Festival attracts more than 1,000 people

Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Kennett's own 'The Usual Suspects' was a hit at Hornersville's 5th Annual Little River Fest. The Suspects have shared the stage with many stars, such as Sheryl Crow and the late Johnny Cash to name a few. They are, from the left, Gary Wilcoxson, Wendell Crow, Jim Baker, Dunk Carter, Daryl Wilcoxson and Ken Williams in the back on drums.

HORNERSVILLE Mo. -- The 5th Annual Little River Fest attracted over 1,100 people to the banks of the Little River at Riverside Park in Hornersville Saturday.

The day's festivities were loaded with entertainment from several rock-and-roll and blues bands.

Coldwater Productions' Chris Droke, the event coordinator, said "finally, the weather cooperated and set the stage for a wonderful turnout at this year's event."

Wendell Crow with The Usual Suspects, is pictured with his guitar as his band plays a variety of their own blues favorites at the 5th Annual Little River Fest in Hornersville, Mo., Saturday.

December Son, a group of young area musicians, began the day with a lineup of songs ranging from pop to rock.

Award winning singer and songwriter Joe Pagetta and his band took the stage next and brought with them a special surprise guest, Cathy Crow. Crow joined the band on stage and performed numerous sets as the sun began to set over the park.

Next was Kennett's own 'The Usual Suspects.' The Usual Suspects, an area favorite, was certainly a crowd pleaser.

Jim Baker, lead singer for The Usual Suspects, takes center stage as he sings one of the bands own blues songs. Baker, as well as the rest of the bands' members, are long-time Kennett residents. The Usual Suspects have recorded at Sun Records, Sam Phillips Studios, Sunset Studios in Los Angeles and Studio 19 in Nashville.

The Usual Suspects members, Gary and Daryl Wilcoxson, Jim Baker, Wendell Crow, Dunk Carter and Ken Williams, played a combination of the bands own blues and rock favorites.

Kennett native Ashley Wilcoxson joined the Suspects for a few sets. Wilcoxson performs as a backing singer for major recording studios in Nashville, Tenn. and was recently featured in a Brooks and Dunn CMT music video.

Another great performance came from Northeast Arkansas' Bow-Legged Rooster Boys.

"They were awesome," Droke said. "Everyone from the area knows what to expect from The Usual Suspects because of their professional background and music history, but the Bow-Legged Rooster Boys came out and surprised everyone with a spectacular performance."

Slick Ballinger and Blind Mississippi Morris rounded out the evening with a spectacular blues performance.

"Again, here is another example of getting what you expect," Droke said. "Ballinger has played with legends such as B.B. King and the Rolling Stones. "With credentials such as this, you would expect a superior performance and that is exactly what we got," he added.

"And Morris, well, he is a legend himself. "He was named one of the top 10 harmonica players in the world by Blues Magazine," Droke said. "It was an all around great day with wonderful performances by all the bands."

Droke said the event attracted crowds from Memphis and Nashville Tenn., Little Rock, Ark., and even as far as California.

"We hope that next year will be just as successful as we plan to grow and perfect the event in the years to come, Droke said.

"Everyone seemed to have a great time listening to the bands as well as visiting the concessions which consisted of a beverage tent, a booth for Delta Crawfish, who served up hot steamy seafood entrees, as well as a hot dog, burger and funnel cake tent," he said.

Droke said the excellent food tents were just an addition to the excellence the day brought to the Riverside Park.

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