Spring Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance

Hi everyone!

We have created a new shopping experience for you. As with anything new, it might be a bit bumpy at first, but we think that it will end up being a great store. It will be helpful for you and for us if you read the NEW STORE GUIDE before buying your festival tickets. Then proceed to purchasing tickets below.

If you have any questions do not hesitate to call or email. Do not stress, we can figure most problems out together.


The Shakori Hills Team

A special thank you to Modern Tribe and WooCommerce for our new store!! Check them out for all of your WordPress store needs, and feel free to ask us how much we love using them!

Festival T-Shirts!

shakori_spring_2014_design for website copyWe wanted to share our Spring Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival t-shirt design so you that guys could see what it looks like before your arrival! Special thanks to our designer this spring, Alma Stott! Happy Spring, everyone, we deserve it!

Click on the image for a larger view…

What you haven’t heard…3rd edition

Notes from the other desk…

When we knew we were close to getting the Indigo Girls, I had to pinch myself a little and keep a very positive outlook until I knew it was in the bag. I can’t tell you how many sunny, road tripping, friend filled days of mine have consisted of “Get Out the Map,” “Closer to Fine,” and “Least Complicated.” Expect to see me front and center listening to Amy and Emily sing my heart home. And, there’s no high and lonesome voice that I’d rather hear than Del McCoury’s supported by “the boys” and their bluegrass. But I’m here to tell you about the bands you may not know about. The surprises that, hopefully, you have come to love and expect at each Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival – they are the ones I’m most excited to watch you discover and take home with you to add to your collection of sunny roadtrip (and other occasions) music.


Ben Sollee

I imagine that many of our attendees will know about Ben Sollee, but just in case you don’t, I’ll include him in the list of folks you may not know, but should. Ben embodies “singing with your heart” and his heart is often talking about tough issues like mountain top removal coal mining, the dangers of consumerism, and religious freedom. He has strong beliefs and is not afraid to share them with you! But, if you listen, you’ll know why he feels that way too, and you’ll likely agree.

Ben often rides his bike (yes, while towing his cello) to gigs all over the country to speak out about energy consumption, and also, to experience the world a little differently. He’s a story collector, and as is true of the great storytellers, he’s able to see the world for everything that it is: one filled with both great sadness and trial but also with great beauty and love. He’s a serious man, but he’s got a smile that lets you in enough to ensure you that if we work together, we’re gonna be ok.


Morning Brigade

I love to watch great music come out of UNC. Or really college students in general. They’re just getting started and have some great emotions to fuel their song. Morning Brigade has been my favorite example of that in a long while. Their creativity and music professionalism is quite impressive for such a young age, and they build their music with thick imagery and textures that are tactile and effective. They’re in the indy rock category, for sure, but like the Decemberists, they are obviously fans of folk and acoustic instrumentation, they are North Carolinians, of course. These guys are having fun and you can feel it and hear it. They’re going places, and I hope they will send us postcards along the way.


Kamara Thomas

When I saw Kamara’s photo in the Indy I knew I had to know more about her. Her image just exudes beauty and art. She and her family recently moved to the Triangle from Brooklyn for a slower pace and a place to write songs with a more Southern drawl than her previous punk roots. We had her at last fall’s festival, and at last summer’s NC Stars in the Round, so you may have caught her then, but if not, treat yourself this time around. She’s grasped Southern folk and storytelling quite nicely, and her slide guitar accompaniment (usually Nathan Golub who always seems to make a Shakori Hills appearance) slips her right into a slow country afternoon. She’s got a deep and soothing voice, with which she takes us from deep hearts in hollers to busy city street-scapes with her lyrics.

Kamara is part of the family now, and we couldn’t be happier to welcome her to North Carolina. We’ll hope that our Pittsboro local, Saranpreet, makes another appearance next to her on stage. Such beautiful, bold women should really be seen and heard often.


Baloji & L’Orchestra de la Katuba

It was suggested that I should look into Baloji & L’Orchestra De La Katuba for an upcoming festival. I went to his website, saw this video, and was hooked. I wanted to go right to the Congo, disappear into the sweat and spice of a little club where this music was playing, to experience the other side of the world in such a participatory way, dancing, singing, rapping, the poetry of a country so filled with strife but one that hasn’t forgotten that music is life, music is story, music crosses borders in ways the we can’t in other ways.

Baloji is from the Belgian Congo city of Lubumbashi. His music consists of hip-hop, soul, and soukous. Soukous, is a dance music born from the influences of Cuban’s rumba and Congolese music that gained popularity in the 1940s. His band, Orchestra de la Katuba – named after a commune in his home town – includes horns, guitars, drums, and the dance moves to back them up.

