Thank God it’s Friday in Rutledge! The long workweek is over and now it’s time to relax and have a little fun. What better way than to enjoy a FREE summer concert in the downtown Rutledge City Park. Pack a picnic, order from one of the restaurants, bring a lawn chair, and kick your shoes off. The Rutledge Merchants Association along with Terry Reeves of Music Matters Entertainment is hosting a Summer Concert Series in the Park. The series began Memorial Day Weekend with the Mansfield Pickers followed by Justin Kennedy, Tommy Talton and local artist Horace Reeves. Mr. Reeves was spectacular as he crooned tunes from Elvis and many other 50’s and 60’s performers.

The town of Rutledge is abuzz with excitement over the variety of upcoming national, regional and local acts yet to perform: June 27-Julie Holmes July 11-Randall Bramblett with Tim Cadiere opening July 18-Tim Cadiere and Wash Board Road Band July 25-Sweet Harmony Aug 1 -Diane Durrett Aug 8 -Apostles of Bluegrass Aug 15-Craig Neidlinger Aug 22-Caroline Aiken Aug 29-Liz and AJ Nance All talent was handpicked by professional booking agent Terry Reeves. Rutledge has been blessed that someone with talent and experience in the music industry has chosen to retire to our Small but Special town.

The national artists are long time friends of Terry’s from the music business. Ms. Reeves was excited to hear that Rutledge had a Summer Concert Series. It has been a smooth and easy transition for her to go from booking from up to 10 bands a week to lining up Friday nights in the park. This weekend features Julie Holmes, who is filling in for one of our favorites, April Allen, who couldn’t be here. Julie is from Snellville and performs all over north Georgia with a large following in the Athens area. We look forward to hearing Julie’s voice and guitar. A highlight will be July 11th featuring national recording star Randall Bramblett. Bramblett has worked with Steve Winwood, and the bands Sea Level and Traffic. He has also toured with Bonnie Raitt, the Allman Brothers, Chuck Leavell, and Widespread Panic. Let’s pack the park to welcome Randall Bramblett. But wait…as if Randall weren’t enough, we are getting a special treat with Tim Cadiere and Wash Board Road Band opening for Randall on the 11th.

Then Tim and the guys will be back on the next Saturday to perform for us again. Many more good acts follow throughout July and August. If you don’t want to pack a picnic, you can call ahead to one of the restaurants for takeout. Concerts are FREE of charge Fridays 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in downtown Rutledge Park. The concert series takes a break on Friday, July 4 as there will be so many other things to do in the county but Saturday, July 5 is a very special day in downtown Rutledge with the first ever Red, White & Blues Festival, also a free event. Music begins at 11 a.m. with the Maloy Brothers Bluegrass Band from Newton County, followed by an inspiring performance by Madison’s favorite gospel group, the Madisonaires.

Somewhere in between these two groups will be a tractor parade led by Bobby West. The final two acts that will take you up to 6 p.m. are The Georgia Flood, a 60’s style blues band and Freddy’s Finest, a band known for its classic soul sound as well as tunes from greats such as Otis Redding. Big Kev’s BBQ will be available and there will be face painting and crazy hair. Rutledge is bringing in a water slide for kids of all ages so bring a change of clothes if you dare to get wet. Of course the restaurants and shops will be open. The merchants wish to thank Morgan County and the Madison Morgan Chamber of Commerce for making this Independence Day event possible. Many, many thanks to Terry Reeves, the Rutledge Merchants Association, and all sponsors from the entire community of Rutledge for making the summer long concert series happen.