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An uprising for the books

SCOTTOWN -- Shouts of "Entertain us! It's an uprising!" filled Eden Valley Farm during the final installment of Appalachian Uprising.

The concert, sponsored by Earth Productions, Inc. of Columbus, had a turnout of approximately 600 people, said Robert DeLong, director of operations.

The early afternoon hours featured bands such as Ironton's Boss Tweed, Ashland, Ky.'s Genuine Junk Band, Ohio-based Men from Earth, and Boulder, Colo.'s Single Malt Band. Vermont's Gordon Stone Band closed the festival.

Before his set at 6:30 p.m. Nashville songwriter Larry Cordle -- known for writing such county music songs as "Lonesome Standard Time" -- conducted a songwriter's workshop underneath a large tent toward the rear of the farm.

"This is worth about 75 cents," said Cordle as he began to play a song for those underneath the tent.

He added that one of the bad habits that many young songwriters develop is a lack of discipline. To improve at one's craft, Cordle said, one has to practice it every day.

During Cordle's set, the

festival's headliner, the Sam Bush Band, made its way up the gravel road of Eden Valley Farm in two silver SUVs.

While strumming his brand new Martin guitar, country singer Jon Randall -- also Bush's guitarist -- said he and Bush met while playing with Emmylou Harris in 1990. He added he had been listening to Bush since age 12.

Despite having a solo career with such songs as 1995's "This Heart," Randall said he does not mind being a backup musician for Bush.

"I just turned 50 and I'm still going," said Bush, a native of Bowling Green, Ky. He said one of his greatest influences is Bill Monroe because of Monroe's drive and intensity.

Bush opened his two-hour set with an instrumental version of the "Star Spangled Banner." He switched between his mandolin and fiddle, and teased the audience by playing the intro of Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train" as many of them danced, hula hooped, and played air guitar.

Randall, a Texas native, entertained the audience with his Ross Perot impression as well as singing lead on his song, "Ain't No Trouble With Me."

The band returned for two encores, with Larry Cordle and his band "Lonesome Standard Time" joining them for the final one. The audience rose from their seats and came to the edge of the stage cheering.

"Sam Bush hugged me," shouted Steve Cielec, co-owner of Eden Valley Farm.

Bush added that traveling does make an artist weary sometimes.

"I've been traveling since 1970," said Bush. "Travel is not the fun part, but the time on stage is the reason for this.

"Music is a healing process. It's uplifting. Also, you get a circle of communication with the audience, and they get uplifted too."

Randall said he wouldn't give up his career as a musician.

"I'm an artist," Randall said. "I play music. I love traveling and playing all over the world. There's a reward in creativity." Amelia A. Pridemore/The Ironton Tribune