By Melissa Robinson
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.
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
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
“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
www.tourmcdonough.com/hhh or call 770-898-3196.