The Shipyard is back after a brief pandemic hiatus for its third year of food, fun and your favorite people in one place, raging to your old favorite bands and discovering new music to put on repeat. This year, we’re on The Grounds at Century Casino Friday and Saturday, Sept. 17 and 18, with two stages, where we’ll have 11 nationally-touring bands and seven local musicians from our Scout Sessions playing.
If that’s not enough for ya, we’re bringing the best food in town, and our sponsors are creating experiences you won’t want to miss. It’s a party, and you’re invited.
Get stoked. Here is your 2021 Shipyard Music Festival lineup:
The Wild Feathers
Your Shipyard 2021 co-headliners formed in Nashville in 2010. The Southern Rock/Americana band has toured with Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan and Blackberry Smoke. In early 2020, the band left their record label, booking agency and management to begin a new era of making music, producing their sound independently. Their 11-track album “Medium Rarities” came out in November 2020 and is a compilation of previously-unreleased B-sides, covers and demos from throughout their career, which they discovered on a harddrive during the pandemic. We’re glad they gave it a listen.
Check them out if you like: Tom Petty, The Eagles
In their 26th year as a band, this St. Louis-based group with a cult following has released nine albums, with their 10th album, “Electro Melodier,” out this July. This Shipyard co-headliner was at the forefront of the alternative country movement of the 1990s and has continued to write lyrics that turn a critical eye upon modern society, protesting unjust power structures while also making music about the more tender moments of daily life. Frontman Jay Farrar wrote the group’s new album while at home during the pandemic reflecting on the state of our country. Now, the band is ready to get out and perform it. And with a track record like theirs, we’re ready to listen. Check them out if you like: Drive-By Truckers, Jason Isbell
With lyrics of hope, strength and soul, this GRAMMY Award-nominated Memphis blues band has performed in more than 15 countries and at festivals throughout the U.S., including Bonnaroo, Firefly and Electric Forest. In 2016, they reached the finals of the International Blues Challenge, and after signing with Stax Records only a year after forming, their self-titled debut album entered the U.S. Billboard Top Blues Albums Chart at No. 6. This summer, they’re on tour with Jason Mraz, who collaborated on the song “Move Into the Light” on their new album, “Be the Love You Want,” released August 2021. Get ready for a band that doesn’t sound like anyone else and is proud of it. We’re not mad about it, either. Check them out if you like: St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Johnnyswim, Alabama Shakes
If you are looking for a singer, musician and songwriter who is a storyteller, Morgan Wade is your person. With a raw, gritty voice that matches her writing, she brings an honesty to country music that few artists currently contribute. Four years sober, she doesn’t sugar-coat; her songs turn to face addiction, desire and loneliness in herself and others unabashedly head-on. Wade has opened for Willie Nelson, and she signed with UMPG Nashville in June 2021; her first full-length album, “Reckless,” released in March 2021, which she worked on with Sadler Vaden, solo artist and guitarist for Jason Isbell. It’s an album that will leave you feeling like you don’t have to be anything but honest. Check her out if you like: Ashley McBryde, Jason Isbell
Four friends who met at Belmont University in Nashville, Betcha is formed by the first letters of the names of members Ben Booth, Taylor Dubray, Charlie Greene and Chase Wofford. They’ve toured with The Band CAMINO, Judah and the Lion and Kaleo. Their second EP, “Feels Like We’ve Been Here Before” released in October 2020; on it, they collaborated with Brian Phillips (COIN, blink-182, Walk the Moon), Nick Furlong (Kygo, All Time Low, Good Charlotte) and Nick Bailey (Maroon 5, Machine Gun Kelly, The Aces). At once witty, fun and serious with honest one-liners that put into words things you’ve felt but didn’t know anyone else did, Betcha opens up the world while leaving you feeling understood. And if you want to know how to make a music video that dazzles and delights, watch theirs. Check them out if you like: Phoenix, The Band CAMINO
