2015 Searcy County Chamber Progress Report

Facebook Capture 2016

The Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce

12-month Progress Report (Jan – Dec 2015)

(Yes, we need to have more significant accomplishments, but where would we be without all the effort we put in as detailed below? Thanks for all your support!!)

 

  • Chamber membership grew to 169 members!
  • Increased Facebook Friends from 2,783 to 5,376
  • Supported Searcy County events and Chamber businesses on Facebook
  • Maintained a Chamber website
  • Relayed a survey of utilization of the internet in business operations to Chamber members
  • Helped a Chamber member in a quest for better internet in a part of rural Searcy County
  • Solicited new businesses for Searcy County
  • Used the Arkansas Group Travel On-line Sales Leads Distribution System to target many emails to potential tourists and tourist agencies
  • Mailed literature through US Postal Service to persons interested in Searcy County
  • Chamber president answered “numerous” phone calls on an almost 24/7 365-day basis!
  • Chamber president assisted the Searcy County Economic Development Corporation by monthly confirming the status of the properties currently listed on the Entergy Economic Development Site Selection Center website
  • Chamber compiled, maintained, and published Events Calendar for Searcy County
  • Promoted Searcy County for a Feature to The Harrison Daily Times, The Log Cabin Democrat, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Arkansas Living Magazine, Arkansas Life Magazine, Jill Rohrbach, the travel writer for the Arkansas River Valley and Ozarks regions of The Natural State. Arkansas.com, Southern Living Magazine, Inarkansas.com, KARK TV, THV 11, KATV, Fox 16, AY Magazine, and Country Magazine
  • Helped promote an informational meeting for Marshall’s new Odd Fellows Lodge
  • Actively promoted Searcy County as a future movie location
  • Paid for refreshments at an informative meeting of Searcy County Lodging businesses and Agri operations interested in profiting off of Agritourism tours
  • Promoted area job openings on Chamber Facebook and email
  • Updated 2015 Manufacturer’s Directory with Searcy County manufacturers
  • Established a reciprocal associate membership with Arbiz.net and they provided us with additional web exposure
  • Purchased a fabulous tradeshow backdrop for use at chamber events and trade shows!
  • Held successful 2nd Chamber Banquet & Awards Ceremony on 26 Feb in Marshall
  • Recognized Business of the Year, Employee of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Spirit of Searcy County Award, and gave out a Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Paid out $900 to award-winning Agriculture, Business, and Science/Technology students from around the county
  • Joined the Ozark Mountain Region, a recognized Arkansas Regional Tourism Association which makes available matching grant funds from the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
  • Lee Walsh and Darryl Treat added as administrators on the Ozark Mountain Region Facebook allowed them to further help promote Searcy County
  • 41st annual Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism March 8-10th in Texarkana.  The registration and hotel combined was $425.  Funded Ruth Pepler for $500 to represent the Chamber at the event!
  • Promoted new Searcy County Events List for 2015 on Chamber Facebook & Website
  • Set up a booth at the MHS Chocolate Roll Festival
  • Thanked trail builders at a potluck for crew members working on the Buffalo River Trail
  • Chamber president attended a CTE Regional Partnership Council Summit on March 20
  • Chamber president supported the Rural Community Alliance’s effort to raise money from the Arkansas Community Foundation who sponsored an on-line giving event for Arkansas nonprofits called Arkansas Gives. On that day anyone who gives to a registered Arkansas nonprofit will have their gift matched dollar for dollar by the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation as well as some matching by the Arkansas Community Foundation.
  • Started producing and running Searcy County commercials at the Kenda Drive-In (Thanks to Bob King, Gordon Ard, and the Kenda Drive-In)
  • Performed a ribbon-cutting ceremony for The Dance Academy in Marshall
  • Hosted a Buffalo River Partners event in St. Joe and provided some breakfast and snack items
  • Purchased full page Ad in the 2015 Ozark Byways magazine at the cost of $900
  • Manned booth at 2015 Ozark Expo in Harrison promoting Searcy County & Businesses
  • Created and printed 8,000 of the 2015 Community and Relocation Guides
  • Relocation Guides provided for Arkansas Tourism Welcome Centers, Little Rock AFB, and around Searcy County
  • Bob King sent photos to help Governor Hutchinson showcase our one-of-a-kind locations in the county
  • Initiated an “Invest in Searcy County” poster campaign with Shop Local, Eat Local, Invest Local, and Explore Local themes
  • Steven Newby worked to gather information needed to start a Spelling Bee for Searcy County. Achieved! Searcy County now has a Spelling Bee!
  • Updated Congressman Crawford’s information about Searcy County for his website
  • Updated paragraph for Searcy County at the Association of Arkansas Counties website
