Exeter’s Landing looks for intimate connection with audience at Starview

Exeter’s Landing looks for intimate connection with audience at Starview

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Bill Harper is part of the new Exeter’s Landing Project which performs as a duo, trio or full band.
Colleen Frease

What happens when two musicians with several years of experience come together for a performance, usually a spectacular afternoon of music.

That’s exactly what those at Starview Vineyards on Saturday can expect when Exeter’s Landing steps on the stage.

Bill Harper is part of the new Exeter’s Landing Project which performs as a duo, trio or full band. His upcoming duo performance is with Ray Maring.

Harper said he met Maring at a Bluegrass festival in 1991 and the two have been playing together off and on ever since. When Harper got the idea to put together Exeter’s Landing, Maring was one of first people he called to inquire about performing in the new group.

Exeter’s Landing usually sticks to classic rock from the 60s, 70s and 80s with a range of about 600 songs to chose from in any set. Harper is currently writing original material for a potential Exeter’s Landing album.

The idea behind Exeter’s Landing is a character named David Exeter, who is in his 40s and going through a divorce. The songs are about his journey and finding himself along the way.

Harper has been influenced throughout the years by a variety of music to include country and rock when he was growing up. Some notable influences from the 1970s were John Denver and Gordon Lightfoot.

Exeter’s Landing plays primarily in Southern Illinois. Maring has versality with several instruments ranging from harmonica, mandolin, guitar and more. Harper sticks to the guitar and also runs the show with vocals. He mentioned how he enjoys playing at Starview because it provides a cozy feel with the listeners.

“The people at Starview are really nice,” Harper said. “When you have a full band and playing on a full stage it is harder to connect to the audience. I like playing on the back deck at Starview. It creates an intimate connection with the audience.”

Harper said he has been performing for close to 40 years and he loves that he still gets phone calls requesting him specifically for an event.

“I’ve been singing since I was two years old,” Harper said. “When I get to sing and share that with the audience it makes me feel so alive. It is the best feeling ever.”

Harper hopes to share his love of music with everyone who eventually will listen to the Exeter’s Landing album. He says music has helped keep him healthy, and that is a gift he wants to share with others.

 

For more information on the Exeter’s Project upcoming performance check out their Facebook page or Starview Vineyards Facebook page.