Press Release

For Immediate Release 

 

Event Date: August 29-September 4, 2016

 

41st Old Time Music Festival Offers Music From The Heart, Le Mars, Iowa

 

As a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation devoted and dedicated to keeping acoustic rural country music alive, founder Bob Everhart, is a recording artist for the Smithsonian Institution, and has successfully directed all 41 annual events.

 

The jamming sessions that take place during the event.

 

LeMars Main Stage

 

Le Mars, Iowa, August 16, 2016 - For 41 years, Smithsonian Institution recording artist Bob Everhart, a BMI songwriter and publisher, has passionately been hosting an event in Iowa, the major thrust being the preservation and performance of America's forgotten rural music.

 

The 41st Old Time Music Festival will be held August 29-September 4, 2016 in Le Mars, Iowa at the Plymouth City Fairgrounds, 500 4th Ave NE.

 

"I love America's old-time music" Everhart said.  "It's the very soul of who we are as a people.  Gospel music is one of my favorite genres, and when it's old-time we really get to hear the 'soul' of what Gospel music is all about.  I also like all the other forms of music that gather at the festival, and it's pretty incredible, traditional and classic country music; ragtime; bluegrass; folk; mountain; blues; cowboy; even western swing and honky-tonk (especially at our evening dances).  It's still all going strong at our annual event which runs Aug. 29-Sept 4, this year."


Even though Everhart is 80 years old, he still tackles the everyday problems of putting on an event that hosts over 450 performers from around the world on ten stages running from 9am to midnight every day.


"We have to rent an entire fairgrounds to make this work," Everhart said.  "And the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in Le Mars, Iowa, works well for us because they have over 300 electrical hook-ups for RV's.  Plus they have six buildings we can use for indoor stages and we have four more stages outdoors.  One of the outdoor stages I really like is in the tipi-village rendezvous area, which is actually set up in an old pioneer ghost town.  That stage hosts the quiet music of our past, autoharps, dulcimers, zithers, harmonicas, old-time sounding acoustic guitars, and such.  It's quiet, it has a lot of character, and it's peaceful and serene, just like it must have been for our pioneers who settled this part of America."


There's a tremendous amount of other activities going on besides the performance of America's old time rural music. According to Everhart, "A group of like-minded folks from the upper Midwest formed what they call the Rural Roots Music Commission.  They listen to CD's all year long and then they pick those that best fits their idea of what 'real' music sounds like and presents the artist with their "CD of the Year" awards.  That has led to an amazing presence of incredibly gifted artists that write, record, and perform many musical genres no longer available on the media controlled music selection process across America."


Everhart's 'take' on commercial music or the music business itself these days, hasn't changed much since his hero Woody Guthrie was tromping around America preaching this land is your land. Everhart feels that a lot of 'commercial' music, no matter what its name, has sort of lost their 'soul' in the process of pursuing only profits rather than artistic expression.  "We've felt for a long time that the average American really wants to see the 'real deal' these days.  Not only in government and politics, and food, and movies, and education, but also in real-life real-music, no matter what genre it might be or used to be. It really doesn't matter if 'real' people just sing with beautiful voices, even if they go unheard.  What changes the playing field is that someone who can't sing a note, can go to Nashville and have their voice altered to perfect pitch.  That's a huge difference in how we listen to music and how we perform it live."


Everhart is quick to point out that the festival he directs is more than various musical presentations on ten stages.  "When we started this 41 years ago, we started it as an Agricultural Exposition. In the early years we had a lot of critters besides human beings at our event.  Now we only have a few small animal participants, but it's still an Ag-Expo. It's the music however, that has remained real and valid.

 

Admission: Admission varies, but generally $15 - $20. facilities to accommodate RV travelers. Electric hook-ups at $15 a day.


Even though Everhart has recorded six award winning albums for the Smithsonian Institution, he still recognizes artists that have not reached that level of aspiration yet.  "We have seven days of workshops on every imaginable style and instrument the homesteaders and pioneers may have used," he said.  "Learning to play the old music is as easy as learning how to read a ruler.  What we are trying to do is what Bill Monroe, the father of bluegrass music did.  Keep the 'ancient tones' alive and well.  Monroe got his first break in Iowa, and we propose to do the same for those who come to this event."


Among the well over 450 performers that attend this event, many are well known and famous enough to be inducted into America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame.  "We've been doing that for 41 years too," Everhart said.  "It was incredible to see Patti Page emerge out of retirement and leave her home in California to spend a couple of days with us at the Le Mars Festival.  The last thing she told my wife Sheila and I as she left to go back home, 'keep it country Bob & Sheila, you're the only ones doing that in the upper Midwest."


More information about the festival is available directly from Everhart at 712-762-4363 or e-mailing him at
bobeverhart@yahoo.com.

 

 

 

Girl Jam

 

 

 

 

 Media Contact    

 

Media Contact: Bob Everhart

Email: bobeverhart@yahoo.com

Phone: (712) 249-5989

 

 Calendar Listing

 

CALENDAR LISTING:

Event Name: 41st National Old Time Music Festival & Pioneer Expo

Event Date: August 29-September 4, 2016

Event Time: 9am to midnight every day

Event Location: Plymouth Cty Fairgrounds, 500 4th Ave Ne, Le Mars, Iowa

Admission: Admission varies, but generally $15 - $20. facilities to accommodate RV travelers. Electric hook-ups at $15 a day.

Contact: Bob Everhart, bobeverhart@yahoo.com, (712) 249-5989

Description: For 41 years, Smithsonian Institution recording artist Bob Everhart, a BMI songwriter and publisher, has passionately been hosting an event in Iowa, the major thrust being the preservation and performance of America's forgotten rural music. The 41st Old Time Music Festival will be held August 29-September 4, 2016 in Le Mars, Iowa at the Plymouth City Fairgrounds, 500 4th Ave NE. "I love America's old-time music" Everhart said.  "It's the very soul of who we are as a people.  Gospel music is one of my favorite genres, and when it's old-time we really get to hear the 'soul' of what Gospel music is all about.  I also like all the other forms of music that gather at the festival, and it's pretty incredible, traditional and classic country music; ragtime; bluegrass; folk; mountain; blues; cowboy; even western swing and honky-tonk. More information about the festival is available directly from Everhart at 712-762-4363 or e-mailing him at bobeverhart@yahoo.com.

 


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