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Returning to its roots as a hometown festival, Riverfest, a two-day barbecue and music event, will highlight the sounds of north Alabama musicians. There will be country from Moulton, soul from Muscle Shoals, Southern rock from Cullman and funk, reggae, oldies and rock from Decatur.
“Once people heard we were going local, we had tons of people contact us. It’s an honor to play at Riverfest,” said Leah Brown, executive director of Mosaic Mentoring of North Alabama, the nonprofit organization that has staged Riverfest for the past four years.
Among the featured artists for the 25th annual festival scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Ingalls Harbor is the Decatur-based band Mill Burray. Consisting of Andrew Presley on guitar and vocals, Cory Sandoval on bass and vocals and Zack Shell on drums and vocals, the band, which formed in 2013, will bring a mix of soul, rock, reggae and funk to the Riverfest stage on Friday.
“It’s a huge honor to play such a renowned festival for our own community. As far as our favorite types of gigs go, this would definitely be close to the top,” Sandoval said.
Mill Burray will kick off Riverfest’s weekend of entertainment at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, followed by Groove Yard at 5:30 p.m., Goose Maverick at 6:30 p.m., Tosha Hill Band at 8 p.m. and Ben Parker Project at 9:30 p.m. On Saturday, the lineup features The Early Birds at 10:30 a.m., Joyful Noise at 11:30 a.m., Rollin’ Smoke Nation at 1:30 p.m., Jessie Priest Music at 3:30 p.m. Rally Stripe at 5 p.m., The Wheelers at 6:30 p.m., Five O’Clock Charlie at 8 p.m. and The Lamont Landers Band at 9:30 p.m.
Admission to Riverfest is $5 each day with proceeds benefiting Mosaic Mentoring of North Alabama.
Q-and-A with Mill Burray
How would you describe the band’s sound? We have a very full and energetic sound. For a three-piece band, we really deliver a five-piece vibe.
How did the group form? Our original band of five was called The Usual Suspects. Life got busy for some, but some of us wanted to keep jamming.
What kind of songs can the Riverfest crowd expect to hear? Songs like “Santeria” by Sublime, “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor, “Use Me” by Bill Withers and “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder.
What’s next for Mill Burray? We will continue to play local bars and events and fundraisers as we have previously. This band has a love for the local artistry and growth of our community’s general happiness.