Thanks to all who made Rock the District
2009 a great success!

Click here to check out our Flikr photo gallery!
Visit this site next Summer for more information about RTD 2010.

- 12noon to 9pm
District-wide music festival and shopping extravaganza featuring 3 stages of music highlighting the best in local bands, food, fun and more!

NEW this year:
• Kids Zone featuring kids entertainment, an air guitar contest, and games with prizes
• Rock ‘n Recycle area with everything you need for your green living lifestyle!

Enter to win prizes
Purchase of a Rock the District t-shirt enters you to win a meet-and-greet with Dave Barnes! (5 people + friend can win)

PLUS anyone can enter for a chance to win great prizes such as:

  • Party Like A Rockstar package by Sugar Buzz Sweet Parties for Kids
  • Oil change from Integrity Automotive
  • $50 gift card from Mary and Martha's Exceedingly Chic Boutique
  • Basket of Simply Sweet Shoppe goodies (valued at $50.00)
  • $50 Gift Certificate to Accent Details
  • Child's guitar from Hoosier Guitar
  • Gift pack from Hamilton County Convention & Visitor’s Bureau
  • Gift card for Ferrin’s Fruit Winery wine tasting for 10-$50 value
  • 2 tickets to Adrian Belew concert and poster
  • …and more!

Dave Barnes - Acoustic/Pop/R&B
As singer/songwriter Dave Barnes tells it, he had a Harry Potter moment while in college. Like the poor, misunderstood boy living under the stairs with his Uncle and Aunt, Barnes also belonged to a magical tribe, but up to that point hadn’t realized it. “I was thinking I was weird, or something was wrong with me. But when I found the magazine Performing Songwriter, I thought, ‘you mean there’s a group of people who relate to this? Who have a hard time talking when there is a melody in their head or will run off and call their voicemail so they can remember how this one lyric goes?’”

That’s right, Dave, you’re a wizard. Well, a songwriting wizard, anyway. So get out of that cramped room and get to Hogwarts—er, Nashville.

A few years later, Barnes graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in Recording Industry Management—“I’m one of the few musicians in the world actually using my major,” he laughs—and became a performing songwriter himself, relocating to Nashville to see what might happen.

At first very little was happening, with Barnes cutting his teeth in a 50-capacity room-and drawing just seven people at one point. But just a few years later, after crisscrossing the country and selling vanloads of two independent albums-Brother, Bring The Sun and Chasing Mississippi, the artist had landed songs on television and in films, and was well known to thousands who'd discovered his soulful, supple way with a melody, wrapping itself around a lyric that sneakily burrows under the skin. Those fans include Vince Gill and Amy Grant (who made guest appearances on Chasing Mississippi) and John Mayer, who said on his blog: "Go where this guy is taking you. My man's aim is true!" read more...


Aimee Allen - Pop/Rock/Reggae
Anybody can have their “rock,” “punk” or “folk” phase—real artists transcend boundaries and genres so gracefully that their fans hardly blink an eye. Aimee Allen is that type of songwriter. The explosive, outspoken voice behind modern rock monsters “Revolution” and “If It Feels Right” (not to mention contributions to the Grammy-nominated Hairspray soundtrack and multiple best-selling, critically-acclaimed artists) unveils a more serene side of her personality on A Little Happiness. Despite her decision to record the album in the depths of a desolate Indiana winter, Happiness radiates her sense of home in the California sunshine—its 11 introspective, largely acoustic tracks conjure the simple bliss of a drive down to the Pacific.

The record may define chill, but its conception was anything but. After separating with boyfriend and collaborator Scott Russo of Unwritten Law (Scott & Aimee delivered the scathingly sensual cult hit Sitting in a Tree in 2007), Allen’s quest to embark on her solo project was interrupted by a random gang assault outside of an L.A. recording studio last summer. “I never thought I would be able to sing again,” she remarks. “I have some memory loss, too, which is great. Turns out getting nearly beaten to death was probably the greatest thing that ever happened to me.” Allen did recuperate, recovering just in time to perform her songs for punk-rock Presidential candidate Ron Paul before a sold-out arena in Minneapolis. Still, the lingering effects of post-traumatic stress disorder altered her outlook on music. “Anything that was distorted, loud or angry overloaded my senses,” she says. Reggae always makes me happy, so this record has a lot of that sprinkled in, and I’m excited that I made a record where I can smile and dance onstage, instead of scream at people every night.” read more...


