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Tuesday October 21, 2014

The past 12 months have been an exciting whirlwind for Bassett native Josh Shilling, both professionally and personally.

Since performing in October 2013 at a sold-out Rives Theatre as the lead singer of bluegrass band Mountain Heart, Shilling has gotten married, witnessed the birth of his first child, made his national acting debut and, of course, played on stage with some of the biggest names in modern music.

“Last December, I got married to Aleah Dillon from Roanoke, Va., and we had a baby girl on April 8th of this year named Isabella Katherine Shilling, ‘Bella Kate,’" said Shilling. “On top of being a newlywed and a new dad, I've also been on tour this year with lots of heavyweights in the blues and rock world. This year, I've shared the stage with folks like Oteil Burbridge (The Allman Brothers), Charlie Starr (Blackberry Smoke), Paul Riddle (The Marshall Tucker Band), Barry Waldrep (Zac Brown), John Cowan (The Doobie Brothers), and many more. I just got back from a weekend at The Festy outside of Charlottesville, Va., where I was featured on Hammond organ and vocals with my good pals from The Infamous Stringdusters and folks like Nicki Bluhm.”

Shilling will be returning to his roots this weekend for a Saturday night performance with his old pals, Fuzzy Logic, a popular Roanoke-based band that he helped found. The five-piece act will take the stage at 8 p.m. Saturday as part of the Turn 5 Concert Series. The two-night concert series will feature four bands Friday and four more bands on Saturday. Both nights will be free to the public to attend and take place at 423 Clover Road in Ridgeway, near the entrance to Martinsville Speedway’s official fan campgrounds. A portion of proceeds from concession sales will be donated to the Penn-Shank Memorial Endowment Scholarship Fund, the Martinsville Speedway Children’s Foundation, the local Boy Scouts of America and PHCC’s Racing College of Virginia motorsports program.

Last year’s Turn 5 Concerts raised $10,000 for local charities.

Shilling was a founding member of Fuzzy Logic in 2005 along with Jerry Parris (drums, vocals) and Terry Hannabass (lead guitar, vocals), each of whom also played in the Roanoke band Cimmaron at that time, along with Shilling.

When Shilling relocated to Nashville, Parris and Hannabass added John Brock (electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards, vocals), and John Hodges (bass and vocals) to the group. On Saturday night, Shilling will be singing lead, playing some guitar, and “pounding on the piano and Hammond organ,” he said.

“These four guys all sing, play, and entertain phenomenally, and when I was asked to come play a set in Martinsville with some local boys, they were the first guys I called,” said Shilling. “I'm hoping to strip it down to just me and a guitar at some point and sing a few songs off my solo album "Letting Go," and add in a few that I recently wrote about Martinsville. But we're definitely going to turn the Fuzzy Logic boys loose a few times to get the crowd fired up with some of their newer country tunes by Eric Church and some classics like Copperhead Road. When we start up Saturday night, the fans should just scream out whatever they want to hear. There's a good chance I'll know just enough of it to fumble my way through it!”

Shilling also made his sitcom debut last week, getting “about 3 seconds of camera time” on the hit ABC show “Nashville.”

“I had a blast, and it was truly an amazing experience, and I think there's a possibility I'll be on the show quite a bit more in the future,” he said. “It's not often a Bassett boy ends up acting in a drama that's on international TV!”

Shilling and Fuzzy Logic are part of an eight-band lineup at the free Turn 5 Concerts this weekend. Saturday’s music will begin at 4 p.m. with Ferrum rockers Kerosene Willy. At 6 p.m., legendary blues guitarist Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin will take the stage. Shilling and Fuzzy Logic will play at 8 p.m., followed by country/southern rock singer Sunny Ledfurd at 10 p.m.

Friday’s music will begin at 6 p.m. with Southern Funk Orchestra, which is led by Martinsville native Joey Philpott. At 7:30 p.m., Wilmington, N.C., roots-rock band L Shape Lot will perform. At 9:30 p.m., Motley Crue tribute band Red, White & Crue will begin playing, and Guns N Roses tribute band Appetite for Destruction is set to take the stage at 10:30 p.m.

Shilling said he was honored to be a part of the two-night event, especially because it will take place in his hometown.

“The amount of love and support I receive from everyone back home is overwhelming,” he explained. “I love it there, and I bet I'll end up back there someday. It makes me a little nervous sometimes to perform back home. I guess it's because I want everything to be top notch and perfect when folks from there see me. But it's always a great turnout, and I get nothing but support no matter how good or bad my performance is. The folks back home sing along with me and drive miles just to say hello and catch up for a few minutes. Most hometowns don't support like Martinsville, and I'll never take it for granted. I'm definitely looking forward to performing there, and I can't wait to shake hands and hug friends, neighbor, and family.

“I also want to say a huge thank you to the entire team that organizes the Turn 5 Concert Series,” he continued. “It’s so awesome to see events like Rooster Walk and concerts at The Rives Theatre and Turn 5 taking place back home, and it’s especially awesome to see the impact it’s having on the community. Raising money for charities around town, bringing top notch entertainment to the area, and being able to provide a free night of music this year is incredible.”

To learn more about Josh Shilling and his latest album, “Letting Go,” visit www.joshshilling.com. To learn more about the Turn 5 Concerts, visit www.roosterwalk.com.

Rooster Walk Inc. is a community non-profit dedicated to promoting music, arts and education in Martinsville and Henry County.

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