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Brookstock rocks again

This is the 18th year that a group of friends has joined together in Brookhaven to play music and celebrate each other’s talents. Brookstock got its start with the three guys who had played together the longest — since 1965: Don Jacobs, Ricky Brown and Virgil Brawley. The event was born 20 years ago during the planning for a Brookhaven High School class reunion.

The event schedule for this summer’s Brookstock XVIII, July 12-14, mirrors that of last year.

Thursday night will be the Singer/Songwriter Night at Recess 101 on South First Street. The performance is free and BYOB. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m.

Friday night will be the same times, but will be held at the Haven Theatre. Admission is $10. In addition to the artists people expect to see each festival, two high school rock bands will perform.

Saturday starts with a dutch treat breakfast at Chism’s Diner on Union Street Extension for the Brookstock Breakfast Club at 9 a.m. Anyone is welcome to join for food and just hanging out.

Saturday night is the grand finale at the Brookhaven Building on Industrial Park Road, also known as the FEMA Building.

Doors will open at 5 p.m. and the show starts at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $10 and BYOB, but food will be available, catered by the Grill and Tavern of Brookhaven Country Club.

Like every year, organizers want to showcase existing bands that have played with them for years, but also ignite interest in new, younger musicians.

Thursday night’s lineup will feature Greg Smith, Don Jacobs, Shaw Furlow and a special guest. Saturday’s evening gathering will feature Mike J. Case & Friends, The Ricky Brown Band, Andy Tanas (formerly of Black Oak Arkansas and Krokus), The Bridge Band, The Laughter of Ruin, The Brutes and that same special guest.

The special guest is Jacobs’ friend and sometimes collaborator from Scotland by way of Germany, Tommy McClymont.

“In 1972, we worked a summer job together in Germany,” says Jacobs. “In 1973 in Frankfurt we played music together and we’ve written songs together over the years.”

Jacobs says he’s looking forward to seeing his friend and says the Scot is coming to “add culture” to the annual event.

Ed Tree, lead guitarist for The Laughter of Ruin, is another musician of whom Jacobs speaks highly.

“Ed has played with Rita Coolidge and Spencer Davis and others,” he said. “He’s Brookhaven’s rock-and-roll success story.”

Everyone involved in Brookstock is an essential, talented cog in the musical wheel but one gear in particular will be noticeably missed this year.

Blues man Virgil “Big Juv” Brawley — part of that original trio — passed away just one month ago.

“It puts a damper on the evening,” Jacobs said. “But we’ll keep going. That’s how Virgil would have wanted it.”