Harrison County

Family-style tribute to Allman Brothers will cap Anchor Fest

Les Brers lead singer Lamar Williams Jr. will join in an all-star jam to close out Anchor Fest in Jones Park in Gulfport on Sunday.
Les Brers lead singer Lamar Williams Jr. will join in an all-star jam to close out Anchor Fest in Jones Park in Gulfport on Sunday. Courtesy

When the third annual Anchor Fest comes to a close Sunday in Jones Park, it will be a full-on family affair rooted in the music of two brothers from Macon, Georgia.

Gulfport musician Wayne Sharp and the Sharpshooters Band will hit the stage at 5:30 p.m., and they will be joined by Sharp’s immediately family, some of the extended Allman Brothers Band family and musicians who have played with the likes of Elvin Bishop and Neil Young.

“It’s going to be all about family,” Sharp said. “My sons Sean Sharp, (Gulfport Ward 5 Councilman) Myles Sharp and Grayson Sharp will be joining us.

The band also will feature some very special guest stars who are near and dear to Sharp’s heart.

“My granddaughters Ella and Mia Sharp are great singers and they will be joining us, as well,” he said.

Lamar Williams Jr., whose father, Gulfport native Lamar Williams, played bass with the Allmans, will sing with the band. The younger Williams is now the lead singer in Les Brers, which features his late father’s friends and band mates Butch Trucks and Jaimoe.

Wayne Sharp said he is looking forward to singing with Williams.

“Lamar’s dad was one of my best friends,” he said. “This is the first time that we will share the stage together.”

Sunday will also mark Williams’ debut in his dad’s hometown.

“Man, I’m really excited about this,” he said. “I have so much family and friends here — when I visited here earlier this year, I couldn’t wait to get back here and perform.”

Sharp and company will perform some of the music from the Allmans’ catalog.

“Having Lamar Williams Jr. come back home to his roots playing with Wayne Sharp and The Sharpshooters will be a jam session that will not be forgotten,” said Gulfport spokesman Chris Vignes. “And for those who are in attendance, there are plenty of other special guests who will join them.”

The band also features drummer Karl Himmel, who has played with JJ Cale and Neil Young and the International Harvesters, guitarist Peter Quigley and Willie McCord.

“Willie used to play with Lil’ Willie and the Kings of Soul, who were a popular soul band from Biloxi, and Gulfport’s Jackie Avery will be also be joining us,” Sharp said.

Sunday is the final day of the two-day Anchor Fest, which also features a wooden boat show starting at 11 a.m.

“Anchor Fest is a family friendly event and is free and open to all,” Vignes said. “More than 40 artists, local food vendors, historic wooden boats on display and a children’s village are just a few of the highlights of this year’s festival.”