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Local band gives ‘porch concerts’ for neighbors

Ron Landreth and Tim Webb perform rock/folk and original songs as Landreth & Webb. Landreth & Webb, along with Rainy Chewning, perform for neighbors at their Porch Concert.

Local band gives ‘porch  concerts’ for neighbors
June 24
14:17 2020

By Judie Holcomb-Pack

Even though the band Landreth & Webb has been performing all over the state and country, they are the epitome of “garage band,” holding their practices in Ron Landreth‘s garage behind his house off Country Club Road.

Both Ron Landreth and Tim Webb began playing guitar while in high school, but didn’t know each other then. If you grew up in Winston-Salem, you may remember Ron’s band, The Eradicators, that was popular in the ‘60s. They opened for the Yardbirds, Sam the Sham, Bobby Hebb, and other acts at the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars. 

Tim was also busy with local bands, playing guitar, writing music and singing in bands such as White Light that opened for the Avett Brothers and the Honeycutters at the Garage. 

Fast forward to the mid-‘90s and Ron and Tim found that they were neighbors. One day when Ron came home from work, he spotted Tim outside playing his guitar. As a guitarist himself, he was excited to meet a fellow musician and introduced himself and said that he also played guitar. “Tim was unimpressed,” recalled Ron, but he brought out his guitar and played along. Eventually they started playing together and after a while people began to “just show up and ask us to play,” according to Tim. Their first paying gig at The Wolf’s Lair restaurant at the Black Wolf Vineyards in Dobson netted them $60 each and they were thrilled with getting paid for having fun. 

But as often happens, life got in the way, they moved away and eventually lost touch with each other.

For 14 years, Ron stayed busy playing contemporary Christian music and touring with an award-winning contemporary Christian artist. Tim was also playing with different bands, but his focus was more folk/Celtic. As Tim explained, they experienced “the traditional checkered past of musicians.”

Then about two years ago, as Ron and his wife were preparing to move and as he was cleaning out old boxes of miscellaneous items, he came across a cassette tape (remember those?) of  Ron and Tim playing together, which brought back a lot of fun memories. He still had an email address for Tim, so he reached out to him and told him about the cassette tape. Tim responded, they reminiscenced about old times, and the conversation turned to friends who had died. Ron said, “We need to get together for old times’ sake,” and Tim agreed. They met for dinner with their wives and reconnected as friends, as well as musicians.

Although their musical styles are different – Ron’s is more rock & roll and Tim’s is more folk and Celtic – they have found a way to merge their talents into a blend that’s all their own. They perform some cover songs, but much of their music is written by Tim. They recently decided to add another voice to their vocals, so Ron’s daughter, Rainy Chewning, has joined the group. Rainy has been singing with her father since “she was in pigtails” and is the music teacher at Moore Magnet School. Landreth & Webb had gigs booked throughout the spring, but all were canceled due to the pandemic. 

Disappointed, Tim asked, “Now what do we do to amuse ourselves ?” 

And that’s when the idea came to them: a Porch Concert Series, or as Tim calls it, “Music in the Time of Plague.” Ron decided to send an invite to his neighbors to come watch them play and was unsure of the response he’d get.  Sure enough, his neighbors brought chairs to sit outside in their yards as he, Tim and Rainey performed on Ron’s front porch. Ron said he and Tim were “overwhelmed at the enthusiastic response.” Although it was a “captive audience,” they saw that there was a pent-up demand for entertainment. A couple weeks later they did it again and even more neighbors came out to watch.

Tim, who lives in High Point, is now planning a concert in his large yard, where people can bring their chairs and socially distance. They hope to alternate locations as long as the pandemic keeps them from paying gigs. Both men said that although they have played at venues from bars to wedding receptions, they prefer to play in front of people who come to hear good music and who have an appreciation for original songs. They especially want to introduce young people to music they’ve never heard before.

In the meantime, they are recording a CD at a studio in Beaufort, S.C. Tim mentioned that as much as they love playing for their friends, “we do play for money, too.” Hopefully, they can start scheduling gigs for when the pandemic is under control and the state moves into opening more during Phase 3.

Ron, who is 70, and Tim, who is 73, plan to continue playing music “forever.” Tim noted with a laugh, “Mick Jagger is 77, Charlie Watts is 79 ….” 

Landreth & Webb are in their prime.

For more information about Landreth & Webb, follow them on Facebook at Landreth-Webb. For booking information, email Tim Webb at timwebb@nulltriad.rr.com.

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