Sheldon comes home to perform at the Scottdale Fall Festival

| Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012, 8:59 p.m.

A Los Angeles musician will be returning to perform at a hometown celebration he used to attend as a child.

When Rich Sheldon was a young man, he and his friends would always attend the annual Scottdale Fall Festival.

“The thing I remember the most is eating funnel cakes and gyros,” he said. “We would run around and play hide and seek, running around while things were going on.”

Some of those things that were going on at the festival included local musicians, which is just what Sheldon became, going on a journey from Scottdale across the country to California.

A 1992 graduate from Southmoreland High School, Sheldon attended Florida State University where he had a renewed interest in music, which then took him to Los Angeles to be a singer/songwriter.

His style is described as modern Americana folk rock influenced by the rock pioneers of the past and relevant artists of today, combining the diverse sounds of rock from reggae to bluegrass to create original songs.

Sheldon is frequently backed by some of the best players in the West Los Angeles music scene and occasionally performs with Young Dubliner's guitarist, Bob Boulding, Innocent Criminals bassist Juan Nelson and son Preston Nelson. He has recorded on studio tracks with Ed Tree of The Spencer Davis Group, former Van Morrison drummer Rick Shlosser and former Stevie Wonder bassist Dig Lewis. He has also appeared on the same bill with David Lindley and Wally Ingram, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, Chris Hillman of The Byrds and Sweetwater.

Sheldon's songs, including “Meet You In the Heavens” and “Destination Unknown” have been featured on Los Angeles radio stations, radio podcasts and even in the film “American Drug War, The Last White Hope,” directed by Kevin Booth.

“I'm returning to Scottdale this September for my 20th high school reunion,” Sheldon said. “That's why I thought it would be perfect timing to book the Scottdale Fall Festival.”

For the past two and half years, Sheldon has been returning to the area during the holidays to perform at such venues as Carson's Tavern, but this would be the first time that he's ever performed at the Fall Festival.

“It's a big event,” Sheldon said. “The town comes out and supports it.”

Sheldon and his band will be playing on the gazebo stage with additional guest artists from the region from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 28.

For his performance, Sheldon said he'll put on some of his original songs as well as some cover songs from bands like The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison and The Beatles.

Along with playing the Fall Festival and even playing at his high school reunion, Sheldon is currently finding gigs around the area including:

• 9 p.m. to closing time Friday at Aumer's in Mt. Pleasant (acoustic show).

• 9 p.m. to closing time Wednesday at Geo's Restaurant & Lounge in Latrobe (acoustic show).

7:30 to 11:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at Applebee's near County Market (acoustic show) with special guest singer/songwriter Steve Hawk from Scottdale.

• 10 p.m. to closing time Sept. 22 at Carson's Tavern in Scottdale (acoustic show)

“I have a lot of hometown support when I come back,” Sheldon said. “I really like that about the area. It's really great to have that kind of support.”

Sheldon will also have music and merchandise for sale at his other events.

For more information on Rich Sheldon, his schedule of upcoming shows, photos and to listen to his songs, visit his website at The Scottdale Fall Festival will run from Sept. 21 to 23. For more information on the festival including a full schedule, visit the website at

Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3539 or

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