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9th Annual Smithfield Music's Aiken & Friends Fest Brings Top-Notch Performers To Coastal Virginia Town October 3-4


Ever-Growing Gathering Offers Music, Educational Seminars & More In Sweet, Southern Setting


Nashville, TN (September 22, 2014) -- The 9th Annual Smithfield Music's Aiken & Friends Fest is once again bringing top-notch performers to the region for the October 3-4 event.  The Fest is the area's premiere live entertainment event of the year and proceeds benefit youth music education in Isle of Wight County, Virginia.   


Fest founder and renowned singer/songwriter MIKE AIKEN is hailed for his signature blend of Americana, Country and Roots music.  He takes to the stage with his time-tested band to deliver an infectious set that will again have the crowd dancing and singing along.  In the past five years, Mike has enjoyed five Top 30 singles in the U.S. and Europe, and tours both here and abroad.  A compelling performer, Aiken's depth as a songwriter is a result of his wandering, adventurous lifestyle as a USCG-certified Captain who has logged over 30,000 offshore miles sailing his own boats.  His current (and sixth studio CD), CAPTAINS AND COWBOYS (Northwind Records), is in stores now. 


Singer/songwriter and native Virginian TIM BUPPERT moved to Nashville in 1991 and has since enjoyed cuts by Trisha Yearwood, The Wiggins, Continental Divide, Marty Haden, Yankee Grey (hit single "Another Nine Minutes") and Kevin Sharp (#1 single "She's Sure Taking It Well"), among others.  An in-demand singer, Tim has logged over 8,000 recordings as a background vocalist and his rich Country tenor can be heard on projects by Trisha Yearwood, Michael Peterson, Anita Cochran and Kevin Sharp, to name a few.  He can be heard on jingles for popular brands that include Pepsi, Luvs and TNN.  This engaging performer is a staple at songwriting workshops, seminars and in-the-round events around the U.S.  


Colorado-based MOORS & MCCUMBER have been compared to legendary duos Simon & Garfunkel and Crosby and Nash, but their sound is distinctly their own.  Between them they play an astonishing array of instruments, including guitar, mandolin, fiddle, tenor banjo, Irish bouzouki, piano, harmonica, cello, weissenborn and ukulele.  Their songwriting is creative, with bright and electrifying melodies that are a joy to hear live.  Their current CD, AGAINST THE GRAIN, weaves this fine storytelling ability with an infectious, melodic mix that reflects influences ranging from the Blues to Bluegrass and from Appalachian to Celtic music.  The duo rocks the road, and will host an escorted musical tour of Ireland in 2015.


PATTY REESE performs more than 250 dates a year, bringing powerhouse vocals, charisma and strong songwriting to the stage night after night.  Her WAMMIE (Washington Area Music Association) award-winning album HERE AND NOW has earned her multiple songwriting awards over the years, and her current CD, STRONG MEDICINE, showcases Patty at her best.  The disc has garnered her even more attention and awards, including Roots Rock Album and Roots Rock Vocalist(WAMMIES).


Regional favorite SNUFF TRIO features the talents of Chuck "Coyote" Larson (lead vocals/guitar), Norman Harrell (bass, guitar, vocals) and Robbie House (guitar and vocals).  One of the founding members of the '70s-'80s band Snuff, Larson and his compadres achieved near-cult status with the singles "(So This is) Happy Hour"and "Bad, Bad Billy," an eponymous CD, and the EP NIGHTFIGHTER.  The former band mates reunite here and the result is pure magic.  Sweet harmonies, reminiscent of the halcyon days of Country Rock, support poignant and superior songwriting.  Fluid yet tight, the TRIO's brilliant past is evidenced in the quality of their present performances.  Larson's newest solo album release, SNAKE OIL COWBOYS, THE FRILL IS GONE (2014),is available on Blind Weasel Records.

Also in this year's line-up is CALEB HAWLEY, an American Soul singer, songwriter and performer.  Like savvy throwback crooners Mayer Hawthorne and Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Hawley channels early Stevie Wonder and other Motown sounds into a complete, magnetic package.  This year, Hawley released a pair of EPs: SIDE 1 and SIDE 2, which he co-produced with LUCIUS drummer/producer Dan Molad.  SIDE 1 employs a full string section from the NY Philharmonic to capture the authentic R&B sounds of the '60s and '70s.  SIDE 2 presents beefier beats and more modern production.  Hawley's vocal swagger, his old Alabama garage-found Harmony electric guitar and live rhythm section tie the EPs together.


Rounding out the performers are popular Piedmont stylists M.S.G. Acoustic Blues Trio, Mississippi native and Southern/Soul singer/songwriter Adrian Dickey, 16-year-old sensation Evan Button, and local teen songstress Mollie Taylor.  Open mic winners who will perform during the Fest are Gratiot Lake Road (a husband/wife duo), Starr Celeste, and the duo of Tim Brown and Chris Jacobson. 


In addition to the fabulous music presented throughout the event, Smithfield Music's Aiken & Friends Fest offers music industry-focused educational seminars on Saturday, October 4.  The gathering presents music lovers with a chance to enjoy great music, historic Smithfield's convivial atmosphere, along with fabulous food, locally-crafted beer and wine, and diverse artisan vendors.



Weekend Pass $35 - all events, concerts, workshops

Songwriters-in-the-Round (Friday only) $25

Saturday All Day - Field Pass $20 advance, $25 day of show (12 & under FREE with paying adult)


RAFFLE TICKETS will be available for purchase both days, with the drawing held on Saturday.  Among the prizes to be awarded is a Takamine guitar, donated by the manufacturer and a custom-crafted Sterling Silver locket from First City Silver.    


Friday, October 3, 2014   7 p.m. to 10 p.m.   (Doors open at 6 p.m.)

Smithfield Little Theatre - 210 N. Church St., Smithfield, VA

Songwriters-in-the-Round concert featuring Mike AikenPatty Reese and Tim Buppert

Saturday, October 4, 2014    1:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Windsor Castle Park - 310 Jericho Road, Smithfield, VA


Workshops 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m.


River Stage

12:30-1:30 p.m. - Open Mic Winners

2:30-3:30 p.m. - Moors & McCumber

5:00-6:00 p.m. - Caleb Hawley Band

7:45-9:00 p.m. - Mike Aiken Band


Castle Stage

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. - Evan Button / Mollie Taylor

1:30-2:15 p.m. - Adrian Dickey

3:45-4:45 p.m. - M.S.G. Acoustic Blues Trio

6:30-7:30 p.m. - Snuff Trio featuring Chuck Larson, Norman Harrell & Robbie House


All performance times are approximate and are subject to change.


Fest Sponsors: 

Smithfield Foods
Hampton Inn & Suites - Smithfield
Audio, Light & Musical
Takamine Guitars
Smithfield / Isle of Wight Tourism
Smithfield Music
Northwind Records
Smithfield Little Theatre


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Festival Media

Martha E. Moore / 615-746-3994

Northwind Records

Amy Aiken /