‘Alabama girl’ returns to perform at Hank Williams fest

Published 10:12 pm Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Donica Knight is an Alabama girl “through and through.”

“Alabama is a great state but I had to go for music,” she said.

Knight is in Nashville now but, she’ll be back Friday night to perform at the Hank Williams Music Festival 35th Annual “Salute to a Legend” in Georgiana.

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“I’m honored and tickled pink to be asked to be on stage at the Hank Williams Music Festival,” said Knight who performed as the lead singer with “Lucky Town” at Troy University when on the college circuit.

“I loved playing for fraternities and sororities and getting everyone fired up for football,” she said. “It was fun but the Hank Williams Music Festival … it’s awesome.”

Knight has moved up rather quickly in the world of country music – from college campuses to sharing the stage with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kenny Rogers, Luke Bryan, Jake Owen, Chris Young, 3 Doors Down, Little River Band, Jamey Johnson, Justin Moore, The Swon Brothers, Thompson Square, Darryl Worley, and Skid Row.

Knight’s talent even captured the attention of country music superstar Ronnie Milsap. They have recorded two songs together – one was co-written by Knight. She has also co-written with Pat McLaughlin.

All of that kind of makes an Alabama girl’s head a little dizzy but no more so than taking the stage Friday night in honor of the “Father of County Music.”

“Hank Williams Sr. is country music,” Knight said. “He wrote from the heart. He wrote about being blue and so lonesome he could cry – about true feelings and that opened the door for other writers to do the same.”

Knight’s debut album, “A Southern Heart,” is from her heart and offers something for all fans on Southern music.

“The track, “Annie’ is stompin’-rootsy country, while ‘Elevators’ is Patsy Cline classic country and ‘You Only Love Me’ kind of grows on you,’ Knight said.

At the Hank Williams Music Festival Friday night, Knight will perform several new tunes and she’ll be doing some covers as well.

“And, of course, I’ll do some Hank songs, but I’m not going to say which ones,” Knight said, laughing. “But, I will say that I’ll do my favorite, ‘I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry’ and there will be some up tempo coming.”

Knight will open for John Conlee who will take the stage around 8:30 p.m. The gates will open at 3 p.m. Also on stage will be Jett Williams, Brad Magness, Colon Leatherwood, Mary McDonald and Starla Jones.

The music festival gates will open at 8 a.m. Saturday.

Gene Watson will be the headline performer on Saturday night. Other Saturday performers will include Jett Williams, Hillary Williams, Jeremy Parsons, Jeff Whitlow, Elaine McMillan, Mary McDonald, Colon Leatherwood and Starla Jones.

Tickets are $15 on Friday and $25 on Saturday.