2017 HWY 80 Songwriters Fest (gallery)

Pepper Jelly Festival – April 29, 2017

The Alabama Rural Heritage Center and The Town of Thomaston invite you to its annual Pepper Jelly Festival on April 29, 2017. This event centers around the restoration of the Marengo County High School grounds. It is a family-friendly event with plenty of food, entertainment by local talent, arts and crafts, as well as a time to visit with friends and family. Come enjoy the famous Thomaston Bar-b-cue! Get your jar of the most delicious pepper jelly this side of the Tombigbee. Entertainment includes Mitzi Gates, Trey Webb, Kayla Gill, Dana Thompson, Rebecca Vick to name a few! Excitement is in the air! The Town of Thomaston extends an invitation for all to come and experience a real down-home, old fashioned small town event! We start at 10:00 a.m. and the fun lasts through 3p.m.

2016 Highway 80 Songwriter’s Festival (gallery)

Songwriter’s Festival Is Better Than The Price Of Admission

We’re quickly closing in on another Highway 80 Songwriter’s Festival in Demopolis. This year’s event will return to its usual venue, the Public Square in downtown Demopolis, on Saturday, July 2nd and will begin at 6pm.

Shawn Pfaffman

Demopolis native Shawn Pfaffman is scheduled to return for the 2016 Songwriter’s Festival in Demopolis.

While I don’t spend a lot of time going to music venues, I do enjoy music of many different types – some more and some less than others. That said, I really do enjoy the scene and atmosphere of the Songwriter’s Festival.

The atmosphere is top notch. There are no rabid fans and there’s no pushing and shoving to get the best view. People of all ages, from babies to great-great grandpaw, are scattered all over the park, in lawn chairs, on blankets and on the ground. Even some family dogs get to tag along for the evening. It always feels laid back and everyone seems to be chilled and ready for some stress-free entertainment.

Another thing that I enjoy is the fact that the singers/songwriters are accessible to everyone. There are no hulking bodyguards keeping people at a safe distance. It’s easy to walk up, introduce yourself and chat with the singers/songwriters. One of the highlights of the events that I have photographed is getting to talk at length with Rick Asherson. Rick is married to Debbie Bond, who is one of the top blues singers in Alabama. I’ve always been interested in people who “don’t sound like they are from here” and Rick had a British accent. So, I got to have a conversation with Rick about how he ended up in Alabama.

Alan Hartzell

Alan Hartzell, a Linden native, is scheduled to return for the 2016 Songwriter’s Festival in Demopolis.

Additionally, there are the former residents that many of us grew up with, grew up with their parents or a combination of both. It’s always great to get to hear the Alan Hartzells, Shawn Pfaffmans and Mel Knapps of the music business and get to talk with them and hear about where life and music has taken them.

I know those are just my personal feelings about the Songwriter’s Festival, but I believe that they are good enough reasons to make an effort to come out and enjoy some of what Demopolis has to offer – even on a possibly warm, humid summer afternoon. And, hey, the price of admission isn’t too bad either!

Highway 80 Songwriter’s Festival 2016

Songwriters Festival Demopolis 2016

Photo of the Day

WES Christmas program POTD-7536

Westside Elementary School recently presented their Christmas program to family and friends.

2015 DCS Band and Choir Concert

2015 DCS Band and Choir Concert Flyer

Druid City Music Hall opens in Tuscaloosa

TUSCALOOSA, Ala.druidcitymusichall – Druid City Music Hall has announced the first concerts at the new live music and events venue in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Moon Taxi will open the venue with a headlining show on Aug. 26 and GRiZ will perform on Oct. 6. Both concerts are on sale now at DruidCityMusicHall.com. More concert announcements will follow in the coming weeks. The venue is also available for private party rentals and will be open on Alabama football game days, providing a space for fans to watch the game.

Druid City Music Hall is booked exclusively by Red Mountain Entertainment and MarchOne Music and will feature national, regional, and local artists. Ed Webber of Vestavia’s Bar 31 is a partner on the project and will manage the venue operations. Steve DeMedicis of Birmingham’s Iron City is also a partner on the project.

Located at 1307 University Boulevard in Tuscaloosa, the space has been a staple for live music on The Strip for many years and has hosted artists ranging from Kenny Chesney to Maroon 5.

Druid City Music Hall plans to continue that tradition by bringing quality live music and being a fresh new addition to the Tuscaloosa music scene. For more information, follow DCMH on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or online at DruidCityMusicHall.com.

Photo of the Day

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Paul Janeway of St. Paul and the Broken Bones performs at Slossfest in Birmingham on Sunday, July 19.

Sloss Music & Arts Festival 2015

The inaugural Sloss Music & Arts Festival (aka Sloss Fest) was held July 18-19, 2015 as Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham.