Gold King Americana Music Festival serves up 12 hours of tunes
On Saturday, Oct. 12, The Gold King Mine Americana Music Festival returns to Jerome for 12 full hours of music and thrills.
The third annual all age event begins at noon and runs to midnight at Jerome's Gold King Mine and Ghost Town, located at 1000 Perkinsville Road. Price is $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12. Camping is included and coolers and chairs are allowed. Food and artisan vendors will also be located on site, according to co-producer Lora Heiniemi. Emily McClellan is also co-producing the event. While 300 attended last year's event, organizers are expecting at least 500 to attend this year.
This year's featured musicians include Jimmy Pines and Washboard Jere, Barefoot and Pregnant, Whiskey Birds, Southern Sounds of Grass, Moondog from Dog of the Moon, Ezra Anderson, Stella's Infirmary, Sonya Wilson, Laina Galloway, Bernie LeZotte, Emily McClellan, The McClellan Family Bluegrass Band and more.
Partial proceeds from the event will benefit the organization Greyhounds of the Verde Valley.
"Emily and I started doing it as a partial fundraiser for the greyhounds last year," Heiniemi said. "We moved the event to later in the year so we don't have to worry about rain. It may be a little chilly at night, but you can always bring a jacket."
Jimmy Pines and Washboard Jere play all original, hillbilly blues-style music in their performances. Husband and wife musicians Jimmy and Jere Gabriel have played all three years of the Gold King Mine Americana Music Festival in Jerome. Besides playing various instruments, both also sing. The duo often plays at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix as well as at their home base at the Yucca Tap Room.
Jimmy Gabriel has played in a number of blues bands in the Phoenix area before embarking on a solo career. Jere also performs in the band Barefoot and Pregnant, which will also perform Oct. 12 at the festival.
"We had a washboard on the kitchen wall for decoration. Jere took it down and started playing it one time. That's how our band became a band," Gabriel said. "I've been playing music my whole life. I got into it through playing drums. My dad used to have a record called 'Music to Strip By.' I loved the drums in that album. I learned how to play drums off that record and never looked back."
Stella's Infirmary, comprised of singers Brier Leigh and Diondra Lorraine, formed in 2010. The group is most recognizable for their recent gig opening for Slash at the Rock N 2 Remember festival this summer in Prescott.
Musician Bernie LeZotte combines a mix of blues, rock and bluegrass. Born in Detroit, he relocated to Phoenix in 1990, and now performs original music, simultaneously playing guitar playing guitar, harmonica, cymbals, singing and playing the drums with his feet. His influences include the music of his birthplace in the Motor City, Black Sabbath, the Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin and others.
"I like to write music that is heartfelt and I write about what I know; love, love lost, life, the good, the bad and anything that stirs me to pick up a pen and a guitar," LeZotte said.