  • Met with Beth Anne Rankin about the Section 529 GIFT College Investing Plan account program and facilitated the placing of entry forms in Marshall banks for a $529 prize
  • Chamber president met with a representative from Sen. Tom Cotton’s office on 23 April
  • Conducted a Facebook contest with Sweet Honeysuckle Boutique of Marshall to promote Searcy County businesses and shopping locally
  • Chamber member Debbie Harmon of Poison Ivy Soap Company, manned booth at the 5th Annual Health and Safety Fair April 25 at the Civic Center
  • Performed a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Searcy County Rural Help Center in St. Joe
  • Hosted Arkansas Treasurer of State Dennis Milligan at chamber meeting in May
  • Purchased Searcy County Fair Association 2015 Fair Catalogue Ad
  • Working with Searcy County Fair Association to help them acquire a Hub Commercial Kitchen for the Searcy County Fairgrounds aiding them and area small farmers
  • Chamber advertised in “Living in Arkansas Magazine” with matching funds from Ozark Mountain Region. The Ozark Mountain Region saved the chamber 40% or about $1,200 leaving us about $1,770 owed for the Ad.
  • Worked with MHS EAST Club to develop literature for motorcycle routes. 1,000 brochures purchased.
  • Offered to loan our sound system to the Historical Society for the 26th Annual North Ark Ancestor Fair in Marshall
  • Agri-Tourism Committee flyers have been prepared describing six tours. S.C. Agri tourism has a Facebook page and tours offered for $20 per family
  • Working on establishing Country Music Monument for Elton Britt in the county as tourism attraction and heritage preservation
  • Invited the Arkansas Military Veteran’s Hall of Fame to consider a permanent location for the hall of fame here in Searcy County!
  • Working to help J & H Custom Furniture of Pindall sell their factory to someone who will keep manufacturing here in Searcy County
  • Chamber participated in a bridge dedication for the largest privately owned suspension bridge in Arkansas!!! Ribbon cutting ceremony in Zack was June 29th with Aux Arc Wilderness Cabins
  • Chamber president and board president participated in a round-table discussion with visiting Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on June 29th
  • Chamber members Lynda Hensley and Darryl Treat completed and filed the 2015 Annual Report for Nonprofit Corporation to the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office
  • Purchased three literature racks to get out chamber member literature in the county
  • Provided inputs for the Arkansas Tour Guide listing for 2016
  • New Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors: President Lynda Hensley, Board Members Billie Reed, Jeff Stansbery, Lee Walsh, Thomas Pepler, and Bob King
  • Procured economic statistics from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission to support the Searcy County Economic Development Corporation
  • Purchased Marshall Mountain Wave Advertisement highlighting Chamber members
  • Pursued hosting the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame in Searcy County
  • Chamber members Lee Walsh and Darryl Treat worked on tennis courts at the Civic Center.  Ribbon cutting ceremony held.
  • $100 check given to the Searcy County Premium Livestock Association for their Jackpot
  • $100 check given to the Marshall Grade School for the School Store
  • Supported Farm Family of the Year and the Searcy County Fair by taking advertisements
  • Chamber member Trena Patterson and L.A. Salon of Leslie promoted Searcy County and Leslie at her booth Aug 14 & 15 at the 11th Annual Mountain, Music & Motorcycles & 4th Annual Car Show at Mountain View!
  • Richard Groves and Matt Pinson manned our booth at the Searcy County Fair
  • Chamber president filmed for Ratchford Farms Film Project
  • Ribbon Cutting: Ryan’s Main Street Grill in Leslie 12 September
  • Ribbon Cutting: Mossy Oak Properties between Marshall & Leslie, 23 September
  • Promoted Ozark Byways Buydays (Junkfest)  23-26 September. Spent $100 on advertising on ESPN radio
  • Helped host the 8th Annual Flying Jam, 3 October in Marshall
  • Chamber of commerce engagement resulted in Parks & Tourism combining our two motorcycle routes and putting them in their 2016 Arkansas Motorcycle Guide and on their website!!!!
  • Updated Marshall page for Arkansas.com
  • Worked to help market old bank building on the square in Marshall
  • Designated $200 contribution to help fund Fall Homestead Days in Cozahome
  • Designated $150 sponsorship of the 1st Annual Pedestal Rock 20 & 40 Mile Bicycle Ride in Witts Springs
  • Designated $25 sponsorship of the Leslie Mountain Man Rendezvous
  • Purchased $50 advertisement in the St. Joe Yearbook
  • Purchased 200 new chamber of commerce window stickers from Sozo Graphics for $110
  • Purchased 1,000 additional motorcycle brochures from Sozo Graphics
  • Donated $100 to the St. Joe Depot Museum in memory of former St. Joe Mayor John Henley
  • Gave a $75 sponsorship to support the Great American Smokeout BBQ Cook Off
  • $100 donation to the Searcy County Rural Help Center in St. Joe to help make sure that all children at the St. Joe school receiving a Christmas present.
  • Approved a budget for 2016

