2016 West Stage Entertainment
Brent Varner is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter from Mississippi. His "Starkgrass" style blends traditional Old-Time/Bluegrass with Americana storytelling to bring a new facet to finger-style guitar. Varner has made a multitude of festival performances and venue appearances from coast to coast. He won 3rd place in the 2016 Cotton District Arts Festival Songwriter Competition in Starkville, MS and 3rd place in the 2013 Blue Grassroots Festival in Stone Mountain, GA. Find out more about Brent on Facebook.
These three guys came together after sifting through multiple incarnations of bands in the Golden Triangle. They all have their individual influences and playing styles, but the common denominator of their past is evident in their present and future. And that is honest to goodness, original American Rock music. They are passionate. They are sincere. They are raw. They are human. They are Huge Ghost.
Jake Slinkard & Co-11:00am
Jackson MS native rocker Jake Slinkard and his Alt-Pop/Rock band Jake Slinkard & Co have hit the ground running since their Battle of the Bands victory and Bulldog Bash performance in the fall of 2016. With the release of his first EP "Parallels", and Spring Release Tour, 2017 is promising to be just as eventful and ground breaking. "Parallels" is a collection of songs that serve as anthems of youth and relation. Become a part of the story and join Slinkard on his Release Tour this spring.
Songwriter Competition Winners-12:00pm
1st-Jonny Hollis:"She Ain't Getting Older"
2nd-Bill Cooke:"Long Blue Whistle"
3rd-Spike Harris:"Tree Song"
The Girl Skouts-1:00pm
The Girl Skouts formed in the summer of 2014 and consist of drummer and lead vocals Vinny Brocato, guitarist and backing vocals Sawyer Gray, and bassist Walker Harris. They perform a range of cover songs from bands like Radiohead, Wolfmother, and Black Sabbath, but also perform multiple originals. More information about the Girl Skouts can be found on their Facebook.
“It’s better to burn out than to fade away,” say The Doomsters, a quintet of Starkville hard rockers who recently reunited after a five-year hiatus to parts unknown. Forged originally from the scraps of cover bands long rusted over in their high school days, the group boasts a group of scruffy rockers who are already stuff of local legends apart from their musical exploits. Novelist Mike Kardos on drums (in)famously toured Jersey in a Springsteen cover band, and now lends his precise meter to the Doomsters’ Rush covers. Jimmy Redd, the piano man, roughs up his Billy Joel act in favor of Neil Young. The chameleon John Brocato fronts another local act featuring an homage to his idol Elvis Costello. Adding spice is the bread man Troy DeRego who channels David Bowie from the other side. The Gin Blossoms would’ve dug the beer and guitar licks of Ed Dechert. Together, the Doomsters, like a Phoenix rising from the ashes of its self-immolation, recreate an eclectic mix of favorites from 70s, 80s, and 90s with faithful rough-around-the-edges accuracy. Doom and gloom may be what you expect, but from covers of the Cars to Pat Benatar and the Beatles to Cheap Trick, your ears will ring blissfully into Nirvana.
Stagolee began as a blues duo out of Starkville, Mississippi, and now as a 5 piece they bring a heart-felt, aggressive Rock N' Roll sound to the table. They stay busy playing the East Side of the States and booking Festivals and Clubs regionally. Stagolee has three records out "Stagolee & The Fancy Face", "Take What You Want", and their most recent "The Latest Craze.
Kannawermz is a 3-piece Rock-a-Billy band, playing the likes of Elvis, Gene Vincent, and Carl Perkins. They formed in late 2009 and have been playing around the region ever since. With Bill Cooke on guitar playing smokin hot licks, Mark Tribble on stand-up bass slappin' it straight, and Hardluck Chuck on drums (yes, drums) keeping the beat chuggin, this band puts together a driving rhythm that can get ya' movin. From time to time, the band features Bobby Shannon, layin’ down righteous sax and keyboard grooves, and adding lead (and harmony) vocal talents to the mix.