The Unlikely Candidates Formed in 2008 by childhood friends in Fort Worth, Texas, the indie rock band with pop, folk and synth sounds signed with Atlantic and released their debut EP “Follow My Feet” in 2013. In 2016, they switched labels to sign with Another Century and released their EP “Bed of Liars” in 2017, with the EP “Danger to Myself” closely behind. Throughout 2019, 2020 and 2021, they’ve released new singles; their latest, “Gemini,” came out in May, and frontman Kyle Morris says it’s his favorite they’ve made yet. The band, which has been described as having a garage band feel, has toured with Young the Giant, Dirty Heads and Brick + Mortar and has said they are constantly pursuing an unexpected sound. Here’s to what’s next. Check them out if you like: Fall Out Boy, Jon Bellion, All Time Low
Hero the Band
“Do what you love with conviction.” That’s the motto of Hero the Band, the alternative rock R&B band from Decatur, Ga., made up of brothers Justin (Ocean), Jerramy (Goku Love), DJ (BamBam) and Nick (Nicky Jupiter) Barnett. Fourth-generation musicians, the brothers began playing music at their church as small children, and now, with pop, soul and rock influences, their music defies categorization. Their music isn’t the only part of their work that is forward-thinking; to build a fan base in the midst of the pandemic when live shows are often cancelled, they launched a fictional musical podcast in which their characters time travel back to the 1980s, releasing a new song on each episode. Their fashion, too, is all their own; they get our pick for best festival style. Check them out if you like: The Band CAMINO, Outkast
“Are you afraid of the things that haven’t come yet? Are you afraid, ‘cause I’m afraid, hell yeah:” The bubble gum pink aesthetic and playful sarcasm of this indie rock band from Ohio belie honest lyrics that speak of existential dread, carving out meaning in a surface-level culture and negotiating a working relationship with tradition. In short, becoming an adult as a 20-something in the American Midwest. With the coolest mustaches around and a settee that just might give you green velvet couch envy, the band has supported Brandi Carlile, Magic Giant, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and more and has collaborated with producers Ryan Hadlock and Tony Hoffer. Oh, yeah, and they’re not afraid to get their picture taken while wearing a swarm of bees. (You know, routine things.) Text them at +1 (513) 647-3248. Check them out if you like: Young the Giant, Foster the People
Remember when brother sat on brother’s shoulders while they both played their respective guitars? Or when all five Link siblings gathered ‘round the drum and played it at once? That’s right — you saw them at Shipyard 2019 and loved them, and the Link brothers and sister are back for Shipyard 2021 with a whole new set of music. Throughout 2021, the indie rock band released a new song from their second album, “Even When It Doesn’t Rhyme,” every 28 days; the album fully released in Summer 2021. Straight from the Ozark Mountains of Southern Missouri, paying homage to the place where generations of their family lived with fiddle, banjo, cello, synthesizer, guitars, belly drums (yep, you read that right), and lyrics that speak of the search for what lasts, it sounds a whole lot like home. Check them out if you like: Tow’rs, Mumford and Sons
Get ready for a trip back in time. This funk-pop band from Springfield, Ill., draws inspiration from little-known 1970s and ‘80s funk bands such as Kleeer, Pasteur Lappe and International Soleil Band (and thanks Spotify algorithms for these discoveries). Their second EP “Astro Lobo,” which was produced by Jason Kingsland (Washed Out, Deerhunter, Band of Horses) came out amidst the pandemic in October 2020 and features Tim Lefebvre (David Bowie, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Empire of the Sun) on bass on the track “Bad Feeling.” Producing the record remotely throughout quarantine didn’t hinder the serious trippy ‘70s groove the band creates. Lift off to another world: now. Check them out if you like: Huey Lewis, Earth Wind and Fire
Roanoke Based out of Nashville, Tenn., Roanoke sounds like the plaintive longing of the mountains mixed with the mysticism of ‘70s rock. Led by Taylor Dupuis and Joey Beesley, Roanoke’s self-titled debut album released in 2016, and their EP “Where I Roam” was named one of Paste Magazine’s Top 10 EPs of 2018. As their music has evolved to include Americana, folk and rock elements, they’ve been featured in The Huffington Post, Paste Magazine, That Music Mag and more, who have hailed them as a band that transports listeners to specific places, moments and heartbreaks. Go behind the scenes with the band as they play live shows, write new music and drive through a polar vortex in their web series “DISCOVER ROANOKE” on YouTube. We’re in for a fun time. Check them out if you like: The Head and the Heart, The Civil Wars