Advertising                         $5,640

Booths/Events                   $1,800

Banquet                              $1,680

Housekeeping                    $1,080

Old Jail Office                     $1,800

Total                                   $12,000

  • Submitted a nomination for the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism Bootstrap Award, for achieving significant success on a shoestring having limited means to work with, either in resources or finances.
  • Gave a $100 sponsorship for The Teddy Bear drive that is collecting Teddy Bears 18″ and under at the door for distribution to area First Responders, Fire Fighters, and Police Officers for gift to children touched by the auto accidents, domestic violence, fires and other sudden, life-altering tragedies.
  • Purchased Christmas lights for the SC Courthouse and promoted lighting ceremony
  • Chamber entered into a 2-year lease of the old jail in Marshall
  • Coordinated with the IOOF Marshall Lodge #1 to hold a Community Thanksgiving in Marshall
  • Lobbied to have Searcy County included in the Arkansas Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan
  • Purchased 1,000 business cards
  • Agreed to pursue production of a Searcy County Coloring Book based on Loni Kelley’s idea. Designed by Steven Newby. Book Ad purchased for $300
  • Chamber president interviewed on 9 Dec. for the Rural Community Alliance newsletter
  • $100 sponsorship and radio time on “Searcy County Natural Flow” on KABF radio 88.3 FM in Little Rock promoting Searcy County. Chamber president interviewed by Jeff Stansbery on air 11 December. Ruth Pepler promoted Agritourism on 18 December. Kristen Dornburg of STAR Entertainment on the 25 December broadcast.
  • Working to get a Jefferson Lines bus stop in Searcy County and cooperate with them to promote their business and tourism in Searcy County
  • 2016 Chamber Officers elected: President:  Darryl Treat, Vice President:  Bob King, Treasurer:  Alesha Collier, Secretary:  Matt Pinson, Historian:  David Garmoe, and Technology Coordinator: Lee Walsh
  • Adopted “Buffalo River Historic Jail” for our coming attraction in the old jail
  • Worked with Rep. David Branscum to push for the timely completion of the Buffalo River Trail
  • Ran a Facebook “Attractions” countdown of 14 Searcy County attractions

 

Onward to 2016!!

 

Red Curtain Theater Comes to Leslie with 3 New Shows

The Red Curtain Theater of Conway is bringing three great shows this year to Leslie and the Ozark Heritage Arts Center! First off, the Leslie Area Merchants Association and the Red Curtain Theater present the children’s musical “Alice & Wonderland Jr.” on Saturday night, 27 February at 7 pm! Tickets will be $10 for Adults and $5 Children (12 & under). If you enjoyed their production of “Seussical Jr.” and “The Little Mermaid, Jr.”, you’ll love this! Don’t miss it! The Music Man musical is coming Saturday night, 23 July and as part of the 2016 8th Annual Sugarplum Festival in Leslie, the children’s musical “Elf Jr.” will be held on Saturday night, 3 December! For more information, please call 870-448-2557.

