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Arts & Culture

Sparklefest Creator Starts New Rock Band

Art created for the band Arrow Beach.
Courtesy of Arrow Beach
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Art created for the band Arrow Beach.

Singer John Ensslin vividly remembers his first concert: Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones in 1981. His next two live experiences were of David Byrne of Talking Heads and Richard Butler of The Psychedelic Furs. After watching the likes of Jagger, Ensslin knew he wanted to be a front man. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in art, but even back in school music was his primary passion, and he spent much of his time playing music with friends. 

His new rock band Arrow Beach was born from that same desire: to rock out with his friends. In the early 2000s he met long-time producer and engineer Mike Nicholson during Nicholson’s music festival “Sparklefest.”

They joined their expertise and passion, and this collaboration eventually gave birth to Arrow Beach. They later added Amy Hall on drums, Tray Batson on bass guitar and Will Fox on keyboards and guitar to create their self-titled debut album. Arrow Beach joins host Frank Stasio to share stories and perform live music. They will perform at the Kraken Bar in Chapel Hill with Mad Crush on Feb. 2. 

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