River Town welcomes various bands for festival Saturday

By COLBY DENTON
Posted 7/11/18

At the upcoming River Town Festival on Saturday, July 14, a variety of great entertainment will fill the River Town stage in Calhoun's new park pavilion. Opening at 10 a.m. is September Song, a duo …

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River Town welcomes various bands for festival Saturday

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At the upcoming River Town Festival on Saturday, July 14, a variety of great entertainment will fill the River Town stage in Calhoun's new park pavilion.

Opening at 10 a.m. is September Song, a duo consisting of Andrew and Lindsey Kimball, performing vocals and guitar, along with Joe Littleton, bass, and Kyle Littleton and Nate Crisp, drums. Along with their own original music, they play popular hits that range from the '60s to the present! September Song became a band in 2010 while rehearsing for a show at the Athens Arts Center in Athens. They have entertained audiences in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Cleveland, Dayton, Spring City, and Pigeon Forge, and are regularly featured at the Sounds of Summer concert series in Athens.

Taking the stage at noon is Cole Sitzlar, a young aspiring country artist from Englewood. Being from the South, he says his Papaw taught him many life lessons about hard work, dedication, respect and to never forget God; however, music came very naturally. He taught himself how to play guitar and write songs such as his first single “My Home” in which he describes his hometown with humility and recalls memories he is fond of.

“I write songs about memories that I have or feelings that I have felt, and my goal is with each song the audience gets that feeling or something similar to it. If it gives them any type of feeling at all or brings them back to a certain moment in time, then I have done my job as an artist.”

Sitzlar has performed previously at the River Town Festival, the International Cowpea Festival and Cook-off, and many other venues throughout East Tennessee. 

The Tim Hughes Quartet will make their first appearance at River Town beginning at 1 p.m. The quartet is a varied group of accomplished musicians from East Tennessee focusing on popular jazz standards from different eras of the American-born genre founded in 2008. The group typically involves a bassist, a drummer, a guitarist or keyboardist – and, occasionally – a guest soloist, each bringing their own musical vocabulary to the improvisational setting. Consequently, each performance is different, and each performance is unique. Tim Hughes will be featured on sax, Robert Grier, bass, Robin Payne, keyboard, and David Payne, drums. The quartet is also a regular at the Sounds of Summer concert series in Athens.

Southern Gospel trio Chatta Valley, three local and very talented performers, will headline the stage beginning at 3 p.m. Comprised of Cliff Howard, Caleb Leamon and Greg Young, this trio of talented men has been a part of the gospel music genre for many years. They have been singing contemporary Christian music and praise and worship songs with several successful groups over the years, yet they are very proud to come back to their roots and sing the Southern Gospel songs that have always had a special place in their hearts.

Ending the day at 4:30 p.m. will be Reliance. Reliance is a Bluegrass & Gospel Band out of the East Tennessee area with the band consisting of Ronnie Raper, Lead Vocals/ Lead Guitar, Denise Raper, Lead & Tenor Vocals/ Bass Guitar, Dustin Raper Baritone Vocals/ Banjo and Nick Raper, Lead & Baritone Vocals/ Mandolin. Reliance has been performing for the past 13 years and has significant stage presence. They are the founder of the CottonFest Bluegrass Festival held annually in September, and they have shared the stage with many performers such as IIIRd Tyme Out, Daily and Vincent and many others.

The River Town Festival opens Saturday at 10 a.m., at the Hiwassee Meadowland Park off Highway 163 in Calhoun (across from the Municipal Building). There will be a variety of craft and food vendors and special events at the Hiwassee River, including a Duck Race at 9 a.m. and free pontoon boat rides from 2-5 p.m. For additional information visit: www.calhounrivertown.com or visit the festival page on Facebook.

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