Annual Washboard Music Festival slated
For the 17th consecutive year, the streets of Downtown Logan, will be alive with activity when the Washboard Music Festival opens on Father’s Day weekend. The unique festival which celebrates the use of a washboard as a musical instrument will officially open on Thursday, June 15, and runs through Saturday.
The Hocking County Children’s Chorus under the direction of Therese Karnes, will officially open the event by performing the National Anthem, followed by an entertaining concert performed by Arnett Howard & Friends at 6 p.m. on Thursday.
Howard may very well be the most well-known jazz and rhythm and blues musician in all of Ohio. In fact, he has become such a legend for the Columbus region that he currently serves as an ambassador for the City of Columbus. The accomplished artist will visit the Hocking Hills to kick off the annual Washboard Music Festival with a special concert that will continue until 10 p.m.
According to the Class Acts Entertainment website, while being backed up by various lineups of seasoned Columbus musicians, Howard has performed over 4,000 concerts since 1985 which have included both large and small audiences — people young and old in Central Ohio and worldwide.
No matter what the event needs — Howard has the band and repertoire to make it sizzle by turning up the heat with New Orleans style street parade music, as well as jazz music featuring trumpets, trombones and tubas. He also performs Motown, Memphis and New Orleans Rhythm and Blues with a splash of reggae thrown in and creole, Cajun and Zydeco dance music. In addition, Howard performs classic river boat songs, conducts sing a long and enjoys playing contemporary pop and jazz standards as well.
Also, scheduled to perform on the main stage Friday, June 16 and/or Saturday, June 17, are the Steel City Rovers, Little Roy and Lizzie, Roscoe Goose and The Juggernauts, as well as Washboard Hank and the Washboard Players.
Additional musical groups appearing on the Community Improvement Corporation’s (CIC) stage on Friday are Spyder Stompers and Sugar Pie, The Sodbusters and Washboard Hank.
Saturday’s lineup of performers on the CIC stage are The Sodbusters, The Wayfarers and Washboard Hank as well. In addition, the Ohio River Minstrels will perform at The Bowen House, Logan’s Cultural Arts and Educational Center, beginning at 1 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday afternoons. While enjoying the music at The Bowen House located at 196 North Market Street, festival guests will also be treated to a quilt exhibit featuring more than 40 quilts that have been designed and created by members of the Hocking Valley Quilt Guild.
The two headlining groups, the Steel City Rovers and Little Roy and Lizzie, are making their second appearances at the Washboard Music Festival and promises to bring the audience to their feet with their lively and entertaining performances.
Little Roy and Lizzie will perform two shows at 6 and 7 p.m. on Friday night only. The group featuring Little Roy Lewis and Lizzie Long will perform traditional bluegrass music at its best.
Lizzie Long was born in Lincolnton, Georgia, on the same road as Roy Lewis, of the famed Lewis family, that is believed to be the “First Family of Bluegrass Gospel”. From an early age, Lizzie learned to play the fiddle, guitar and banjo. Lewis and his wife, Bonnie, became her foster parents when the young lady was 15 years-old. Little Roy Lewis and Lizzie Long soon began touring the country with their own band family, performing the best of true and real bluegrass music.
The Steel City Rovers will perform a series of concerts on both Friday and Saturday. They will open the music portion of the festival on the main stage at 3 p.m. on Friday and will close the line-up of activities on Friday with a concert at 10 p.m. For folks who cannot make it to the festival on Friday, they have an opportunity to enjoy three concerts on Saturday at 4, 8 and 10 p.m. respectively.
The Steel City Rovers are a Celtic music group from Ontario, Canada that mixes gritty folk music with progressive Celtic subgenres and creates hair and energy that merges into an infectious blend of music. The band performs with everything from Scottish small pipes to the mandola, while also busting out the accordion, Irish whistle, bongo drums and of course the fiddle and washboard that adds a variety of instrumentation to their performance. Their fearless drummer, Jess Gold, helps to create a unique blend of Celtic music by bringing a touch of electric funk to their musical presentation. The group also manages to combine witty and whimsical elements to their performance while interjecting a bit of comedy to their show as well.
In addition to outstanding musical performances, the Washboard Music Festival offers something for everyone including great food, art and craft vendors, free amusement rides, train rides, as well as magic and puppet shows that will be staged in the children’s area.
Thanks to local donors and supporters of the festival, all of the music performances and activities in the children’s area including the amusement rides and train rides are absolutely free. Guests are also encouraged to tour the Columbus Washboard Company and enjoy the excellent quilt exhibit displayed at The Bowen House.
Monetary donations are still being accepted to help support the festival. If willing to make a donation, contact Dennis Heebink, president of the Washboard Music Festival board of trustees, at 740-380-2753.