Northwest Georgia residents will have an opportunity to enjoy live music from several top country singers and other entertainment next weekend.

The 15th annual Black Bear Festival runs from Oct. 16 through Oct. 17, and features a variety of entertainment for the whole family. There will be plenty of music, food, and arts and crafts featured, as well as a car show and plenty of kids entertainment.

One notable group in the festival’s musical lineup is the Frontmen of Country. Richie McDonald of Lonestar, Larry Stewart of Restless Heart, and Tim Rushlow formerly of Little Texas make up the three-man group, which will play on Oct. 17, from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Some of the songs that Frontmen of Country with them include hits from Restless Heart such as, “The Bluest Eyes in Texas,” “That Rock Won’t Roll,” “I’ll Still Be Loving You” and “Why Does It Have to Be (Wrong or Right), from Lonestar like, “Amazed,” “Smile,” and “I’m Already There,” plus songs from Little Texas like “God Blessed Texas,” “Amy’s Back in Austin,” and “What Might Have Been.”

Tim Rushlow loves different songs for different reasons — “What Might Have Been” inspires emotion and heartfelt stories from audience members, while “God Blessed Texas” might bring energy and a hint of rowdiness.

“Between the songs that R, L, and I have sang for the bands that we’ve fronted, there’s a real common thread that goes between our songs,” said Rushlow.

For him, it’s all about watching the audience react to their music, and interacting with them afterwards to hear the way that the songs affect their audience.

“Really, all of these songs are the soundtrack of people’s lives,” Rushlow said.

Rushlow is excited for Black Bear Festival — though he’s heard about it before, he’s never been, and this Sunday just happened to coincide with their other shows.

Touring was on hold through the COVID-19 pandemic and now, with cases on the decline, Rushlow and the other Frontmen are glad to get back to performing. Their shows, which feature stories behind the songs that they perform, often leave Rushlow feeling like the audience are friends.

“This show is really special, it’s authentic, and it’s full of hits,” said Rushlow.

The Frontmen of Country are also preparing to record and release new music. They’ve already released “If It Wasn’t For The Radio” together, and hope to record new music by the end of the year and release a record sometime next year.

“We’re blessed and fortunate to get to do what we do and make a living doing it,” Rushlow said.

The only thing missing from this year’s festival is the 5k, which will not be happening this year. From the Frontmen of Country to the car show, it’s bound to be a busy weekend regardless.

Admission for the 15th Annual Black Bear Festival is $3 per person, and kids 6 and under are free. The festival will take place at the Old Murray County Recreation Department at 746 W Chestnut Street, Chatsworth.

For more information, contact the Murray County Chamber of Commerce at 706-695-6060.

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