The Southern Music Rising Festival will return to downtown Monticello Friday and Saturday with its expected roster of hot national touring acts and the best bands and solo musicians in the region.
Connor Christian and Southern Gothic, whose new release “New Hometown” debuted at atop the Billboard Heat Seekers Chart, will kick off the festival with a performance on Friday night on the Monticello Opera House Stage. Atlanta bluesman Bill Sheffield will open the show, who has performed in concert with a who's who of music greats, including Muddy Waters, T-Bone Walker, B.B. King, Delbert McClinton and Bonnie Raitt.
Saturday’s all-day and all-night festivities include music styles that range from progressive and contemporary folk to bluegrass to gospel to Americana and cowboy country. There are events planned to engage all ages beginning with children’s storytelling at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
Special guests on Saturday include Nashville band Wild Ponies with Doug and Telisha Williams, who the Huffington Post called “The new dark horses of Americana.”
Fans of the blues will enjoy Delta Blues artist Slim Fatz, formerly of New Orleans, and Atlanta blues guitarist and Sheffield.
For a new spin on a traditional genre, Jacksonville’s new young outlaw bluegrass band Grandpa’s Cough Medicine will perform.
Familiar favorites like The New 76ers, Lis and Lon Williamson, Ron Patrick, Ric Edmiston, Mimi and the Hearn Dogs, Frank Lindamood, the Cherry Street Ramblers, and the Gypsy Darlings and the Full Moon Bandits will perform on six stages scattered around downtown Monticello during the day, including The Monticello Opera House Stage and Garden.
Festival goers will also be treated to emerging young performers like Carrie Cooley of Tallahassee and Hananel Mavity of Thomasville. Then there are veterans like 92-year-old banjo player C.E. Pullen, who will be performing with Sam and Sallie Worley. Saturday night, the Swingin’ Harpoon Band will play the annual after-party in the Opera House Garden.
A variety of booths selling food and crafts will be setup throughout downtown Monticello. For enthusiasts of the cowboy culture, The Wirick-Simmons house stage will present cowboy storytelling and songs all day long.
Friday’s festivities start at 6 p.m. with a cocktail party and music at 7 p.m.at the historic Monticello Opera House, located at 158 West Washington St. in downtown Monticello.
Tickets costs the $25 day of show and $20 in advance.
The Saturday festival will begin at 9 a.m. and continue throughout the night, ending with an after-party in the Opera House Garden hosted by the Swingin’ Harpoon Band. Tickets cost $10 in advance and $15 the day of the show for this all-day event. Children 12 and under will be admitted free.
Visit www.southernmusicrising.com to buy tickets for both events and for more information www.monticellooperahouse.com