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Charly Lowry and Dark Water Rising, A New Fan's Impressions

Updated on July 15, 2013

Maybe it's something in the water. Pembroke, N. C. seems to have more than it's fair share of talented, energetic and friendly people.

Mark and I took off to Pembroke, June 15, the Saturday before Father's Day for the School's Out Summer Jam. The event was held at the Pembroke Recreational Center and Jana Mashonee was going to perform, thus the one way, two and a half hour ride.

But first we were blessed with the opportunity to listen to Dark Water Rising. Mark and I had met Charly Lowry last year at the Peace in the Park concert series but had not seen her and the band live.

Dark Water Rising was formed in 2008 with three female lead singers but now the band has one, Charly Lowry. Aaron Locklear plays guitar and keyboards, on lead guitar is Corey Locklear, Shay Jones plays the drums and Tony Murnahan plays bass. They are all Lumbee and from Pembroke or that area of North Carolina except for Tony who is Irish/Phillipino and was born in California.

The first person I saw when we pulled up was Corey Locklear, in fact he parked right beside us. I walked over, stuck out my hand and called him Aaron. He laughed at my mistake, said most people think they are brothers. Then he cracked me up when he said:

"We all look alike, anyway..."

A moment of concern crossed his face, but when I laughed he joined in. I suspect Mr. Corey is the ringleader of most of the fun on the road!

I got Mark a spot up front and we listened to the Henry Berry Band. Then I enjoyed watching the two bands shift equipment. Some stuff came off the stage, some stayed and some new instruments were brought on. It all went smoothly and quickly. It was no one's first rodeo.

Minutes later, Dark Water Rising was tuning up onstage. It didn't take me long to figure out that this group loves what they do. More importantly, they love doing it together.

Most of the songs they played that night were new to me. I believe that all the music was their own original stuff. Since I didn't know the songs, I concentrated on the vocals, the instruments, and the crowd response. All three were awesome.

When we were in Pembroke before, Charly sang John Lennon's "Imagine" with an impromptu choir. I noticed then that her voice stands out. Her beautifully unique voice was even more evident when she sang front and center with the guys in DWR. They have a new song that they previewed for us called "Backbone" and I bet it will get them another Nammy. Can't wait for it to be released!

After the show Mark and I were waiting in line to speak to Jana when Charly walked by. She recognized us from our visit for Peace In The Park and welcomed us back to Pembroke. ( I'm sure it was Mark she remembered!)

I told her how great I thought the Hometown Hero video was and we spoke briefly about the case. She told me that the video was made in honor of Faith Hedgepeth and to help maximize public awareness of the unsolved murder.

Pembroke and Robeson County are lucky to have Charly Lowry. She seems to be the driving force behind the Peace in the Park concert series whose goal is to lower violent crime in the area and promote peace. She just started an effort to raise money for a portable stage to use at the little downtown park for the events. She has used her talent and song Hometown Hero to try and help solve the murder of Faith and she uses the song in other ways. Here is what she told me about the song later when I asked her about it on Facebook:

"Hometown Hero" was inspired by the death of Krista Deese, from Lumberton, NC. As I mentioned to you the other night, she was an acquaintance that I'd known for years. She passed away at the age of 23 in a car accident. I visited her Facebook page afterwards and was inspired by the messages that her friends/family left on her wall; commenting that, "...they couldn't wait to see her again..." or that they'd "..miss her beautiful smile..."

It really struck me hard that they didn't have a chance to say their goodbye's and that no one had any clue that she'd be taken away so abruptly- we never know how our lives are going to end or when the last time will be. The first line that came to mind after striking a chord for the song was, "And I'll be waiting..." and it went from there....

Since then, I've performed the song to comfort the family of a Marine that was killed by a sniper, at a funeral for the Mother of a good friend of mine, and most recently for the video of Faith Danielle Hedgepeth. I am thankful that the song was sent from the Creator and now use it to help others heal.


I'll be waiting...

If you listen to that song and really hear the words and the message, the " I'll be waiting..." just stays with you long after the video ends or you pop the cd out of the player. There's something timeless and universal about the tune, the words, and the emotion.

I know Charly was tired that evening. They'd played a show in Charleston which ended at 2 am that morning! If you look close you can see a hint of it in her eyes. But when I asked about taking a photo with Mark she not only agreed to do it, she got down on her knees in that dress and in the grass to do it.

Maybe it's something in the water...


The photographs below were taken by the guy above, Tony Murnahan, at Mariani's in Pembroke during a concert. He's not only a talented musician, he has a great eye for photography!





Dark Water Rising (-Tony who was taking the photo!)


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    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 

      6 years ago from North Carolina

      "Birmingham" is the big award winner for S&R right now Ronnie and will do if DWR plays nearby!

    • resspenser profile imageAUTHOR

      Ronnie Sowell 

      6 years ago from South Carolina

      Nice to hear from you Alastar! DWR is playing lots of places in North and South Carolina so check them out if they get close to you. I will look up the Shovels & Ropes band. Thanks for the tip and for reading!

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 

      6 years ago from North Carolina

      There is not much I'd like better than to see a Lumbee band break big. There is so much great talent coming from the Carolina's right now it's exciting, Shovels and Rope are a good example. DWR has what it takes and Peace in the Park sounds such a great undertaking with "Hometown Hero" Charly leading the way. There are also a lot of Locklears down that way, one of which now works for the feds in Wash. D.C. and is a good friend. Hope your doing well these days resspenser.


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