grand opening festival
Sunday, August 25
Noon to 4 p.m.
Amphitheatre at the City of Auburn Lawn and Porch
Join us for outdoor activities, live music (featuring performances by Kidd Black Disco Show, Don Clayton, Ella Langley Band, The Pine Hill Haints, and Peggy Jenkins and the Bizness), and a special appearance by Aubie! Local food trucks will be onsite, too, so make plans to enjoy lunch at the new Amphitheatre at the City of Auburn Lawn and Porch.
This event is free and open to the public. Parking is available. Performances begin at noon.
At age 4, Don was playing harmonica to earn dimes for candy in South Alabama. By junior high, he was already learning guitar, piano and trumpet and later put himself through college playing blues and Southern rock in the local bar scene.
After receiving a B.A. in music education at Auburn, Don returned to Dothan to open a recording studio and started perfecting his own songs. Music always tells a story, and he became determined to live a story worth telling.
In 1979, Don landed in Asheville and fell in love with its Smoky Mountains and bluegrass history. His songs reflect the distinct mood of the quiet, foggy Blue Ridge mountaintops, and on Don’s newest album, Lucky Man, you can hear the Southern influence on “Time On My Hands,” a love ballad about the heart-healing power of whiskey and wine.
Learn more about Don Clayton.
Ella Langley got her start in country music in the back room of her grandparents’ house. Raised in Hope Hull, Alabama, nothing made the singer-songwriter happier than singing “Mama Tried” in her daddy’s truck or belting out “Froggy Went a-Courtin’” next to her grandpa on his guitar. When she was 13, Ella’s grandpa passed away, leaving her his old guitar and a passion for performing. Ella’s daddy restrung it, and she hasn’t put the guitar down since.
Today, Ella balances her studies at Auburn University with her country music career. Inspired by long-time artists like Willie Nelson and Stevie Nicks, and current artists like Kacey Musgraves, Brandi Carlile and Jason Isbell, Ella is drawn to the truth tellers—artists who tell real stories through their lyrics and melodies.
Ella has performed all across Alabama, as well as Florida and Georgia. She plans to release her next single in 2019.
Learn more about Ella Langley.
The Pine Hill Haints
The Pine Hill Haints formed more than 20 years ago from a cult of music-loving skateboarders—best friends who roamed empty streets and hid from cops in cemeteries. Auburn, Alabama was a Southeast hotspot for punk rock and a favorite of underground touring bands. The Haints rapidly became an in-demand act and soon developed their own musical style—Alabama Ghost Country—a sound consisting of Appalachian methods and traditional instruments, like the fiddle, singing saw and washboard, run through modern devices like digital delay and electric amps.
The Haints’ musical legacy boasts a dozen tours of Europe and Japan, 11 albums and a massive national following. They’ve released many albums on their own label (Arkam Records) and have worked with the legendary K Records out of Olympia, Washington. Their next release is slated for the modern Muscle Shoals label Single Lock.
Learn more about The Pine Hill Haints.
Peggy Jenkins and the Bizness
Peggy Jenkins’ incredible voice and engaging, “down home” stage presence always wows the audience. A former backup singer for Patti Labelle, she has opened for major R&B acts and entertained crowds at national venues including Harlem’s famed Apollo Theater.
Bassist Larry Rose has played with everyone from the Tams to the Drifters to the Temptations. The “funk” and energy he brings to the stage sets the tone for every show.
Drummer Ike Alexander is a U.S. Air Force Drum & Bugle Corps alumnus and author of the drum instruction method SIKE. His R&B band Declamation opened for such acts as Earth, Wind & Fire, the Commodores and the O’Jays.
Stellar guitarist Bob Rumer adds a touch of blues with his soulful slide playing and vocals. Formerly with Tommy Crain & the Crosstown Allstars, Bob has played with major artists such as Jimmy Hall, Bonnie Bramlett and the Charlie Daniels Band.
Learn more about Peggy Jenkins and the Bizness.