MILLEDGEVILLE — The much-anticipated music lineup featured at this year’s Deep Roots Festival was announced on “Winning Wednesday with Phillip Joiner” on Z97.7 FM with Jimmy Holder, Deep Roots entertainment committee chair. Celebrating this year’s grand event in its 10th anniversary, Deep Roots is sure to put on a stellar live show.
“When I book an act, I book from the top down, booking the headliner first because that sets the tone of the way everything else falls into place. I look at where the act is playing, how many views they’ve had on YouTube ... and it’s a culmination of a lot of different things,” Holder said while on air. “The main thing I ask myself is ‘are they good live?’ When the headliner takes the stage and there’s a sea of people, we pause ... and it’s just a great moment.”
This year’s festival, slated Saturday, Oct. 19, kicks off at 10 a.m. and will highlight five local and internationally-known acts, including The Greenway, Rock U AllStars, Wet Willie with Jimmy Hall, Shovels & Rope and headliner Allen Stone. Performers will take the mainstage next to the post office around 3 p.m. and rock on through midnight.
One of the first acts performing on the mainstage will be a singing, song-writing group hailing from Milledgeville called The Greenway with a wide array of influences and styles. With a background in everything from folk and rock to jazz and classical guitar, Brandon Marsolo and Julie Overvold complement each other to create a mesh of musical talent.
“Every year we’ve had at least one band that is from Milledgeville,” Holder said. “Both musicians were on the mainstage last year as part of The Eclective group, so they’ve already been on the Deep Roots stage in a different type of band.”
David Shore of Moonshine Still created Rock U in 2008 at Music Matters in Fulton County as a way to give young musicians the opportunity to join a band and play shows regularly. Rock U currently has 90 students enrolled, making it the largest program of its kind in the southeast. Rock U bands have performed at venues like The Masquerade, Center Stage, Moderna and many more as well as festivals and community events in Atlanta and surrounding areas.
“David started the school in Atlanta teaching 10- to 13 year-olds how to be rock stars. The best of the best students will be performing under David’s direction as Rock U AllStars. Almost everything they perform is a cover. You’ll see an 11-year-old shredding Led Zeppelin,” Holder said. “They put a lot of bands to shame and they’re 10- to 13-year-old. I’m excited about it.”
As the most requested band from the 50 and over demographic of Deep Roots festival-goers, Wet Willie with Jimmy Hall will also take the stage. An American band from Mobile, Ala., Wet Willie is best known for the hit “Keep On Smilin,” reaching number 10 on Billboard in August 1974. The band has had a number of charted songs in the 1970s utilizing their soulful brand of southern rock.
“Older folks will appreciate it and younger folks will discover it. I’ve tried three to four years to get them, but it’s never worked out. I actually booked them before last year’s Deep Roots,” Holder said. “They are still the original group and they still put on a heck of a show.”
An American folk duo from Charleston, S.C. composed of husband and wife Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst, known as Shovel & Rope, are 2013 Americana Awards nominees for album of the year, emerging artist of the year, song of the year “Birmingham,” and group of the year. The band made its network television debut on The Late Show with David Letterman on Jan. 30.
“They are touring with Jack White in September and have been nominated for more Americana Awards than Emmylou Harris, Buddy Miller, Dwight Yoakam and The Lumineers,” Holder said. “This group is on their way up. At any other Deep Roots, they would’ve been the headliner.”
Headlining act Allen Stone has been described as a “pitch-perfect powerhouse” by USA Today. With his influence by Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Meters, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Jamie Lidell and James Morrison, Stone has peaked at the No. 2 spot on the R&B/Soul charts on iTunes. He is backed by Raphael Saadiq’s rhythm section and Miles Davis’ former keyboardist Deron Johnson. He has appeared on Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Last Call with Carson Daily and the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Esquire, CNN and Billboard have all named him as an “artist to watch.”
“Allen Stone is incredibly talented. He is the perfect example of someone who is about to take the country by storm,” Holder said. “He’s played at Bonnaroo, Coachella, Telluride, Austin City Limits, Bumbershoot and many more festivals throughout the U.S. His shows are selling out from New York to California.”
“This guy is impressing every single person he comes across,” Joiner added. “The live show is fan-flippin’ fantastic. New York Times said no one has come around since Bill Withers and Donny Hathaway.”
Deep Roots is one of the biggest festivals in the southeast, distinguished with 28 Kaleidoscope Awards from the Southeast Festivals & Events Association. Last year, more than 15,000 residents and visitors flooded the streets of downtown Milledgeville. Admission to the festival is $5.
“The Union-Recorder community stage will also feature Mark the Magic Man, local talent and entertainment all day,” Holder said. “It is our 10-year anniversary, so we’ll have over $11,000 in prize money awarded this year.”
For more information about the event, visit www.deeprootsfestival.com.
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