- Aaron Burdett
- Abdias Ernesto Garcia
- Abe Reid and the Spikedrivers
- Abigail Washburn
- Adrienne Young & Little Sadie
- African American Dance Ensemble
- Alex Bower Trio
- Alex Weiss
- Alex Weiss & Different Drum
- Amelia’s Mechanics
- Amy & Ward
- Andy Thorn & Bolin Creek
- Angela Easterling
- Arrested Development
- Audra Mae
- Auxiliary House
- The Ayr Mountaineers
- The BareKnuckle Betties
- Barrel House Mamas
- BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet
- The Beast
- The Beast + BIG BAND
- The Ben Miller Band
- Ben Payton
- Big Al Hall & His Bare Hands
- Big Cosmo
- Big Daddy Love
- Big Ron Hunter
- DJ Bill Kelly
- Billy Jonas
- Billy Two Rivers
- Birds & Arrows
- Blitz the Ambassador
- Boo Hanks
- Brett Harris
- The Brothers Comatose
- Bubba Norwood
- Captain Luke
- Carolina Lightning
- Casey Driessen
- Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole
- Chic Gamine
- Chompin’ At The Bit
- Community Trees
- Crys Matthews
- Crystal Bright & The Silver Hands
- Curtis Eller
- Cyril Lance
- D&D Sluggers
- Dark Water Rising
- David Wax Museum
- Deep Chatham
- Diali Cissokho & Kairaba
- Dirty Bourbon River Show
- Donna the Buffalo
- dub Addis
- Dutch Bucket System
- Eilen Jewell
- Elastic Bond
- Elephant Revival
- Elikem African Dance Company
- Elkland Art Center Puppets
- Equanimous Minds
- Farmer Jason
- Fatoumata Diawara
- Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble
- Galactic Cowboy Orchestra
- Gasoline Stove
- Green Grass Cloggers
- Greg Humphreys
- Greg Humphreys & The Hobex Allstars
- Holy Ghost Tent Revival
- Hoots & Hellmouth
- Humble Tripe
- International Blues Express with Sidi Touré & Cedric Watson
- Ironing Board Sam
- Jacob Jeffries Band
- James Olin Oden
- Jeanne Jolly
- Jim Avett
- Joan Soriano
- Joe Bell & The Stinging Blades
- John Brown’s Body
- John Howie Jr. & The Rosewood Bluff
- Jonathan Scales Fourchestra
- Justin Johnson
- Justin Robinson & The Mary Annettes
- Kamara Thomas
- Keith Secola & His Wild Band of Indians
- Kelley & The Cowboys
- Keller Williams & The Travelin’ McCourys
- Kin Ship
- Lake Street Dive
- Lakota John & Kin-
- Laura Thurston Band
- Laurelyn Dossett
- Leftover Salmon
- The Letter Jackets
- Little Root
- Liz Moudy
- Lizzy Ross Band
- Locos Por Juana
- Locust Honey
- Lost In The Trees
- Lucy Michelle & The Velvet Lapelles
- Lydia Loveless
- Lynn Blakey
- Mad Tea
- The Major Sevens
- Mandolin Orange
- Mason’s Apron
- Matt Tedder
- Midtown Dickens
- The Mighty Sanfordaires
- The Mighty Wonders
- The Morning After
- Morning Brigade
- Music from the Gathering Church
- Music Maker Revue
- New Town Drunks
- Nikki Talley
- Noot d’Noot
- Old Man Luedecke
- Oliver Mtukudzi & Black Spirits
- Onward, Soldiers
- Onyx Club Boys
- Orquesta GarDel
- The Owen Family Band
- Paperhand Puppet Intervention
- Pat “Mother Blues” Cohen
- Preston Frank
- Pura Fe
- Raffa & Rainer
- Randy Dean Whitt
- Ranford Almond
- Red Clay Ramblers
- Red June
- Revelation Mizik
- Rey Norteño
- Richard McVay
- Robert Randolph & The Family Band
- Tractor Beam
- River Whyless
- Rosie Ledet & The Zydeco Playboys
- Roxanna & The Rusty Bucket Band
- Rupa & the April Fishes
- Sarah Shook & the Devil
- Shakori Hills Vinyl Lounge
- Shannon Whitworth
- Shirlette & The Dynamite Brothers
- The Sim Redmond Band
- Songs of Water
- South Carolina Broadcasters
- Spiral Hoop Dance
- Spirit Family Reunion
- Squirrel Nut Zippers
- Steam Powered Airplane
- Steep Canyon Rangers
- Taj Weekes
- Tanglewood Puppets
- The Tender Fruit
- The Ben Miller Band
- The Bulltown Strutters
- The Cane Creek Cloggers
- The Deer Clan Singers
- The Horse Flies
- The Revelers
- Shirlette Ammons
- The Stray Birds
- The Whiskey Gentry
- Thousands of One
- Tift Merritt
- Tom Maxwell & The Minor Drag
- Too Much Fun
- Toubab Krewe
- Town Hall
- Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
- Turtle Duhks
- Two Dollar Pistols
- Unknown Tongues
- Virgins Family Band
- The Wailers
- Wildcat Creek
- Yomira John
- Yonder Mountain String Band
- The Brand New Life
- Brett Dennen
- Green Grass Cloggers
- J.P. Harris & The Tough Choices
- Lloyd Canady & The Flying Clouds
