Press Release

Break-out Musician on the Move

F E S T I V A L S     I N T E R N A T I O N A L

-News  Release-

“Break-out Musician on the Move”

Songwriter-singer-musician Neal Simmons is taking his talents to live audiences, after years of self-taught artistry on a variety of instruments. He is also moving from his former base in Gainesville, Florida, to the Upper Midwest.

At 27 years old, he decided it was time to go public with his songs and with live performing. His folk and country-western influences have people telling him he could be the next Bob Dylan or Johnny Cash. Yet, as a fresh recording artist, he’s also writing songs in the rock and indie pop genres.

After moving to the music legend community of Clear Lake, Iowa, he caught the attention of Gregory Schmidt (head of Festivals International). Schmidt has placed this “fresh talent” in both small venues and large street festivals, already. He plans to continue helping develop Simmons’ live show and recording work. Together, the two will phase into the music world of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, where they can begin collaborating with other established musicians.

Schmidt points out, “I was considering retirement from the business of talent development until I heard Neal sing several of his own compositions. I was moved to believe that he will have an extraordinary career. He could become one of the best story-teller musicians on the circuit.”

[Neal Simmons]: “Clear Lake/North Iowa have revealed to me a vibrant musical history and culture that I could have never imagined while living in Florida. While the differences of North Iowa are a stark contrast from living in Florida, I have grown to truly appreciate the community and way of life here in what can only be described as a pleasant culture shock. I was not expecting to find such a bustling musical culture outside of big cities like Minneapolis, Nashville, or New York, but North Iowa captures a truly unique and deep passion for music and live performance. I left Florida with the intentions of fully immersing myself in a musical career. Clear Lake/North Iowa is above and beyond my expectations to help me realize that vision. I can see myself staying and playing here longer than I had initially thought!”

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Neal Simmons

Press Release

Jimmie C. Clark, Iowa Entertainer of the Year

  F E S T I V A L S     I N T E R N A T I O N A L

-News Release-

“Recognition as Master Entertainer”

         Festivals International is naming local musician Jimmie C. Clark “Iowa Entertainer of the Year”. This recognition comes as
 he and his rousing Fiddle Band perform for their last weekend at the Fiddlers Lounge in Clear Lake.

        Clark came to this popular tourist town to open his unique venue in 2019 in order to share the musical heritage he is famed for after 30 years on the road (in many foreign countries) and participating in numerous Nashville recording sessions for A-list performers. He appeared on national television and in music videos. His broad talents include song-writing and a distinctive singing voice with an expertise on a variety of instruments, which he plays during all of his performances. His back up band members made up of a mix of lively foot-stomping musicians, including Tuba player Merlin Bartz, often varies from show to show.

         As a youth Clark started out his career earning the Iowa State Fiddle Champion recognition.

         Another reason for his return to Iowa was to care for his aging father, Ellsworth, who was widely known as previous leader of the Clark Family Band.

        With The Fiddlers Lounge scheduled to be closed after these 3 1/2 years of Jimmie C. Clark demonstrating his engaging glide through many musical genres, his final shows will be this Wednesday Sept. 7th (6:00pm), Friday & Saturday the 9th/10th (6:30pm).

        The building space at 468 N. Shore Drive in Clear Lake will become part of the Surf Ballroom & Museum’s expanding property

        Greg Schmidt of Festivals International states, “Jimmie Clark is simply an Iowa treasure with a show that includes so many enjoyable musical tastes. As a coordinator of numerous acts around the Upper Midwest, I can say that our fiddling mister Clark puts on a show that rates at the very top. We hope to help him and the Fiddler Band establish their next venue, locally, in order to keep him right here in North Iowa.”


     Greg Schmidt
     Jimmie C. Clark