The annual Lower Town Arts and Music Festival (LTAMF) gives voice to a wide variety of musical artists,introducing many of them to new audiences while bringing others back home. From classical to gospel, from blues to world music, from jazz to flat out rock 'n' roll, organizers thrill audiences year after year with acts that reflect the diverse and artistic spirit of the festival.
This year's lineup is another stellar group. "Our headliners for Friday night are The Features from Nashville," says Seth Murphy, LTAMF organizer. "They are a great, new rock 'n' roll band. They have some really good electronic stuff with awesome melodies. Their song ‘From Now On’ was on the The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 soundtrack, and they were hand selected by Kings of Leon as the first artist on their new record label Serpents and Snakes."
Saturday night's headliners are not strangers to Paducah. "We have the Legendary Shack Shakers," adds Seth. "They have been working on a new album for their 20th anniversary, so it's no doubt we'll hear some new things from them at the festival."
Seth, along with Craig Felker, began working on this year's line up the day after the festival ended last year. Organizing and scheduling music for the LTMAF is entrusted to the duo through the Paducah Symphony Orchestra. Seth and Craig are musically fastidious, taking their time to vet artists, making sure they fit the spirit and quality of the LTAMF.
"It does take a lot of work," says Seth. "A lot of it for me is getting out and seeing live music. That's what it’s about. You can read about artists, and you can hear their recorded music, but you really need to see them live. That makes me even more excited about this year's festival. We've been recruiting from a larger, regional base, talking with musicians from Nashville, St. Louis, and Louisville."
Another act Seth is excited about is Simo. "They are out of Nashville as well, and their sound harkens back to Led Zeppelin. There was a nice write-up about them in Rolling Stone.
"I'm also looking forward to experimental music from D'Arkestra from Louisville. It's an avant-garde jazz band that played the CBGB Festival in New York last year. This is their first time to Paducah."
The Paducah Symphony Orchestra will take the main stage on Saturday, and the Paducah Symphony Youth and Children Choruses and Youth Orchestra will perform as well.
Even though many of the acts are booked, Seth continues to work on securing a few more. "We're looking at bringing the Loot Rock Gang from St. Louis. They toured with Pokey Lafarge. I’m also working on having Jessica Wilkes perform her new project.
"And we are continuing with music after the festival with another after-party at Maiden Alley with Jessica Wilkes and the Shack Shakers. It will be a joint fundraiser with the PSO and Maiden Alley. So once again, there will be plenty of opportunities to take in some really great music!"
For more information, visit lowertownamf.com.