Music Fest to include locals

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 8, 2002

The city of Columbiana’s

first &uot;County Seat Music Festival,&uot; slated for Saturday, Oct. 12 at the Columbiana Sports Complex, will include headliners such as country star Eric Heatherly as well as local talent.

The main stage at the facilities on McDow Road

will open around 5 p.m. with Little Big Town and Tori Baxley leading up to the appearance by

star performer Eric Heatherly

around 8 p.m.

Appearing on the Strings & Things small stage from about 1-4:30 p.m. will be local artists Point Blank from Columbiana, Samantha Lea of Alabaster and Tekneek and Laura Culpepper from



is a product of Chattanooga, Tenn.

Among his songs are &uot;Flowers on the Wall&uot; by Dewitt Lewis, &uot;Swimming in Champagne&uot; by Heatherly and Richard Carpenter and &uot;Wrong Five O’clock&uot; by Heatherly and Carpenter.

His music influences include such country legends as

Elvis, Conway Twitty and Stevie Ray Vaughn. And guitar solos are

a key element of his performance.

Tori Mekayla Baxley at age 15, has opened for such stars as Billy Joe Royal, George Jones and the Charlie Daniels Band. Among her radio and TV appearances was an ABC News interview at the Covered Bridge Festival in Oneonta.

Little Big Town formed its group in 1998. Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, Kimberly Roads and Phillip Sweet first performed together at the

Grand Ole Opry

in 1999.

Their first single was &uot;Don’t Waste My Time,&uot; and the members of the group co-produced their first album along with

Blake Chancey, David Huff and Paul Worley.

The group has co-written with songwriters Bob Dipiero (&uot;Take Me As I Am&uot;),

Keith Follese (&uot;Something Like That&uot;), Marcus Hummon (&uot;Cowboy Take Me Away&uot;), Annie Roboff (&uot;This Kiss&uot;) and Mark D. Sanders (&uot;I Hope You Dance&uot;).

Westbrook is from Sumiton, Ala.; Sweet is from Cherokee Village, Ark.; Fairchild is from Atlanta, Ga.; and Roads is from Cornelia, Ga.

Point Blank is a group whose members have all known each other for a number of years.

Band members include

drummer Chris Nelson,

owner of True Blue Printing in the Argo/Trussville area for 30 years; Billy Morgan, who has played steel guitar for 25 years and who has been an employee of the Talladega School System for 29 years; Mike Nichols,

who has played guitar for 30 years, has been a music store owner for 25 years and who owns Strings & Things in Columbiana; and Travis Stone, who has played base guitar for 30 years and who has been owner of a printing business and music store for 25 years.

Lea is a 15-year-old honor roll student at Thompson High School.

The 10th grader has performed at Brierfield Music Festival, Liberty Day in Columbiana, sang the National Anthem for the Braves TBS Tour, has performed in middle and high school musicals and at the Shelby County Fair.

Culpepper is a 13-year-old Mountain Brook Elementary student. She has performed for Birmingham City Stages, the Birmingham Arts Festival for four years, Sip N Surf Coffee Cafe, Canterbury Church Follies, the Mars Music Talent Show which she won,

Bobby T. Talent Show, MBE School Talent 2000, MBE school play, MBE Veterans Day Program and other ceremonies, the Homestead Hollow Festival and Shelby County Fair for four years.

She also appeared in

&uot;The Music Man&uot; at the Alabama Theatre and at Summerfest Theatre for two years.


also studied music at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, had five years of vocal

training, four years of piano and received on-camera training at the Actors Outlet.

Tekneek, a contemporary jazz sextet, was formed in 1995 in Birmingham. Their current CD is called &uot;Point of View,&uot; and they have performed at such events as the W.C. Handy Music Festival.

The gates for the music festival will open at noon with food and children’s activities beginning at 1 p.m., rain or shine. Bring your own lawn chairs and blankets.

Advance tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and may be purchased at

Columbiana City Hall, Regions Bank (all Shelby County Branches) and First National Bank of Shelby County (all Shelby County branches).

Children, ages 12 and under, will be admitted free when accompanied by an adult.

Tickets may be purchased at the gate for $15. There will be no alcohol or coolers allowed inside the gate