Baloji’s tour this spring is supported in part by the globalFEST Touring Fund. Find out more at globalFEST.org. At one point in his NY City GlobalFEST appearance, he said, “This isn’t world music, this is our music.” I love that! And you will love this band!


I’m also really excited to bring you guys Phil Cook & The Guitarheels, with some new tunes played by old friends, Toon & The Real Laww to show you some of the best new hip hop in the area, as well as Leyla McCalla, J.P. Harris & The Tough Choices…too many to talk about each one! Just…enjoy!

Love & Peace,


Early Monday morning following a Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival, My Friend Atsiaktonke, Mohawk, singer-songwriter and follower of traditional ways, and I were strolling at Shakori Hills between the Peace Park Rock Garden and Healing Arts Area, along the path that leads to the bridge across the little creek; we stopped to fill a cup I had been carrying with me from the water spigots there and I remarked, “this is the best water at Shakori Hills.”  Though all the water comes from the same well, the water at this spot always seemed fresher and more refreshing.  Atsiaktonke then told me about how the Mohawk create medicine, for whatever ails you, by holding a glass of water up to the rising sun, drinking it then to make one well.  To me this was fascinating as I had read stories of the changeability of water molecules under the focused gaze of onlookers and it somehow made sense, of course too, because I had come to believe the water from this spot somehow transformed by location into healthier substance!


Easter Sunday naturally makes me ponder the life of Jesus in the old days of when he was still of this earth; did he not turn water into wine?


From a current physicist point of view, experiments are altered by the viewer being present and thus perhaps reality is also?  I once read Deepak Chopra’s book Quantum Healing and it was interesting to read of the body’s ability to create medicines within our endocrine system– in other words reacting to inputs such as music, laughter or meditation to create healing effects.  Deepak has been attacked so thoroughly that it reminds me of how folks were treated who at one time believed the earth was round and not flat… Something Deepak is saying holds some threatening truths I think!


Life is a creation of: Water, Sunlight and an Idea…


When we say the world around us has problems it is because we created them or have not put enough time and energy into solving them.


Yoga woman sitting in lotus pose on the beach during sunset, witGrassRoots has put its best foot forward in trying to make the world a better place: a place of Wellness, Peace, Love, Happiness, and full of Art, Music, Dance and Great Food.  Come see how it is going, at the next, April 17-20, 2014 Spring Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance!


Jordan Puryear

GrassRoots co-coordinator

Walk A Different Way

When I went off to college, my older sister imparted to me a long list of tips and advice. The one that I remember, that still sticks with me to this day, was: “Walk a different way every time.” On a big campus, there are many different ways to get from one point to another. So, I tried to follow her words – to go around different buildings, down different paths, around other ways. It brought variety to my life, and exposed me to little aspects of campus that I never would have seen otherwise.

As life gets bigger, and the campus of the world expands under our feet, this advice gets more and more important. As children, the desire to explore and to learn is encouraged, demanded even. Our parents and teachers strived to give us new experiences so that we could learn and become better, more knowledgeable, more interesting human beings. But somewhere along the way, knowledge was more encouraged so that we could “get a job,” “make a living,” “support ourselves and our family.” All of that is good, but while striving for those goals, some of the magic of exploration was lost . Much of the joy of trying and experiencing new things – giggling just because we rolled over, gasping when the wind blows, perking up to the notes of a piano – turns to chore – depositing a paycheck, paying a bill, buying groceries.

Do you remember the first time you fell in love with a band? Hearing something you have never heard the likes of in your life. Knowing they were speaking to you. Singing at the top of your lungs and dancing your butt off. Is it still your favorite band? Do they still bring you something you’ve never known? Try walking a different way. Music will bring you back to that thrill of experiencing new things if you let it. Exploring art, letting it move you, feeling all that it has to offer, is like opening your mind again, learning more about yourself when you thought you knew it all already. It is what brings us back to ourselves, excites us, and breaks us out of our “everyday,” and also makes us new.

We get stuck. We do what we’re supposed to do. We listen to what the advertisers and station owners want us to hear. We walk – and drive – the same paths to and from, every single day. We even begin to fear the new, the unknown, we fear getting lost should we stray from the known sidewalks and roads.

So, here is my challenge to all of you – the challenge, the adventure of the Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival…walk a different way. Get up and follow the music, let something new sink in. Read over the artist biographies, pick one that you wouldn’t normally pick and go find them, hear what they have to say, feel what they are trying to share with you, let your feet and body move to their story, I think you will be better for it. I think you will want to do it again.

