Fort Payne Hosts Boom Days Hootenanny Event Sept. 19

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The City of Fort Payne announced that with the support of The Alabama Media Group (, Alabama’s oldest standing theatre located in a building originally built for that purpose, The Fort Payne Opera House, will spring into life with a vibrant celebration of Southern traditional music styles during the Fort Payne  Boom Days Hootenanny event, a free show to be held from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 19. 

Amidst the Fort Payne Opera House’s backdrop of Victorian-era boomtown splendor, Grammy award winning Bluegrass legend Norman Blake along with accomplished Bluegrass banjoist Jim Connor, Alabama Bluesman Russell Gulley and rising Blues star Jontavious Willis will perform a dynamic mix of traditional forms of American roots music as part of the Boom Days festival’s focus on celebrating local heritage and culture.


The Alabama State Council on the Arts’ ethnomusicologist Steve Grauberger will attend the event to document and curate this unique presentation.  Grauberger states: The State Arts Council is proud to help support the performances of old time country, bluegrass and the blues, music genres that are so much a part of Alabama’s traditional culture.  There could not be a better use of the historic, one-hundred twenty-six year old Ft. Payne Opera House than listening to the wonderful music of performing artists: Jim Conner, Norman and Nancy Blake, Russell Gulley and Jontavious Willis.”  

In a great mix of “state of the art meets arts of the state” the music recording team, already active in producing their new recording series will be recording the Hootenanny for presentation as special online content and as an inclusion of cultural highlights across the state representing “Alabama’s Best.” 

Grammy winner Norman Blake’s appearance will compliment his performance at Boom Day’s Verizon Wireless Stage earlier in the day. Mr. Blake is perhaps best known for his inclusion on the Grammy-winning “O Brother Where Art Thou” soundtrack and his decades of performing with such legends as Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and many others. He recently appeared to a sold out crowd in the Fort Payne area at Northeast Alabama Community College’s Tom Beville Lyceum on Aug. 29.   

The City of Fort Payne’s Boom Days Heritage Celebration enters its 10th year during 2015 and has been designated by the State of Alabama Department of Tourism as the official “Alabama Event of the Year” for 2015.

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