- Mike Quinn Band
- Peter Lamb & The Wolves
- Saludos Compay
- Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
- Sidi Touré
Aaron Burdett has taken the best of the singer songwriter, combining traditional Appalachian and folk rock genres and crafting a style all his own, full of optimistic groove and depth. He’s been performing around the southeast and in the UK for over a decade and is a favorite regional artist around Western North Carolina. Aaron is an accomplished guitarist with a unique muted percussive style and a distinctive earthy tenor. You’ll walk away feeling better for having listened in on a set!
Abdias Ernesto Garcia is a folk experimentalist from Puerto Rico who adorns his roots as a percussionist with a sensibility for poetry and culture. Combining vastly different genres into one cohesive package, the resulting grooves are magnetic and hypnotizing, with soulful and mesmerizing vocals that create a lush landscape of multicultural sounds.
The Music Maker Relief Foundation presents Abe Reid and the Spikedrivers – a boogie-woogie band with heart and soul. The hippy-twirlers, bump-n-grinders, blues boppers, ragtime swingers and good ol’ headbangers will attest to that. The trio jerks the beat around, juicin’ that low-down dirty sound, overwhelming audiences with vintage drums, saucy upright bass, screamin’ harmonica, poundin’ rhythm guitar, and raspy-scattin’, howlin’ vocals. The show is a musical stew, made with a dash of blues, a splash of funk, and a pinch of rock and roll.
The rustic, poignant, and wide-ranging sounds of singer/songwriter and banjo player Abigail Washburn embody the notion of Americana as a worldwide musical language. Hailing from Nashville, she fashions inventive chamber music that blends the banjo-laden bluegrass of her native Appalachia with Chinese folk music.
Acroentertainment combines balance, acrobatics, and juggling with creative body movement. Raleigh residents Katie Magee and Kaci Torres are a performance duo with roots in partner yoga, gymnastics, and circus fundamentals. The two explore oppositional forces in balance and expressive body position while maintaining a lively, creative and entertaining show.
Adrienne Young & Little Sadie
This is true Americana-folk speaking to human trials, tribulations and joys. It’s a marriage of old-time and roots pop with a creative knack for blending the traditional with the global and the tried-and-true with the experimental. Adrienne Young performs on both the guitar and banjo, leaning towards clawhammer style, with vocals that are heartfelt and passionate.
African American Dance Ensemble
The African American Dance Ensemble seeks to preserve and share the finest traditions of African and African American dance and music through research, education and entertainment. With their motto, “peace, love, respect for everybody,” they celebrate traditional African culture, aesthetics and values as resources for all people and utilize these resources to encourage interracial cooperation, cross-cultural understanding and societal analysis.
Alex Bower Trio
Through story, drum, trumpet and flute; pied piper Alex leads us on a path from Africa to the Americas. Participatory and fun for children of ALL ages. Alex Weiss is a multi instrumentalist and award winning composer. He is the director for the Afro/Latin ensemble Different Drum and has been a music educator since 1979.
Alex Weiss & Different Drum
The Different Drum Trio is a fun and engaging multi-cultural ensemble based in NC who bridge the danceable grooves of Afro-pop with salsa, samba, calypso and more. Different Drum’s unique sound of warm rhythms, beautiful melodies and tight arrangements retains the power of timeless communication.
Amelia’s Mechanics is fronted by singer-songwriters Molly McGinn and Molly Miller, whose urban, sophisticated take on Americana music uses luxuriating harmonies and classical swells to temper their lyrical frustrations with love and life. The instrumentation and vocal harmonies of this Greensboro band result in a genre-busting sound best described as “vintage country with a moonshine concerto.”
