The Arcadia Valley Mountain Music Festival returns this weekend for two days of free bluegrass, country and gospel held on the grounds of the historic Iron County Courthouse in Ironton.
Starting Friday evening and continuing through Saturday afternoon, the Arcadia Valley Chamber of Commerce-sponsored fall festival will also feature a number of artisans, crafters and food vendors. Special activities will include an art show, corn hole tourmament, demonstrations, children's games and family fun.
The AV Mountain Music Festival has been described as "an old-fashioned 'homegrown' celebration that is rarely found these days." This year should be no different.
The fall edition of the festival is traditionally held the same weekend as the annual Arcadia Valley Fall Festival Parade which, at 94 years old, is the longest running parade in the state of Missouri. The floats are built by parents and students in a competition that starts early in the school year and focuses on fundraisers to earn money for the floats and a talent competition held immediately before the crowning of the fall festival queen on Saturday night.
Featured musicians performing this weekend include:
Dawson Hollow is an indie-folk band. The group describes its music as “encompassing the nostalgia of folk while channeling the urgent and intoxicating energy of indie-rock.” Their unique and invigorating music brings alive a contagious passion that is too powerful to be ignored and leaves listeners energized, refreshed, and feeling like they’ve finally met someone who “gets” them.
George Portz & Friends of Bluegrass
George Portz & Friends of Bluegrass was founded in 1978 and blends its fiery bluegrass roots with traditional Irish and Louisiana Cajun music. The band performs dozens of shows a year throughout southwest Illinois and eastern Missouri. A typical set contains bluegrass, traditional country, bayou/Cajun, and gospel music that entertains audiences of all ages. In addition, the band will be hosting a fiddle and banjo contest Saturday morning.
Logan Creek Band
The Logan Creek Band was formed in May 1979 by Randy Buxton and Kenny Albert in the southeast Missouri town of Ellington. In the beginning, the duo performed every weekend at Web Creek Lounge using anyone they could find in the campground that could tap a beat with their foot to fill in on the drums. The present group consist of Randy Buxton, Kenny Albert, Tammy and Denny Tucker. The band has performed with a number of artists, including Dan Seals, Gene Watson, Michael Tweety, Pirates of the Mississippi, Charlie McClain, Faron Young, Jimmy Houston and other artist in the country music industry.
Po’ Anna Bluegrass Band
Emalee Flatness, a founding member of the Po’ Anna Bluegrass Band, started playing bluegrass music when she was 10 years old. She loves playing fiddle and singing lead and harmony. Flatness has written several original songs. Another member of the band, Becca Ash, comes from a long line of bluegrass musicians and continues the family tradition through her fantastic musicianship. She plays the mandolin along with singing lead and harmony. Ash also plays nearly every bluegrass instrument. Band member Justus Ross started playing guitar at the age of six. He plays lead guitar in addition to singing lead. Joey Shann has been picking banjo since the age of 14 and also plays the dobro. He sings both harmonies and lead for Po’ Anna as well as performing with The Baker Family.
Rising Son was formed in 2016 when five good friends from southeast Missouri decided to use their God-given talent God to spread the gospel through music. The group describes itself as “a well-blended combination of bluegrass and gospel music.” They group has five lead singers, which offers the audience a broad spectrum of sound. The group consists of Junior Harmon from Poplar Bluff, lead guitar and vocals; Mark Hopkins from Dexter, banjo and vocals; Don Goff from Wappapello, dobro and vocals; Rusty Hamilton from Des Arc, mandolin and vocals; and Freddie Wilferth from Leopold, upright bass and vocals.
Eric Thompson, Bo Riddle and Mark Browers make up the group BTR. Their voices and instruments blend together to give a unique music experience that brings the nostalgia of ’70s folk rock, adds creativity to the familiar, and gives an entertaining performance everyone can enjoy. Bo plays the fiddle and guitar and is known for his musical work in Nashville’s recording studios and as master bootmaker to the stars. Eric is considered a rising star in the harmonica world. He is an Arcadia Valley resident and high school teacher who also plays with several other groups. Mark started playing guitar at age 14. He has been influenced by a broad range of artists such as John Denver, Gordon Lightfoot to rock groups such as the Eagles and Marshall Tucker. He has enjoyed the opportunity to play music with many accomplished artists in the area since 1990.
Hand Picked Youth Bluegrass Band
Hand Picked Youth Bluegrass Band describes itself as “a young high energy Bluegrass band.” The group was ‘handpicked’ by their instructor, Chris Talley, owner of the Bluegrass Shack in New Athens, Illinois. Members of the band include Ryder Watson, 13, from Benton, Illinois, on banjo. Lucas Foster, 14, from Freeburg, Illinois, on guitar; and Audrey Neel, 16, from Hillsboro, Missouri, on the fiddle, mandolin and guitar, lead and harmony vocals; Emily Causey, 18, from New Athens, Illinois, on the mandolin, fiddle and guitar, lead and harmony vocals; and the aforementioned Chris Talley who serves as the band’s director and plays bass and provides harmony vocals.
Social distancing is recommended during the festival.
Sponsors for the event include Great Southern Bank, The Arcadian Academy of Music, The Baptist Home - Arcadia Valley and First State Community Bank.
For more information about the AV Mountain Music Festival, go to www.mountainmusicfestival.net
Kevin R. Jenkins is the managing editor of the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-756-8927 or email@example.com
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