Diamond Rio and Adam Hood will headline Fort Payne's Boom Days Heritage Celebration on Sept. 20-21.
Music, art and historical artifacts are at the center of the annual event held in downtown Fort Payne. Boom Days offers live music from more than two dozen acts, a children’s entertainment area, arts and crafts, quilt show, model train exhibit, a juried art show, a 5K and museum tours at the Fort Payne Depot and Fort Payne Hosiery.
During the late 19th century, Fort Payne experienced a huge coal and iron boom, and in the 20th century, a boom in textile manufacturing led to the city’s one time claim of “Sock Capital of the World.” As a nod to its manufacturing heritage, the mountain-top town hosts the Boom Days Heritage Celebration.
Admission is free.
The two-day event kicks off Friday, Sept. 20 with live music from 6-10 p.m. Hood headlines the evening.
For more than a decade, Hood has left his mark both onstage and in the writing room, carving out a southern sound that mixes equal parts country, soul and American roots music.
It’s a sound that began taking shape in Opelika. Raised by working-class parents, Hood started playing hometown shows as a 16-year-old, landing a weekly residency at a local restaurant. He’d perform there every Friday and Saturday night, filling his set list with songs by John Hiatt, Hank Williams Jr., and Vince Gill. As the years progressed, the gigs continued — not only in his home state, but across the entire country. Eventually he landed himself a three-year nationwide tour opening for Leon Russell.
These days, though, Hood is no longer just putting his own stamp on the songs of chart-topping country stars. Instead, many of those acts – including Little Big Town, Miranda Lambert, Anderson East, Josh Abbott Band, Lee Ann Womack and Brent Cobb – are playing his songs.
In 2016, Hood signed a publishing deal with Warner/Chappell Nashville and GRAMMY Award-winning producer Dave Cobb’s Low Country Sound while remaining adamantly focused on his own career and playing around 100 shows, annually promoting his third solo release, “Welcome to the Big World,” and now his newest release, “Somewhere in Between.”
A day of music, art and heritage is also planned for Saturday, Sept. 21. The streets and parks will be filled with arts and crafts, artists and artisans as well as numerous food vendors serving everything from gator on a stick and barbecue to cotton candy and snow cones. There will be plenty of activities for kids ranging from animal rides to bouncy houses, a zip line, rock climbing wall and bungee trampolines.
Diamond Rio will close out Boom Days on Saturday at 8 p.m.
Formed in 1989 in Nashville, Tennessee, Diamond Rio consists of Gene Johnson (mandolin, tenor vocals), Jimmy Olander (lead guitar, acoustic guitar, banjo), Brian Prout (drums), Marty Roe (lead vocal), Dan Truman (keyboards), and Dana Williams (bass guitar, baritone vocals). The group’s most recent release “I Made It,” is its 10th studio album. The title track was co-written by the band’s lead guitarist Jimmy Olander and features 11 new songs.
Produced by Olander and Mike Clute, “I Made It” is available on iTunes and diamondrio.com. Diamond Rio signed to Arista Records and became the first country music group in history to reach No. 1 with a debut single in 1991 with the release of “Meet In The Middle.” The band is also known for their hits like “How Your Love Makes Me Feel,” “One More Day,” “Beautiful Mess,” “Unbelievable,” and “In A Week or Two.” They released their first autobiography, “Beautiful Mess: The Story of Diamond Rio” in 2009.
The band known for playing every note on every album recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. It has sold more than 10 million albums, won a Grammy Award, a Dove Award, six Vocal Group of the Year wins (CMA and ACM), released two Greatest Hits albums, a live and Christmas project, earned five multi-week No. 1 singles, 22 Top-10 singles, three certified Platinum and five gold albums, released an autobiography–and with zero band member changes. Known for their charity commitments including long-time spokespersons for Big Brothers Big Sisters, the band has raised over $1,000,000 for non-profits and received the Minnie Pearl Humanitarian Award.
Festivalgoers are invited to catch one of four special theatrical productions at the Fort Payne Opera House on Sept. 21. Written and directed by Eddie McPherson, Phantom of the Opera House is the comical ghost story detailing the history of the Fort Payne Opera House as the story unfolds. Performances will take place at 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
For more information including a schedule of events, go to boomdays.com or call 256-997-0396.