Monday, April 29, 2013

Summer Music Preview: Rocket Suzie Festival

Spring came a bit late this year in Iowa, but it looks like summer might be coming a bit early. 

The Rocket Suzie Music Festival will take place on the banks of the Little Sioux River in Spencer on June 8, a full 13 days before Summer stakes it's claim on the northern Solstice. This will be the first year for Rocket Suzie, and it already promises to be one of the premier music festivals of the concert season. Touted as a gathering of songwriters, this day-long event will feature acts from Iowa, Texas and Chicago. 

“This inaugural event has a memorable line-up that brings together sweet sounds of Americana,” said Elice Brunnette, Co-Founder of the Rocket Suzie Music Festival and General Manager of The Bear Coffeehouse and Wine Bar. “Each musician was invited to this festival because of their outstanding reputations as memorable songwriters and performers.”

Rocket Suzie's logo was created by Van Holmgren. 

The Rocket Suzie festival lineup headlines with Iowa folk legend Greg Brown. This Grammy nominated musician was a regular performer on a Prairie Home Companion during the '80s and it was through that success that he was able to form Red House Records, a label that would eventually feature the likes of Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Lucy Kaplansky, Pat Donahue, and John McCutcheon. In 1996 Rolling Stone called Brown "a wickedly sharp observer of the human condition," and his songs, while complex in style are written about life's simplicities. He has that uncanny ability to capture a moment of time through a song, like a composer taking a musical photograph. His live shows are known for being intimate and emotional and at times extremely personal. He is a highly touted songwriter and his songs have been performed by the likes of Willie Nelson, Ani DiFranco, Carlos Santana, Jack Johnson, and Joan Baez.

Preceding Brown on the Rocket stage will be The Trishas from Austin, Texas and while the band consists of four women, none of them is actually named Trisha. Bright Giant, Dick Prall, The Host Country, and Chad Elliott will also perform.

From Greg Brown's Official. Photo by Greg Wood. 

"Rocket Suzie" gets it's name from the park which surrounds the festival area which was nicknamed "Rocket Park" by locals. "Suzie" comes from the festival's proximity to the Little Sioux River which runs close by. The music festival will run in association with The Bear Coffeehouse and Wine Bar (aka "The Bear"). It's listed as a "comfortable, casual coffeehouse serving beer and wine along with simple, earthy and robust foods." The Bear features live music every Saturday night. On June 8th, that music will be transferred to the Rocket Suzie stage.

This event seems to have that down-home American feel to it, along with all the trimmings of a summer picnic. Rocket Suzie will predate other events that are slated for this summer and should make for a wonderful kick-off to the music festival season. Tickets are available now through Tickly. 



Rocket Suzie Official (Band links and ticket info available here.) 

The Bear Coffeehouse Official

Rocket Suzie on Facebook

Rocket Suzie on Twitter 

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