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The inaugural Red Dirt and Gold Dust Music Fest will be held Saturday at the Calaveras County Fairgrounds in Angels Camp.
“This has been a lifelong dream of mine to bring quality music events to the Calaveras County Fairgrounds,” said Jeremy Leonard, owner of Whiskey Slide Productions in Angels Camp. “This is going to be an incredible day — seven bands playing the best of Red Dirt music: southern rock, Americana, bluegrass, outlaw country and good ol’ country.”
Leonard has teamed up with Smooth and Mechelle Roose, of Missouri, to bring this festival to the foothills. The all-day event will host seven of the Red Dirt industry’s popular and up-and-coming bands, including national recording artists Cody Canada and The Departed, John D. Hale Band, Matt Stell, Cole Porter Band, Kaitlin Butts and Calaveras County’s own Grover Anderson and Walt Hoyt.
In addition to live music, vendors will sell barbecue and other food.
“The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2600 out of San Andreas will be working the beer booth and the Angels-Murphys-Arnold Boosters Club will be handling parking,” Leonard said.
A portion of the proceeds will go to Calaveras Recovers, a volunteer group aiming to rebuild lives and homes following last year’s devastating Butte Fire.
“I wanted to make sure our local nonprofit groups reaped the benefits of this event,” Leonard said.
Tickets are on sale now at reddirtandgolddust.com for $25 each, and may also be purchased at the Angels Camp Body Shop, 1270 S. Main St. Tickets will rise to $30 on Saturday. Parking is an additional $5 charge with all proceeds going to the Boosters Club.
No outside food, drinks or coolers will be allowed into the fairgrounds.
Saturday’s lineup includes:
• Cody Canada was the lead singer-songwriter of the Oklahoma-based rock-country band Cross Canadian Ragweed. Now, Canada has returned to vintage form, taking the lead of his four-piece band, The Departed, with a newly energized inspiration to get back to his roots. The Departed consists of Canada (guitar/vocals), Ragweed veteran Jeremy Plato (bass guitar/vocals), Seth James (guitar/vocals), Steve Littleton (keyboards), and Chris Doege (drums). In 2015, the band released their latest album, “HippieLovePunk.”
• John D. Hale Band have blended together their favorite parts of country, Americana, southern rock, and even bluegrass. Their debut album, “One of a Kind,” enjoyed widespread radio play domestically as well as in Europe and Australia.
• Matt Stell is equal parts songwriter and entertainer. That’s whether he’s on stage opening for the biggest country acts of the last decade (Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Chris Stapleton, Gary Allan, and more) or in a dive bar with only a mic and guitar. “I know the way I have always felt when a song really hits home,” Stell said. “Nothing else feels that way. When I heard Randy Travis singing ‘He Walked on Water,’ Bonnie Raitt singing ‘Papa Come Quick,’ or Drive-By Truckers doing ‘Zip City’ I kind of knew that I wanted to be part of something that can affect people the way these songs affected me. It just took a while to get the courage up to try.”
• The Cole Porter Band hails from the Ozark Mountains in Missouri. The five-piece band, led by Cole Porter and his wife, Kendra, released their first album, “Devil By the Tail,” with singer-songwriter and producer Mike McClure in 2013. Since the album’s release, the band has stayed busy on the road. With more than 300 shows in the rearview, they show no signs of slowing down.
• Kaitlin Butts sings pure and simple country music. Festival organizers say this Oklahoman sings her songs with 50 years of heartbreak in her voice, though she is not even half that age. Butts has supported artists such as The Great Divide, John Fullbright, Mike McClure, Aaron Watson, Zane Williams, Wade Bowen, Cody Canada, and Cody Jinks. She has performed at South by Southwest, Gypsy Café Music Festival, Norman Music Festival, and OKC Fest. Butts is also a frequent performer at the Centennial Rodeo Opry, known as Oklahoma’s “Official Country Music Show.”
• Grover Anderson was raised in Murphys. He assembled a bar band while attending University of California, Santa Barbara, and shortly after recorded an album of songs he had written in school and while traveling Europe. Since returning to northern California, Anderson has written and released two albums, “Tourniquet” and “The Optimist.” “Moonshine,” the opening track on the mostly-acoustic “Tourniquet,” generated strong interest via digital streaming. Meanwhile, “The Optimist” is a collection of songs that “celebrates the human capacity to be deeply affected by others.”
• Walt Hoyt is a local singer, songwriter and rodeo star. He covers classics as well as performs his own original pieces, including his recent song “Blown Away.” For the past few years, Hoyt has been performing throughout the Sacramento area, opening for artists including Chad Bushnell, Ashley Barron and Tiffany Lorraine.
• What: Red Dirt and Gold Dust Music Fest.
• When: Saturday, 1 p.m.
• Where: Calaveras County Fairgrounds, Angels Camp.
• Tickets: $25 advance, $30 at the gate.
• Info: reddirtandgolddust.com