Shreveport is holding an international guitar party, and everybody is invited. That was the gist of the message shared by the organizers of the James Burton International Guitar Festival during a news conference Monday.
Set to take place Aug. 19-21, the festival will feature two concerts and a three-day trade show. The festival's main event, a "James Burton and Friends" concert, is set for Aug. 20 at Municipal Auditorium.
In addition to Burton, a local legend who played with Elvis Presley between 1969 and 1977, performers at the "Friends" concert will include Brad Paisley, Sonny Landreth, Eric Johnson, Johnny Rivers, Steve Wariner, Johnny Hiland, the Nelson brothers -- Matthew and Gunnar, Jeff Cook of band Alabama, Jeff Baxter, Seymour Duncan, Steve Luthaker of Toto, Johnny A, Doyle Dykes, Greg Koch, Roscoe Beck, Dr. John, Steve Cropper, Dickie Betts of Allman Brothers and movie-star-turned-musician Steven Seagal.
Tickets go on sale Friday.
"I guarantee you, even if you're not a musician, and you're just a music connoisseur, you will not want to miss this," said Jeff Burton, James' son. "We're proud to bring it here to Shreveport. We're proud to bring it here to Municipal Auditorium. ... We're hoping that everybody here joins us on board and just makes it a fantastic thing."
The festival also will feature a three-day trade show in Expo Hall in downtown Shreveport. It will showcase state-of-the-art instruments and music gear. Exhibitors will include Fender, Gibson, Dean Markley and Martin Guitars. Vintage guitar dealers and local music businesses also will participate.
Lastly, there will be a "Blowout Under the Bridge" concert in the Red River District on Aug. 19. The concert will include performances by regional acts such as Jerry Beach and Over Drive.
Proceeds from the festival will be donated to the James Burton Foundation, which aims to provide children and young adults with instruments, scholarships and grants.
"I want to see the kids continue the music legacy and give them the support they need with new instruments ... and music lessons, whatever it takes to continue what we're doing in our music industry," James Burton said.
Still active in the industry, Burton also has worked with Frank Sinatra, Merle Haggard, Kenny Rogers, Elvis Costello and Johnny Cash.
Jim Montgomery, a board member of the Friends of the Municipal Auditorium, said the decision to host the main concert at Municipal Auditorium is a big deal.
"It's important to host it there because it's where James got his start. Here's a man who has been a key figure in contemporary music for the last half-century. He wouldn't like me saying it that way but that's a fact," Montgomery said with a laugh. "Municipal Auditorium is his creative home."