Phil Dirt and the Dozers come to town


Proceeds to benefit the Scenic Scioto Heritage Byway effort

By Bill Shope - For the Daily Times



Phil Dirt and the Dozers will be bringing “good-time” music to the area when the celebrated band takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. As well, profits from the concert will go towards a worthwhile organization that has steadily helped to restore the “Peerless City” perception of Portsmouth by repairing the historic southern end of the Erie Canal. Also, on the same night, a Shawnee State University Music Scholarship will be awarded to a well-deserving student.

Phil Dirt and the Dozers will be bringing “good-time” music to the area when the celebrated band takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. As well, profits from the concert will go towards a worthwhile organization that has steadily helped to restore the “Peerless City” perception of Portsmouth by repairing the historic southern end of the Erie Canal. Also, on the same night, a Shawnee State University Music Scholarship will be awarded to a well-deserving student.


PORTSMOUTH — Quality entertainment is returning to Portsmouth at a rapid rate, post-pandemic, as is evidenced by the recent slate of shows and concerts gracing the vaunted stage at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts (VRCFA).

That trend continues this coming Friday evening, as Phil Dirt and the Dozers will be bringing “good-time” music to the area when the celebrated band takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. As well, profits from the concert will go towards a worthwhile organization that has steadily helped to restore the “Peerless City” perception of Portsmouth by repairing the historic southern end of the Erie Canal. Also, on the same night, a Shawnee State University Music Scholarship will be awarded to a well-deserving student.

“Everything kind of started with Rock N’ Roll House Party 20 years ago and then the pandemic hit, so we didn’t really have anything booked for the last two years as the entertainment industry shut down,” Steve Hayes, of the Scenic Scioto Heritage Byway Committee said. “I’ve always worked under the philosophy that you work with what you know and I know Phil Dirt and the Dozers and they love what they do, so it just took a couple of phone calls to find out that they were on the road and they really wanted to come back to our area, so it was a perfect fit.”

When someone attends a Phil Dirt and the Dozers show, they’re going to see a great cross-section of people having a great time and the Portsmouth Daily Times asked Hayes about their enduring appeal.

“They sell it and the transference of that really gets the audience moving-plus, they’re playing some of the greatest old-time rock and roll songs ever composed and to be honest, it is simply well-played and sung great music that covers everything from doo-wop to the Beach Boys and the origins of rock,” Hayes said. “They believe in the music they’re playing.”

Hayes continued to praise the band and stated, “There are some bands that understand their roles in the structure of entertainment. Phil Dirt and the Dozers aren’t trying to become Elvis or the Beatles, they just package that music and have a lot of fun with it in concert. The band is also very interactive with the audience and when the crowd leaves, they feel like they’re taking that good time with them. It’s a tremendous gift to give people.”

The price of admission is very affordable as well, according to Hayes who said, “We tried to make this a price where everyone could come-the highest ticket price is only $25 and that’s on the lower tier with the tickets in the balcony only $20 apiece. We didn’t want to gauge anybody.”

The money coming from the show will go a long way to help preserve the region’s history as well.

“The Scenic Scioto Heritage Byway Committee has been around for close to seventeen years now, when Clyde Willis put together an effort to highlight all of the natural historical sites in Scioto County as a tourist route. Bill Tipton is now our President and Bill has been such a great leader in seeing all of these restoration projects through,” Hayes said. “The money coming from the show will go to purchase appropriate signage that will highlight all of the historic places in our county, such as Roy Roger’s boyhood home, the Stone House on the west side, Shawnee Forest, all sites of interest to tourists from all parts of the country. Plus, at the moment, there is a state-wide interest in the canal-system that our state is famous for and rightfully so.”

HAyes shared the canal system was the first successful mass-transportation system that came forth in the country and ran from Cleveland to Portsmouth, opening up access to the Ohio River and the Mississippi traveling south.

“It helped create so many new areas of commerce along the route which really propelled our country into a massive period of growth both on the economic front as well as the industrial front,” Hayes said. “The remnants of the canal still exist and it was the Scenic Scioto Heritage Byway Committee that restored the one up on State Route 104, which is an important lock that led to the Ohio River.”

Hayes added that the committee’s efforts are in step with the local government’s push to make the entire county a destination location for visitors.

It is going to be a special night for a student as well, said Hayes.

“Mary Felty of Mary’s Spirit Shop is going to join me on stage and we are going to use the proceeds from the sale of the book that covered the twenty years of the Rock and Roll House Party to provide a $1,000 Shawnee State University scholarship to a music student. Mary sold a lot of the books at her shop and we thought it would be an appropriate way to give back to our great community.”

“Hopefully, this will be the kick start to the return of great music to our area at the VRCFA and great way to keep our town on the map at the best music venue in our region,” Hayes said.

Phil Dirt and the Dozers will be bringing “good-time” music to the area when the celebrated band takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. As well, profits from the concert will go towards a worthwhile organization that has steadily helped to restore the “Peerless City” perception of Portsmouth by repairing the historic southern end of the Erie Canal. Also, on the same night, a Shawnee State University Music Scholarship will be awarded to a well-deserving student.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/04/web1_phil-Dirt.jpgPhil Dirt and the Dozers will be bringing “good-time” music to the area when the celebrated band takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. As well, profits from the concert will go towards a worthwhile organization that has steadily helped to restore the “Peerless City” perception of Portsmouth by repairing the historic southern end of the Erie Canal. Also, on the same night, a Shawnee State University Music Scholarship will be awarded to a well-deserving student.
Proceeds to benefit the Scenic Scioto Heritage Byway effort

By Bill Shope

For the Daily Times