Always learning, constantly exploring, ever-changing, and sharing with those around us. That is how we become who we are and who we are meant to be.

Love and Peace,
Sara Waters
Shakori Hills GrassRoots Co-Coordinator

NC Stars in the Round!

A Fundraiser to Buy the Land

Come out to Shakori Hills on Saturday, August 3rd for our4th Annual NC Stars in the Round Fundraiser. It’s the perfect way to spend a summer evening with friends and festival family! All funds from the event will go toward the purchase of the land. Once we own the land, we will have more freedom and infrastructure to carry out our mission of being a center for arts education and community-building for Chatham County and beyond.

The evening’s highlight will be a singer-songwriter circle featuring some great local musicians and songwriters. Each songwriter will share their unique musical talents one song at a time, then pass the mic to the next. Our stars include: Ironing Board Sam, Brett Harris, Kamara Thomas, Jon Shain, Curtis Eller, Mary Johnson Rockers, Randy Dean Whitt, and Liz Moudy.

Chapel Hill’s Morning Brigade, will open the event with their sweet melodies and indie pop tunes, and our old friends Deep Chatham will close out the night with their deep, dark, and lively brand of rootsy, bluegrassy, rockin’ goodness!

As is our newest tradition, we’ll have the Shakori Hills Vinyl Lounge going after the bands finish. So, stick around!

There will be pizza from the Shakori Hills Pizza Shack, beer from Carolina Brewery, and the Lil’ Coffee Barn will be open with coffee and snacks. This is a family-friendly event and all are welcome to camp overnight on Saturday.

Tickets are $10 advance or $15 at the gate and can be purchased HERE or by calling 919-542-8142. Kids 12 and under get in free! Tickets are available from now until the day before the event. Gates open at 6pm, show starts at 7pm. Camping is also free!

Thanks so much to our sponsors! Please check out their sites:


What you haven’t heard…2nd edition

Notes from the other desk…

There is something I love in every band on the lineup this spring. I can’t wait to see what Keller and those McCoury boys dream up for us on Thursday, I love the memories of Miami from Locos Pour Juana, I’m excited to disappear into Hindugrass, but here are the ones I’m most excited about watching you guys discover and love, if you haven’t already…

Ben Miller Band

One of the agents I love working with called a few weeks before the festival last October to say that the Ben Miller Band was really close by and they’d love to play the festival. I said that I’d love to have them, but we were full. He pushed a little more, I watched some videos, and couldn’t help but make the effort to make some room for these guys on Sunday afternoon. It was raining and cold, and a little quiet at the Cabaret Tent, many folks had gone home because of the weather and the rest were spread out waiting on the closing show. I showed up to at least show a little support for a band I knew nobody knew about. What happened was exactly what you want to happen when you take a chance on a band you believe in.

They started playing – pulled out the washtub bass, some swampy guitar, and…a trombone – and they ROCKED it! People started flocking. By twos, fours, then tens, the crowds came. They came because they could hear it. And they could feel it. Their feet drew them, maybe even more than their ears. And there we all were, four or five songs in, in a packed and dancing Cabaret Tent that felt a more like Saturday night than Sunday afternoon. At once we felt like we were at church – albeit a strange, Southern, snake-handling type one – and in a juke joint on a sweaty bayou. There was a washboard, some spoons, I think they even played Billy Idol. So, this spring…we brought ‘em back, for the folks that heard it then, and those that will hear it now. Move your feet, hoop ‘n holler! Enjoy!

Yomira John with The Beast

When someone like Pierce Freelon messages you from Panama to say that he’s met someone that he thinks should play the festival, you have to pay attention. So, over an Indian dinner cooked by a mutual friend, we watched a video of Yomira John of which Pierce and members of The Beast had been a part.  In a studio that had lost power because a local festival had tapped the city of its electricity, the musicians and engineers did their best to capture what was obviously a once in a lifetime musical experience.

By candlelight – accompanied by the band  – she sang from her heart in a language I did not understand, but I knew that Pierce was right, that the folks at Shakori Hills needed to know this woman, hear her voice and catch some of her laughter and spirit. She’s old enough to be the mother of any of the musicians around her, but she flirts like a teenager in French and in Spanish, quite the charmer. If we were in Panama, we’d be lucky to see her, as she’s quite the celebrity. Which means we are doubly lucky that she will be joining us at Shakori Hills – aren’t we always!?

Yomira will be a guest with The Beast on in the Meadow on both Friday night at 12:30am and Sunday at 2:45pm.

