Smoke On The Water Festival, Florence AL - April 29



Over the past two decades Mitch Mann has assimilated the music of his heroes. His songs offer the groove and feel of many styles of music. Being well versed in Blues, Folk, Country, Pop and Rock has allowed him to create a “roots music” totally Americana in flavor. He has tenure in several of the most successful bands in the challenging Muscle Shoals music community, and plays many solo dates.

Since Mann moved to Muscle Shoals in 1993, he has added his succulent guitar and smoky vocals to groups such as LSD-30, Blackwater Toad, The Fiddleworms, Donnie Fritts, Monkee and The Spank Daddys, and The Mojo Mixers. With these groups, he has shared the stage with The Temptations, Government Mule, Eddie Floyd, The Commodores, and American Idol winner Ruben Studdard.

In addition to his own songs, Mann’s live performances include many of the songs of the artists who have influenced his music…Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Johnny Cash, Robert Johnson, The Band, The Grateful Dead, Townes Van Zandt, and Steve Earle.


Mark has had a 25 plus year career as a songwriter.  With over 80 cuts to his credit, he has had songs recorded by Josh Turner, John Michael Montgomery, Shenandoah, Blackhawk, Terri Clark, Craig Morgan and many others.  His song “That’s What I Love About Sunday” was the most performed song in country radio in 2005 according to Billboard magazine, and it spent five weeks at number one.  Also, it was the #8 Billboard Country Song of the 2000’s Decade.  His first cut was on the Shoals super-group Shenandoah – “Moon Over Georgia,” and it became a top five hit nationally.  Mark was also co-writer, along with Walt Aldridge, on the number two country hit by Blackhawk, “Like There Ain’t No Yesterday.”  Mark was awarded a Bronze Star for his musical achievements which is on permanent display in the lobby of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.  His songs have appeared on seven Gold or Platinum Albums.

11:00 AM: DONNIE FRITTS & SCOTT BOYER (UPDATE: Due to illness, Fritts and Boyer had to cancel and will be replaced by Will & Janet McFarlane)

Donnie Fritts began his career as a musician at the age of 15 playing drums and keyboard.  In 1965, Fritts began writing songs and had songs recorded by Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis, Willie Nelson and others.  As a songwriter, Donnie had several songs appearing on the national charts including songs that were performed by Charlie Rich (You’re Gonna Love Yourself In the Morning-1980), Dolly Parton (We Had It All-1986), Waylon Jennings (We Had It All-1973); and UB40 (Breakfast In Bed-1988);

In 1967, Fritts began playing keyboards for Kris Kristofferson, a relationship that spanned more than 40 years and in locations both nationally and internationally.  Donnie appeared in several movies with Kristofferson, including ‘The Last Years of Frank and Jesse James’ (1986-TV), ‘Songwriter’ (1984), ‘Convoy'(1978), and ‘A Star is Born’ (1976); ‘Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid’ (1973) and ‘Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia’ (1974).  On February 22, 2008, Kristofferson was on hand in Montgomery to induct Donnie into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.   In 1998, Donnie released an album ‘Everybody’s Got A Song’ which includes guest appearances by Willie Nelson, Tony Joe White, Kris Kristofferson and John Prine, as well as many others.

Singer-songwriter Scott Boyer is the founding member of the Capricorn Records group Cowboy that recorded several critically acclaimed albums in the ’70s. After leaving Cowboy, he joined the Locust Fork band and then spent eight years with The Convertibles, a band popular along the Gulf.

As a session musician, Boyer has recorded in studios throughout the South with music legends such as Gregg Allman, Percy Sledge, Billy Joe Shaver, Kitty Wells, Bonnie Bramlett, Johnny Rivers, Arthur Conley and Alex Taylor. His writing credits include songs recorded by Eric Clapton (“Please Be With Me”) , Randy Meisner, Alex Taylor, Bonnie Bramlett, and Gregg Allman (“All My Friends”). He moved to Alabama, to join former Cowboy producer Johnny Sandlin as guitarist-vocalist with the group The Decoys.

A special thanks to Andreas Werner of Crazy Chester Music for helping with the production of the music for the Smoke on the Water Festival.


Rachel W