Years of Participation
Halfway to Heaven formed in spring 2020 during the pandemic when a Mt Pleasant family were looking for a way to get people together again after a few months of lockdown. The plan was simple: host small outdoor gatherings on their front lawn for friends and neighbors, everyone would bring a cooler and lawn chairs, relax and enjoy each other’s company and a little music. All they needed was a few musicians and the weather to cooperate.
The family reached out to Charlie Thompson (Blue Dogs and Solid Country Gold) and asked if he could pull together a few musicians to play a few hours one upcoming Sunday afternoon. Charlie reached out to Matt Williams who sings and plays guitar (Solid Country Gold) and Bobby Napier who sings and plays fiddle (Sammy Kershaw, Tammy Wynette, Norfolk-Southern Railroad Band). With Charlie singing and playing pedal steel, banjo and electric guitar, a three-piece band was formed that could tackle everything from classic country to classic rock to bluegrass, George Strait, Merle Haggard and Bill Monroe to Bob Dylan, the Beatles, and the Stones.
After the first Sunday, the family decided it was so much fun and so good to see people again they asked if Charlie, Matt and Bobby could do this a few Sundays each month. The group became a thing and that thing needed a name. So the group came up with Halfway to Heaven from the line in “Paradise,” a John Prine song about family and faded memories.
Halfway to Heaven recently added Bobby Hogg on bass and vocals and Ian MacMichael on drums to bring a little more boogie to the songs.