Wise, VA -- A crooked road runs through Route 23 from southwest Virginia and over the state line into Kentucky, a region steeped in the music tradition of the Appalachias. On Saturday, August 30, Birthplace of Country Music brings an added roadside attraction for music lovers - the RTE 23 Music Festival - and the admission is free. This one-day music event will replace the Concert Series at Big Glades organized by Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion and coinciding with Bristol's Border Bash concert series, which runs from May through August on the first and third Fridays.
Held on the campus of the University of Virginia's College at Wise, RTE 23 Music Festival brings a diverse mix of artists together for a full day of live music that's off the beaten path and features fun activities for the kids. The David Mayfield Parade, Sol Driven Train, Jarekus Singleton, and Derek Hoke, all alumni of Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion (September 19-21) are slated to perform.
"We really wanted some sonic diversity," says RTE 23 Festival Director David Stallard. "We were excited to confirm Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion alumni David Mayfield and Sol Driven Train very quickly. Then the job became rounding out the bill. Singleton is an amazing guitar player, in the vein of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Muddy Waters. Derek Hoke is another festival alum – the real deal when it comes to vintage rockabilly."\
The festival begins at 3:00 p.m. with a bouncy house and magic show for the kids; food and craft vendors will also set up. The schedule for events is as follows:
- 3:00 p.m. - Children's activities begin
- 4:15 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.: Derek Hoke
- 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.: Jarekus Singleton
- 7:00 p.m. - 8:15 p.m.: Sol Driven Train
- 8:45 p.m. - 10:15 p.m.: The David Mayfield Parade
- The David Mayfield Parade
- If you've seen David Mayfield perform with The Avett Brothers or Mumford & Sons at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion or Bonnaroo, then you've caught his charisma, heart, and comedy, and you're likely to come back for more. Conscious of being not just a musician, but also an entertainer, Mayfield certainly makes an impression live. The strength of his songwriting and musicianship, combined with his charm and personality, keep audiences coming back again and again.
- Sol Driven Train
- Sol Driven Train's music weaves through genres like images in a Tom Robbins paragraph. The band’s sonic schizophrenia reflects songwriting influences like John Prine and Paul Simon, Afro Caribbean rhythmic explorations and funky New Orleans-style brass into earnest songs of life, love, loss and long johns. The versatile five-piece band, based in Charleston, S.C., features rotating lead vocalists, and multi-instrumental talent spread across horns, strings and percussion. Combining rich varieties of American pop and folk music into their own port-town sound, Sol Driven Train has carved out a unique musical identity within the burgeoning roots music scene.
- Jarekus Singleton
- 29-year-old Jackson, Miss., award-winning guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Jarekus Singleton is one of the brightest, most exciting young stars on the blues scene today. His cutting-edge, streetwise music – melding contemporary and traditional blues with rock energy and hip-hop wordplay – turns audiences of all ages into devoted fans. With his blazing guitar licks and strong, soulful voice, Singleton brings his up-to-the-minute take on the blues to every song he writes and performs.
- Derek Hoke
- Born in Brunswick, Ga., Derek Hoke is a self-taught guitarist, composer, singer and loner. Hoke's first love was the theatrics of KISS, but when his grandfather showed him country music’s roots, Hoke started down a different path. Hoke's music is not your dad's country or your granddad's country, but the REAL country. Touring for three years with Ricky Skaggs, Hoke is a musician whose experiences unfold in his music and come alive on the stage.
"The role of Birthplace of Country Music is to promote Bristol's heritage through outreach and programming like the Birthplace of Country Music Museum and Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion," says BCM executive director Leah Ross. "RTE 23 Music Festival is another way we're presenting our message to surrounding communities."