Entertainment Variety Offered At Heart Of Virginia Festival

Published 3:03 pm Tuesday, April 16, 2013

First came Rembrandt and Picasso. Now Jed Mickel is coming to Farmville for the Heart of Virginia Festival on Saturday, May 5.

Though not yet one of the Old Masters, young master Mickel, a Lynchburg resident, is an illustrator at home in more than one art form. To the festival he is bringing his talent as caricaturist, producing five-minute portraits that are both humorous and recognizable. One of the longest lines at the festival will be filled with people waiting for Jed to capture their inner selves on paper.

If Jed were not so busy, he might pick up his guitar and jam with some of the festival bands. As usual, High Street will be full of sounds on Saturday.

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Returning for the festival this year is another area musician, Paddy Dougherty, with a new CD, “Winds of Change,” in her guitar case. Paddy says, “I've been blessed with an amazing career…A wild mix of singing, writing, sharing, empowering children's and elders' voices and meeting the most amazing folks along the way.” When not performing, Paddy is adjunct instructor of guitar at Sweet Briar College and Theater/Choral Director at James River Day School.

Also back for a repeat performance will be Gina Dalmas and the Cow Tippin' Playboys, who will provide the honky tonk sound so many festival goers will want to hear. You won't need to see their “2013 Veer Magazine Best Country Band” award to know that you are listening to serious musicians who are also having a great time playing their music.

For those interested in hearing groups for the first time, the festival offers the Railers, four musicians from Missouri, Arizona and Indiana whose music style is country, featuring a little-heard instrument in these parts, the concertina, along with the usual guitar, fiddle, mandolin and drums.

From east of Farmville comes a duo with sterling credentials. Acclaimed jazz guitarist Trey Pollard comes from Richmond, where he co-owns Songwire Studios, the venue where he records, produces and performs on projects from jazz to acoustic music. He teams with Jimmy Masters of Virginia Beach, who plays bass and also composes and produces. Masters has taught at the Governor's School of the Arts, the College of William and Mary, and Hampton University.

A non-musician yet a performer impossible to ignore is Teddy Spaghetti. Teddy has made a name for himself at previous festivals with his balloons and juggling, and it is impossible to predict what new sauce he will bring to entertain this year.

Clearly the entertainment lineup at this year's Heart of Virginia Festival is one not to be missed.