Regatta 'Music on the River'

Louisville band ‘Zellus’
to headline Saturday slate

Music is planned nightly
from Wednesday-Saturday

By Vanessa Torline
Contributing Writer

(July 2012) – The 2012 Madison Regatta Music Festival will run from Wednesday through Saturday, July 4-7, at Fireman’s Park on Vaughn Drive.
The festival includes a street dance hosted by WORX 96.7 FM and a varied lineup of bands and individual musicians playing nightly.


Photo provided

The Louisville-based band, Zellus,
will perform late Saturday night
as the headline act for the
Regatta’s “Music on the River.”

New to the festival this year is Louisville-based cover band Zellus. A play on the word “zealous,” vocalist Wesley Neidiffer of New Albany, Ind., said the name suits the high-energy musicians who make up the band.
Zellus was formed two years ago when drummer Dereck Hearn saw Neidiffer performing with Suburban Situation, another original band Neidiffer has played with for 10 years.
“We decided to throw a little thing together,” said Neidiffer. That thing became Zellus.
Hearn and Neidiffer perform with guitarist Pat Wolfe, bass player Will Perkins and keyboardist Trey Latham. Hearn also serves as the band’s general manager. Louisville is home to many cover bands, said Neidiffer, and that means the group must adapt to changing tastes in order to appeal to audiences.
Zellus describes their music choices as “R&B Neo Soul.” They play everything from Marvin Gaye to Prince to Kings of Leon. Depending on the crowd, they add rock music to cover the broadest possible spectrum of genres.
Through covering other bands’ music, Zellus is also laying a foundation for its original songs.

2012 Madison Regatta
Schedule of Festival Events

• Saturday, June 30: Little Miss Pageant (ages 5-8) and Morgan & Nay Funeral Centre Miss Pre-Teen Pageant (ages 14-17). Noon at the Madison Consolidated High School Auditorium. ISU Insurance & Investment Group Miss Teen Pageant at 6 p.m.
• Saturday, June 30: Remote Control Boat Racing. 10 a.m. at Jefferson Proving Ground’s Kruger Lake on Hwy. 421 just north of Madison.
• Monday, July 2: Xi Beta Upsilon Miss Madison Regatta Beauty Pageant (ages 18-26). 7 p.m. at the Madison Consolidated High School Auditorium. Admission $8.
• Tuesday, July 3: Indiana-Kentucky Electric Corp. Bed Race. 5:30 p.m. on Main Street in front of Jefferson County Courthouse.
• Wednesday, July 4: RKO Enterprises Waterball Fight. 5:30 p.m. on Vaughn Drive and Broadway Street.
• Wednesday, July 4: WORX 96.7 FM Street Dance. 8-11 p.m. at Fireman’s Park, foot of Jefferson Street & Vaughn.
• Thursday, July 5: Madison Area Chamber of Commerce & Madison Regatta Business After Hours. 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. at the VIP Tent at the riverfront. (Open to the media, race drivers, team owners, race officials, chamber members and their guests only.)
• Friday, July 6: Madison Regatta Parade. 6:15 p.m. on Main Street beginning at Jefferson Street.
• Saturday, July 7: The Madison Courier 10K Walk & Run. 8 a.m. beginning at the Madison Consolidated High School
• Saturday, July 7: Regatta Fireworks co-sponsored by American Legion Post 9 and Morgan & Nay Funeral Centre. Approximately 10 p.m. at the riverfront. (Free admission)
• Saturday-Sunday, July 7-8: Grote Industries Air Shows by aerobatic pilot Brett Hunter.

Music on the River
Co-sponsored by Arvin Sango Inc., Big-O Tires, Miller Automotive and Northside Liquors. Music stage is located at Fireman’s Park on the riverfront. Admission is a $5 Regatta button except for Saturday night when admission to fireworks and music are free.
• Thursday, July 5: Radio 96.3 WJAA presents Total Rock Radio with Howard Lewis & Lovins (6-6:45 p.m.); Chuck Barnes Band (7:15-8 p.m.); The Wheel (8:30-9:45 p.m.); Rusty Bladen (10:15-11:30 p.m.)
• Friday, July 6: 95.3 WIKI presents The Texaco Country Showdown featuring regional winners beginning at 7 p.m. More bands TBA.
• Saturday, July 7: WORX 96.7 FM / WXGO 1270 AM present presents Darryl Hewitt and Mark Louden (5:15-5:45 p.m.); Beyond Doubt (6-6:45 p.m.); Power Plant (7:15-8:15 p.m.); Jimmy Davis Band (8:45-10 p.m.); Zellus (10:30-midnight).
• Tickets: General Admission Weekend Wristbands are $25. To order, call (812) 265-5000 or visit the Regatta website: www.MadisonRegatta.com. Tickets also available at several local stores. VIP and other passes available. Parking passes $20. Souvenir buttons $5. Pit Tours $3. Programs $5.

“I love doing covers, but I enjoy making up our own music,” Neidiffer said.
The R&B band performs two or three times a month at venues in the Louisville area, such as the Hard Rock Café, as well as out-of-town events like the Kentucky Derby Festival’s Chow Wagon.
Zellus has not performed at Madison Regatta before, but Neidiffer said he and his band mates look forward to the experience.
“These are the best people to play with,” he said. “We bring something a lot of bands don’t have. We just hope people will get excited.”
Regatta music chair Brent Thacker of Madison said Zellus contributes a different style of entertainment to the festival. He said the best way to attract people to the shows is with a diverse range of talent. Thacker should know. He has not missed a Regatta in 41 years.
For Thacker, Regatta is a ritual. He has volunteered to help organize Regatta events on and off for the last 12 years. He sits on the sponsorship committee and puts up banners downtown while “doing the jobs that need to be done.”
As music chair, Thacker chooses bands and determines the performance schedule for the Regatta Music Festival. He never has a problem finding musicians who want to appear onstage in Madison.
“My phone rings off the hook from February on,” he said.
Thacker added that he is thankful for the abundant interest from bands, despite the fact that no one is paid to play. He makes his selection of which bands to invite based on their enthusiasm and whether they have played at Regatta in the past. “Everybody donates their time,” he said. “I try to let bands into Regatta, give them a time slot that may not be preferential to them, then next year give them a better time slot.”
The music featured during Regatta has evolved over the years. Bluegrass, formerly the main attraction, has been heard less in recent lineups, ousted in favor of more contemporary and popular sounds. Another change from past Music Festivals is the decision not to hold a battle of the bands this year. Otherwise, Thacker sticks with what works and maintains a music selection that is “just about the same” every year.
Thacker said he tries to find something for everybody to enjoy in the hope that variety will draw audiences from outside Madison to the riverfront. “Regatta means people coming together, seeing your friends,” he said, “and music is an important part of that.”
This year’s schedule is organized according to a specific night’s sponsors. The street dance from WORX 96.7 FM kicks off the Music Festival on Wednesday night.
Thursday night, sponsored by WJAA 96.3 FM, will feature classic rock performers such as singer-songwriter Rusty Bladen of Madison. This will be Bladen’s first appearance on the Regatta stage in eight years, and he will debut a new band this year.
Country night is Friday with performances by the Woodsman Quarter from Batesville, Ind., and others.
Zellus will close the festivities on Saturday, R&B night.
The Music Festival is also sponsored by WXGO 1270 AM, WIKI 95.3 FM, Arvin Sango Inc., North Side Liquors, Miller Automotive and Big-O Tires.

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