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Americana music festival to gather locals, raise money for nonprofit

Having played various Americana music festivals around the United States and Europe, members of Huntington Beach band The Fallen Stars figured it was about time to start a festival in their own backyard.

The band will host and play at the first Southern California Americana Festival, at the Marlin Bar and Grill from 2 to 11 p.m. May 25. The event is free to the public.

Some of the local acts playing at the festival are Michael Ubaldini, Micah Justice, Tall as Men, Travis King, Courtney Chambers and The Dairy Kings.

"I wished that we could get all of our friends' bands all under one roof and raise money for a good reason," said Bobbo Byrnes, frontman of The Fallen Stars. "And it was mostly to see all my friends' bands play."

Americana music is a blend of country and rock music. Some notable performers to come from the genre are Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and Bob Seger.

The festival will raise money for the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, a nonprofit based in Fullerton that helps uninsured musicians pay for their medical expenses.

It was started in 1994 after musician Victoria Williams was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis while on tour with Neil Young the year before, explained Sweet Relief President Bill Bennett.

In support, more than a dozen artists and bands, including Pearl Jam, Soul Asylum and Lou Reed, recorded a tribute album for Williams called "Sweet Relief: A Benefit for Victoria Williams."

Byrnes and The Fallen Stars had donated money to the nonprofit over the years and developed a relationship with Bennett.

"Bobbo's been very supportive of Sweet Relief over the last several years doing various events around Orange County and Los Angeles on our behalf," Bennett said. "I'm just a big fan of him, his wife and his band. They're great people and we love working with them."


If You Go

What: Southern California Americana Festival

When: 2 to 11 p.m. May 25

Where: Marlin Bar and Grill, 5874 Edinger Ave.

Cost: Free


Michael Ubaldini — 2 to 2:40 p.m.

Micah Justice — 3 to 3:40 p.m.

Lauren Chanel Cobb & Ryan Ratfield — 4 to 4:40 p.m.

Tall as Men — 5 to 5:40 p.m.

Travis King — 6 to 6:40 p.m.

Riddle & The Stars — 7 to 7:40 p.m.

Phil Cody — 8 to 8:40 p.m.

Courtney Chambers — 9 to 9:40 p.m.

The Dairy Kings — 10 to 10:40 p.m.

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