to the Point
Band to headline
Carrolltons blues festival
add soul to this years lineup
Helen E. McKinney
CARROLLTON, Ky. (September 2009) Whether backing
up a big-name headliner or performing on their own, the Bama Band knows
how to engage the crowd in a show-stopping performance. From rock-and-roll
to country to blues, fans say this band exemplifies what top-notch musicians
should sound like.
The Bama Band loves Kentucky and has played all over the state
for the last 25 years, on our own and with Hank Williams Jr.,
said Billy Earheart, keyboardist and member of Williams band since
1985. For more than 20 years, the Bama Band has been the touring band
to the Point Music Schedule
5 p.m.: Little Joe McLerran
7:30 p.m.: Jimmy Davis Band
10 p.m.: The Stella Vees
6:30 p.m.: The Brotherhood
2:30 p.m.: Will Owen-Gage
5 p.m.: Wayne Youngs Eric Clapton Tribute
7:30 p.m.: Gordon Bonham
10 p.m.: The Bama Band
4 p.m.: Roy Gentry
6:30 p.m.: Lazy Eleven
9 p.m.: Little Joe McLerran
$25 for a two-day pass; $10 for a camping permit; $15 for Friday
only; $20 for Saturday only.
Information: (502) 727-1050 or visit www.BluesToThePoint.net
The four-member band has played on many of Williams
gold and platinum albums and appeared in many of his videos. In addition
to Earheart, the Bama Band consists of Wayne Animal Turner,
lead vocalist and guitarist; Ray Barrickman, bass guitar and vocals;
and Bill Marshall, a long-time veteran musician.
We always look forward to a chance at a cool festival in the beautiful
bluegrass state, said Earheart. He also plays with the Grammy-award
winning Amazing Rhythm Aces.
The Bama Band will be the featured band closing out this years
Blues to the Point festival, scheduled for Sept. 11-12. The band will
take the stage at 10 p.m. Saturday. Fridays festival hours begin
at 5 p.m. with the last band taking the stage at 10 p.m. Saturdays
hours begin at 2:30 p.m. with the last band taking the stage at 10 p.m.
This will be the first time the Bama Band has performed at Blues to
the Point. The band has record four CDs, and Earheart describes their
sound as a rockin blues based country mixture. Blues
artists that have influenced the band include Elmore James, Robert Johnson,
BB King, the Allman Brothers and Eric Clapton.
After touring as the band for Bocephus for more than 20 years
and having our own separate touring schedule, its pretty amazing
that weve been able to stay together and continue to have fun
and do what we love, Earheart said. Playing on the road
with Hank Williams Jr. for all those years taught us that its gotta
be a fun experience onstage, and we always have a ball.
The Blues to the Point festival has been held annually since 1995.
We still have a two-day event with 14 bands, said festival
co-producer Clayton Dermon. For the last four years Dermon has co-produced
the event with Mark Davis. The festival was not held in 2005 because
the producer at the time determined he was no longer able to carry on.
Not wishing to see the demise of such a nice music festival, Clayton
Dermon and I met with Carroll County Tourism in late 2006 and agreed
that the festival was too much of an asset to lose, said Davis.
more than 20 years, the Bama
Band has been the touring band
for country superstar Hank Williams
Jr. and will bring their own unique
sound to Blues to the Point.
When Carroll County Tourism decided it still wanted the
festival, Dermon and Davis organized the 2006 festival in less than
three months, said Dermon.
Carroll County Tourism has underwritten practically the entire cost
of the festival since 2006, said Davis. The duo has found important
media partners in the last couple of years but still need to find sponsorship
to ensure the festivals future.
Now that they are more established in their role as co-producers of
the festival, Dermon and Davis continue to tweak the format each year.
We strive to make it an enjoyable weekend of fun and music for
all ages, Davis said. The festival is an opportunity for
locals and visitors to unwind, celebrate and enjoy good times and good
music in beautiful surroundings.
Location is the key to the continued success of Blues to the Point,
according to Davis. Point Park at the confluence of the Kentucky
and Ohio Rivers is the first thing visitors mention, he
said. Also high on the list of positives is the laid-back, friendly
atmosphere of the festival and community.
The addition of a second stage in 2006 has been hugely popular, said
Davis. Constructed for solo-duo acoustic acts, the second stage allows
the festival to provide a generous variety of continuous live music
throughout the festival.
Festival-goers are from a geographically diverse area that includes
a local crowd, Louisville, Cincinnati (Northern Kentucky) and southern
Indiana. Quite a few music fans also attend from Cleveland, Ohio, Tennessee
and West Virginia.
When it comes to Blues and Bluegrass music, those folks are acclimated
to going to festivals, said Dermon. Both are American roots
Fellow music lover Davis said organizing the festival is a lot of work
but also a lot of fun. While meeting and working with musical
and cultural icons like Leon Redbone, Russell Smith (The Amazing Rhythm
Aces) and the incomparable Mussel Shoals Rhythm Section is a rush, it
is equally gratifying to expose artists such as Tim Krekel, Tyrone Cotton,
Ricky Nye, Phil Berkowitz and sonny Moorman to a wider audience who
embrace them whole-heartedly.
Both Dermon and Davis agree it was the late Tim Krekel who was instrumental
in the success of the festival and remained a tremendous supporter.
When they took over in 2006, they realized too late that all nationally
know blues artists had been booked for months for other shows. Due to
Krekels musical contacts the show was able to continue, making
Krekel the impetus that re-launched Blues to the Point.
When it comes to choosing the band lineup, Dermon and Davis start by
finding nationally known artists within their budget range, then select
popular regionally known acts. They leave several open slots for local
acts and late discoveries. We try to strike a balance in music
styles and the artists homebase, said Davis.
As for the participating bands point of view, We sure do look
forward to seeing a bunch of old friends and meeting some new ones in
Carrollton, said Earheart.
Back to September 2009