The Valley Roots
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The Valley Roots

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A Shoals band has been invited to play an international music festival this summer.

The Valley Roots will be playing in this year's "South by Southwest" festival in Austin.

The young group has only been playing together for seven months and is made up of band members Christian White, Brittany Letsinger, Edward Armstead, Quinn Stanphill and CJ Anderson.

The band said they're thrilled to represent Muscle Shoals music at the festival and help put the city back in the music spotlight.

"It's completely an honor. We get to represent the city we're from. It's a great honor to try to make a comeback," they said.

The Civil Wars and the Alabama Shakes have previously played at the festival. - WAFF TV


FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – Two Shoals bands are getting the chance to perform in front of a national audience and leaders from the record industry.
The Gnarly Charlies are one of a couple thousand bands to perform at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas.
The Gnarley Charlies is an alternative rock band from the Shoals with a main stream mission: getting their music out in front of record executives and making a name for themselves on a national stage.
“This is the music event of the country. This is where you want to be. So, to have that opportunity given to us, it’s really exciting,” said lead singer, Bradey Gomillion.
According to Gomillion, the chance to even play a few notes at the festival is a huge accomplishment already.
“Even out of 3,000 bands playing, that’s out of 15, 20-thousand submitted. So, it’s still a great opportunity that not every band is having,” said Gomillion.
The band will be part of the Muscle Shoals showcase.
Mixed in with the Gnarly Charlie’s original set list, the band also plans to cover popular songs recorded in the Shoals by some of the legends in order to send tribute to the area and musicians that put the Muscle Shoals sound on the map.
“Everybody has to pay their dues, playing in front of nobody in dive bars or whatever and that can go on for who knows how long,” said drummer, Quinn Stanphill. “The Gnarly Charlies aren’t out of that phase yet. We just got lucky and got asked to do this whole Muscle Shoals thing.”
The band will be in Austin for ten days playing music at a variety of venues.
The Valley Roots is another band from the Shoals performing at the festival. - WHNT TV


About seven years ago, Russell Mefford’s sister gave him a South by Southwest T-shirt.

Mefford told his sister that he would wait until he got to play at the festival — one of the biggest in the world — before he wore the shirt.

Mefford will be able to wear that shirt on March 14 as he and his band, The Fiddleworms, are scheduled to play with a host of other Shoals bands.

“It’s been a long wait, and I won’t count it until it happens,” Mefford said. “If we get out there and get on stage and play, it’ll be nice to put that T-shirt on.”

The Fiddleworms will be playing at The Stage On Sixth Patio in Austin, Texas in The Muscle Shoals Showcase presented by Cherokee Lair Productions and 6 Degrees of Muscle Shoals along with The Swampers, Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, The Valley Roots, An Abstract Theory, The Local Saints, Shonna Tucker, Clayton Colvin with Buggaboo, SCM Electrix, Gnarly Charlies and the Pine Hill Haints.

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit will be playing on the same day in the same area.

SXSW is a series of film, music and technology conferences and festivals that is held March 8 - 17 this year in Austin, Texas.

The Pine Hill Haints played SXSW in 2011, said lead singer and guitarist Jamie Barrier. He said the music festival is incredibly crowded.

“There is a band everywhere you can stick a band,” Barrier said. “Under the interstate, in the parking lot, next to the bathroom.”

Barrier said he’s proud to be a part of this showcase representing Muscle Shoals music.

“I feel like we’re apart of something,” Barrier said. “There’s a lot of good music in our area, and I’m proud to be a part of it and represent it.”

Brittany Letsinger, lead singer of The Valley Roots, said she’s looking forward to going to the festival.

“We’ve heard a lot about how awesome it’s going to be,” Letsinger said. “And I can only imagine that it’s going to be more so. I’m super excited, and it’s going to be a good place to network and come together with Muscle Shoals musicians and hangout with each other.”

Both The Valley Roots and The Local Saints are releasing self-titled EPs for the show.

Jamie McFarlane, of The Local Saints, said they see the concert as a test of sorts for the band.

“I’m as curious as to how we’ll respond to it as a band, as to how the songs will be received,” McFarlane said. “I see it as a test. A do we belong kind of thing.

“I won’t lie” he said, “I’m very hopeful that we’ll be noticed. I’d love to think that’s a possibility as well. I’d love to be noticed. Obviously though, we do this for ourselves, not for someone to notice.”

As for what the concert will mean for The Fiddleworms, Mefford said, “I’ll just have to tell you when I get back.”

“It’s a huge festival ... you have legends there and established bands and bands like us that nobody has ever heard of. So our approach going in is to bring it. You’ve got 30 minutes to show what you can do. You don’t know who’s going to be there, but you want to give your best to whoever is.” - The Times Daily


Discography

The Valley Roots (2013 Self Titled Debut EP)

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Bio

Hailing from Florence, Alabama, The Valley Roots combine the best of the old school and the new in a unique sound that’s equally down home southern Rock and Roll as it is Alabama rhythm.

The Valley Roots are known locally for their raucous live shows which usually include dancing not only from the crowds enjoying them, but from band members joining in on the fun too. Songs from The Valley Roots come at the audience in not only a fast paced rock show, but also in a soulful groove perfect for a summertime slow dance with a sweetheart.