Red Curtain 1

Red Curtain 4

Red Curtain 2

Red Curtain 3

2nd Annual Great American Smoke Out BBQ Cook-Off — October 24th

The 2nd Annual Great American Smoke Out BBQ Cook-off will be held October 24th, 2015 on the Marshall Court House Square in Marshall, Arkansas

See the event flyer for more details.   Rules link and Entry form is also provided below.

For more information, contact “The Committee” at their Facebook Page.

BBQ cook Off Flyer Photo

bbq1

bbq2

BBB Cook Off Entry Form

BBQ Contest Rules are here:  Link to Rules

Pedestal Rock 20 & 40 Mile Bicycle Ride

BikeRide1

1st Annual Pedestal Rock 20- & 40-Mile Bicycle Ride! The ride is Saturday, November 7th starting at 9 AM at Witts Springs Community Center.  Check in / Registration 7:30-8:30.  Twenty mile ride and Forty mile ride.  Shirts to all registered riders.  Lunch included for first 200 pre-registered riders!

2,800 total feet of ascents and 2,800 feet of descents (40 mile portion), essentially a neutral ride at the start and turnaround.

BikeRide3

 

The ride starts at the Witts Springs Community Center at the intersection of Highway 377 and Highway 16 in Witts Springs, Arkansas. Two routes are offered, both winding through the beautiful Ozark National Forest. The 20-mile ride is from the Community Center to Raspberry Bend and back; the 40-mile ride is from the Community Center to the Pedestal Rock Scenic area and back.

(You cannot actually see Pedestal Rock from the turnaround point.) Go to www.pedestalrock40ride.com for all the details and online registration.

BikeRide4

 

They have a lofty goal of getting 200 RIDERS to attend this challenging, but fun & beautiful finish to the riding season. They will be posting three videos for riders as well; one highlighting Pedestal Rock, one highlighting the riders village where you can tent camp or RV camp the night before and enjoy a donation dinner along with free use of the showers, bathroom and gym! Danishes and coffee in the morning. Finally, a safety video sharing insights on the ride! PLEASE Consider the 20 mile ride if you’re not ready for a 40. They need as many riders as possible to make the inaugural ride a success.

ADVISORY: This ride is in a rural and isolated part of Arkansas. Residents depend on volunteer rescue squads during emergency medical situations. The closest hospitals from the starting point are approximately 50 miles away. Ride organizers and volunteers trust that participants will keep this information in mind and ride safely and responsibly. Some ascents and descents are intense; this is not a ride for beginners. This is not a race. Enjoy the view!  HELMETS ARE REQUIRED. The ride supports the efforts of work being done by Community Voices to strengthen their community and keep their facilities open for use by the public for conventions, business meetings, entertainment, ball games, and more. Community Voices is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, so your donations are tax deductible as allowable by law.

BikeRide2

Searcy County Farmer’s Markets!!

Searcy County has three Farmer’s Markets!

Farmers 4

 

The farmer’s market in Marshall is Fridays from 3 p.m. till 6 p.m. Held at the berry shed, come for produce, eggs, crafts, and entertainment.  For more information, please call Nikki at 870-448-5196.

Farmers 3

Farmers 2

 

Cove Creek Emporium hosts a farmer’s market in downtown Leslie. Market is from 8:00 a.m. till 12:00 noon every Saturday throughout the growing season. Vendors-Farmers welcome. They have an awning and building, so weather will not be an issue. Call Dottie Mayes at 870-448-6287 for more information or message her on Facebook.

Farmers 1 Cove Creek

Witts Springs Farmers Market is on Mondays from 6 p.m. till about 7 p.m. at the community park across the street from Cindy’s Country Store.

Farmers 5

29th Annual Hillbilly Daze – Witts Springs, Arkansas

Everyone come out to the 29th Annual Hillbilly Daze in Witts Springs, Arkansas on Saturday, May 23th, 2015.

