The centerpiece of Rhythm on the Rails, Clinton’s signature spring event, is a concert by the extraordinarily talented Lee Roy Parnell at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Parnell is among the versatile musicians to grace any stage. He is a country and blues artist, a singer, songwriter and guitarist. More than 20 of his singles have made the Billboard Hot Country Songs. Three of his recordings – “What Kind of Fool Do You Think I Am” (1992), “Tender Moment” (1993) and “A Little Bit of You” (1995) – have reached No. 2. Four more reached the top 10.
In recent years, Parnell has returned to the bluesier sounds of his early work.
Besides his own work, Parnell has played slide and National guitar on many other country and blues recordings. A Texan, Parnell’s father played with the legendary Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, and he himself appeared on Wills’ radio show at age six.
Rhythm on the Rails runs from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday. It includes retail and craft vendors, non-profit information booths, games, rides and lots of great music. Family-friendly entertainment will be offered along many of the streets of downtown. Participation has more than doubled over the past four years. The City of Clinton also hosts an SBN-sanctioned barbecue event, Smokin’ on the Rails, in conjunction with the festival.
The music is practically nonstop during the two-day schedule, with Friday dedicated to “Women Rock the Rails.” Lisa DeNovo opens at 5 p.m., followed by Pam Taylor & the Flyin’ V’s at 6 and April B. & the Cool at 7:30.
Saturday entertainment opens at 11 a.m. with Clinton High School’s Dancing Devils. Tyler Pearson goes on at noon, followed by awarding of the barbecue awards at 1:30 p.m. Rockin’ Randall takes the stage at 2, followed by Caution Blind Driver at 3:30, Pantasia Steel Band at 5, and Parnell’s lead-in, Parker Ford, at 6:30.
From 10 a.m. until 9 p.m., amusements (unlimited rides for $7 ticket), food and craft vendors will be available and on display.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Kelly’s Kritters Petting Zoo will be at the corner of West Pitts and North Broad streets. The King BMX Bike Stunt Show will perform on Musgrove Street at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.