The Saline Courier Weekend

Arkansas Roots Music Festival moves to Johnny Cash boyhood home

- Special to The Saline Courier

JONESBORO – The annual Arkansas Roots Music Festival is making a move this year. The event will be held on Saturday, April 1, at the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home, an Arkansas State University Heritage Site at Dyess. Live music begins at noon, ending at 5 p.m.

Performers include the Casey Penn Band, Rachel Ammons, Wyly Bigger, Marybeth Byrd, and the Tina Cossey Band.

Casey Penn, based in central Arkansas, is a bluegrass and Americana artist who has been nominated for an Arkansas Country Music Award. Her album “One Step Away” will be released sometime this year.

Rachel Ammons, from Fort Smith, plays a mix of rock and Delta blues. She is a one-woman band and brings a soulful sound to her performanc­es.

Marion native Wyly Bigger draws his music inspiratio­n from growing up so close to Memphis. He calls his blues-driven music “original oldschool music.”

Marybeth Byrd of Armorel is an A-state online student who has made a name for herself performing on NBC’S The Voice. She is currently a contestant on American Idol on ABC.

Tina Cossey was born in California before moving to Arkansas as a child. She, alongside her bandmates, play a mix of blues, rock, soul and R&B.

In addition to the music, there will also be live demonstrat­ions, which include a blacksmith and woodcarver. There will also be activities set up for kids such as horseshoes, jacks, marbles and hopscotch.

Food vendors at the event include Tacker’s Shake Shack and J&B’S Twizted BBQ.

Admission is $30 and free for those under 18. Donated adult beverages provided by Native Brew Works will be available to those 21 and over.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a chair along so they can sit back and enjoy the music.

No coolers are allowed inside the gates. Arkansas State University’s clear bag policy will be enforced. Tickets can be purchased at Dyesscash.

Sponsors for the Arkansas Roots Music Festival include presenting sponsor KASU, Arkansas State University, Delta Symposium, Judd

Hill Foundation, Inc., Arkansas Folk and

Traditiona­l Arts, Native Brew Works, Mississipp­i County Hospital System, and Osceola/south Mississipp­i County Chamber of Commerce.

A bicycle tour will be held ahead of the Arkansas Roots Festival that links Arkansas State

University’s Heritage Sites the morning of the event. The Arkansas Roots Ride will begin at 9 a.m. starting and ending at the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home. Learn more including how to register and the route for the ride.

 ?? Special to the saline courier ?? Johnny Cash Boyhood Home, an Arkansas State University Heritage Site.
Special to the saline courier Johnny Cash Boyhood Home, an Arkansas State University Heritage Site.

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