Friday 15th June Showcase Artist
Sam Marshall has been a guitarist since the early 70's playing in various bands throughout that time. Although Sam has always played country music, he has only been performing on the country music scene for the last 2 years.
Saturday 15th June Showcase Artist
Paul James (PJ)
Paul James is better known as PJ, a line dance instructor, choreographer and event organiser. His passion for country music started over 20 years ago when he first began line dancing. After attending his first line dance class he was hooked and frequented the country music venues in the North East 5-6 nights a week with his parents, Pete & Joan. Coupled with growing up with a mixture of country and 60s pop music, this exposure to the country music scene sparked his love of country music. PJ then took exams and started teaching his own line dance classes in 1997. 5 years ago, PJ and his friend Steven started the bi-annual Phoenix Country Music Festival and a twice-monthly country music club, Redneck CWC in Durham. You will also find PJ as resident DJ and dance instructor at several country music festivals, including Rock Ridge, where it all started for him, and DJ’ing at these venues fed his passion for country music. Over the years PJ has organised many live nights and has found himself invited on stage by artists including Diamond Jack, The Drive, Mel Dixon, Ron Spence, Zenne and Dave Inglis and has now taken to the stage himself as solo country artist “Paul James”, performing songs from some of his favourite artists Garth Brooks and Tim McGraw, plus many traditional and new country music including Merle Haggard, Gary Allan, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, The Eagles, George Strait and Hal Ketchum to name a few. PJ has received great support in his local area, and in particular some great advice and support from local artists and is looks forward to hitting the road, doing what he loves.
Sunday 17th June Showcase Artist
Stevie O'Connor is an emerging artist who has exploded onto the country arena. With many festival appearances coming up this year he has taken the British country scene by storm and is hotly tipped as one to watch. Stevie has toured with international artists and was a session musician for some of the biggest stars in music. He once played the great Hyde Park amongst others. Stevie's love of country music started at a young age, as he would remember the songs of Don Williams, Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline echoing through the old gramophone when he would visit his Irish grandparents in Gloucester. Stevie's style is influenced by traditional roots and Texas country. He recently supported the talented and popular Ashton Lane in a sold out show in Manchester this year hosted by UK Country Live. A debut album is now on the cards and is looking to release his record in the late summer of 2018 with a view to tour the states Kentucky, Nashville and Texas. The stars look bright for this showcase artist.