explorebigsky.com Staff Writer

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS – This year, Grammy-award winning artist Taj Mahal will join a stellar lineup including Emmylou Harris and Mary Chapin Carpenter at the Red Ants Pants Music Festival in White Sulphur Springs, July 26-29.

This is the second year for the festival, which is organized by Red Ants Pants, a company dedicated to manufacturing workwear for women.

For Sarah Calhoun, company and festival founder, the festival is about more than music, it’s a way to bring people together. The lineup, which features more than a dozen bands, benefits the Red Ants Pants Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports of women’s leadership, working family farms and ranches, and rural communities.

Over a career spanning nearly 50 years, Taj Mahal has won two Grammies and earned nine Grammy nominations. He was one of the first major recording artists to fuse blues with world music, including rhythms from the Caribbean and West Africa. His music blends elements of reggae, calypso, jazz, zydeco and gospel.

In the 1960s, Taj mingled with blues greats like Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters and opened for famed artists such as Otis Redding, the Temptations, and Martha and the Vandellas.

Last year, over 6,000 fans attended the first Red Ants Pants Festival to hear Lyle Lovett, Jerry Jeff Walker, Rodney Crowell, Guy Clark and other musicians.

This year’s festival will kick off with a street dance on July 26. Performances start at 4 p.m. on July 27, and run through Sunday evening.

Tickets are available now at Cactus Records in Bozeman, Rockin’ Rudy’s in Missoula, No Sweat Café in Helena, Forde Nursery in Great Falls, Red Oxx in Billings, Conley’s Books in Livingston, and Red Ants Pants in White Sulphur Springs. redantspantsmusicfestival.com.

Performers at the 2012 Red Ants Pants Festival include:

Emmylou Harris and the Red Dirt Boys
Wylie and the Wild West
Mary Chapin Carpenter
Corb Lund[/]
Taj Mahal
Sweetback Sisters
Justin Townes Earle
Wagons
Rodney Crowell
Jeanne Jolly
Billy Joe Shaver
Growling Old Men
Hayes Carll
Ben Bullington
Abigail Washburn
Little Jane and the Pistol Whips