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Countdown Seaside! Live Music and Fireworks on New Year's Eve

December 18, 2011 by SoWal Staff

The Seaside Merchants invite everyone out for Countdown Seaside! A New Year's Eve Celebration, a family-friendly party featuring live entertainment, kid's art projects, street performers and an amazing fireworks display over the Gulf of Mexico. Festivities for this fabulous family event begin at 7 p.m. and last until midnight New Year's Day. Make it your resolution to start 2012 off with a bang.

Spectators will enjoy a night of music ranging from fresh Americana Rock 'n Roll to Folk and Roots. The celebration kicks off in the Amphitheater with a performance by Kyle Lamonica at 7 p.m., followed by The David Mayfield Parade taking the stage at 8:15 p.m. and headliners Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers at 10 p.m. Finally, let's all welcome 2012 with a spectacular fireworks display at the stroke of midnight.

Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers

Seaside wants to ensure that everyone, including the little ones, has plenty to do on this exciting holiday. Abrakadoodle will be on hand from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. offering unique art projects for our New Year's Celebration. These projects will be free and include making celebratory noisemakers and even a time capsule where families will be able to place New Year's wishes and resolutions! Seaside will also have face painters on hand to get both the young and young-at-heart in the festive spirit.

Grammy-nominated musician and producer David Mayfield, of The David Mayfield Parade, is a force of nature on stage. His energy and out and out enthusiasm for performing are evident at every show whether it's with Cadillac Sky, The Avett Brothers, Jessica Lea Mayfield or his own band, The David Mayfield Parade. Mayfield's songwriting "feels as classic as {his}...wardrobe" says Paste Magazine.

The self-titled debut album, The David Mayfield Parade, released on 9th Grade Records which David co-founded with fellow songwriter Josh Joplin, effortlessly ventures from classic AM radio rock with lush string arrangements to unadorned -country ballads whose lovelorn subjects evoke the outlaw songs of the early 70's. It succeeds and endures because at its heart it does not pretend to be anything but what it is, a sincere rock record.

This sincerity is reflected in every performance the band gives, as there is no posturing, no facade, nothing but great songs and the instruments to play them. Mayfield's ability to connect with audiences from performances at Bonnaroo and MerleFest, to NPR's Mountain Stage and The Grand Ole Opry, have earned him the reputation of being the kind of extraordinary artist who goes beyond trend and simply delivers genuinely essential music.

Mayfield says while making the album in his hometown of Kent, Ohio he drew inspiration from his musical heroes Buddy Holly, Harry Nilsson, and Randy Newman and the albums he grew up listening to, Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and Melanie's "Gather Me".

Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers are a folk-rock / roots-rock band from western Massachusetts who've released nine albums since 2000, counting their first five self-released discs. They got signed to major-label Universal in 2004, did one album for them, but then left and have released their last two discs on the respected independent Vanguard label.

Perhaps that's because 'Gift Horse' is full of songs about Kellogg's family life and his personal reflections. Although the Massachusetts-based band has been a powerhouse in the Americana format almost since it formed in 2003, Kellogg believes that it has truly hit its stride on this tour.

"I think everyone goes through a stage where they feel like anything that happens, they are just happy about it," he said of musicians' careers. "Then you go through a stage of disillusionment when you realize you have ended up squarely in the middle [of band popularity], as we have. You feel bad for about two seconds and then you realize you have the best job in the world and you just want to go out and reach more people. That's when you say 'Now, let's do it and make proper music.' That's a major milestone and a turning point."

For 'Gift Horse,' Kellogg wrote some of his most personal songs to date about family and his reflections about life. Although he's occasionally been hesitant to bear his soul in such a way, he found the personal tunes fit with the reflective mood of the country and, of course, the fans.

Yet the band isn't afraid to mix it up - as they always have - with plenty of classic covers including 'Mama, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys,' made famous by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson.

Although the band has always brought a great degree of depth and intelligence to its music, the last year or so has prodded them to let their Americana roots show even more, as evidenced by the inclusion of those legendary songs.

"The biggest influence for us [recently] isn't a musical influence," he said. "It's been doing those military tours and really thinking about what it means to be an American, which is why we're excited to play Seaside and Northwest Florida with such a large military presence."

Kyle LaMonica is an acoustic rock singer songwriter originally from Niceville, FL. Kyle has been performing as a solo musician around the region for many years and has built a large following throughout the Gulf Coast. Expect to hear a very dynamic vocal and great acoustic guitar riffs rooted in the timeless genres of Americana, singer/songwriter and folk music when you listen to Kyle's live show. Kyle plays a set very similar in feel to that of such artists as Ryan Adams, Ray LaMontagne and David Gray.

David Mayfield

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