Blues, folk and bluegrass come together in Ivas John’s music to create songs from a simpler time, music that sounds like rambling down a gravel road along the Mississippi on a summer evening. A first-generation Lithuanian American who grew up in Chicago, his parents instilled in him a deep respect for history, tradition and European folk music, influences that find their way into the music he writes today in Cape Girardeau. His acoustic album “Good Days a Comin” climbed to No. 1 on folk radio charts and was featured on HGTV and nominated for Acoustic Blues Album of the Year. Billboard, American Songwriter and Flatpicking Guitar Magazine also gave attention to the album. If you’re looking for your soul to be soothed, have a listen. Check him out if you like: Woody Guthrie, Eric Clapton
A Cape Girardeau favorite, Jason Heeter plays solo shows and is part of Heet and the A.C.’s, the Ivas John Band, Shades of Soul and Shugyo. With sounds that blend blues, country and soul and lyrics that deal with the desire to ramble and the feat of finding a place in the world, Heeter’s music is a testament to the storytelling ability of people from the Midwest. Catch Deuce and Heeter’s Grateful Thursdays at Ebb and Flow in Cape each week, where they pay homage to The Grateful Dead with covers and a jam session. If you’re feeling up to it, jump in and play along. Check him out if you like: Bill Withers, The Grateful Dead
You might know him as one of ya boys from The Scout Podcast, always ready to make his words count, ask thoughtful questions or drop a line of wisdom into the show. As the first official Scout Session, singing about the people we’ve loved in the past but don’t end up with and Stacy’s Mom (not in the same song), Jordan helps make the Scout and good things in our community happen. In addition to being a singer and songwriter who can hit you with lyrics where it hurts, he has written for other musicians and traveled throughout the region in various bands. Jordan is a Puxico, Mo., native, a husband and a dad. Look for his new music next. Check him out if you like: James Taylor, Bon Iver
A native of McClure, Ill., Evan Webb is a practitioner of country music filled with image-rich storytelling done the way it should be. His song and subsequent music video “Dry Up or Drown” with the Rural Route Ramblers garnered attention towards the decline of rural America and flooding of McClure in 2016, and he has continued to release new music and play at venues, shows and festivals throughout the region and beyond since. With melodies that tap into the ache for what has been, what isn’t yet, and what is so sweet it can’t be held (but even as it’s happening, you wish it could), his music simultaneously lets us feel that yearning while soothing our soul with imagery of the familiar. Someone is speaking for us here in the middle. And it just sounds good. Check him out if you like: Jamestown Revival, Whiskey Myers
Yep, it’s true: She takes her stage name from a Shakey Graves song of the same name. And she really did meet him on her birthday … in late July. A one-woman band from Paducah, Ky., who plays her guitar and suitcase drum with tambourine attachment across Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa and Tennessee, Leight July got her start in 2016. Drawing inspiration from Shakey Graves, her Americana sound with real lyrics and lovely harmonies shine through on her two albums “L8 July” and “Not What We Wished,” as well as on her new single, “Reminiscing.” Through her voice that conveys raw emotion, you’ll find yourself reckoning with your most honest moments. Check her out if you like: Shakey Graves, Shovels & Rope
Parker Bond is a master of all trades: tall bikes, woodworking, welding, banjo playing, songwriting, you name it. Originally from Montgomery, Texas, and in Missouri via California, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas and his fiancée who grew up in Cape, after the Marine Corps, Parker spent two years living on a property in a school bus and airstream trailer with no personal electricity or cell phone. A Whataburger enthusiast who built his mom a tiny house, Parker shares a birthday with DMX (fun facts for trivia). Any time he opens his mouth, whether in speech or song, get ready to be told the best story you’ve ever heard. His song “John J Pyles Blues” is an homage to “the coolest dude” he knows: his grandpa.
Check him out if you like: John Prine, Arlo Guthrie
Heather Hammers writes self-described “sad-girl music,” and we’re not sad about it. A resident of West Frankfurt, Ill., her voice, lyrics and music are vulnerable in a way that is strong, beautiful in a way that hurts in its honesty. We’re not sure who would break her heart, but she articulates it in a way we wish we all could. Heather recorded her 2019 EP “In Living Spaces” in and around her Illinois home. She says her four-year-old daughter is her greatest muse; for true beauty, watch Heather’s video “26.” We guess it’s true: Sometimes, life works out for sad girls. Check her out if you like: Birdy, Billie Eilish