The University of Arkansas Community College at Hope Foundation and the Hope-Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce are bringing one of the most recognizable voices in Country music, Tracy Lawrence, plus regional favorite The Jason Helms Band to the 37th Annual Watermelon Festival.
The early bird gets the tickets. The University of Arkansas Community College at Hope Foundation and the Hope-Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce are bringing one of the most recognizable voices in Country music, Tracy Lawrence, plus regional favorite The Jason Helms Band to the 37th Annual Watermelon Festival. UACCH and the Chamber are offering a special one-day discount “early bird” ticket sale June 14, UACCH spokesman Brent Talley said Thursday. Early bird tickets will be sold Friday, June 14, at the Hope-Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. “Early bird tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for children ages 4-10,” Talley said. Advanced tickets sold after June 14 will be $12 for adults; and day of show tickets will be $20. Children's tickets will be $6 the day of the show. The Jason Helms Band, a regional favorite, will open the Aug. 10 concert at 7:30 p.m. Led by namesake vocalist/guitarist Jason Helms, who hails from Hope, the group has performed with many of the luminaries of Country music including, Merle Haggard, Wynonna Judd, Lee Ann Womack, Tracy Byrd, Joe Nichols, and Tracy Lawrence, as well as others, according to online information. The group currently includes Helm on vocals and guitar; keyboardist Jimmy Joe Akin; Shannon Carpenter on lead guitar; bassist Joe Dunn; and, drummer James Williams. The Hope concert comes on the heels of the band's 2010 release of its album, “Redemption,” and the 2011 success of Helm's songwriting with “My Kind of Woman,” “Headed Home,” and “Los Angeles.” Headliner and multi-platinum CMA and ACM award winning recording artist Tracy Lawrence will take the stage at 8:30 p.m. Lawrence's hits include: “Paint Me a Birmingham,” “Time Marches On,” “Texas Tornado,” and “Sticks and Stones.” Lawrence's most recent CD, “The Singer,” is an acoustic offering that was the result of a two-year contract crisis at his recording label that left him and a number of other top artists without a new offering. “I thought, 'What am I going to do?' My fans need some new music. I need to get something done,” Lawrence said in a press statement. “So in May, we decided we were going into the studio and do an acoustic project. The album was recorded, pressed, packaged and released in four weeks, in time for my Fan Club Party at the CMA Music Festival in June. “ The result is an “unplugged” sound that features Lawrence's vocals on a variety of song styles, including “Saving Savannah;” the tongue-in-cheek, “Pills;” a romantic turn in “Tender Enough;” an odd twist in “Roswell and Marilyn Monroe;” as well as the title single and autobiographical “Whole Lotta Me” and more. “Originally, I just intended it to be a 'bridge project,' to have something out there while we worked on the next, full-production album,” Lawrence said. “But as it started to come to life, I realized we have something special here.” Lawrence has been returning to his roots more in recent years after breaking onto the scene in 1991 from Arkansas with No. 1 hits, including “Alibis,” “Can't Break it to My Heart,” “My Second Home,” and “If the Good Die Young.” “The concert will be on the CMC Steel Products outdoor stage at Hope Fair Park is sure to be a great event that the entire family will enjoy,” Talley said. For more information about the concert, contact the UACCH Foundation at 870-722-8516.