Melodic medley

Courtesy of Times Mail

MITCHELL — One of the best parts of the Persimmon Festival, when it rolls into Mitchell each September, is the load of free musical entertainment on tap throughout the week.

This year’s musical lineup will feature gospel, modern gospel, oldies, rock, country and country rock. What you hear depends on what night you go.

The headliner for the week will be the Wednesday night performance by Jake Dodds & Stagecoach Revolver. The Wray Brothers will follow Building Nations on Thursday, and the crowd-pleasing sounds from Endless Summer will rock Friday night’s crowd. Rusty Bladen will close out the festival on Saturday night.

Jake Dodds

jake dodds

Jake Dodds & Stagecoach Revolver is one of the fastest-growing country acts in the Midwest. The band, which has played at some of the hottest venues in the rust belt, will take the stage at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

The group features Jake Dodds on lead vocals, Jeff Schwegman, guitar and vocals, Tyler Roberts on bass, Tim Roberts on steel guitar and Jeff Hockett on the banjo. The group has been a headline act at The Bluebird in Bloomington, 8 Seconds Saloon in Indianapolis and Bub City in Chicago.

The guys are the reigning Hank FM Indianapolis Battle of the Bands champions and opened for several national acts, including Lee Brice, Tyler Farr, Dustin Lynch, Chris Cagle, Chase Rice, Josh Thompson and Luke Bryan.

Gospel sounds

building nations

The Thursday night of the festival is always dubbed gospel night and features those groups that worship the Lord through music.

Building Nations, a popular local rock worship band, will take the stage at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 25.

The band’s goal is to “build up nations for God’s glory.” Building Nations consists of David and Randy VanLandingham on vocals, Karen VanLandingham on bass, Keeran Jones on drums and Isaac Hawkins and Dave Higgins on guitar.

Building Nations will be followed by the Wray Brothers, a southern gospel band, which takes the stage at 8 p.m. Sept. 25.

The Wray Brothers feature the voice and instrumental talents of Delbert Wray and Joe Wray, who are Mitchell natives, as well as Dave Hatfield, Steve Paugh, Randy Beck and D.J. Hatfield. They’ve performed for more than 45 years and have been featured at the festival for many years.

‘Endless’ fun

The featured entertainment for Sept. 26 is the festival favorite, Endless Summer, which will take the stage at 7 p.m.

Providing a high-energy show, the group provides a musical variety. The band, based in Indianapolis, features Faith Marie, Brian Marshall Goodwin, Nick Lemmo, Bryan England, David Clawson and Rick Long.

The band has performed at the Persimmon Festival for more than a decade and performs hits from the past and present, including tunes from the Beach Boys, Righteous Brothers, Frankie Valli, Dixie Chicks, Bon Jovi, Elvis Presley, Joan Jett, Lady Gaga, Journey, Big & Rich, Adele, the Black Eyed Peas and Roy Orbison.

Madison hit

rusty bladen

Rusty Bladen will perform his high-energy, free-wheeling act of original music, songs from the radio and hippie country rock tunes at 7 p.m. Sept. 27 as the closing act for the Persimmon Festival.

Born and raised in Madison, his music reflects the importance of family values, good times and small town influences. “Ride That River,” the title track to his most recent CD, is featured in the MGM motion picture, “Madison,” and was recorded with John Mellencamp’s band members. It’s also now the official theme song of the annual Madison Regatta unlimited hydroplane race.

Contact Times-Mail Staff Writer Krystal Shetler at 277-7264 or by email at

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