Red Umbrella - Indie/Rock
While many bands namedrop U2 and Coldplay as their primary influences, some are prone to borrow a little too liberally from others respective playbooks. But for Canadian rockers Red Umbrella, a copycat act simply isn’t good enough.

Growing up together in Parry Sound, Ontario, lead singer/guitarist Jeremy Michaelis, his brother Dennis Michaelis (keyboards and guitar) and drummer Jason Rosewell honed their skills together early on. Eventually, the guys recruited another Parry Sound native, bassist Kevin Swartwood, and Red Umbrella was born.

Their first album, "Wishing For Boardwalk", was almost entirely self-recorded and produced in a studio that they built above the Michaelis' family garage. After touring with the new songs and playing in such places as CBGB's in New York, the band was eventually picked up by indie-label 7 Spin Music and the album was distributed by Sony/BMG.

With minimal production, the simplicity of "Wishing For Boardwalk" displayed Red Umbrella's knack for solid song writing and the bands over-arching skill as musicians. The sound is straight-forward and is reflective of their live show.

After playing over 400 dates in a four year period and moving down to Valparaiso, IN, the band went into hibernation from touring and began focusing on their second album, "Living and Surviving". Reaching higher than their first-album, it was entirely self-recorded and produced by the Michaelis brothers. It was released in November of 2008 on 7 Spin Music.

With their new album complete, Red Umbrella is ready to hit the road again and help listeners take a moment to reflect and figure out if they are living, or merely surviving.


A Common Year - Pop/Rock/Indie
A Common Year is a newly-formed four-piece rock band from Indianapolis. The group is a product of years of musical collaboration between Casey Baksa (guitar/vocals) and Coleman Bright (guitar/vocals), and has since come to include Carl Smith (bass) and Jake Bergman (drums). A Common Year is characterized by their larger-than-life high energy sound, well-placed harmonies, and distinct guitar lines. The band members boast an average age of 20 years, and are finishing college separately throughout the Midwest. ACY is currently spending time in-studio, putting the finishing touches on a full-length LP to be released this fall. Baksa, Bright and Smith are former members of the local band, The Red Light Exchange -- a two-time Rock the District Performer. This year's Rock the District is A Common Year's first. To learn more about A Common Year and to sample and download songs for FREE, please visit their website.


Alex J. Hughes - Acoustic/Pop/Rock
Alex J. Hughes is an aspiring songwriter who currently calls Bloomington, Indiana home. Hughes was inspired at a young age to pick up a guitar by close friend and fellow musician Justin Branam, and the two subsequently began performing together at youth community events. Alex loves being in front of an audience and having an impact on them through music.  Hughes' strong lyrical writing produces songs that are deeply personal, honest and real.  In early 2009, Hughes traveled to Nashville, where he recorded his debut EP, “Perfect Stranger,” which was self-released on April 28th, 2009.  You don’t want to miss this songwriter’s performance!


Blue Luster - Metal/Rock
Blue Luster is the perfect blend of high-energy rock and fist pounding metal.  Based out of Indianapolis, Indiana, the band has a sound that captures the ferocity of Iron Maiden, the catchiness of KISS, the riffage of Van Halen, and the melody of Led Zeppelin. On top of this, they have a sound all their own that acts as a breath of fresh air in the seemingly stagnant current rock scene.  Blue Luster's largely guitarcentric sound is credited solely to the lethal combination of lead singer/rhythm guitarist John David Brake and lead guitarist Patrick O’Connor. The combination of John David’s hard-pounding riffs interwoven with Patrick’s intricate melodies and licks makes for songs that are driving, sexy, and extremely likeable.  Carrying the rhythm on their shoulders are Eric Nolting on bass guitar and James Yarnelle on drums.


