January 17, 2008

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Countrypalooza
Year of twang kicks off with jamboree
By Alec O’Meara aomeara@hippopress.com

Some of the top country music performers in the state will be gathering at the Circle Nine Ranch in Epsom on Sunday, Jan. 20, as part of the New Hampshire Country Music Association’s first jamboree of 2008.

Featured artists for the afternoon hoe-down include the Country Felix Band, Johnny Bubar and the Rouge Wolf Band, Monique Johnson, Lori Spence and Anjo Roy. The host band for the event is the Black Brook Band.

The Country Felix Band was named the 2007 Traditional Country Band of the year by the association during its annual awards ceremony last October.

The event is the first of several jamborees held throughout the year by the NHCMA, said association vice president Paul Malone, all of which are held to help raise money for the nonprofit organization. The goal of the NHCMA is to help promote local country music artists and try to propel individual careers on to Nashville.

“That’s the big dream for all of them,” Malone said. “We do what we can about it.”

To that end, the NHCMA offered the top five artists from its October awards show the opportunity to record a song at a Nashville studio this past fall. The five songs will be packaged together as part of an album that the NHCMA plans to sell at upcoming events.

The January jamboree is a twangy appetizer of sorts for a much larger event being organized by the association. Solo artists from Maine, Vermont and Rhode Island are all expected to descend onto the Rochester American Legion for the Northeast Invitational Country Music Showdown on Feb. 16 and 17. That event aims to crown the top singers in the region, though the award amounts to little more than bragging rights.

“The winners will get a trophy. That’s about it for the showdown,” Malone said.

Aside from the singing competition, the Showdown also features a breakfast catered by the American Legion and a dance on Saturday, Feb. 16, hosted by Shanna Stack.

Tickets for the January jamboree cost $5 for NHCMA members and $7 for non-members and are available at the door. More information on the NHCMA is available online at www.nhcma.com.


Jonny Bubar and the Rouge Wolf Band (above) is one of the many featured at the New Hampshire Country Music Association’s upcoming jamboree at the Circle Nine Ranch in Epsom. -Courtesy Photo.

Yee-haw
What: New Hampshire Country Music Association Jamboree
When: Sunday, Jan. 20
Where: Circle Nine Ranch, Windymere Dirve, Epsom
Tickets: $5 for members, $7 for non-members
More info: www.nhcma.com.