Check out Pierce’s project Beat Making Lab at www.youtube.com/beatmakinglab

David Wax Museum

Somehow these two, from the cold north of Boston, are able to capture a warm afternoon in a dusty but very comfortable village in Mexico. Their songs  – catchy, dancey, and fun  – and will draw you in at first listen as something both familiar and something you’ve never heard. They play a jaw bone, for goodness sake! These guys are the epitome of folk, from our country and from our neighbors to the south, but they also bring to the genre something modern and fresh. It’s beautiful and engaging, it’s a journey while standing in one place, it’s exploring a foreign land with some exciting tour guides, it’s a museum! Catch them on Friday at 5 in the Meadow and Sunday at 6 in the Grove.

I am also very exited about seeing Kym and Will of Loamlands, their newest musical invention. These guys are local treasures, even at such a young age, and they capture so much of what is local here in our lil’ music haven, they are also longtime festival veterans at this point, so I’m sure it will feel just like home. Check out the full band set on Friday at 5:30 in the Grove, but make sure to wake up on Saturday morning and come see just the duo in the Meadow at 10:15am!

And I don’t even know what to say about Oliver, except that you have to see him! If you’ve ever questioned “World Music” or wondered why we should be listening to songs from somewhere across the world, all of your questions will be answered at his set. Open your hearts and be ready to fall in love! In the Meadow on Saturday at 8:30 pm and Sunday at 6:30pm.

Can’t wait to see you at the festival!

Love & Peace,

A Sustainable Dream

We can do this!  A sustainable American Dream…

Solving problems is fun!  And even more fun when you get to do it with others.  Sustainability for humanity is to solve some basic problems by creatively finding ways to exist in harmony with the Earth, the natural environment and other living beings– pretty simple really.

Some things we need:  Food, Shelter, Energy, Companionship and A Good Challenge.  This last item is most important because it is where we learn how to be Human.

Civilization is really a great thing– when we see it break down (like in Mali recently) it leads to terrible things: murder and rape to name just two…  Civilization is truly our most awesome human accomplishment.  I love Beethoven!  The country of Mali has a culture and civilization built around music, at Shakori Hills GrassRoots we have had Mamadou Diabate, Grammy-winning Malian, perform many times and listening to the sounds and melody of the Kora reverberating in the trees surrounding the Meadow Stage field is awesome and beautiful and I think would make a Beethoven stop and cheer in wonderment!  Mali’s Festival In The Desert was cancelled this year because some very uncivilized men decided music should be illegal and instead of listening to music men should only pray…  The Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival is hosting the Festival In The Desert Caravan (the exiled version of Festival In The Desert) this summer in New York and also a GrassRootsAmerica Sustainability Fair tour which will start at Shakori Hills this April.  What I am saying is we need to take a civilized approach to solving problems!

Sustainability is a funny word, to say the least, what does it really mean?  It is a possible reality for humanity and our great challenge of the day; with oceans rising, fossilized fuels almost in shorter supply than demand, CO2 rising and O2 falling in the atmosphere, toxins in water and air, violence seemingly everywhere… you get the picture.  On the fun and bright side it is an opportunity to remake ourselves greener, to be creative and to bring many good jobs to our people, to cooperate in solving problems (hey we got to the moon in the 70s) We Can Do This!  Just a few things to consider: solar panels on every roof that faces the sun, windmills on hilltops, hydro power, bio-diesel, buildings made of wood construction to sequester carbon, small neighborhood schools so no more school busses using up fuel, local food production from many smaller farms, very well insulated and smaller homes with larger gardens, LED lighting, tree planting everywhere we can, electric and solar vehicles, trains, bicycles and tricycles, and so much more…

Clean Energy equals Peace, and Music brings Love and this is all we really need…

Jordan Puryear
GrassRoots Festival Co-coordinator

Shakori Prom – December 15th at 7pm!

Did you miss your prom? Do you wish you had missed your prom and want a redo? The folks that put on the Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival are giving you that chance! Come out, dressed to impress, to the Shakori Prom on December 15th at 7pm at Chatham Mills in Pittsboro.

We’ll have live djs, wine & beer cash bar, desserts, raffle prizes, and a photo booth! Come dance to your favorite timeless tunes on vinyl. The best dressed Prom King & Queen will be crowned! Follow this link to the Facebook invitation.

Donations accepted at the door.

Our raffle prizes (Raffle tickets $5 each):
- Grand Prize – A pair of 4-day tickets to the Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance in Miami, FL, Feb. 21-24. Includes tent camping and 2 tickets on the Piedmont Biofuels Bus there and back.
- 2 4-day passes plus tent camping to the Spring Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance
(more prizes to be announced…)

Chatham Mills
480 Hillsboro Street
Pittsboro, NC
(Same building as Chatham Marketplace)