WHITE SPRINGS, FLORIDA - May 2, 2011 –
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service will host the 59th Annual Florida Folk Festival on May 27 through 29, at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park. Nashville recording artist John Anderson will headline the prestigious festival on Saturday evening, May 28.
The story of John Anderson and his platinum-plus album, Seminole Wind, is the story of the country music "come-back" of the decade. It's the true-to-life, yet larger-than-life, saga of one of the most dramatic career turn-arounds of the 1990's. It's the story of just reward for a singer who originally took country music by storm and helped keep it true to its roots back in the early '80's. His memorable hits from that musical era included Wild and Blue, I'm Just An Old Chunk Of Coal, 1959, I Just Came Home To Count The Memories, Black Sheep and Swingin'. Swingin' was not only the Country Music Association's 1983 Song of the year; more recently it was cited by the A.M.O.A. as one of its all-time top-forty jukebox hits--right up there with Hey Jude and other perennial favorites by The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Patsy Cline, George Jones, and The Rolling Stones.
Straight Tequila Night, the lead-off single from Seminole Wind (Anderson's debut album for BNA Entertainment), went to number one across the board on every country chart. It was his first bona-fide chart-topper since Black Sheep in 1983. When It Comes To You, the second single, reached number two, while Seminole Wind, the heartfelt title tune soared to number one when released in 1992. Jay Orr, a noted music writer for the Nashville Banner, was one of several critics to list Seminole Wind in a top-ten album round-up for 1992.
Seminole Wind is a vivid personal statement which Anderson wrote after visiting his 95-year old grandmother, and after driving around Florida observing the drastic ecologial changes that time and progress wrought on his native state. Its accompanying video was shot at a cypress preserve in the Florida Everglades which assistance and participation of the region's native Seminole Indians. It too leaped to the number one spot on national video charts.
Those of us who've followed the vicissitudes of Anderson's recording career aren't particularly surprised at his "rediscovery" in the wake of Seminole Wind. This is, after all, the vocal genius who won the Country Music Association's 1983 Horizon Award and helped lay the cornerstone for the late 1980s neo-traditionalist boom with his aforementioned early '80s stone-country hits. Those hits which showcased Anderson's arresting, instantly recognizable vocal style, a provocative mixture of honky tonk fervor, rockabilly/outlaw gusto, sly, tongue-in-cheek humor and just a hint of rock n' roll swagger. The Anderson we hear today is merely the new and slightly mellowed adult version of the stylistically headstrong, fiercely determined 17-year old who hit Nashville running in 1972. He clawed his way up the ladder one rung at a time, from $5-a-night gigs in the honky tonk closets of lower Broadway and a day job tacking shingles on the new Grand Old Opry house at Opryland.
John followed Seminole Wind with five more critically acclaimed albums, spawning hits like, Money In The Bank, I’ve Got It Made, I Wish I Could Have Been There, Let Go Of The Stone, Bend It ‘Til It Breaks, Mississippi Moon and Somebody Slap Me.
John Anderson is a seasoned and improved model of the same tried-and-true, dyed-in-the-wool country vocalist who critics lauded more than a decade ago for having brought, "renewed beauty and elegance to the twin-fiddle, steel guitar tradition of the old-time honky-tonk balladeer." The editors of Country Music Magazine, in celebration of the magazine's 25th anniversary, compiled their individual choices for the best 20 records of the past 20 years, three of Anderson's early albums made their respective short lists.
Other awards include a Grammy Award in 1996 for Amazing Grace: A Country Salute To Gospel. In 1994, the Academy of Country Music honored him with their “Career Achievement Award.” The same year he received the Country Music Association “Album of the Year” for Common Threads: The Songs of the Eagles. Swingin’ won the CMA “Single of the Year” in 1983. He has also received numerous nominations for Grammies, ACM’s and CMA’s and has several gold and platinum album certifications.
Recently, John has released Anthology on his own JA Records, distributed by Audium/KOCH Entertainment. This 30 song collection is a culmination of all the hits in John Anderson’s spectacular career as well as a few important songs that have been popular in his road show and frequently requested by his loyal following. John states, “This project has great significance to me as this music and the musicians who played on it have become a big part of my life. I love and appreciate my fans and thank all of the people that have supported my music!”
Discounted advance tickets for the Florida Folk Festival are now on sale through May 20, 2011. Advance tickets for the Florida Folk Festival are $20.00 per day or $40.00 for the weekend for adults and $25.00 per day or $50.00 for the weekend at the gate. Children under six years of age are admitted free of charge. Ticket prices for children between the ages of six and 16 for the entire weekend are $4.00 in advance or $5.00 at the gate. Credit card purchases can be made by calling 1-877-635-3655, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. To order by mail, send a check or money order to: Florida Folk Festival, Post Office Drawer G, White Springs, Florida 32096. Checks should be made payable to Florida Folk Festival.
For more information, visit the website www.floridastateparks.org/stephenfoster
The Festival will take place:
Gates open daily at 8:00 a.m.
May 27–29, 2011
Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park
White Springs, Florida