The 22nd annual Music on the Half Shell concert series will feature something for the old, something for the young and something of a homecoming for one of Roseburg’s own.
ZZ Ward, a Los Angeles musician who grew up in Roseburg and graduated from Glide High School, will play the Half Shell Aug. 13.
Since moving away to make it as a singer and songwriter, Ward has been climbing the show business ladder. Last year, her single “Put the Gun Down” reached No. 40 on the Billboard’s alternative music chart.
This summer’s Half Shell lineup was announced Tuesday at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. Other acts set to perform in Stewart Park include Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, The BoDeans, Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers, Dan Hicks and The Hot Licks, David Benoit and Black Prairie.
The Half Shell committee has worked with promoters since January filling out the lineup. As of Tuesday morning, six of eight slots were filled, said committee member Clint Newell, who announced the acts. A seventh was signed in the afternoon, he said.
The committee this year made a concerted effort to draw in the youth, to the stage and to the audience, said board President Charley Thompson, who is in his first year at the helm.
Thompson said that as a local product and an up-and-comer poised to make a breakthrough, Ward was an easy choice for the committee.
“That’s how it was with the Dixie Chicks,” Thompson said, referring to another act that played the Half Shell early in its career.
In a further effort to inject younger blood into the series, a new master of ceremonies, Rachelle Carter, will take over this year. Carter said she pushed hard to get Black Prairie, a band that includes three of five members of the Portland indie band The Decemberists.
Thompson said that given the numerous challenges in bringing first-class entertainment to Roseburg, and the fact that donations have hovered around $100,000 since the recession hit in 2008, this year’s lineup is a success.
Tesoaria Vineyard marketing manager Cody Bottorff said that even without big national names, the lineup offers top-caliber talent.
“The young people are going to be happy with it, the old people are going to be happy with it,” said Bottorff, whose employer is among the event’s supporters.
Making a second trip to the Half Shell this summer will be jazz pianist and five-time Grammy nominee Benoit and New Orleans bandleader Trombone Shorty.
Shorty and his band Orleans Avenue will play Aug. 6. It will be the first time a Half Shell date has fallen on the week of the Douglas County Fair. The 2013 fair will be one day shorter than in past years and will kick off Aug. 7.
Nicki Bluhm is a singer and bandleader from California. Her six-piece band, the Gramblers, has country and blues roots.
The BoDeans, a rock band formed in Wisconsin in 1983, takes its name from Jethro Bodine, a character on the television show “Beverly Hillbillies”
Dan Hicks, 71, combines cowboy folk, country, jazz, swing, blues, pop and gypsy music.
Music on the Half Shell is a free concert series funded by Roseburg businesses and other private donors. Past acts include Dr. John, LeAnn Rimes, Keb’ Mo’, John Scofield and The Wailers.
Concerts are held on Tuesday evenings from 7 to around 9 p.m. at the Nichols Band Shell in Stewart Park.
Free shuttle service is available from the Rose Street parking structure.
• Reporter Garrett Andrews can be reached at 541-957-4218 or firstname.lastname@example.org.