Danny Isaacs Band - Rock/Pop/Alternative
Danny Isaacs Band is a 4-piece rock band tearing up Indianapolis, Indiana.  Since their formation, in 2001, they have been on a roller coaster ride that wont stop.  They have played every Midwest Music Summit; 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005. They have opened for National acts, played at the biggest venues in Indy, played at the Indiana State Fair twice and traveled a little out of state. They have had some exposure on local Radio and TV. They have also sold out of both 5 song demos they put out in the last year.  So, if you want a guaranteed true rock and roll experience, make sure to catch the Danny Isaacs Band live!


The Graveyard Stompers - Halloween/Rock
Normally performing around Halloween, The Graveyard Stompers have risen from the dead early to play at this year's Rock the District. This 9-piece ensemble, complete with male and female lead vocals, guitars, drums, and horns perform songs from the past five decades that will put a smile on your face and a chill up your spine.


Jeremy Vogt Band - Rock/Pop/Americana
The Jeremy Vogt (vote) Band has had a presence in the Indiana music circuit in one form or another since 1996.  Singer/songwriter, Jeremy Vogt, has assembled a unique blend of musicians including Christian Starnes (Bass), Ryan Shore (percussion), and Curtis Cree (vocals and lead guitar) to present the debut album, People in Strange Places. With such a solid and memorable debut album making waves, it would seem that the band has a great deal to prove outside of the studio. This is where the Jeremy Vogt Band comes to life, winning over countless fans with their interactive, high-energy performances. The band continues to tour the Midwest while focusing on exactly what got them where they are: a passion for playing and making great music.


The Kingsley Street Band - Funk/Soul/Reggae
Kingsley Street Band, KSB for short, is a Indianapolis area super group. Their music is a mix of Funk, Soul, and Reggae. Their sets are filled with original high energy music complete with horns and plenty of rhythm. Kingsley Street is not liable for any personal injuries resulting from excessive dancing.


Liz Fohl - Pop/Indie
Liz Fohl was the winner of the Singer/and Songwriter competition at the prestigious Berklee College of Music and recently debuted her newest song “Superman” in Nashville. As a guitarist, keyboard player, singer, and songwriter, Fohl has independently sold CDs worldwide. This started with her first CD, Extended Metaphor, and now her sophomore release, Intended Speed, featuring her popular single “Spaceship.” All songs are written and sung by Fohl, with her first CD produced at age 16 to local critical acclaim. In addition, her new CD Intended Speed was featured on iTunes as one of the top-selling folk albums early in 2009. Besides her folk influence, Fohl has a pop/indie style influenced by numerous jazz greats with a dose of alternative rock. With the success that Fohl has received from her wide fan base, she has been featured on 99.5 WZPL, 89.3 WJEL, 91.3 WHJE, and the BIRN.


No Alternative - Alternative/Tribute
No Alternative is Indy's premier 90's rock tribute band! Covering songs by classic artists such as Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, Weezer, Candlebox, and Pearl Jam, No Alternative plays all of the biggest hits from the last decade. Their high energy performances feature powerful vocal harmonies, blistering guitar riffs, and a sound that will take you back and leave you begging for more.


Past Due - Blues/Classic Rock
Past Due is a Classic Rock & Blues Cover Band formed eighteen months ago. They may be a new band, but not new to making music. They all had previous lives in bands, some, many years ago. They are a product of the 60's, 70's & 80's and that is where their hearts and heads are. One member is quoted as saying, “What we do today is something we all wanted to do for years, hence the name ‘Past Due’.”

Shaded Sound - Classic Rock
Shaded Sound is a classic rock band from the greater Indianapolis area.  Their five-piece ensemble includes lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, drums, 3-part vocals.  They play both classic covers as well as originals.  They have played many public and private engagements.  Audiences will enjoy the variety and unique arrangements of the songs they play.


