Three years ago Possum Holler’s lead singer and band leader Tori Anderson learned that she had a rare disease called Systemic scleroderma. It was decided that 2011 will be the final year of a successful performance run of regional country band Tori Anderson & Possum Holler Over the past 15 years the band has become one of the best known band’s performing at fairs, festivals and major events in the four state region. They possess one of the most familiar names at the area’s summer concert events and have been known to draw many of the record crowds. . “We decided to announce it that 2011 would be it for live performances and go out with a bang” says Tori Anderson
Over that time frame the group has had the pleasure to perform at some of the region’s premier venues like the Maryland Theater, the Jaffe Mosque and Wheeling Jamboree. They have opened shows for well over fifty nationally known country music acts and most recently in front of Bucky Covington, Lee Ann Womack, Tanya Tucker and Tracy Lawrence. Their two self-produced CDs have gotten great reviews and the latest was honored as one of the best independent works of 2006 by Indie-Music.com Magazine.
Though the group has had several different lineups over the years the constant nucleus has been lead vocalist Tori Anderson and her husband acoustic player Michael Anderson. Both Tori’s distinct vocal style and acoustic driven music is the basis for the Possum Holler sound. Those attending a Possum Holler show have come expect lots of familiar songs and few Possum Holler originals presented with great vocal performances by Tori and her sister Cathy Moats. Tori’s youngest sister Cathy was added for harmony a few years ago and has added a significant energy to he Possum Holler sound.
Another long time and significant part of Possum Holler is Greg Mills of Clear Spring, Maryland. Greg is a familiar and somewhat flamboyant bassist and vocalist. Known for his stylistic look all of his fellow band members think of him as a true artist. Like Tori he has a passion for writing original songs and developing the artful side of the music. He also creates exceptional paintings and has even illustrated a book.
Rounding out the “Holler” band is Wes Moats on the drums & vocals and Greg Elwood on lead guitar and mandolin. Wes resides in Williamsport, MD. He has performed in several area bands and has a reputation of being a precision player. He puts more time into his percussion work than most in the business. Greg is from Winchester, VA and provides the lead licks. His enthusiasm for the guitar is apparent in his personal collection of guitars and amplifiers.
On occasion Tori’s daughter Summer Widmyer will join the band on stage when she is called upon to add some vocal assistance to the songs and happens to be in the area. Summer added harmony for many years with the band.
In recent years Tori has included more personal stories, messages in the chosen songs and developed a theme that expresses an appreciation for life and the love of family and friends. The health issues that she and her husband have experienced over the past few years have solidified that appreciation. “We are extremely thankful for all of the people that have shown us so much love and support. Whether attending our shows, making a financial contribution to our personal causes, offering prayers and encouragement… we do not take for granted how blessed we truly are,” says Tori Anderson
“Though we have mixed emotions about our decision, the band has decided to wrap up in 2011. Together, we have all noticed, that performing has become increasingly difficult for our Tori. While she remains positive that she will eventually beat her disease, and the rest of us can’t wait to hear her sing again, 2011 will mark the beginning of the end for Possum Holler” says the band’s agent Bill Clark. as we embark on our “Headin’ Home Tour”.
The band will have a limited performance schedule throughout the year and will play in the Clarke County Parks and Recreation concert series at Chet Hobert Park in Berryville, VA on Wed July 27th at 6 pm
Lead singer Tori Anderson who is a daytime radio personality on PA’s WAYZ 104.7 FM says “We’re extremely excited to perform at the Chet Hobert Park event one final time. This is always one of the most pleasant and relaxing shows of our season. The people fill the park with their lawn chairs and picnics and it is always beautiful there. Possum Holler will take the stage at 7:00. “This scleroderma thing is tryin’ to kick my butt really bad. Sometimes, i feel like its winning.Ii feel bad for the band because I’ve reached a point where i need to slow down and because of that, they have to stop too, not forever of course. They can continue to perform long after Possum Holler wraps up the “Headin’ Home” tour in October but, we’ve been together a long time and it’s kinda sad. at least for me,” says Anderson