The blues will be brought to Main Street, New Martinsville when Israel "Izzy" Stetar takes the stage at the inaugural Back Home Applachian Arts & Music Festival. Stetar will entertain on day two of the three-day event, set for June 30 and July 1-2.
Izzy is a native West Virginian, born in Weirton. He began playing guitar at the age of nine, and at the age of 17, while visiting New Orleans, Louisiana, Izzy purchased a Robert Johnson album at a flea market off of Bourbon Street. Since that moment, Izzy has dedicated his life and music to the blues.
Izzy has played countless blues clubs and bars, from Pittsburgh to Memphis, and throughout the Southeast. He won best solo acoustic act at the Western Pennsylvania Blues Society Competition in 2006 and became a finalist at the Intenrational Blues Competition, held in Memphis.
Israel “Izzy” Stetar
Izzy is also known for his part in the blues duo, Izzy & Chris, which released the CD "Preachin The Blues Vol 1." This album went to #17 on the Roots Music Report Blues Chart. The song "Steady Rollin' Daddy" was chosen by Blues Revue Magazine for the magazine's October 2009 Blues Revue Sampler disc.
The album also includes songs such as "Preachin' The Blues," "If You Hear Me Cryin," and Flat Broke And Busted.
The duo also won solo/duo honors at the Appalachian Blues Competition in Charleston, in 2008, which allowed them to move on to the 2008 International Blues Challenge. Izzy & Chris were also nominated for a 2009 United States Artist Fellowship and a $50,000 grant. In Oct 2010 they again won the Appalachian Blues Competition solo/duo division.
Visit Wetzel County's inaugural music festival will be held June 30 and July1-2 in New Martinsville.
The highly-anticipated event will feature musicians and artisans from around the great state of West Virginia, while also serving as a Wetzel County homecoming for all graduates of Wetzel County high schools.
Musical acts scheduled to perform are The Rumpke Mountain Boys; The Davisson Brothers Band; Cody Wickline, Johnny Staats & The Delivery Boys; The Recipe; The Hillbilly Gypsies; The Wayfarers; th' Bullfrog Willard McGhee; The Jakobs Ferry Stragglers; Herb & Hanson; The Rusty Haywhackers; Izzy Stetar, and more.
The Back Home Appalachian Arts & Music Festival is a FREE event. The main stage will be on Main Street in New Martinsville. The three day event will culminate with an incredible fireworks display on Sunday night.
Other activities planned for the weekend include workshops, outdoor activities, and games for children. A parade is planned for Saturday and all wetzel county alumni will be invited.
Visit Wetzel County's goal is to create an event that becomes a "must attend" event for residents of West Virginia and tourists alike.
Gary Eller and th' Bullfrog Willard McGhee will both be providing songwriting workshops in the Lincoln Theatre on Saturday July 1.
Camping will be available in conjunction with the New Martinsville Parks & Recreation Department at the city's marina. The area will be on a first come first serve basis, so make sure you are there in time to claim your space. There will also be camping available at the 4-H grounds over the weekend.
There will be at least two stages setup, with hopes of a third, and the Lincoln Theatre will hold late night shows after the main festivities close down on Main Street, and there will be an all star jam on Saturday night. The theatre is estimated to hold around 400 people.
If you are interested in being a vendor for the event please contact Visit Wetzel County at (304) 398-4910. The food vendor fee is $200, with a $50 refund at the end of the festival. Artisans can have a spot for a deposit of $25 that will be fully refunded at the conclusion of the festival.