Whiskey Myers, Blues Traveler heads up Foothills lineup

By ED HOWELL
Posted 5/19/19

Whiskey Myers and Blues Traveler will headline the the city of Jasper's Foothills Festival on Sept. 6-7, while North Mississippi All Stars will also have a turn on Saturday. Zach Baker, the …

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Whiskey Myers, Blues Traveler heads up Foothills lineup

Posted

Whiskey Myers and Blues Traveler will headline the the city of Jasper's Foothills Festival on Sept. 6-7, while North Mississippi All Stars will also have a turn on Saturday. 

Zach Baker, the talent buyer for the Foothills Festival, said this week the line-up for the festival, known for offering free entertainment of high caliber, should be another major attraction for the event. 

In recent years, nationally known acts at the Foothills Festival have included Jason Isbell, Shooter Jennings, Paul Thorn, Mark Broussard, Sister Hazel, Gin Blossoms, Tonic, Deana Carter, Spin Doctors, John Paul White, Taylor Hicks, the McCrary Sisters, The Steeldrivers and Robert Randolph and The Family Band. 

The Daily Mountain Eagle is listed as a premier sponsor for the event, with the City of Jasper and the Carbon Hill Coca-Cola Bottling Co. as investor sponsors. The event will be advertised as the Coca-Cola Foothills Festival, presented by the City of Jasper. Other investor sponsors will be Pinnacle Bank, Tallulah Brewing Co., and Honda of Jasper and Hyndai of Jasper. Other premier sponsors include Carl Cannon Chevrolet Buick GMC Cadillac, Jasper Orthodontics, Jasper Ford Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, and Byars|Wright. A number of sponsors, supporting partners and friends are also listed. 

"I think this is the lineup I've been striving for over the past several years," Baker said. "With the headliner Saturday night, Blues Traveler - I've been trying to get those guys for probably the past four years. It has either been a routing issue or a budget issue, or whether they are in the country issue. I'm super excited this year. They are the ultimate festival band. They really are - a lot of fun." 

The Friday night entertainment will kick off with Alex Williams, Brent Cobb and end with Whiskey Myers. The Saturday performances will start with Red Clay Strays, followed by Drivin' 'n' Cryin'. That night will continue with North Mississippi Allstars and end with the headlining Blues Traveler. 

"Drivin' 'n' Cryin' has been around forever," he said. "They are real strong in the Southeast, like Blues Traveler. They are strong everywhere, really. North Mississippi Allstars, we had them a few years ago. They are just incredible. ... Whiskey Myers "has been charting like crazy. They are really big around here. I've had a lot of demand for them - a great band." 

Baker, who has been an agent for 18 years and is also a sales consultant for the Eagle, said the lineup flows well.

"We stuck with the same deal we have been doing the past few years of doing country, more so country on Friday night, and then Saturday night a little more rock and roll, pop rock and that kind of stuck. If it is not broke, don't fix it," he said. 

The budget for the talent over the weekend was $85,000, which he said was a good value for a lineup with several Grammy nominees and winners.  

He said the Foothills Festival is not just for this community but for bringing in others from outside to experience the downtown area and how it has flourished. Local businesses have seen an increase in business due to exposure to the festival. 

"This is our seventh year doing this and it has actually been deemed one of the Top 10 festivals in the state of Alabama," he said. 

One thing that changed was to stop having acts at maybe 1 p.m. Saturday when the temperature was "104 degrees on blacktop and you can put a great artist out there, but no one is out there because it is so hot. It is not good for anybody," he said. 

"Friday, we are starting at 7 o'clock and Saturday we are starting at 5," Baker said, with 30 minutes between sets.  The Friday schedule will follow this timetable: 7 to 8 p.m, Alex Williams; 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., Brent Cobb; and 10 to 11:15 p.m., Whiskey Myers. The Saturday schedule will be 5 to 6 p.m., Red Clay Strays; 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Drivin' 'n' Cryin'; 8 to 9 p.m., North Mississippi Allstars and 9:30 p.m., Blues Traveler, which could play 75 to 90 minutes.

Performances will be in the same site on the corner of Third Avenue and 19th Street, just off Jasper's courthouse square. 

According to Wikipedia, Blues Traveler is known for improvisational live shows and Top 40 hits like "Run-Around," "Hook," and "But Anyway." "Run-Around" won a Grammy Award and broke a record for most weeks on the chart.

Its music spans a number of genres, including blues rock, psychedelic rock, folk rock, soul, and Southern rock. 

At one time, the band opened for the Rolling Stones. Talk show host David Letterman introduced the band as his favorite in the 1990s, and the band was featured on the 1995 season premier of "Saturday Night Live," "Austin City Limits," and on "Roseanne."

Whiskey Myers is a country and Southern rock band from Texas, according to Wikipedia. Their second album, Firewater, was released by Wiggy Thump in 2011 and debuted in the Top 30 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, largely thanks to the single "Ballad of a Southern Man." In 2018, the band was featured in four episodes of the TV series "Yellowstone." Shortly afterwards, the band's three available albums moved into the Top 10 iTunes country chart. Their album, Mud, reached No. 1 on the charts, and its song "Stone" reached  No. 9 in all genres.

The band hit No. 1 on the iTunes Country Chart with their album "Early Morning Shakes," earned raves everywhere from Rolling Stone to USA Today, and toured the U.S. and United Kingdom relentlessly, the band said on its website.  

According to Wikipedia, North Mississippi Allstars, a Southern rock and blues band from Hernando, Mississippi, has scored three Grammy nominations for Best Contemporary Blues Album, for "Shake Hands with Shorty," "51 Phantom" and "Electric Blue Watermelon." The band made its network television debut in 2000 on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" and served as the house band on the program "Last Call with Carson Daly" for a short period in 2004. 

The band has also opened in the past for Robert Plant and the Dave Matthews Band. It's 2017 album "Prayer for Peace" went to No. 1 on  Billboard's blues album chart that year.

Cobb, 32, a country music singer and songwriter, rose to No. 17 on the Billboard country album chart and had a 2018 Grammy nomination for Best Americana Album with "Shine On Rainy Day." According to CMT, the Georgia native has written songs for a variety of country artists, including Luke Bryan, Kellie Pickler, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, The Oak Ridge Boys as well as many others.

Drivin' and Cryin' is an American hard rock and Southern rock band from Atlanta, Georgia, where it was successful in the local clubs. It's album "Fly Me Courageous" went gold, and the band toured with Neil Young and Soul Asylum. It was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2015. Its album "Mystery Road" was named one of “The 50 Best Southern Rock Albums of All Time” by Paste Magazine.

Red Clay Strays, a country rock and Southern soul band, is based in Mobile. Alex Williams, a country and Americana singer, is from Indiana and lives now in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Anyone wanting more information may go to foothillsjasper.com or call Jasper's special events coordinator, Lisa Myers, at 205-221-2100.