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Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Righteous Hillbillies return to Hopstring Fest Aug. 23 in Joliet

By Ted Slowik

We're just over a month away from this year's Hopstring Fest celebration of music, craft beer and family fun Aug. 23 in Joliet's Silver Cross Field. In the time we have together I'll be profiling some of the more than 30 artists performing at this year's festival.

The Righteous Hillbillies will make their third straight appearance at Hopstring Fest Aug. 23 at Silver Cross Field in Joliet.  The band will play from 8:40 to 9:25 p.m. on the Main Stage, just before this year’s headliners, Cracker, known for such hits as “Get Off This,” “Low,” “Teen Angst,” “Happy Birthday To Me” and “Euro-Trash Girl.”

Tickets for the 12-hour celebration of live music, food and craft beer are $20 presale and $30 at the door and available through

The Righteous Hillbillies formed in 2007 when Kev Wright joined forces with lead singer/guitarist Brent James to create a band hailed for capturing the energy of blues, the soul of country and the rebel attitude of Southern rock. Drummer Barret Harvey and bassist Jeff Bella round out the lineup.

David Neesley photo/Naperville Ribfest 2014
The band has played hundreds of shows, usually for their large, loyal following of fans. They’ve released two albums, a self-titled debut in 2008 and “Trece Diablos” in 2012. In October, the band heads to Muscle Shoals, Ala., to record their third album at legendary Fame Studios.

Wright says the Hillbillies look forward to playing Joliet’s Hopstring Fest.

“We play a lot of festivals, and Hopstring is one of the best. It’s executed so well,” he says.

In addition to being the band’s lead guitarist, Wright composes about half the band’s original material. In addition to songwriting, he’s been teaching guitar lessons for about eight years. Two of his students—John Narcissi, 17, of Mokena and Chase Walsh, 15, of Frankfort—will perform at Hopstring Fest for the first time this year.

“They’re both very talented musicians,” Wright says.

If You Go
What: Hopstring Fest
When: Saturday, Aug. 23, 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Where: Silver Cross Field, 1 Mayor Art Schultz Drive, Joliet
Who: Local talent and headline bands like Cracker
How much: Tickets are $20 presale, $30 at the door

Learn more about the band at