Two local music-related nonprofits are officially joining forces. The boards of Rooster Walk Inc. and Arts at the Rives Theatre (ART), who already often work together to bring live music and arts events to Martinsville-Henry County, recently voted to formalize their relationship by combining under the Rooster Walk umbrella.
Rooster Walk is best-known for producing the family-friendly music and arts festival of the same name every Memorial Day weekend in Axton. Last May’s festival marked the eighth year of the event and the largest attendance on record. The group formerly organized the Turn 5 outdoor concerts at Martinsville Speedway and now puts on the Brewster Walk Craft Beer Festival and Concerts each October in uptown Martinsville. Funds raised by RW events support a variety of charitable ventures in the area, including the Penn-Shank Memorial Scholarship fund at Martinsville High School and the Rooster Walk Music Instrument Program which collects, repairs and donates band instruments to entry-level band programs in the Martinsville-Henry County public school systems. To date, Rooster Walk Inc. has donated more than $100,000 to local charities.
ART, formed in 2009 and staffed by volunteers, has put on more than 110 concerts at the historic Rives Theatre. In addition, ART has held concerts at Shining Star Farm in Henry County and hosted numerous of non-concert events at the theatre including stand-up comedians, lectures, art shows, talent shows, birthday parties, political debates, fundraisers and a variety of other civic and community-related functions.
The organizations, each of which was dedicated to promoting music, arts and education in Martinsville-Henry County, already share some volunteers, board members and supporters. With the similarity in mission, it made sense to combine, said Shane Pinkston, a board member of both organizations.
Under the new structure, ART becomes a committee of the Rooster Walk organization, retaining the same mission and budgeting autonomy. From the public’s perspective, not much will change in the programming or charitable donations now that the two have merged. However, board members noted, becoming a single nonprofit organization will allow greater efficiencies in staffing, volunteers, booking of bands, and making more efficient use of funds.
“Speakers and programming at recent Nonprofit Leadership Summits, organized by The Harvest Foundation, inspired us to look for ways we might be duplicating efforts and creating unnecessary competition with one another,” said RW Executive Director Johnny Buck. “This move will improve our ability to attract high-quality musical acts and make us more competitive in seeking grant funds in the future.”
The next show will be the Brewster Walk Craft Beer Festival and Concerts on Oct. 8, featuring the Steep Canyon Rangers, The Trongone Band and Relacksachian. The beer festival will take place on the section of East Church Street directly in front of the Rives Theatre. For more information, visit www.roosterwalk.com and www.rivestheatre.org.
Join us Saturday, Aug. 6th for Emi Sunshine! This show will start at 7 p.m. Advance tickets are not available; all tickets must be purchased at the theatre on Aug. 6th. Tickets cost $10 for adults, $5 for kids ages 6-12, and free for children younger than 6 years old.
It’s impossible to explain the exceptional talents of EmiSunshine, an 12-year-old East Tennessee prodigy who has captured the nation’s attention as a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Steeped in Appalachian music, she is a true vocal stylist, one who instinctively knows how to interpret the nuances of a song with her impressive range, even though she has yet to gain the life experience and empathy seemingly necessary to fully comprehend the words she sings. Despite a given name that reflects optimism, she is drawn to darker themes of pain, anguish and even murder, like that of The Louvin Brothers, whom she loves.
The Tennessean is just the latest to describe her as “an old soul,” noting, “Onstage, this soul’s presence is commanding and her singing voice authentic and folksy.” While her youth might remind many of Taylor Swift, a more apt comparison would be to artists such as Dolly Parton, Alison Krauss or members of the Carter Family
Our next concert is for all the rock ‘n’ roll lovers out there. Stop Light Observations (SLO) is a fantastic young band based out of Charleston, SC, that will be making its Rives debut on Thursday, June 23rd.
Music fans who attended Rooster Walk 7 in 2015 will remember SLO from their Saturday night set that took place 8-10 pm on the Bassett Lake Stage, immediately before Yonder Mountain’s set. SLO was one of the big hits of the festival, and we’re stoked to bring them back to Martinsville.
Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 from the theatre’s box office on show night. Doors will open at 8 pm and music will begin at 9 pm. You can buy tickets online HERE. Tickets are not yet available in local stores, but will be soon at Woodall’s Music & the Daily Grind.
Season pass holders will be admitted free of charge to this show!
Shooter Jennings will perform at the Rives on Thursday, June 9th. He’ll be joined by his father’s backing band, Waymore’s Outlaws, and the night will start with an opening set from Billy Don Burns! Tickets ($35 adv / $40) are available locally at Woodall’s Music & Sound in Collinsville, as well as The Daily Grind in Uptown Martinsville. Or, buy them online from THIS LINK.
Join us this Friday night, May 13th, for an amazing night of authentic blues music! We’ll have Bob Margolin and his band, followed by another full set from The Nighthawks! The night will end with Bob joining forces with The Nighthawks for an extended tribute to the late Muddy Waters!
Bob Margolin was a member of Muddy’s band for multiple years, touring with him and playing guitar. He was also on the legendary documentary, The Last Waltz. The Nighthawks, based in Washington, DC, have been touring for more than 40 years and played with a long list of the Who’s Who in the blues world.
Tickets are $17 in advance and $20 at the doors. Season passes are gladly accepted. Buy your tickets online HERE.
Arts at the Rives Theatre will hold concerts on two consecutive nights for the first time since the organization was founded April 22-23. As part of a Rooster Walk Preview weekend, The Monbacks will be joined by The Southern Belles on Friday, April 22nd. On Saturday the 23rd, Wild Ponies will have an album release show.
FRI April 22
Major & the Monbacks
w/ The Southern Belles opening.
– $15 adv / $18 doors
– Season Passes gladly Accepted
SAT April 23
*Special Album Release Show*
– Sorry, no season passes accepted