Forest Festival concerts set

The Guess Who and Chris Cagle with special guests The Henningsens will take the stage during the 77th Mountain State Forest Festival, according to an announcement by Director General Cricket Leary.

Tickets will go on sale for the two music shows at 10 a.m. Friday.

The Classic Rock Show will kick off Sept. 28, with The Guess Who beginning at 8 p.m. in Harper McNeely Auditorium on the Davis & Elkins College campus. The first evening of the festival will be made possible with sponsorships from Elkins Fordland, WV Lottery, WBOY, WDNE 98.9 and The Inter-Mountain.

The Country Music Show will close out the festival Oct. 5, also at the Harper McNeely Auditorium. The concert will begin at 7 p.m. with The Henningsens, and Chris Cagle will take the stage at 8 p.m. Sponsors for the show include WV Lottery, WBOY, WDNE 98.9 and The Inter-Mountain.

The Guess Who became Canada’s first international rock music superstars, beginning in 1962 as Chad Allen & the Reflections. Quality Records released the group’s first single and album, Shakin’ All Over, in a plain white record jacket with only the questions “Guess Who?” written on it. The marketing play capitalized on curiosity and the promise of another British Invasion band. It worked. After selling 2 million copies, the band had its trademark name The Guess Who.

Following the success of Shakin’ All Over, the band toured the United States as part of Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars Road Revue. In 1967, the band landed a regular spot on the TV show “Where It’s At.” The band moved on with recording Wheatfield Soul, which was released in 1968 and provided the band with a No. 1 single in Canada, “These Eyes.” The band’s second album for RCA, Canned Wheat, also released in 1968, contained the Top 10 hits, “Laughing,” “No Time” and the Top 40 hit “Undun” (the B-side of “Laughing”).

Ironically, it was “American Woman,” from March of 1970, which gave The Guess Who a No. 1 single in the U.S. and unseated The Beatles for three weeks straight. The Top 10 album, also entitled American Woman, containing the hits “No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature” (the B-side of American Woman), also went to No. 1 in the Billboard for three weeks. In all the group has 14 Top 40 hits to its credit.

Meanwhile, Cagle’s professional credits include two gold albums, two No. 1 albums and 12 charted songs. From 2000-2008, Cagle released an almost nonstop catalog of hits that resulted in a scorching hot career. Cagle’s musical character and burning ambition never wavered, but today, Cagle’s personal perspective has mellowed. The artist’s forthcoming album is, in more ways than one, a new lease on life.

Cagle’s first No. 1 smash, “I Breathe In, I Breathe Out,” remains a fan favorite. Cagle’s 2012 release from Bigger Picture Group is his homecoming – a rekindling of his creative flame and a roaring reminder of his rock-infused country roots.

While assuring his fans that the Chris they love hasn’t changed, Cagle sees his new persona as a better version of himself.

“I want my music to be an environment, to strike chords, passions, memories, faults, loves, angers and redemptions,” he said. “Imagine my music just on the outside of town right where the road turns to the rural route. A dirt road cul-de-sac with trucks all parked in a circle. I would love to see my music fit into that.”

His music has been firing people up for more than a decade, and this time around, he is chomping at the bit for an energetic reintroduction to the country music community that’s been a long time coming. Fans will still see flashes of the performer they know but they’ll also see the joy and confidence that home life provides.

The concert will be a mix of his old favorites and new album, Back In The Saddle.

Cagle’s special guests The Henningsens are a family trio, with their first single and album title track called “American Beautiful.” The Henningsens showcase a sound that is fresh, vibrant and uniquely their own.

It’s their gift for songwriting that first began turning heads in Nashville, with writing credits on multiple albums, most notably the Platinum-certified debut from The Band Perry.

Tickets for both concerts may be secured online through the Mountain State Forest Festival website at or by calling 304-636-1824.