The Tennessee Valley Art Association expects there to be a great deal of picking — and hopefully some grinning, too — when they host Bluegrass at the Ritz with Jake Landers and Friends on Saturday.
Mary Settle Cooney, executive director of the Tennessee Valley Art Association, said they got to know Landers about five years ago when the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art featured an exhibit about the history of music in the area.
“Jake Landers was one of the people who helped us interpret that important bluegrass music,” Cooney said. “So out of that came the idea to have a festival in February every year. ... Jake invites his friends and people he knows in the bluegrass community and we have just had three wonderful years of bluegrass music on the third Saturday in February.”
There will be two concerts — 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the Ritz Theatre in downtown Sheffield.
The Jake Landers Band is expected to perform if Landers, who was recovering from a hospital visit, is able.
While optimistic about Landers’ performance, the band Iron Horse will be on standby in the event Landers cannot attend.
Others on the list of scheduled performers include Kay Bain, Wayne Jerolds & Savannah Grass, Wailin Wood, New Home and Breaking Glass.
Both shows will feature the same groups playing a different lineup.
The day and events are both fun and laid back, Cooney said.
“One of the most fun things is what happens in the encore room, because there is a lot of jamming going on in there,” Cooney said.
“These artists know each other and even when they don’t know each other they gather together and have the most fun playing. So there is bluegrass hanging from every rafter of the Ritz on that day.”
Landers said he is excited about the lineup of artists.
“I think this will be one of the best shows we’ve had over there at the Ritz,” he said. “It’s one of the best groups that we’ve had.”
One of the things Landers said they are trying that’s new this year is harmonica player Wailin Wood.
“That’s something that’s a little bit different and it’s also a new route,” Landers said. “He’s a super good player and also a super good entertainer. Anyone who hasn’t seen him before will certainly enjoy it.”
Landers was instrumental in getting the groups together, Cooney said.
“Everybody knows if Jake Landers is involved we are going to have great musicians and great singers,” Cooney said. “It’ll be a great day.”
Bobby Bozeman can be reached at 256-740-5722 or bobby.bozeman@ TimesDaily.com.