Christmas Eve in West Jefferson might be a bit more festive this year.
On Monday, Dec. 24, the West Jefferson Community Center will be hosting a Christmas-themed country music event featuring some homegrown talent. The event, organized by village council member Howard Wade, is being done for the purposes of raising funds to have a mural painted in West Jefferson.
“I think it would be something great to have in the village. To show off pride in our community,” Wade said. “But first, we have to get the money.”
In order to draw attention to the community and to the event itself, Wade enlisted the help of his son, Keenan Wade who, along with his wife, Grace, performs as the country swing group, The Farmer and Adele.
Husband and wife musicians
Keenan Wade, a graduate of West Jefferson High School, currently lives in Nashville, TN where he’s devoted his life to music full-time.
“I’ve been in love with music since I was about 14 and always been in bands,” Wade said. An early gig for Wade was being part of the West Jefferson school band. “We moved to Nashville about 10 years ago for me to finish school and ended up falling in love with the musical community.”
Wade initially graduated college with a degree in business but couldn’t ignore his musical roots.
“I never stopped playing but being in a place like Nashville, you can’t help but be swept up in the music,” he said. “After being here a while, it just became something I couldn’t deny.”
Wade, who plays a variety of instruments including the mandolin, started playing shows with his wife, Grace, who plays the guitar and sings. They play in the country and western style of Gene Autry and Roy Rogers —a kind of throwback, pre-country sound with roots in American music of the 1920s, 30s and 40s.
“The style and genre just speak to us and it’s great to be able to keep this music alive,” Wade said. The band, who has put out several albums, play both original and cover songs from the era.
The Farmer and Adele is currently doing their Fourth Annual Country Western Christmas Party Tour where they go from city to city playing classic Christmas songs in their country style.
“It started as a thing to just do around Nashville during the holidays since a lot of the people who live in the city aren’t from there,” Wade said. “It was a great way to have fellowship and kind of grew from there.”
Before the event on Dec. 24, the band will have played two sold-out shows in Ohio in Columbus and Portsmouth.
“We’re excited to be back home and share this music during the holidays,” said Wade. “And it’s going to a great cause and something that West Jefferson deserves.”
Christmas Eve show
The event will be Monday, Dec. 24 at the West Jefferson Community Center. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. and the show runs from 2-3 p.m. The Farmer and Adele will be joined by musician Chace Potter, another West Jefferson native and childhood friend of Keenan Wade.
Tickets are $5 and there will be cookies and refreshments at the event.
“I think this is such a great, positive thing for the community,” Wade said. “I hope people come out and support it.”