Foothills Festival releases 2021 lineup
By JAMES PHILLIPS
November 28, 2020
Organizers of the Foothills Festival in down-town Jasper released the entertainment lineup for the 2021 event to the Daily Mountain Eagle earlier this week. The headlining act will be internationally renowned band St. Paul and The Broken Bones.
Zach Baker, talent buyer for the festival, said the band is one that locals have asked to see at the festival for years now.
“Previously, we just couldn’t afford them,” Baker said. “But with the pandemic, the band is doing some smaller towns as a way for them to give back to communities who have supported them. We are very excited to have them coming to Foothills.
Foothills Festival 2021 will take place Friday, April 30 and Saturday, May 1. St. Paul and The Broken Bones will headline Saturday night, expected to take the stage at 9:30. The American eight-piece soul band is based in Birmingham but tours across the globe. The band has a local connection as Jasper native Allen Branstetter is the trumpet player. Other members of St. Paul and The Broken Bones include Paul Janeway (vocals), Browan Lollar (guitar), Jesse Phillips (bass), Kevin Leon (drums), Al Gamble (keys) Amari Ansarie (saxophone) and Chad Fisher (trombone). The group has released three albums and two EPs.
“For us to have a headliner of this caliber is a gamechanger for Jasper and Foothills,” said Brent McCarver, revenue compliance officer for the city and an organizer of the event. “We expect this event to draw a larger crowd than ever. St. Paul and The Broken Bones will be a big reason for that, but the lineup overall is incredible.
”Openers on Friday night will be The Red Clay Strays, who will hit the stage at 6:30. The Mobile-based southern rock/country band played the 2019 Foothills Festival and since that time have had a breakout hit with “Good Godly Woman,” which was feature on the “Doctor Sleep” soundtrack. They will be followed by Aubrie Sellers, a country music singer/songwriter who is the daughter of Jason Sellers and Lee Ann Womack. The headliner for Friday night will be The Steel Woods, a “smart southern rock” band that lays claim to the sound pioneered by Lynyrd Skynyrd. The staff of “Rolling Stone” wrote in May 2017 the Nashville-based band sounds like “drinking a bottle of bourbon and having inebriated hallucinations of Gregg Allman and Lucinda Williams standing hand in hand in powder-blue choir robes, as ‘Melissa’ plays in the background.
”The Saturday night opener will be Samantha Fish, a singer/songwriter and guitarist originally from Kansas City. Fish is known as a blues artist, but her live performances feature multiple genres, including rock, country, funk and bluegrass. The middle band for Saturday cannot be released yet due to some contractual issues, but St. Paul and The Broken Bones will be the headliners.
“I feel like this is the best lineup from top to bottom that we have ever had,” Baker said. “We don’t have as many artists in the past, but what we can pay the artists have gone up, and that is allowing us to get even better acts.”
McCarver said community sponsors are who should be thanked for bringing in top artists.
Mayor David O’Mary also championed the support from the business community.
“The Coca Cola Foothills Festival has evolved into a major event that is talked about all over the region. I would challenge anyone to find a better venue, with better entertainment, and better atmosphere than we have,” he said. “The City is com-mitted to supporting this event on an annual basis, and we are supported by more than 50 partners in the community that help make this happen. It takes a large investment to put something of this caliber together, and I think it speaks volumes to have that level of support from the private sector.
“It is great for Foothills, which makes it good for Jasper,” Callahan said. “It will draw people to Jasper who otherwise might never have come here. I appreciate the commitment of the mayor and the city to continue to invest in this positive event.
”Lisa Myers, special events coordinator for the city, said she expects the move to the spring to help the festival. Myers added that vendors for the day are already filling up.
“We are excited about the Move to April, and the Spring weather. May-be the only issue we have had recently is the heat during early September. We will see how the weather effects the attendance this year. COVID 19 forced the move, and there is still a chance we might be in a position to not go on as planned, but I think in the long run this may be a positive move in scheduling.”