2018 LINEUP

 

FIRST SECURITY BANK STAGE

Friday, September 28

6:00 pm Love and a Revolver
7:00 pm Sawyer’s Mill
8:00 pm The Clark Family Trio Featuring Bill Nesbitt

Saturday, September 29

10:00 am Belles & Beaux / Freedom Warriors Riding Association
11:00 am Breaking Chains
12:00 pm Sierra & Khya Carson
1:00 pm Dara Niemi
2:00 pm Clogging Thunder
2:30 pm O’Donovan School of Irish Dance
5:00 pm Anna Brinker
6:00 pm Melanie Meriney
7:00 pm Tony-Ray Thompson
8:00 pm Restless Heart

UNITY HEALTH STAGE
(Spring Park Pavilion)

Saturday, September 29

10:00 am Harding Academy Band
10:30 am Valley Baptist H20
11:00 am Searcy High School Choir
11:30 am Ahlf Junior High Cheerleaders
Searcy High School Cheerleaders
Searcy High School Lionsteppers
12:00 pm 4 Mile Hill Taekwondo
12:30 pm Rhodes Dance Academy
1:00 pm Brian and Terri Kinder
2:00 pm White County Central Choir
2:30 pm Studio 122
3:00 pm Center on the Square
3:30 pm 4 Mile Hill Taekwondo



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Melanie Meriney
Saturday 6:00 pm•First Security Bank Stage

Growing up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Melanie Meriney loved playing ice hockey, reading novels and writing songs. She became a fan of artists such as Shania Twain, Phil Vassar, Taylor Swift, Fleetwood Mac and Miranda Lambert at a young age. While her mom always played country radio in the house, her dad instilled in her a love of rock music. Melanie’s songwriting and singing became a product of her environment – primarily country with an urban, pop-rock feel that comes from growing up in a Northern city. 

 Her first EP, “All the Good Songs,” helped to distinguish her unique sound; its songs drew upon her real-life experiences at first love, loss and self-reflection. In the fall of 2013, Melanie was nominated for a Nashville Independent Music Award for Best Female Country Artist. Signing her first publishing deal with Dune Grass Music in 2016, Melanie was mentioned in Billboard, Country Aircheck, and Music Row Magazine as a developing pop-country scene contender. Her second EP,  

“Up in Lights,” has a little more edge and a little more honesty, showing her personality in songs like “Drugstore Makeup” and “Lipstick on a Microphone.” Her debut single "Lifeboat" reached #2 on the UK Hot Disc chart. The music video premiered on Great American Country (GAC) as well as international syndicates. 

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Tony-Ray Thompson
Saturday 7:00 pm•First Security Bank Stage

Tony-Ray Thompson was born in Beaufort, South Carolina, but was raised on the Alabama/Florida line. As a young guitarist, he was influenced by artists such as Prince, Keith Urban and John Mayer. Still in his 20s, he has garnered the position as one of the top picks in the Pensacola, Florida, area. Nowadays, he is branching out and adding singer/songwriter to his list of accomplishments. 

As a country, blues and southern rock artist who is sought out for his versatility, Tony-Ray has performed alongside a number of regional and national touring acts and songwriters including Mary Sarah, Chloe Channell, Kyle Wilson, Jason Justice and many others. Tony-Ray has finally found his place as a singer/songwriter with his own signature style, influenced by artists such as Eric Church, The Highwaymen and Alan Jackson. He is now showcasing his rich vocals, relatable originals and mad guitar skills.

Tony-Ray is regularly performing and engaging his audience around the Gulf Coast and, when not on stage, is hard at work writing songs. Excitedly, he is working in Nashville studios to record his first songs with Mr. Steve Dady of Sunset Blvd Studios. Tony-Ray is tirelessly preparing songs for his first independently-released album. 

