April 8: Annual Arkansas Roots Music Festival

JONESBORO – KASU, the public broadcasting service of Arkansas State University, along with A-State’s Department of English, Philosophy and World Languages and the West End Neighborhood Association will present the Arkansas Roots Music Festival on Saturday, April 8.

The concert, presented in conjunction with Delta Symposium XXIII, will feature an array of music with a special emphasis on roots, rock and regional music.  The outdoor festival is free, pet friendly, and open to the public.    Over the years, the music festival has become a popular community event where people bring lawn chairs and picnic lunches while also engaging in activities like juggling, hula hooping and playing chess on a giant set.

The Arkansas Roots Music Festival will begin at 1 p.m. in Jonesboro’s City, Water and Light Park at 1123 S. Culberhouse Street.  In case of rain, the festival will move to A-State’s Riceland Hall in the Fowler Center, 201 Olympic Drive.

At 1 p.m., The Vikki McGee 3 and The Natural Disasters take the stage. Local favorites Vikki McGee, Sonny Campbell and drummer Jacob Brumley comprise the 3, joined by John T. Parks and Sarah Jo Roark of Batesville’s Lockhouse Orchestra who perform as the Natural Disasters duo. Their combined 50-minute set of original material and popular covers is a rare treat.

At 2 p.m., the Jonesboro-based Sky City will regale the audience with their spin on Cosmic Americana.  Led by seasoned performer Nathan Crouch, Sky City’s musical style is self-described as “a sonic gumbo of intelligent lyrics, rhinestoned honky-tonk and old-school rock n’ roll.”

Up next at 3 p.m. are Apple, Rounds, Cobb and Hees.  Providing acoustic variety, this seasoned quartet of Brad Apple, Gary Rounds, Sam Cobb and Irl Hees bring with them years of musical experience and performance.

Sweet Angel will close out the festival at 4 p.m.  Making her Arkansas Roots Music Festival debut, this Memphis music maven is a dynamic blues performer and saxophonist.  She will entertain with her individual rhythm and blues stylings of favorite tunes and original materials, playing in the classic blues style as well as with influences from jazz, rhythm and blues, and contemporary genres.

Arkansas State University’s Delta Symposium XXIII features scholarship on a wide variety of expressive forms and will present work from multidisciplinary approaches including literary criticism, cultural studies, history, anthropology, folklore, ethnomusicology, sociology, speech communication and heritage studies. Sponsored by the Department of English, Philosophy and World Languages, the event features research in the humanities and social sciences, resonant with this year’s theme of “Caring for Community.”

KASU is celebrating 60 years presenting music, arts, news and views.  KASU reaches listeners in Northeast Arkansas, Southeast Missouri and West Tennessee at 91.9 FM and streams live around the world at http://www.kasu.org.

A full schedule of performers can be found on the Web sites of the Delta Symposium and KASU.

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This and other news releases also available at: AState.edu/news

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