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Austin Artist James Ridge Closes Oatmeal Festival Sundown Series

James Ridge performs at the Oatmeal Festival Sundown Series on July 14 at E.B. Goodwin Pavilion in Bertram. The music starts at 9 p.m. Courtesy photo

BERTRAM — When Oatmeal Festival Sundown Series organizers were thinking of a finale for their schedule of concerts, they immediately knew who they wanted: James Ridge.

Ridge performs Saturday, July 14, at E.B. Goodwin Pavilion, 647 RM 243. Music starts at 9 p.m. Admission is $10. The event is BYOB (no glass).

The Austin-based artist played last year's series and was well-received, said festival committee member Otto Pfahl; hence the reason for a second invite.

Ridge's wide array of musical influences include country legends George Jones, Merle Haggard, Gene Watson, and Dwight Yoakum, rockers Bruce Springsteen and the Eagles, folk singer James Taylor, and pop star Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees.

Ridge is a seasoned singer, songwriter, and musician, who has written for and performed with some of the best-known artists in the world, including Haggard and the Bee Gees.

He also has toured with Alabama, Mark Chesnutt, Ricky Van Shelton, Eddy Raven, Neal McCoy, and Mel McDaniel.

During his musical career, Ridge has earned many awards, including the Terry Music Awards’ Male Vocalist of the Year and Band of the Year and the Metroplex Country Music Association’s Songwriter of the Year.

Raised in Mesquite, Ridge grew up playing the piano and singing in church. He started writing songs when he was 19 and is proud to have served in the U.S. Air Force. He learned to play the guitar while serving. His other musical talents include bass, electric guitar, keyboard, harmonica, mandolin, drums, and even the kazoo.

An Austinite since 2003, Ridge’s album, “Which Way To Go,” has received airplay on more than 850 radio stations. He has been in the studio working on his next album.

Go to oatmealfestival.org for more information. The Sundown Series raises money for the annual Oatmeal Festival, which is Labor Day weekend in Bertram and Oatmeal.

editor@thepicayune.com

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