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Restless Heart
Saturday 8:00 pm•First Security Bank Stage

Nashville recording band Restless Heart is an award-winning group that became a country music sensation with their four Grammy nominations and seven CMA nominations. Audiences have sung along with their record-shattering string of hits, such as “I’ll Still Be Loving You,” “Fast Movin’ Train” and “When She Cries.” 

Restless Heart has landed more than 25 singles on the charts – earning six consecutive #1 hits, four of their albums have been certified Gold by the RIAA, and they have won a wide range of awards from many organizations – including the Academy of Country Music’s Top Vocal Group trophy. Their 1986 album “Wheels” even hit #1 on the Top Country Album chart. John Dittrich, Greg Jennings, Paul Gregg, Dave Innis and Larry Stewart have enjoyed one of the most successful careers in country music history in their 35 years together as a group. Dave Innis enjoys the musical ride as much as ever. “I think it’s been an amazing legacy, and it’s been such an honor to have been part of an organization that is still together with the same five original guys, and it’s more fun than ever.”

After years of topping the charts, the band has started to do community outreach to benefit groups such as the Nashville Rescue Mission and the men and women of the Armed Forces but their story is far from over. As Larry Stewart says, “Restless Heart still has a lot of history to make. We are still at the top of our game when it comes to singing and playing together. We’ve got some projects we’re working on, and we want to put the Restless Heart brand out to music fans again – to let them know we’re still here and making good music. We’re really looking forward, not trying to rest on our past laurels. We really want to do some new music. We have some fun things we’re considering to celebrate the moment, to reintroduce ourselves to the world and take another stab at something. Thirty-five years and those musical ‘Wheels’ are still going strong.”

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Love and a Revolver
Friday 8:00 pm•First Security Bank Stage

Getting its start in 2014, the band formerly known as The Remedy played several Little Rock venues until the band lost its lead singer to a job transfer. It didn't take long to find Jenny Clayton to fill that role and the band Love and a Revolver was born. With influences like the Allman Brothers, Gov't Mule and David Bowie, Love and a Revolver found its roots in Southern rock. After performing in the Arkansas Music Showcase, band members Kyle Priest, Wes Richardson and Brian Ramsay on guitars; Brad Lawson on bass; Adam Burton on drums; and Jenny Clayton on lead vocals have become known in Central Arkansas for their soulful sound.

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Sawyer’s Mill
Friday 7:00 pm•First Security Bank Stage

Sawyer’s Mill is an up-and-coming band from Searcy. The band started with friends Sawyer Jones on guitar and vocals and Jon Mark Brasher, also on guitar and vocals, who met at Harding University. Eventually, the duo added Tanner Chessman on bass, Grant King on drums and Jon Mark’s cousin Seth Werner on vocals. The band played their first show at Zion Climbing Center in downtown Searcy and has shared the stage with Nashville’s The Arcadian Wild. They currently have three singles, “Home,” Younger Days,” (featuring Jeff Konzal from Bird Laww) and “Cards on the Table” on major platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music. 

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Clark Family Trio Featuring Bill Nesbitt
Friday 8:00 pm•First Security Bank Stage

The Clark Family Trio features Cindy Clark on bass and vocals, her daughter Sallie Ann Clark on guitar and vocals and friend Bill Nesbitt on guitar, mandolin, banjo and vocals. The Trio is listed on the Arkansas Arts on Tour roster and has been featured at Silver Dollar City, the Ozark Folk Center, the Eureka Springs Folk Festival, the Eureka Springs Bluegrass Weekend, the Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour, Ozark Highlands Radio and KASU Bluegrass Monday. They draw from a large variety of musical styles, including bluegrass, folk, country, jazz, pop and gospel – always infusing their sound with tight three-part harmonies and top-flight instrumentals.

