A whole lot of rockin’ and rollin’ will be shakin’ up Johnstown.
AmeriServ Flood City Music Festival, which will be held Aug. 2 and 3 at Peoples Natural Gas Park, 90 Johns St., downtown Johnstown, will feature four headline acts throughout the two-day event – Gin Blossoms, Cowboy Mouth, Ghost Light and Brownout.
“My goal was to try to strengthen the lineup from start to finish to make sure we had a strong midbill to go along with the headliners,” said Ron Carnevali, chairman of the festival.
“My approach was to spend a little less money on the headliners and little more money on the midbill to make it a better day for music lovers.
“Some of the acts I’m looking forward to are those midbill national touring acts that I think are going to be very popular with our crowd.”
Aug. 2 headliners
Brownout, Ghost Light and Cowboy Mouth will headline the Aug. 2 lineup.
Brownout will play its Latin funk sound at 5:30 p.m. on the main stage.
The nine-piece horn band from Austin, Texas, formed in 2003 by members of the Grammy Award-winning Grupo Fantasma.
After garnering multiple Austin Music Awards, the band has continued to produce music that is progressive, while evoking the classic influences of artists such as WAR, Cymande and Funkadelic.
They’ve performed at Bonnaroo, High Sierra Music Festival, Pickathon, FFFFest, Bear Creek Music Festival, Utopia Festival and Pachanga Fest, while regularly touring the United States.
Brownout also served as a backup band for artists such as Prince, Daniel Johnston, GZA and Bernie Worrell.
The band has released six albums, including “Homenaje,” “Aguilas & Cobras,” “Oozy,” “Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath,” “Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath Vol. II” and “Fear of a Brown Planet.”
“For us, Brownout is doing what they call Brown Sabbath, which is all Black Sabbath covers, and it’s really cool,” Carnevali said.
“There are lots of horns playing Black Sabbath music, and it’s a very popular thing that they’ve done over the last few years.”
Jam band Ghost Light will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. in the Polacek Pavilion.
Formed in Philadelphia in 2017, the group brings together five musicians with five different approaches and backgrounds.
Ghost Light recently released its debut album, “Best Kept Secrets,” which is a collection that’s gritty and refined, sprawling and restrained and straightforward and psychedelic.
“Ghost Light is playing music that is jam-band derived to sold-out shows all over the country,” Carnevali said.
“We’re excited that we booked them early before they kind of blew up, and I think it’s going to be a really attractive show for the people who are into that jam scene.”
Cowboy Mouth will play at 9:30 p.m. on the main stage.
Formed during the glory days of grunge music, Cowboy Mouth forged a different sound from the start. It’s a sound rooted in rock, punk, blues and the attitude of the Big Easy.
Bandleader Fred LeBlanc, who previously was with the punk band Dash Rip Rock, pulls double-duty as the group’s frontman and drummer, leading the charge with his larger-than-life personality and percussive attack.
Cowboy Mouth released its original music with MCA Records, then Atlantic Records. Since the 2000s, the band released music on its own label.
“They had a pretty big hit in the ’90s, but they have been for a long time one of my favorite live bands,” Carnevali said. “They do an incredible live show, and are masters of audience engagement. The shows are so much fun and I’ve always wanted to bring them to Johnstown.”
Alternative rock band Gin Blossoms will be the main headliner for Aug. 3.
The band will perform at 9:30 p.m. on the main stage.
Formed in 1987 in Tempe, Arizona, Gin Blossoms reached the national stage in the early 1990s with the album, “New Miserable Experience,” which went quadruple platinum.
Top hits have included “Hey Jealousy,” “Found Out About You,” “Follow You Down” and Grammy-nominated “As Long as It Matters.”
The band’s follow-up album, “Congratulations I’m Sorry” went platinum, and the single “As Long as It Matters” was nominated for a Grammy Award.
Since reuniting in 2001, the band has released “Major Lodge Victory,” in 2006; “No Chocolate Cake,” in 2010; and “Mixed Reality,” in 2018.
“They had a multi-platinum hit record 25 years ago, and right now, they are touring to celebrate the 25th anniversary of that record,” Carnevali said.
“Most of the hit songs that people know them for are songs that appeared on that record and they’ll hear them at the festival. We feel really good about having them on our bill.”
Additional acts scheduled to perform include Elias Khouri, Jeff Perigo & Friends, Adler & Barath Blues Band, Davina & the Vagabonds, Red Baraat, Jeff Webb & the Delectable Sound, Essential Machine, The Plate Scrappers, Sue Foley Band, National Park Radio, Afro n’At, Bill Kirchen and Dale Watson.
Carnevali said a can’t-miss show is Davina & the Vagabonds.
“Davina might be one of the best vocalists I’ve ever heard,” he said.
“She can really sing. It’s a really cool show and they do sort of a modern take on old-time music, even music from the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s. It’s a lot of traditional music.”
He said Dale Watson is a performer he has wanted to bring to the festival for many years.
“He is a stalwart of traditional country music, terrifically talented, and he really does a great show,” Carnevali said.
“He plays that old-fashioned country music that a lot of people remember so fondly.”
Bill Kirchen is making a return to the festival, having played here in 2004, 2007, 2009 and 2011.
“He’s the former guitar player for Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen and did that famous song ‘Hot Rod Lincoln,’ ” Carnevali said.
“He’s one of the best rockabilly guitar players out there. He’s a real crowd-pleaser, and somebody we enjoy working with.”
He added that the Sue Foley Band also is a group to check out.
“She’s a Canadian blues artist and extremely good, and has a working relationship with Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top and Jimmie Vaughn,” Carnevali said.
“We like our festival lineup to be diverse and it’s great to have a woman out front playing the heck out of a blues guitar.”
Carnevali said he’s hopeful the festival will turn people on to a new band that they hadn’t heard of but came to see.
“The whole day is worthwhile, and all the bands are great,” he said.