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Let freedom ring and music play!

South Boston NewsSouth Boston News
Top, Turkey Scratch and, above, Ray Martin / June 19, 2017

There will be star-spangled entertainment opportunities leading up to and on July 4 in South Boston this year, featuring familiar faces and something for everyone.

Entertainment during the first-ever South Boston/Halifax County July 4 Parade and Fireworks will feature well-known artist Ray Martin and local favorite group Turkey Scratch.

“We are thrilled to have both Ray Martin and Turkey Scratch joining us for our July 4 celebration,” said Tamyra Vest, executive director of Destination Downtown South Boston. “We are focusing on making this a family-friendly, fun event and we really feel these performers can provide the type of entertainment everyone can enjoy.”

Ray Martin, of the band Shame for Sydney, has more than 25 years in the music industry and describes his sound as country rock soul. He is a talented vocalist as well as being self-taught on several instruments, including drums, guitar, bass, piano and mandolin.

Martin, who played his first gig at a party in Cluster Springs, toured regionally in college and then split his time between Colorado, Nashville and Los Angeles until the early 2000s. Martin offers his unique spin on popular cover songs, with some of his most recent selections including everything from Chris Stapleton to Ed Sheeran songs.

Turkey Scratch, a four-member band born in Halifax County, was formed in 2012. The group – made up of Reed Edwards, John Church, Dennis Kalz and Brian Hall – emphasizes their “mutual love of good, honest music and [their] love of playing music together.”

Turkey Scratch blends a variety of musical styles and instruments to create their own unique sound, and their repertoire includes both covers and original songs. Their influences include Levon Helm and The Band, Steve Earle, John Prine, Ryan Bingham, The Gourds, and Old Crow Medicine Show, to name a few.

Describing their sound as Outlaw Americana, the group says their first gig was poolside for a friend’s birthday party at Halifax Country Club. Their strangest locale for a gig? An acoustic gig on an island in the middle of a river.

“We feel honored and privileged every time we get to play in front of a live audience,” the group emphasized during a recent discussion about themselves. “Nothing is too small or too big. We are humbled to have people enjoy our music along with us, and to be able to make music with each other. We are brothers in spirit and great pals.”

Hoping to feed your patriotism a few days before the Independence Day festivities? Be sure to pick up tickets to Red, White and Broadway at The Prizery. The production offers patriotic tunes and Broadway favorites performed by The Prizery’s professional summer company.

Performances will take place Friday, June 30 and Saturday, July 1 at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, July 2 at 3 p.m. To secure your tickets to Red, White and Broadway, visit

If you can’t make it to see Red, White and Broadway at The Prizery, you’ll still get a taste of their talent! The performers of Red, White and Broadway will round out the entertainment on July 4 at Constitution Square, following the performance by Turkey Scratch.

Title sponsors for the South Boston/Halifax County July 4 Parade & Fireworks event are the County of Halifax and the Town of South Boston. Firecracker Sponsors are Team Nurse and Halifax Eye Care Center. The July 4 event is free. The parade will begin at 6 p.m. Applications and fees for parade entries can be found online at and organizations interested in sponsoring the event can call 434.575.4209.

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