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Arkansas Roots Music Festival Planned for Saturday, April 16


KASU 91.9 FM and Arkansas State University's Department of English, Philosophy, and World Languages are teaming up with the West End Neighborhood Association to present the Arkansas Roots Music Festival on April 16 as a part of Delta Symposium XXII.  The event will feature an array of music with a special emphasis on rockabilly and its related genres. The festival is free and open to the public.

The event begins at 12 p.m. at in the City, Water, and Light Park at 1123 S. Culberhouse Street.  In case of rain, the festival will move to A-STATE’s Reng Student Union Auditorium.

At noon, the Zyndall Rainey Band will open the show. The band, which was formerly known as Jeannie and the Guys is now headed by keyboardist Zyndall Rainey. Collectively, the band’s seven members will bring several decades of musical experience to kick of this year’s festival, performing their own covers of rockabilly and classic country songs.

The Little Rock-based bluegrass band Runaway Planet will take the stage at 1 p.m. Runaway Planet, a four-man band that was founded in 2001, showcases a love of traditional string-based musical stylings, and their music is described as a mix of hard-driving bluegrass, three part harmonies, complex arrangements and original songs. The atmosphere of their performance is known for its gripping, powerful harmonies and danceable live shows.

At 2 p.m., the Memphis based “Last Chance Jug Band” will perform their versions of early 20th century jug band music.  Their repertoire includes early jazz, blues, novelty songs, and a variety of songs hat remains a vibrant presence in the region’s music.  Led by renowned ethnomusicologist Dr. David Evans, the band features guitar, fiddle, bass, and novelty instruments like jugs, kazoos, and washboards.

At 3 p.m., The Salty Dogs will perform their own original material that showcases a “neo-honky-tonk” sound. The Little Rock- based band’s songs are all new and original, but their country and honky-tonk styling allows the band to present their self-written material in a very familiar and danceable sound.

Little Rock bluesman Lucious Spiller will perform with his blues band at 4 p.m.  Spiller is an exciting performer on the Arkansas blues scene.  He was a recent finalist in the Blues Federation’s International Blues Challenge and is a highly acclaimed singer, songwriter, and guitarist.

A full schedule of performers is available on the website of the Delta Symposium, http://altweb.astate.edu/blues/.  KASU also has information available on the Facebook page Arkansas Roots.