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Belles & Beaux
Saturday 10:00 am•First Security Bank Stage

Since 1959, Harding's exciting pop group Belles & Beaux has featured a wide variety of music from classical to country to rock and everything in between. This in-demand instrumental and vocal group maintains a full schedule of performances, including trips throughout the nation. Belles & Beaux is open to all interested musicians and all performance positions are filled by audition. The 15 select members of the group receive a scholarship to Harding University. The group is led by Chuck Hicks. Freedom Warriors Riding Association will be representing our military veterans during the presentation of the American flag while the Belles & Beaux musicians sing our National Anthem.

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Breaking Chains
Saturday 11:00 am•First Security Bank Stage

Breaking Chains is a contemporary Christian band from the Searcy area with the message of the cross as their main focus. They believe they are a ministry, not just a band. Psalms 2:3 says, “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.” With Dan Conrad on drums, Melissa Clonts on vocals, Randy Morris on vocals and guitar, Adam Graham on bass and Justin Roark on lead guitar, Breaking Chains will put on a powerful show that everyone will enjoy. Main Street Searcy is proud to welcome Breaking Chains to the First Security Bank Stage at 11:00 Saturday morning.

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Sierra & Khya Carson
Saturday 12:00 pm•First Security Bank Stage

Music is the common thread for two Northwest Arkansas teens known independently as Sierra Carson and Khya Carson. However, thanks to teachers, directors, worship leaders and coffee shop owners, they cannot escape the title of “the Carson sisters.” Khya’s love for indie pop and her creative approach to music combined with Sierra’s Americana/folk leaning brings about an entertaining set that will be both familiar and interesting. Expect strings, keys and beautifully melded harmonies. The set will span folk, country, and indie pop with some original music sprinkled in.

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Dara Niemi
Saturday 1:00 pm•First Security Bank Stage

Dara Niemi is an up-and-coming artist who is leading the way in bringing back traditional country with a modern edge. From a young age, Dara’s aspirations were easily recognizable. Her determination was channeled into music as it filled her time and allowed her to express herself. Dara began playing covers in the Texas music scene then started working with several writers in Nashville, creating her first album at only 13. Dara is well-known in local venues but has also performed in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Texas. Most recently, she was a finalist in her home state of Georgia’s Female Country Artist of the Year competition.

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Clogging Thunder
Saturday 2:00 pm•First Security Bank Stage

Get Down Downtown is proud to welcome Clogging Thunder to the area in front of The First Security Bank Stage on the Courthouse Square. Instructor Skyra Miller dances with Laura Moore, Claudia May Garcia, Aldyn Early and Lillian King. They consider themselves to be small-town cloggers who love to dance and have fun. Clogging Thunder dances all over Arkansas and has enjoyed performing at area events and festivals. They are always looking for new dancers to join their group. Anyone interested in joining Clogging Thunder can find the group at Grace Dance Studios in Heber Springs or give them a call at (815) 861-2166.

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O’Donovan School of Irish Dance
Saturday 2:30 pm•First Security Bank Stage

The O’Donovan School of Irish Dance is an accredited Irish step dance school that has been proudly serving Central Arkansas since 1996. The O’Donovan School offers an Irish dance program that develops dancers to their full potential when training in this intricate and athletic dance form. New students are always welcomed and opportunities are available for all O’Donovan dancers to participate in competition and local performances. The group is led by Mary Rose O'Donovan Fansler, a certified Irish Dance instructor since 1976, who enjoys sharing her Irish culture while performing at festivals and community events.

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Anna Brinker
Saturday 5:00 pm•First Security Bank Stage

Anna Brinker, originally from Bald Knob but currently living in Stuttgart, is a singer, songwriter and musician. She started singing as a young girl and learned how to play the guitar at 13. Her biggest influence is her father, Bill Scranton, who sang and played guitar to recordings of Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Johnny Paycheck and some of the other country music superstars. Anna has played several venues across the state of Arkansas. She began her solo acoustic act after opening for Jeff Bates in Searcy in 2013. In March, Anna was nominated for Acoustic Act of the Year at the Arkansas Country Music Awards.