The birthday celebration's daytime music lineup kicks off at 11 a.m. on June 22 and features a superb list of West Virginia artists including soul sensation Lady D, of Beckley; Lewisburg reggae funk band Vern's Pot O'Chili; Americana folk singer Christian Lopez of Martinsburg with his trio Joe Taxi; and the Davisson Brothers Band, rising country stars from Clarksburg. These artists will perform on the Capitol steps during the daytime festivities, entertaining the thousands of West Virginians expected to attend the celebration.
Lady D is Doris A. Fields; a West Virginia native and graduate of W.Va. State University. She is known as W.Va’s First Lady of Soul.
Lady D has been singing since the age of three years old. She is also an actress, songwriter and director. She has toured her one-woman show, “The Lady and the Empress” since 2003. It is a musical stage play based on the life and music of blues legend, Bessie Smith. Her acting experience also includes a five year stint with Theater W.Va’s productions of Honey In the Rock, Hatfields and McCoys and various other shows. On the local scene, Lady D was very active in productions with the Charleston Stage Company, Children’s Theater and Kanawha Players.
As a professional vocalist, highlights of Lady D’s career include being the opening act for the legendary soul group, the O’Jays at Charleston’s FestivALL in 2007. In 2008, Lady D’s original song, “Go Higher” was chosen as the best Obama Inaugural Song and earned her a trip with her band, MI$$ION to Washington, DC to perform at the Obama for Change Inaugural Ball in 2009.
Lady D has released four cds: “Nobody’s Bizness: Music from The Lady and the Empress,” “My Turn,” “Go Higher” and “She’s Nobody.”
Formed in 2001 in the great state of West Virginia, Vern’s Pot O’ Chili has since become one of the state’s leading live acts. The band has performed in every major city in the state and has also made appearances at several festivals and state wide events.
Vern’s Pot O’ Chili has an extremely unique mixture of sounds ranging from reggae to bluegrass to hip-hop and funk which has proven time and time again to entice a crowd for the duration of their performances.
The band comprises its set lists of mostly original songs, but influences include the styles of Toots and the Maytals, Galactic, Rasta Rafiki, Parliament Funkadelic, The Roots, Bill Withers, and Johnny Cash.
Christian Lopez and his trio, Joe Taxi deliver a show of Americana folk music, with a backbeat derived from progressive rock & roll. A new sound found it's way to the mid-east coast region with Christian Lopez & Joe Taxi. Along with a show that will captivate any audience member, the band is accessible and eager to meet new fans.
Christians original music such as "Will I See You Again", and "As Far As I May Go" have had radio play in West Virginia and Pennsylvania and have debuted nationally on Gashouse Radio in March of 2013. The Jackson Browne and Johnny Cash flavor catch the attention of many, and introduce a completely new feel to folk music.
Christian Lopez & Joe Taxi has also had national success as the winners of the 2012 WVU Coca Cola Battle of the Bands, 2012 Moonstruck Battle of the Bands, and 2012 The Ottobar Battle of the Bands. The trio went on to play on The Vans Warped Tour 2012, The 9:30 Club in Washington DC and Pickin' in the Panhandle in addition to over 100 other shows since 2012.
Christian is an excellent electric and acoustic Guitar player. He is also and astonishing Piano and Harmonica player. Don't be surprised to see him pull out the Mandolin or Banjo. When Christian Lopez and Joe Taxi hit the stage, be prepared for an amazing show!
The Davisson Brothers Band has a unique style infusing a remarkable blend of country, southern rock, and bluegrass to create a distinctive sound captured in their first single, "Big City Hillbilly." This sound, combined with the band's talent and energy, has gained a loyal fan base all over the Eastern United States.
Brothers Chris and Donnie Davisson and cousin Sammy Davisson, along with childhood friend Aaron Regester, are continuing musical pursuits started by the Davisson family long ago. Aaron's reliable drums and Sammy's solid bass groove provide the perfect foundation for Donnie's impassioned, soulful vocals with Sammy's flawless harmonies all driven by Chris's mind-bending blend of bluegrass, country, and blues guitar creating a sound unlike anything you've ever heard.
"Music has always been a part of our lives," says Chris, "and now we're living our dad's and uncle's dream—playing music around the country and hearing ourselves on the radio."