The inaugural Rock The Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards brought members from all seven communities together for an epic evening. The 2023 theme was Cliffstone – based loosely around the award-winning show “Yellowstone” and the Equestrian Center served as the fitting backdrop.
Three supporting bands with eclectic sounds ranging from a WNC-native country music rising artist; to Los Angeles based songwriter with southern hospitality; to a six-piece dance band all rocked the multiple event stages.
Fifteen-time GRAMMY® Award-winner Ricky Skaggs, headlined the event. His career is easily among the most significant in recent country music history. If Skaggs’ burgeoning trophy case full of awards wasn’t already enough evidence of that fact, consider that legendary guitarist Chet Atkins once credited Skaggs with “single-handedly saving country music.” His life’s path has taken him to various musical genres, from where it all began in bluegrass music, to striking out on new musical journeys, while still leaving his musical roots intact.
Joining him at Rock The Cliffs is Kentucky Thunder. “This group of guys meets my approval every night,” Ricky says. “Each and every one of the pickers in Kentucky Thunder totally amazes me in every show…and that, to me, outweighs any award we could ever win.” The all-star lineup of Kentucky Thunder includes Russ Carson (banjo), Jake Workman (lead guitar), Dennis Parker (baritone vocals, guitar), Gavin Kelso (bass), Mike Rogers (tenor vocals, rhythm guitar) and Billy Contreras (fiddle).
Kayla McKinney, A WNC local that pulls her music inspiration from the hymns of her youth, counts her musical influences as Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, and Carrie Underwood. An up and comer in the county music scene, will be performing classics from her idols, some covers and a few of her own originals. Additionally, Sofie Lynn, a wholesome storytelling, southern twang, and a touch of sweet California sunshine, is what makes up the Los Angeles Native and Nashville based artist. As a writer, her songs have had prestigious placements on the hit Paramount TV show Yellowstone.
To close out the evening, Crocodile Smile had everyone out of their seats dancing. Composed of the most talented and versatile musicians/singers in our Carolina mountains, Crocodile Smile left a lasting impression. Refined and sharp, this band showcased the talent to move our entire arena of all ages. Mixing styles and eras of music to make seamless transitions, they kept an unmatched energy level ‘til the end.
FOOD & BEVERAGE
The culinary teams at our three Lake Region communities saddled up four smokers – The Bull, Willie Nelson, The Chief, and The Jack – to deliver country casual cuisine to all.
The smoker action stations served wings, pulled pork, and brisket; the Low Country Boil stations were stocked tall with shrimp, corn on the cob, andouille sausage, and buttered potatoes; and the King Ranch Southern Sides Tables accompanied the stations with macaroni & cheese, corn maque choux, collard greens, cowboy caviar bean salad, country biscuits, and pimento cheese.
The Cliffs’ new fully-loaded food truck featured an assortment of desserts including fry pies, ice cream sandwiches, and assorted cupcakes while the fire pits were also adorned with s’mores stations for a DIY treat.
Welcoming the event guests was a whiskey trailer serving up specialty cocktails where members could stop in prior to shuffling up to the arena for the main event.
FUN & GAMES
Although the food and music were the main attractions, the 360-degree videos, photo booths, ax throwing, lasso tossing, and mechanical bull all added to the fun! The photo booths and printed portraits also served as the perfect take-away for guests to relive their memorable night at Cliffstone.
Be a part of these events by becoming a member at The Cliffs. If you are interested, we invite you to start your property search online and discover the many options available to call home. Once you find a few that interest you, feel free to schedule an in-person visit and discover The Cliffs for yourself!