Whimmydiddle now means two nights of country

Music Festival changes format for its second year.

IBEW Local 648 will present the Whimmydiddle Country Music Festival on Friday, June 23, and Saturday, June 24. The free country music festival will return with a different format this year: a two-night festival instead of a one-day, all-day concert event like the inaugural festival.


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Another cool thing this year is Marcum Park is now open, and Badin High School will host their festival and 5K on the same days as Whimmydiddle, so residents will be able to enjoy both events. (The 5K will be held on Saturday.)

With the two nights, there will be a variety of country music showcased each evening. On Friday night, guests will hear a mix of bluegrass and classic country. On Saturday, there’s a focus on outlaw country combined with some radio-friendly country tunes.

To get ready for Hamilton’s Whimmydiddle Country Music Festival, we caught up with The Steel Woods founding members Jason “Rowdy” Cope (guitarist) and Wes Bayliss (singer and guitarist) phone from Nashville, the country rocker’s home base. The band plays at 8 p.m. June 24.

Q: Can you start by telling me what The Steel Woods have been working on, and how it’s been going with your debut album?

Cope: "We released our new album on May 19, and we played an album release show. We're a basic, real-deal Southern rock country band, and that's what the people can expect if they want to come see us."

Q: It seems like with the buzz I’m hearing, things are quickly taking off for the band. What has it been like from your perspective?

Bayliss: "A bunch of different people like a bunch of different parts of our album. We pride ourselves in having a well-versed record. There's something everybody can like. I would say the main thing is our sound. I feel like we have a pretty original sound, and especially with the lyrics. It's not often that you have a band that sounds as hard as we do, and also has lyrics like we do."

Q: How do you describe your sound?

Cope: "Southern."

Bayliss: "We've tried to describe it a bunch of different ways. I think somebody else said this, but if I would have to choose, my favorite description is 'Americana's rock band.'"

Contact this contributing writer at gmwriteon@aol.com.

How to go

What: IBEW Local 648 presents Whimmydiddle Country Music Festival

When: 6:30-11 p.m. Friday, June 23, and 5-11 p.m. Saturday, June 24

Where: RiversEdge Amphitheater, 116 Dayton St., downtown Hamilton

Admission: Free. (If available, VIP tickets are $25, daily. VIP tickets include three beverage vouchers; a food voucher for on-site food vendors and access to the VIP deck and VIP seating area. There’s also a VIP only bar in the VIP area. A limited number of VIP tickets are available.)

More info: www.RiversEdgeLive.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HamiltonRiversEdge

Whimmydiddle Country Music Festival lineup:

Friday, June 23

6:30 p.m.: The Easy Leaves

7:30: 90 Proof Twang Acoustic

8: Mike & The Moonpies

9:30: Pokey LaFarge

Saturday, June 24

5 p.m.: The Skallywags

6:30: Ward Davis

8: The Steel Woods

9:30: 90 Proof Twang

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