Smithfield Music's Aiken & Friends Fest Headliners Include Mike Aiken, David Olney & Bonnie Bishop
Acclaimed Singer/Songwriters From Diverse Genres Perform At The 7th Annual Fest, September 28-29, To Benefit Youth Music Education
Smithfield Music's Aiken & Friends Fest headliners include Fest founder Mike Aiken, David Olney with Sergio Webb and Bonnie Bishop. The two-day Fest kicks off with an intimate songwriters in-the-round concert in the Smithfield Little Theatre on Friday, September 28, in Smithfield, Virginia. The music continues Saturday, September 29, on two outdoor stages and includes performances by the Mike Aiken Band, the Bonnie Bishop Band, David Olney, the Muckrakes, Susan Greenbaum and Beaucoup Blue. This year's educational workshops include: Songwriters, Guitar and Music Promotion 101. The annual Fest, now in its seventh year, benefits local youth music education through this "celebration of songwriters."
Northwind Records' artist and Fest founder MIKE AIKEN is a Virginia-based singer/songwriter known for his signature blend of Americana, Country and Roots music. "A performer loved by audiences," says Virginia Arts Commission, "Mike Aiken is a teller of tales whose music makes you feel like you instantly know him." With five Top 30 singles over the past four years in the U.S. and Europe, the songs he writes and the experiences he shares are rich with the stories of life, love and wanderlust. Mike's show offers a troubadour relating on a personal level with the audience and then transitions to a high-energy show - all without losing the intimacy of the singer/songwriter. Aiken's depth as a songwriter is a result of his wandering, adventurous lifestyle. He's lived on a sailboat for the past 20 years, is a USCG-licensed captain who has sailed across oceans, owned horses, and even made his living shoeing horses. His upcoming sixth CD, CAPTAINS AND COWBOYS, is due out in 2013, and it highlights those who've influenced, amused and taught him the strength of the human spirit. Between live performances Mike is writing new songs with some of Nashville's most-respected writers, recording and working on philanthropic projects that include the annual Aiken & Friends Fest and the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race that benefits environmental concerns.
Extraordinarily prolific singer-songwriter / internet broadcaster DAVID OLNEY has become an Americana legend for his intelligent compositions recorded by Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Del McCoury, Tim O'Brien, Slaid Cleaves, Dale Ann Bradley, Kane/Welch/Kaplin, and others. He is also globally-recognized for his intense live performances - especially with multi-instrumentalist Sergio Webb. The two create a live musical experience that is beyond description and tremendously memorable. Their highly theatrical performances have taken them to stages across America and around the world. In addition to writing and touring, David's Tuesday webcast, YOU NEVER KNOW, includes video shorts that feature the story-behind-the-song. His classic poetry recitations can be found on YouTube. David's current EP, THE STONE, follows his critically-acclaimed DAVID OLNEY Presents FILM NOIR release.
After a successful career on the Americana and Texas music circuits that included four CDs, critical acclaim and a nomination for Vocal Performance of the Year (Lone Star Music Awards),BONNIE BISHOP moved to Nashville to pursue a songwriting career. Equal parts Gavin Degraw, Janis Joplin and Bonnie Raitt, Bishop's affecting lyrics and musical prowess underscore her ability to encourage and validate the listener. Her stories of survival and redemption find their way into songs fit for anyone's personal playlist. Bonnie frequently writes with Nashville's elite, and her songs have been cut by Raitt and other major recording artists. Her new project, FREE, will be released in October; previous CDs include: THINGS I KNOW, LIVE AT MAGNOLIA AVENUE SALOON, SOFT TO THE TOUCH and LONG WAY HOME.
Sponsors and supporters of the 7th Annual Smithfield Music's Aiken & Friends Fest include: Smithfield Foods, Newport News Shipbuilding, Hampton Inn Smithfield, Nashville Songwriters Association International, 97.3 The Eagle, Wildwood Guitars, Audio, Light and Musical, 319 Main Professional Office Suites, Cedar Creek Cases, Northwind Records, Smithfield Music, Smithfield, Isle of Wight Tourism, Smithfield Little Theatre, S&B Tents and Crocker Farms.
Ticket prices, full schedule and more information on the Fest can be found at www.aikenandfriendsfest.com.
ABOUT Smithfield Music's Aiken and Friends Fest
The Fest benefits youth music education through its annual Americana/Roots festival. This small-town event introduces music fans to national, regional and local artists in the rural Virginia splendor along the Pagan River. Smithfield's very active music scene is due to the efforts of Jim & Elaine Abicht who head Smithfield Music, the nonprofit entity which benefits music education. The partnership between Mike Aiken, the Town of Smithfield and Smithfield Music is strong, and the festival continues to grow.
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