Center for the Arts

If you like acoustic music featuring flat-picking and finger-style guitar, upright bass, banjo, soulful lyrics, and the rhythms of world percussion instruments, you will like the music of the Allen Watkins Band. 

The band members are Allen and Connie Watkins, dual lead vocalists and multi-instrumentalists, and Bob Hall, purveyor of all things double bass.  The band’s eclectic style has influences from bluegrass, country, folk, rock, blues, Celtic and classical music. From stirring Celtic pieces to sweet folk ballads, all of the songs have finely-crafted instrumental foundations.  All of the songs were written by members of the trio. 

The Band                                                                                                                                                                             

Allen Watkins’ virtuosity is at the heart of the band.  He is a three-time Alabama State Champion for finger-style guitar, and is also accomplished on banjo, mandolin and bass.  Allen is a nationally acclaimed touring and recording artist with bands such as Claire Lynch, Lonesome River Band and Whetstone Run.  His banjo stylings contributed to the landmark recording “The Front Porch String Band” with Claire, and he has recorded with bluegrass greats Mark Johnson and Tony Rice.  He is a frequent studio musician in the Muscle Shoals area, and his career discography includes 9 albums. As the proprietor of Allen’s Music School, he has provided stringed instrument instruction for 20 years, while continuing to compose and perform music. 

Connie Watkins is a singer-songwriter with a CD, “Dakotah Landing” available on iTunes. She writes and sings songs crafted straight from the heart. From a young age, she was a writer of poems and stories, keeping them in a notebook, commonly by her side. Connie plays acoustic guitar, mandolin, djembe, and other percussion instruments. Her vocal and rhythmical foundation gives the band a solid and genuine sound.  

Bob Hall began in music with the electric bass at age eleven. At eighteen, he took up the double bass and studied with the principal double bassist of the Memphis Symphony, Mr. Herman Burkhart.  Bob played in the Memphis Symphony, Memphis Opera Orchestra, Memphis State University Orchestra and Opera Orchestra and the Florida State University Orchestra.  His musical interests extend to blues, country, bluegrass, Celtic and some jazz. He has composed instrumentals for double bass, strings and woodwinds.  His innovative bass style brings a unique sound to the band, with strong influences from blues and classical traditions.


The Chicago Tribune has twice placed Allen’s solo recordings on the top 10 list of bluegrass and acoustic music releases, calling him “a major talent deserving far wider recognition, his melodies rich and infectious.  It’s time for the rest of the country to catch on”.


Bluegrass Now, “It’s always a pleasure to see what Allen Watkins will come up with next.Gifted composer and instrumentalist on banjo, guitar and mandolin, Allen brings us very tasteful and enjoyable tunes”.


Huntsville radio host, Ben Jobe commented, “The Allen Watkins Band is a power house of original music! Featuring Allen Watkins, a veteran of touring with such acts as Claire Lynch, Connie Watkins, a singer-songwriter with a CD already available on iTunes and Bob Hall, a bassist with a classical music background, Allen Watkins Band puts a new spin on bluegrass and rock tradition with great skill and original songwriting!"                                                                                                                    

Darwin McCluskey followed by the Middle Tennessee Community Band to Perform at Ice Cream Festival Aug. 18                    

The Giles Arts Council is pleased to showcase local/regional musical talents and we are honored to have each of them participate in the festivities of the day. The annual Art of Ice Cream festival is a family event that has everything from antique cars, games and crafts for the children, visual art exhibits, food trucks, vendors, live music and of course ICE CREAM! This is only one of the many fun activities that go on in Pulaski. We hope you enjoy the Ice Cream Festival with us! 

Entertainment info!  Darwin is the son of Robert and Donna (Simmons) McCluskey born and raised in Minor Hill, Tennessee. He graduated Minor Hill School in 2016 and now attends West Limestone High School. He has mastered many instruments beginning at age four and has shared his gifts on many stages opening for acts and headlining as well!  With a passion for God, Country the Classic Greats of Country Music, we are honored to have Darwin take the stage for our annual Ice Cream Festival on Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018.  Darwin will play from noon till 2:00 followed by the Middle Tennessee Community Band comprised of area talents playing from 2:00-3:00! They will offer a toe tapping tribute to summer and promise to please the crowds!

Rounding out the afternoon is the Allen Watkins Band performing at the STAAR following the festival.  This trio is a ticketed event with proceeds going to the restoration efforts of Antoinette Hall and can be purchased at antoinettehall.com

Allen Watkins Band to perform on Aug. 18, 2018 4-6 p.m. at Antoinette Hall following the Arts Association Ice Cream Festival

Antoinette Hall​

Opera House built in 1868 on the historic square in Pulaski, Tennessee