About two years ago, he used an old-school form of communication to reach his neighbor, Mike Males, a man with new-school approach to radio.
In 2009, Males started MyRuralRadio.com, an online site featuring tunes from independent musicians in York County and beyond.
Sage, who admitted he's not the most tech-savvy guy, said he wanted to be part of the network.
"Mike has made a central location," he said. "It was a great force to pull us all together."
When Sage became a MyRuralRadio artist, his music played online to the site's 70,000 unique visitors. Males and his team helped Sage start a website and book gigs - 167 in 2011.
So when Males asked Sage to play the first Genesis Fest, slated for this weekend, it was a no-brainer. Sage will be one of 10 bands to perform during the all-day music event.
Pitching in to help musicians and the community is part of MyRuralRadio's mission, Males said. In late 2009, the station hosted its first Fall Music Festival. Proceeds from successive fests and other events have gone to Children's Miracle Network, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Bell Socialization Services.
When Males decided to try a spring festival, he knew he wanted to help Halloween Park and Boondocks Club in Conewago Township.
He used to volunteer at the park, which features a seasonal haunted barn. A few years ago, Boondocks Club, which is next to the park, began hosting MyRuralRadio artists, practices and recording sessions. But in September 2011, the park suffered water damage during Tropical Storm Lee.
Funds from the club were used for repairs. Now, both are struggling.
So Saturday, Males hopes Genesis Fest - named with the thought of starting a new musical movement - will bring hundreds of people to the both venues. If all goes well, Males said it will be an annual spring event for the station.
"It takes catalysts to kind of present better opportunities to musicians and bands," Darry Miller said. "Without (Males) it would be a lot tougher."
Miller joined the My
RuralRadio community about a year ago. He started as a solo artist and has added fellow musicians to his backing bands the Veil. The group recently released and EP, shot a music video and earned a Tri State Indie Music Award.
The Veil, Miller said, gets put into the pop/rock genre, but it's headed into the studio to lay down new tunes rooted in soul and blues.
Sage called his tunes a "honky tonk jam" but admitted that his band's name - The Dagnabbits - attracts attention, too.
"I had the band name before I got the guys," he said with a laugh. "It makes the good people blush."
Aside from the radio site, MyRuralRadio musicians aren't normally in the same place. They're playing different bars, VFWs and benefits throughout the region.
"This (festival) lends itself for us to get together," Sage said. "We never get to see each other play. I lived in a couple different places and ... I was shocked by the level of talent around here."
- Erin McCracken,
Music starts at noon Saturday and goes until 9 p.m. outside on the outdoor stage. After 10 p.m., the music moves inside to the nearby Boondocks Club.
Performers are scheduled as follows:
Lost Companion: Noon to 12:45 p.m.
12:55 to 1:05 p.m.
The Lone Wolf Project: 1:10 to 1:55 p.m.
High Point Ramblers: 2:10 to 3 p.m.
The Plums: 3:15 to
Walt Crider and the Old Time Way: 4:20 to 5:15 p.m.
J.D. Sage and the
Dagnabbits: 6 to 6:45 p.m.
American Hollar: 7 to 7:45 p.m.
Darry Miller and the Veil: 8 to 9 p.m.
Dr. Slothclaw: 10:15 to 11:15 p.m.
All star jam: 11:30 p.m. to midnight
If you go
Genesis Fest runs noon Saturday to 5 p.m. Sunday on the grounds of Halloween Park, 100 Hykes Mill Road, Conewago Township. Tickets are $15 for a day pass and $20 for a day pass with overnight camping. Kids 14 and younger can enter for free.
Food vendors will be on site and those 21 and older can sample or purchase wine from Naylor Wine Cellars.
Overnight campers can bring their own food and tents. The camp does not accommodate RVs or pop-ups.
For details and tickets, call 443-928-1940 or visit www.myruralradio.com.