Local restaurant owner and musician John Mohead is hoping that Helena-West Helen's first-ever Southbound Music Festival will be a showcase for some rising regional performers. In this Arkansas Delta community blues is the primary genre of music. However, Mohead wants to introduce music lovers to another form – Arkansas: Americana.

Mohead is serving as director of this inaugural Southbound Music Festival. He has assembled a wide variety of musical artists with various talents to perform for this 2-day event scheduled tonight (Friday, April 21) and Saturday (April 22) on historic Cherry Street in downtown Helena.

Local restaurant owner and musician John Mohead is hoping that Helena-West Helen's first-ever Southbound Music Festival will be a showcase for some rising regional performers. In this Arkansas Delta community blues is the primary genre of music. However, Mohead wants to introduce music lovers to another form – Arkansas: Americana.

Mohead is serving as director of this inaugural Southbound Music Festival. He has assembled a wide variety of musical artists with various talents to perform for this 2-day event scheduled tonight (Friday, April 21) and Saturday (April 22) on historic Cherry Street in downtown Helena.

Several of these artists, says Mohead, are Arkansas residents. Two Little Rock-based performers, Adam Faucett and Kassi Moe will be among the featured musicians playing in Helena for the first time.

According to Mohead, Faucett has been making a name for himself as a solo artist for more than 10 years now. His most recent release is 2014's "Blind Water Finds." Paste Magazine calls Faucett a 'stellar songwriter" with "a voice with soulful power beyond belief."

Faucett has toured internationally. He describes his own music as "Arkansas Gothic" and "swampy soul." PopMatters Magazine declared him the state's "truck stop poet laureate."

Moe grew up in Alaska but now lives in Little Rock after serving a brief residency in Nashville, Tennessee. Her sound has been described as "acoustic soul." Despite establishing a following in Central and Northwest Arkansas, Moe says she "still feels like I'm playing a guitar on a beach."

After completing her appearances at the Southbound Music Festival, Moe will return to Nashville to complete recording of her second album scheduled for release in mid-May.

"It's only natural that the wide-ranging sounds of Americana and roots music would find a home in the state that produced Johnny Cash, Levon Helm and Sister Rosetta Tharp," stated Mohead. "It draws from so many rich, distinct genres, including the Delta Blues."

"I wanted to bring in a new group of artists that really haven't had the opportunity to play in Helena before," Mohead continued, "but I also wanted them to have a connection to the sound that is deeply rooted in this part of the country."

Faucett will open for Ray Wylie Hubbard at the Malco theater at 7:15 tonight. He will also perform at the outdoor Crawfish Stage at noon on Saturday.

Moe will open the festival with a performance on the Southbound Stage beginning at 5 p.m. She will also entertain Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at the Malco Theater.

Admission to all performances is included in the purchase of a 2-day pass to the Southbound Music Festival. Regular admission is $20. VIP passes may be obtained for $30. Passes are available online at www.southboundmusicfestival.com/passes or on site Friday.

The schedule is subject to change.