Hillbilly Daze is always on Memorial Day weekend at Witts Springs, Arkansas.

Hillbilly Daze  started as the weekend of Decoration of the local grave sites of the people that have lived in these hills for generations.  The locals started a parade with other festivities in 1988 and it has bloomed into a wonderful festival that takes place every year.

The Kids Parade begins at 10:00 A.M. and the Main Parade starts at 11:00 A.M.  Lunch will be served immediately after the parade.

After lunch there will be Horse Shoes, Turtle Races, A Stick Horse Rodeo, and Sack Races,  behind the Pavilion. (All kids have to provide their own turtles.)

Doyle and Sandra Weaver are the Grand Marshalls this year.

Everyone is encouraged to enter the Parade….there are CASH Prizes and all old cars, ATV’s, Horses, Floats, Bikes, Wagons, and Marching Groups are all WELCOME!!

COME BACK TO NATURE AND ENJOY HILLBILLY DAZE AT WITTS SPRINGS, ARKANSAS!!       This is our 29th Year!!


Map of  Witts Springs Location

 

New Motorcycle Routes Defined

Motorcycle Picture

The Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce has laid out two new motorcycle routes for riding enthusiasts coming thru our area.

The new routes will be highlighted in the new upcoming 2015 Chamber Member and Relocation guide with a 2 page spread including a detailed description and a map.

There is also some good detailed information here on our site.   Check it out!!

Motorcycle

2014 Award Winners – Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce

Banquet1

The Annual Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce held it’s Banquet and Awards Ceremony last night, February 26th, 2015, at the Searcy County Civic Center.   Nearly 200 were in attendance for the event, and it was a great success.

Keynote Speaker Mr. James Johnston

Keynote Speaker Mr. James Johnston

 

 

“The Spirit of Searcy County Award”: Searcy County Sheriff’s Deputy Lang Holland and State Police Officer Buster “Buckey” Rinks
Lifetime Achievement Award: Kenneth Fariss
Business of the Year: Ratchford Farms –  L.C. Ratchford
Employee of the Year: Amanda McCoy – Marshall Medic Pharmacy
Volunteer of the Year: Keith Karnes
Business Student of the Year: Victoria Passmore 1st, Mersady Redding 2nd, Court Turney 3rd
Agriculture Student of the Year: Laykyn Rainbolt 1st, Logan Boyd 2nd, Grace Pepler 3rd
Science/Technology Student of the Year: Seth Stephenson 1st, Taylor Irwin 2nd, Domonique Baheza 3rd

3 of the Student winners (Seth Stephenson, Victoria Passmore and Mersady Redding) were not available for the photo because of a event conflict and are not shown.
(Photo by Bob King Photography)

Award Winners

2014 Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce Award Winners

 

Spirit of Searcy County Award Winners.

Spirit of Searcy County Award Winners.

2014 Leslie Homecoming

The 60th Edition of the Leslie Homecoming is coming next week!!

This year’s events are from June 16-21.

Check out all the Events below.

Homecoming T-Shirts are available at the Leslie Homecoming Online Store  <==== Click

 

 

 Leslie Homecoming 2014 Leslie Homecoming

2014 Rock, Rhythm and Blues Fest in Leslie on Saturday May 10

 

Event Poster

On Saturday, May 10th, some of the best musicians around will be converging on the small town of Leslie in North Central Arkansas. Leslie, a town of about 480 people, is located halfway between Harrison and Conway on Hwy 65 and home to the Buffalo River Blues Society. 

This is our 2nd year of bringing awesome acts to the area! Last year, there were over 400 in attendance with 14 bands in 5 venues!

This year, the event is raising money to support both our Blues In The Schools programs in Area Schools and North Central Career Center Adult Education.  

There will be music in only 2 venues this year, on the Outdoor Stage in the City Park and in “the VIP Room” (The Drop Zone), with 12 Bands,  playing 12 hours of music!!! So bring your lawn chairs and your family! Come early as there is also a city-wide yard sale on Saturday morning from 8 am – Noon in the town of Leslie! 

