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Earl Ray Tomblin, Governor
Frank Jezioro, Director

News Release: May 31, 2013

Facebook: WV Commerce - State Parks

Hoy Murphy, Public Information Officer (304) 957-9365 hoy.r.murphy@wv.gov


Scott Fortney, Cass Scenic Railroad Superintendent 304- 456-4300 CassRailroadSP@wv.gov

Wolf Creek Band, other groups featured on Cass Scenic Dinner Trains

            CASS, W.Va. - Dinner Trains at Cass Scenic Railroad have evolved over time. A Pocahontas County tourist destination, the inclusion of evening trips in addition to the day trips at Cass are great fun.  

            “Evening trips began with the novel thought of trips up the mountain at dusk,” said Scott Fortney, park superintendent. For several years Cass offered evening runs, then added dinner and murder mystery trains.  Mystery turned to music and amiable conversation, bluegrass vs. other genres for example.  Fortney boasts this year is not a typical year with entertainers including rising country star Wyatt Turner, Musical Comedian Matt Jernigan, and bands Once Blue, Wolf Creek, and Juanita Fireball.  

            There are six dinner trains in addition to the other 360 train trips scheduled at Cass Scenic Railroad in 2013.  Cass Scenic Railroad makes daily trips up Cheat Mountain with trips to Whittaker Station and a noon run to Bald Knob. 

            “We run trains every day except non-Holiday Mondays and a few mid-week days in September,” Fortney said. The train schedule is posted on www.cassrailroad.com, “Schedule.”

            Dinner trains depart from the Cass Depot at 5:15 p.m. for Whittaker Station. The evening includes a round trip from Cass to Whittaker Station and back, buffet dinner prepared by the Last Run Restaurant, and guest entertainment by one of the 2013 groups. Entertainment is at Whittaker Station. The cost is $36 for adults, $26 for youth (12-5) and children under five years of age is $16. Reservations are required in order to make food preparations.  “The ladies who operate the Last Run Restaurant won’t allow anyone to leave hungry. The buffet is great.” Fortney said.

            Dinner train entertainment includes: June 1 – Wyatt Turner; June 22 - Matt Jernigan; July 13 – Once Blue; July 27 and August 10 Wolf Creek Band; and  August 24 – Juanita Fireball and the Continental Drifters.

About Wyatt Turner – June 1

            Turner is a native of Pocahontas County, W.Va. Turner’s baritone voice  is a pure-country blend resonating in the style of Eric Church and Johnny Cash. He auditioned for judges on The Voice in 2012 and advanced to second round in the American Idol competition in 2010. His love of music began at age three when wooden spoons became percussion for Billy Ray Cyrus’s “Achy Breaky Heart” playing on the radio.  Interest in music grew to include guitar playing. His career path has led him to Nashville where his first CD, ‘Damn Baby’ is set to release soon.  He is the son of Teresa Turner and his father, the late Darrell Turner.

About Matt Jernigan – June 22

            Matt Jernigan is a guitar comedian who captures the attention of both young and mature audiences with song parodies.  In addition to a good singing voice and guitar playing, Jernigan is also an impressionist of popular celebrities such as Brittany Spears or Elvis Presley, Lady Gaga, and Justin Bieber. He does cutting-comedy that is also 100 percent Clean Comedy for family venues.

            Jernigan has been featured on television shows The X Files and Comedy Central’s Make Me Laugh and can be heard on Sirius/XM Radio’s “Laugh USA’.” He is a graduate of East Carolina University and, in addition to winning several voice and comedy competitions, has performed in some of Los Angeles top comedy clubs during his 13 years doing stand-up, including The Improv and The Icehouse of Pasadena. His website is: mattjernigan.com.

About Once Blue – July 13

            Bluegrass bands find members and become a group. And bands blend and regroup from time to time. Once Blue is a traditional bluegrass band with Bill Lemon, guitar from Cross Lanes, W.Va., Mark Sowards, banjo and Larry Melton, mandolin, both of Sissonville, W.Va., and Keith Sargent, Bass from Point Pleasant, W.Va. These  four men have play in other groups and songs written by Don Sowards  (and the Laurel Mountain Boys) are performed in addition to others favorites that are on their CD, “Out Behind the Barn.”  Once Blue has been preforming since 2000.

About Wolf Creek Band – July 27 and August 10

            Wolf Creek Band© is made up of four musicians from Nicholas and Webster counties in West Virginia. Randy Schartiger (Guitar/resophonic guitar/vocals) and his son Ronnie Schartiger (mandolin/guitar/vocals) along with Jubal Taylor (banjo/guitar/vocals) and his father Randy Taylor (bass/vocals) make up a double duet of fathers and sons to form The Wolf Creek Band.

            Wolf Creek is a bluegrass band and more. Their performances include genres from a very old style of bluegrass to jazz to southern rock and country, songs like "Hold What Ya Got" with old style family harmonies.  Vocals include Lynyrd Skynyrd's "The Beeze" and songs like "Man of Constant Sorrow" and Travis Tritt's "Where Corn Don't Grow."  “The Chronicles of Lucin Pretorious,"is  an original song and one of many numbers on the playlist. Wolf Creek is a hard driving bluegrass. The band will be releasing their new CD in July/August 2013.

Juanita Fireball and the Continental Drifters – August 24

                A group resurrected after a 25-year hiatus, Juanita Fireball and the Continental Drifters is back.  Members include Mary Sue Burns on the claw hammer banjo and husband Mike Burns on the fiddle. The Burns’ first started playing music in the late 1970s. The other like-minded musicians that make up Juanita Fireball are Jay “Pluto” Lockman (Lockman is a lead scientist at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory); Wayne “Handyman” Walton on the doghouse bass, John Sparks on  guitar (AKA Rev. Sleepy John), and Terry “Double Dog” Richardson on guitar. The sound is pure - a blend of Appalachian string band tunes with some gospel for good measure.  When Juanita Fireball kicks into to a song, if the audience isn’t dancing, they’ll want to and are welcome to do so.  They were a featured band at the 2013 Vandalia Gathering.