Amy & Ward
Songs of love, songs of hope, songs of heartbreak, songs of the road and songs of coming back home. That’s what you’ll hear when you see Amy Glicklich and Ward Puryear. You’ll be drawn in by Amy’s classic style country songs and the sweetness of her voice along with Ward’s country pickin’. They join us from Trumansburg, NY, part of the GrassRoots family both north and south. We welcome them back to Shakori Hills, with open arms and open ears, ready to be serenaded yet again.
Amy LaVere sings smart and sexy tales of spooky love, twangy ache, sultry jazz and gutsy blues. She coos and croons, stretching syllables and adding emotional flourishes to her lyrics while the band plays with a carefree joy perfectly complimenting her style. Though it’s easy to call it Americana, they add ample doses of classic country, gypsy jazz and Southern soul to their sound, letting their edgier sensibilities set them apart. You’ve also seen Amy acting in movies including Walk the Line (where she played rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson) and Black Snake Moan.
And the Moneynotes
Based in Scranton, PA, And the Moneynotes play a unique blend of vaudevillian country bluegrass pop. Their infectious melodies range from jazz and swing to â€˜60s surf music and garage rock, yet retains a cohesive identity throughout. Their jaunty hootenanny embraces an ethos of country-punk abandon that is not to be missed. It’s R&B as you’ve never imagined, and as it never was intended to be, but it feels so right!
Andy Thorn & Bolin Creek
Andy Thorn has been a banjoist for over ten years already by age 23. While studying music at UNC-CH he played guitar in the UNC jazz band and picked banjo in the Big Fat Gap bluegrass band. He spent nearly two years on the road with Larry Keel and Natural Bridge from late 2004 to summer 2006. Highlights included backing up Jim lauderdale at Boneroo, playing with Darol Anger at North West String Summit, and sharing the stage with Chris Thile and Tony Trischka in NYC. The set will highlight mostly original music from Andy’s debut solo album, “Bolin Creek,” released earlier this summer. The musicians featured will be Thorn, along with Charles Humphrey from Steep Canyon Rangers, Bobby Britt, John Garris, Lauren Craig, and other guest.
Angela Easterling, who hails from the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, conjures up images of both Saturday night frolic and Sunday morning redemption. She has created an enchanting brand of neo-traditionalist country that mixes hard-edged honky tonk with fetching ballads. Her voice is a gorgeous instrument, capable of extracting nuances from a wide range of material, ranging from soaring falsetto to raspy whirl. Sheâ€™s not your usual country girl and, for her musicâ€™s sake, her attitude is very welcome.
The Angelic Singers are a group of sweet young angels, an a capella Gospel youth choir of sisters and cousins from Russell Chapel AMEZ Church, who come together to sing for the sheer joy of it and praise of their Lord. Latoya Watson, the group leader, works out the arrangements and together with Ernestine Carter, Stormy Harvey, and Alice Shaw they send out a strong, rich, un-self-conscious sound that is pure delight.
The Apple Chill Cloggers were formed in 1975 to preserve, interpret, and teach the traditional style of Southern Appalachian Mountain clogging. The team performs for festivals, benefits and other events around North Carolina and beyond, inspiring audiences with high energy clogging to live traditional music. Bring the kids!
Arrested Development is an Emmy-award winning mix of progressive rap, collective fusing laid-back, souther-fried groovy soul, rural blues, melodic R&B, fun, hip-hop, and African percussion, hailing from Atlanta. Their political, socially conscious lyrics are filled with pleas for unity, brotherly compassion, and devotion to the struggle for equality. Their debut heralded a shining new era in alternative rap, grounded with a simple, upbeat spirituality that was determinedly down to earth. Their hook-filled world of positive, effervescent songs are intoxicating like a sunny day. Arrested Development live is not just a trip but a journey to other lands and places not found on any map — emotional destinations tattooed deeply on the human heart.
ArtOfficial blends hip-hop, jazz and indie beats, mixing smart MCs with fleet-fingered musicians to merge rap’s Golden era with the electric sizzle of ’70s funky jazz. Miami’s hometown heroes play an unflappable blend of sunny old-school sounds with an organic live touch and triumphant, positive rhymes.