Tax Brandywine - Rock/Blues/Reggae
A local act that is quickly rising to fame, Tax Brandywine hails from Indianapolis, Indiana. The band’s front man and creative genius, Pierce Duncan, has been playing in various area bands for the past six years. His last band, Three Piece Suit won Radio Now 93.1’s Battle of the Bands competition and the Verizon Wireless Battle of the Bands competition. His win at the Verizon Wireless gave him the opportunity to play second stage at a sold-out Nickleback concert in the summer of 2007. After leaving Three Piece Suit to start his own project, Pierce Duncan, along with bassist Nick Weber and drummer John Concannon, has been continuing to astound audiences throughout central Indiana.

While the band tours locally, they are also working towards releasing their first full-length album in the Fall of 2009. Duncan’s soul-filled intertwining harmonies and rocking guitar solos are reminiscent of the classic sounds of Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, and The Beatles. Tax Brandywine offers a timeless sound that will appeal to young audiences and older generations. Duncan’s songs pull influence from many different musical backgrounds including classic rock, reggae, ska, and blues to create rock music that begs you to sing along. Tax Brandywine is a classic rock band for a new area, bringing back pop-rock with stunning vocals and truly talented guitar riffs. They promise a show that you won’t want to miss!


William King - Country/Pop/Folk
William King, from Pikeville, Kentucky, loves performing. Mixing styles such as country/pop/folk and hip hop, his shows are something to see and have something for everyone attending. He has released 2 full length albums and writes his own music. He is compared to John Mayer, Jason Mraz and Brad Paisley.


In the National City Bank parking lot, located at 21 N. Range Line Road

12:00pm - Shaded Sound
1:30pm - Blue Luster
3:30pm - Tax Brandywine
5:00pm - Red Umbrella
6:30pm - Aimee Allen
8:30pm - Dave Barnes

At the intersection of 1st Ave. N.W./S.W. and W. Main Street

- Liz Fohl
1:30pm - Jeremy Vogt Band
3:00pm - William King
4:30pm - Alex Hughes
6:00pm - No Alternative
At the intersection of 3rd Ave. N.W./S.W. and W. Main Street

- Danny Isaacs Band
2:00pm - Past Due
3:30pm - A Common Year
5:00pm - Graveyard Stompers
6:30pm - Kingsley Street Band

Rock the District T-shirts are available for $15 at the following locations:
  • Simply Sweet Shoppe/Second Story Playhouse
  • PillowTalk
  • Artisan Masterpiece
  • Holy Cow Cupcakes
  • National City Bank
  • Mary & Martha's Exceedingly Chic Boutique
  • Mudbugs Cajun Cafe
  • Integrity Automotive
  • Carmel Clay Public Library
  • Oogles & Googles

Purchase of a Rock the District t-shirt enters you to win a meet-and-greet with Dave Barnes! (5 people + friend can win)



New to Rock the District this year, fourteen full-size wooden guitars painted by local artists will be displayed at the Carmel Clay Public Library and in Arts & Design District businesses for the event. The Arts & Design District Business Association of Carmel (ADDBAC) will auction off the painted guitars to fund local artist participation in District events and to begin a scholarship fund for Carmel High School art students. See the guitars below and learn more about each artist by clicking on the image:

Jessica Waeiss

Brooke Fihma

Jacquelyn McConnell

Jacque Hammonds

Shelly O'Dell

Thomas Woods

Donna Kishbaugh

Dana Rae Roundebush

Katherine Garnes

Jerry Williams

Laura Tosach

Jacob Bird (11th Grade)

Jacob Stoesz (High School Student)

Katie Norman, Aneesha Kamath & Jessi Novitski

Special rock-related art exhibits will be displayed throughout the District during the event, including:
  • A showing of black-and-white images of classic rock idols such as Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, shot by photographer Faith Cohen.
  • A showcase of decoupage/photography of rock and film legends by artist Janice Smith
  • Caroline Tabac-Shank will exhibit her 8 foot-tall sculpture of stainless steel and chrome entitled GUITAR II.
  • Mickey’s Autograph Arena will display art by well-known rock stars such as Grace Slick, Brian Wilson and Keith Richards, available for sale at the festival
  • Hand -crafted guitars from the Purdue High School Guitar workshop showcased by Richard Mark French, assistant professor in the mechanical engineering technology at Purdue, and his students
    A vibrant collection of electric guitar photos by local photographer Jared Decker


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