he’s the first to admit that he’s a down home guy, very grounded in his roots and these days, enjoys watching his three boys play on the soccer fields as much as he relishes performing for millions of fans.

  His early influences are varied, but said first and foremost, would be the Beatles, particularly Lennon and McCartney.

  “I can’t narrow down a favorite. The Beatles, Queen, the Rolling Stones, a lot of the British bands. But American as well. I guess Led Zeppelin would be an early influence, and Aerosmith,” said Turpin.   His taste in music is also varied, enjoying bluegrass, a good gospel choir and the occasional Beethoven concerto.

  He said although Collective Soul can tour until they are old and gray, right now everyone from the platinum-selling band is taking a break and working on solo projects.

  His latest incarnation, Will and the Way, is made up of longtime friends and musicians, Jason Fowler on guitar and vocals, Scott Davidson on drums and Mark Wilson on bass. Turpin said they are all local guys whom he has known for at least 15 years. He said he first met Wilson when he was playing at a coffee shop on the McDonough Square.

  “He was about 14 when I met him playing at a coffee shop, which is now Pasta Max. That was about 15 years ago,” said Turpin.

  Part of the ticket sale proceeds from the festival will be donated to the Kensley Grace Aquatic Center effort. Kensley was a little girl in Henry County who passed away last year at the age of five and her family is in the process of raising funds to build a community swim center in her memory. She was also Turpin’s niece.

  “She was a beautiful kid and she was really fun to be around. She and my son Luke were best friends. They were so cute together,” said Turpin.

  He said supporting local charities, not just ones that are close to his heart, is the least he can do, to give back to the community and people he loves.

  As for the festival, Turpin said it’s going to be a great time, with good food, good drink and incredible music.

  “I grew up in this county and I love this place. I’m truly excited about headlining Alexander Park. It’s a big stage and the production is really proper,” said Turpin.

  He said fans can expect a great rock and roll show and his band will be performing four new songs, to be included in the upcoming, but yet untitled album. He said they are looking at an April release date.

  “The record I released last year, The Lighthouse, was the first step in letting people see another side that wasn’t Collective Soul and it was really successful, garnering a lot of media hype. I’m real excited about performing these songs. You have to find yourself outside of something like Collective Soul,” he said.

  For a sneak peek at Turpin’s talent, catch him on October 5 at Season’s Bistro on the McDonough Square, where he will be “freestylin’ it” on the piano.

  “I just like to play and play off the crowd,” he said.

  The Hogs, Hotrods and Harleys Fall Festival and Concert will be held October 13 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Alexander Park in McDonough. With something for everyone, including a car and motorcycle show, barbecue contest, vendors, crafters, a kids section and a full evening of live entertainment, festival organizers said the fun should not be missed. The full concert lineup includes J.K. and the Lost Boys, The Full House Band, Joel Kosche and headliner Will Turpin and the Way.

  Admission covers a full day of activities, including the concert. Tickets are $15 before 3 p.m. and $25 after 3 p.m. Kids 12 and under are free. The festival is being hosted by the McDonough Tourism and Hospitality Board in conjunction with McDonough’s Mainstreet Program.

  For more information, visit or call 770-898-3196.



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