Part of Leslie will be blocked off as there will be Arts & Crafts vendors  as well! Everything from 3-legged stools, massage therapy, handmade jewelry, and so much more! Also, some of the best BBQ this side of the Mason-Dixon Line! 

TICKETS: Get Tickets here for the Music Festival on Saturday! Regular AdmissionTickets are $20 in Advance, $25 at the Gate. VIP Passes are $30!

COME ON! IT’S GOING TO BE FUN!!!!

Click here for more information on Blues In the Schools from the Blues Foundation.

Click here for more information on North Central Career Center Adult Education program, supporting Van Buren & Searcy Counties!

BANDS SCHEDULED TO APPEAR ON SATURDAY, MAY 10, 2014:

Groove Injectors

The Groove Injectors – This great local band has been around a long time. You name it, they can play it! If you want to groove, they can do it. This band will rock your socks off! 

JD and Mudhounds

JD & The Mudhounds– Take a trip with JD & The Mudhounds…. A musical road trip through Memphis and Clarksdale, with a side trip to New Orleans, ending up in Chicago and you have a idea of the Blues, Soul, and Boogie of JD & The Mudhounds. The band’s music has been described as authentic, fresh and new, yet with a cool retro vibe. It’s The Real Deal. JD & The Mudhounds is not just a blues band, it’s an experience.

Gill Franklin

The Gil Franklin Band – Gil Franklin has been a fixture in the Arkansas music scene for over three decades. He has played in too many bands to mention,( Notably The Blues Patrol)and has done too many things to talk about. Oddly enough,this band is the first to perform almost all original material. Fan response have been great. While his songs are uniquely his, they remain the blues.

Zakk and Big Papa

Zakk & Big Papa Binns – Zakk & Big Papa Binns is a father/son duo with dueling slide guitar, one-man-band style drums and a raw hypnotic delta blues sound. They are also members of the band Brethren, who have toured extensively with legendary bluesman Cedell Davis over the last 5 years, so… some dues have been paid.  

This kicka** duo won the Solo/Duo Competition for the Buffalo River Blues Society and went on to represent them at the IBC 2014.

Low Society

Low Society – You’d be forgiven if, in stumbling upon the first notes of a Low Society song, you thought you’d found a forgotten classic. But a few bars in and you know this is not your grandpa’s blues. 

This awesome band won the Band Competition for the Buffalo River Blues Society and went on to represent them at the IBC 2014. This band is one to be reckoned with..

Ben Rice

Lucy Hammond & Ben Rice – Coming to you from the Portland, Oregon area, they’re coming to Arkansas on their Double Strength Tour, making a special stop in Leslie, Arkansas. 

Northwest Blues artist, Lucy Hammond, has been “livin’ the blues” for over 30 years. As a songwriter, Lucy delivers a writing style that ranges from New Orleans Jazz ,to Memphis Soul,to sultry Blues Rock. When Lucy sings, you best be sitting down,or better yet dancing ! Lucy never disappoints, never holds back,& she leaves it all onstage,every performance! Her ability to connect with the audience can’t be missed ! She gives voice to the emotion we all feel,& expresses it with soul! 

Ben Rice, at 25 is a growing force in the NW Blues scene. Ben Rice brings vintage blues into the modern era. Twisting soul, roots blues, and west coast blues with rockabilly, funk, and rock. Ben Rice, as Lloyd Jones put, “gets it.” His inventive twists on blues are creating a buzz up and down the West coast. Winning the 2013 Male Vocalist and Traditional Act of the Year from the Cascade Blues Association as well as Performance and Acoustic Guitar of the Year from the West Side Blues Society. 

Brick Fields

Brick Fields & The Chosen Ones – Larry Brick and Rachel Fields-Brick, both Arkansas natives, come together with their natural approach to their own genre of music which has recently been called Ozark Gospel Blues.  Larry, on guitar and background vocals along with Rachel using her ambrosial voice while playing guitar and flute, bring together a stormy performance each and every time.  Brick Fields, the multi-award winning musical team are definitive blues artists and they are no strangers to being surrounded by great music. Rachel has toured with, opened for and recorded with acts and players from  such groups as JGB,Government Mule, the Temptations, Widespread Panic, Starship, Big Brother and The Holding Company and many others. The Nashville Blues Society has called Brick Fields Music an “Unleashed cleansing of the soul!” and New Music Of Tomorrow says, “Brick Fields is by far the most soulful artist I have heard in years!”

