Repeatedly rated one of the best free musical events in Alabama, the Alexander City Jazz Fest is only a few days away. For our 27th year, we’ve assembled the best lineup ever! You really need to make plans to join us at Strand Park in Alexander City on Friday, June 9, and at The AMP on Saturday, June 10, for a great time and some super music. Here, you’ll find lots of great info about the artists and some samples of their grooves.
Friday, June 9
Strand Park, Alexander City
Sofia Goodman Group
On stage Friday at 6:00 from Nashville is the Sofia Goodman Group. They are a jazz funk group led by drummer and composer Sofia Goodman. The band is based in Nashville and can be caught performing regularly around town as well as touring through the United States.
The group has been influenced by artists like Lettuce, Herbie Hancock, and Esperanza Spaulding. Tony Rounce of Ace Records has called Sofia brilliant, and the music has been described as fun and fascinating. The group consists of some of Nashville’s finest musicians, who are constantly recording new music with Sofia and capturing new fans.
A sample of “Have You Seen Bes?” by Sofia Goodman Group:
Not new to the Jazz Fest Stage is Randall Bramblett. Randall Bramblett’s distinguished body of work is defined by a triple-threat career as an acclaimed solo artist, an in-demand songwriter, and a first-call sideman. Among the artists who’ve recorded and performed his songs are Bettye LaVette, Hot Tuna, Delbert McClinton, and most notably, Bonnie Raitt, who opened her 2014 Grammy winner, Slipstream, with one of his songs. In the ’70s, he was a member of the seminal jazz/rock group Sea Level, and as a sideman, has toured with Gregg Allman, Widespread Panic and Levon Helm. Steve Winwood was such a fan of Bramblett’s keyboard, sax and vocal performances that he made Bramblett his go-to tour mate for 16 years, including the ’94 Traffic reunion.
“You can’t do better than Randall Bramblett.” — Bonnie Raitt
“One of the South’s most lyrical and literate songwriters.” — Rolling Stone
“Randall is in my opinion the most gifted & talented southern singer-songwriter musicians of the past several decades.” — Chuck Leavell (Rolling Stones, Allman Brothers)
“Randall is one of Georgia’s musical treasures” — Dave Schools – Widespread Panic
“Randall is the most talented and prolific songwriter I have the privilege of knowing.” — Bill Berry (R.E.M.)
Randall Bramblett will take the stage at 7:30.
A sample of “Roll” by Randall Bramblett:
Since 2013, the Jazz Fest Committee has been working to get Delta Rae to the Alexander City Jazz Festival. This year, we are fortunate enough to get them to Strand Park on Friday Night! Six-piece band Delta Rae hails from Durham, NC. Liz Hopkins and Brittany Holljes front the robust group with sultry harmonies rounded out by Holljes’ brothers Eric (vocals, piano) and Ian (vocals, guitar), as well as Mike McKee (drums) and Grant Emerson (bass). The band chose their moniker from a mythical story the Holljes siblings’ mother wrote about a southern girl of the same name who summons the Greek gods to earth.
Headlining over 100 shows each year and a regular on the festival circuit since forming in 2009, Delta Rae’s larger-than-life performances have earned coveted spots at Bonnaroo, Tortuga Music Festival, Austin City Limits, Hangout Fest, VOODOO and Lollapalooza. They have received national attention with features in NPR, Washington Post and New York Times in addition to multiple late night performances and inclusion in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list. Now signed to Big Machine Label Group’s imprint, The Valory Music Co., Delta Rae has brought their intriguing sound to country radio with their new single, “A Long and Happy Life.”
Delta Rae will bring their unique sound to the stage at 9:00.
A sample of “If I Loved You” by Delta Rae:
Saturday, June 10
The AMP on Lake Martin
Saturday, the Jazz Fest Committee is thrilled about the lineup of bands! At 6:30 it’s shadowood!! These guys are no strangers to the area and have become a favorite at Friday On The Green at Russell Crossroads during the summer months! With songs like “Beer,” “Triplewide,” “Fork,” “Breathe,” and other one word titles, shadowood is “not just a band…but a state of mind.” Come early and claim your spot on the grassy lawn, as shadowood will certainly entertain!
A sample of shadowood’s “Paul Simon Medley”:
The Stooges Brass Band
These folks have earned their rank as one of the elite brass bands in New Orleans. The Stooges Brass Band consistently provides a welcome blast of true New Orleans spirit engaging audiences with their innovative blend of traditional New Orleans brass sounds, contemporary jazz, and hip-hop beats.
The Stooges Brass Band has gained notoriety as a full-blown musical party engaging the crowd in a cut-loose vibe that is contemporary yet deeply rooted in the culturally rich musical legacy of New Orleans. The band has shared the stage with Ozomatli, Black Star (Mos Def & Talib Kweli), Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Shemekia Copeland, Pedrito Martinez Group, Galactic, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, The Funky Meters, and Jessica Simpson among others while appearing at famed festivals throughout the country, including the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Bonnaroo, and South by Southwest, to name just a few!
Whether they’re second-lining in the back streets of the Crescent City or performing their spirited stage show, the Stooges Brass Band delivers an authentic New Orleans celebration.
The Stooges Brass Band will stir it up starting at 8.
A sample of “Muses” by The Stooges Brass Band:
Paul Thorn is a vivid-yet-plainspoken singer-songwriter from Tupelo, Mississippi — the land of cotton, catfish, and churches. Says Thorn, “My father was a preacher, so I went with him to churches that white people attended and churches that black people attended,” Thorn says. “The white people sang gospel like it was country music, and the black people sang it like it was rhythm and blues. But both black and white people attended my father’s church, and that’s how I learned to sing mixing those styles.”
During their two decades together, Thorn’s flexible and dynamic band has garnered a reputation for shows that ricochet from humor to poignancy to knock-out rock ‘n’ roll. Guitarist Bill Hinds is the perfect, edgy foil for Thorn’s warm, laconic salt-o’-the earth delivery — a library of glowing tones, sultry slide, and sonic invention. Keyboardist Michael “Dr. Love” Graham displays a gift for melody that reinforces Thorn’s hooks while creating his own impact. Meanwhile, drummer Jeffrey Perkins and bassist Ralph Friedrichsen are a force, propelling every tune with just the right amount of up-tempo power or deep-in-the-groove restraint.
“These guys really bring my songs to life,” says Thorn. “My albums sound like they’re played by a real blood-and-guts band because that’s what we are. And when we get up on stage, people hear and see that.”
Thorn is a colorful and distinctly southern personality, and the songs he writes depict that — hits like “Burn Down the Trailer Park,” the perennial concert favorite boogie-gospel number “Mission Temple Fireworks Stand,” and the newer tracks like “Snake Farm,” “Old Stray Dogs and Jesus,” and “I Don’t Like Half the Folks I Love”!
Paul Thorn is on stage at 9:30!
A sample of “I Don’t Like Half the Folks I Love” by Paul Thorn:
The ACJF Committee welcomes all! Food vendors will be on site, plus you are welcome to bring food and coolers, along with your chairs and blankets, but please, no dogs. We also want to remind you that this event is free because of all of our generous sponsors, so please respect their tables, chairs, and their decorations as you set up your own area behind them. Happy Jazz Fest!
For more information, click the links below: