Fanning kicks off Westfield MusicFest

Date: 6/18/2014

WESTFIELD – Country recording artist David Fanning will be the headliner when Westfield MusicFest, kicks off its free summer concert series at Park Square in the center of Westfield on June 26 at 7:30 p.m.  

Appearing with Fanning will be Westfield native Ashley Gearing, another Nashville, Tennessee, artist.

The Westfield Business Improvement District and Westfield on Weekends, which produce the series in collaboration with Noble Hospital and KIX 100.9, expect a large audience given the turnout for its 2013 series.

“The ‘Westfield Green’ is the perfect venue for musical performers and we anticipate huge audiences again,” Mike Scott, program director for KIX 100.9, said.  “David Fanning is a performer whose first single, ‘Drink You Away,’ has set the country world on fire.”

The song was originally written and recorded by Justin Timberlake. “Drink You Away” is Fanning’s interpretation of what the pop superstar would sound like had he recorded in Nashville. Timberlake has praised Fanning’s version, his musical arrangement, and his voice.

As the guiding force behind the hot Nashville production team NV Entertainment, Fanning has had a successful career as a producer. He has overseen three #1 hits by Thompson Square and Parmalee, and worked to ready newer acts, like guitar-slinger Lindsay Ell, for the big time.

Taking what he has learned behind the console, Fanning has crafted his own brand of country music, which has a distinctively modern sound. He has been called the “Ryan Tedder of country,” in reference to the popular front man of the pop rock group, OneRepublic.

With “Drink You Away” announcing his arrival as a performing artist, Fanning is anxious to get more of the music he has been recording for Red Bow Records into the hands of fans. His debut album has tracks such as the moody “Blame It on You,” which he describes as “Imagine Dragons country,” and the hard-driving “Shoulda Loved You Like I Do.”

Gearing is no stranger to hard work or the demands of the music business. At the young age of 12, she made history by entering Billboard’s Hot Country Singles chart, eclipsing a 46 year-old record previously held by Brenda Lee. Her version of “Can You Hear Me When I Talk to You” gave Gearing immediate national exposure.

In just a few short years, Gearing has earned some major career achievements. She received American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers’ “Uncut Diamond” award as a future country rising star, performed numerous times on the famed stage of the Grand Ole Opry, and was voted Best Female Country artist in a New Country Artist poll in 2006.

Besides playing festivals and packed stadiums, Gearing has performed with the Boston Pops and on national television for the Boston Red Sox on numerous occasions. She also recorded music for the Walt Disney CD Series, DISNEYMANIA. Her new album on Curb Records is set to be released this year.

MusicFest producers encourage concert-goers to bring their own lawn chairs. Beer, wine, and food will be available for purchase. Refreshments will be provided by Mama Cakes, Two Rivers Burritos, All-Star Pizza, North Side Creamery, Soup’s On, Sweet Surprizes and  Ed’s French Fries. The Church of the Atonement will be selling Strawberry Shortcake.

Westfield MusicFest 2014 is produced with the assistance of The City of Westfield and Westfield State University.  Sponsors include Commercial Distributing, The Tavern Restaurant and The Westfield News Group. Additional support has been provided by Westfield State University, Advertus Media, Easthampton Savings Bank, Westfield Gas & Electric, Mina’s Wine & Spirits, and Elm Electrical.

The series continues on July 24 with Natalie Stoville and her band, The Drive, together with The Lost Trailers and concludes on Aug. 21 with Mystery Tour, a popular Beatles tribute Band.

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