Jason Vivone

.Jason Vivone & The Billy Bats – Jason Vivone has been called the Orson Welles of Roots and Blues music. “It’s a helluva compliment. And it makes me drop and do 100 crunches immediately,” says Vivone. Maybe it’s because of his girth. Or maybe it’s because there lies a cinematic approach to the tunes of the Billy Bats. If you close your eyes, it is easy to make little mind movies of the family reunion of EDDIE ATE DYNAMITE or the domestic drama of MEAN.They came high-stepping out of Kansas City in 2013, blind siding the public with Lather. Rinse. Repeat of joyously twisted, stomping blues. In 2011 singer, songwriter and string master Jason Vivone released his solo album, My Roaring Twenties. Now, Vivone and his band of merry musical pranksters return with the equally mind-bending Eddie Ate Dynamite

Tas Cru

Tas Cru & the Tortured Souls – It is not for nothing Tas Cru has been called “the master of the triple entendre.”  His songs are blues poetry – telltale life lessons crafted with rare verbal flair and delivered with a power and passion the heights of which only the seasoned concert entertainer can reach. Rawcuss, rowdy, gentle, sweet, eccentric, quirky, and outright irreverent are all words that fittingly describe Tas Cru’s songs and testify to his reputation as a one of the most unique of bluesmen plying his trade today!

Honors and recognition include Cru Awarded the 2014 Blues Foundation’s Keeping the Blues Alive Award (KBA) for Blues Education, named to the New York State Blues Hall of Fame – 2013 as a Master Blues Artist,  and in 2009 he was named by Blues Festival Guide Magazine as its 2009 Blues Artist on the Rise.

TWO HEADLINERS!!! THE JEFF JENSEN BAND AND THE ORI NAFTALY BAND!!!

Jeff Jensen

The Jeff Jensen Band – was formed May of 2004. Since then, the band has performed hundreds of gigs. Some of the most impressive have been with Deborah Coleman, Paul Oscher, and blues legend BB KING as part of his 80th birthday tour. The band has competed in the International Blues Challenge in 2005 representing the Santa Clarita Blues Society, 2006 representing the Pinetop Perkins Blues Society, once again in the 2007 IBC representing Santa Clarita Blues Society. Now the band is touring 200+ shows a year around the West-Coast and surrounding states.

Ori Naftaly

The Ori Naftaly Band – In a very short time this extremely talented band has gained international recognition and support by the international blues community and by an extended fan base, located in the USA, Holland, India, Germany and other countries all over the world.

Within the course of two years The Ori Naftaly Band has twice toured the United States and the Netherlands, won the Israeli Blues Challenge Competition, and was the first Israeli band ever to have reached the Semi-Finals of the International Blues Competition (IBC) in Memphis, Tennessee. They have released two live studio albums and are currently working on their third new album

SCHEDULE

(All Times Approximate and subject to change so check back often for updates)

Festival Grounds Entrance

10:00 am – 11:00 am The Groove Injectors

Ticket booth opens at 10:30 am

Main Stage

11:00-12:00 The Gil Franklin Band

12:15-1:15 Lucy Hammond & Ben Rice

1:30-3:00 Brick Fields & The Chosen Ones

3:30-5:00 Jason Vivone & The Billy Bats

5:30-7:00 Tas Cru & The Tortured Souls

7:30-9:00 Jeff Jensen Band

9:30-11:00 The Ori Naftaly Band

towards the end of Ori’s set all the ladies will be invited back on stage to do a couple of “diva” songs

VIP Stage (The Drop Zone)

1:00-2:30 JD & The Mudhounds

2:45-3:45 Zakk & Big Papa Binns

4:45-5:45 The Gil Franklin Band

6:45-7:45 Lucy Hammond & Ben Rice

8:45-9:45 Low Society