Asylum Street Spankers
The kaleidoscopic musical universe of Austin, TX’s Asylum Street Spankers is a whimsical collision between ragtime, two-step parlor dances, early jazz, vaudeville, off color blues, hip-hop swagger, and country and western. Their intricate musical arrangements and tight harmonies redefine acoustic music with an inventive and mischievously unorthodox live act. Don’t miss their audacious and inspired lunacy!
Guitarist Atsiaktonkie (pronounced Ah-jack-doon-gay) fuses elements of folk, blues, pop and traditional sounds into one seamless musical whole which he calls “Native American Alternative Folk Rock.” He’s a member of December Wind, a hard-driving band whose songs seek divine inspiration from the Creator. His music speaks from the heart by invoking common imagery alongside iconic metaphor. His sound is an unexpected pleasure that appeals to a wide range of listeners.
Atsiaktonkie’s 4 Wolves Prophecy
Hailing from the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation located on the border of New York and Canada Atsiaktonkie brought the world two highly acclaimed and award-nominated CDs, Sacred Voices and Second Wind as lead singer and songwriter of Native-Alt-Folk-Rock band December Wind. Atsiaktonkie & 4 Wolves Prophecy return to an elegant simplicity and Mohawk roots. New songs combine awesome melodies and a heartfelt groove with messages of love, hope, the struggles of native peoples, and the beauty of their heritage.
Audioform is a funky acid-jazz soul septet from Charlotte, NC blending numerous musical elements into their own original upbeat sound. Their huge danceable detonations are amplified with a powerhouse horn section and groove-oriented rhythmic ripples.
Audra Mae is an old soul in a young package. Originally from Oklahoma City, she’s a singer/songwriter with a voice pure and strong, with a hint of country twang and a twinkle of good humor. Her distinctive songwriting voice is rich with characters and stories infused by a lifetime of performing – her great aunt was Judy Garland!
Auxiliary House is a mammoth gothic folk supergroup and the unofficial house band of Chapel Hill-based Trekky Records, including members of Shakori Hills alumni Lost in The Trees, Midtown Dickens, Bowerbirds and Butterflies. The live collective embraces experimentation, with the energy and dimensions determined by the dozen or so artists on stage. The project that began in a recording studio a decade ago has blossomed into a live troupe of like-minded artists who relish the musical power that large numbers can bring.
The Avett Brothers are playing a new brand of folk music, steeped in old-time banjo romps, front-porch foot stomps and high-holler harmonies, but the lyrics scream punk idol modern realism. They play a mixture of country, folk, and bluegrass with an infectious sense of enthusiasm. The passion driving the songs gives the music an urgent, pleading quality that maintains a rock intensity to what otherwise sounds like laid-back Americana. The breadth and depth of the brothers’ music includes elements of old-time country, pop melodies, rock and roll, honky-tonk and ragtime.
The Ayr Mountaineers are an Americana/country band rooted in Chapel Hill who play originals written by singer/guitarist Ella Bertram with an array of handsome boys backing her up on accordion, mandolin, banjo and more. Their backporch-pickin’ sound warms the heart, taps the toes, and makes the bodies shake. Playing a mixture of folk and Americana, this young acoustic band flows like a crisp mountain stream into a whiskey still.
Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word meaning “the knowledge of life.” Ayurveda, the band, is a five-member group based in Ithaca, New York. Their sound is heavy rock music with thunderous guitar riffs and bass-driven rhythms. But Ayurveda’s music has a delicacy and an intelligent tonality; and singer Tom Burchinal’s lyrics, while not afraid of the darkness, explore a more positive, spiritual reality consistent with their name.
Back-Step performs old-time stringband music in the “Roundpeak Style” native to Mount Airy, NC. Known for their driving rhythms and prominent melodies, it’s just the thing to make you kick up your heels and dance. The band won 1st place in the old-time band contest at the Mt. Airy Fiddler’s Convention in 2006, and in 2004 they won 1st prize at both Mt. Airy and the Fiddler’s Grove Fiddler’s Convention.
Barefoot Manner is a five-piece musical group whose sound is heavily rooted in high energy newgrass, soul shaking funk, and musical experimentation on all levels. The Manner Men have an overwhelming passion for making music, stirring it up really fast, and mixing in some positive reggae and Caribbean vibes. The music has been labeled everything from Americana Groove-grass to Cosmic Funk-grass, to bluegrass and beyond. Essentially, the music of Barefoot Manner is an original blend of bluegrass instrumentation in a genre-free world. Each live show is a new experience for both the band and its fans and the Manner Men strive for perfection and uniqueness in the music they create.
The BareKnuckle Betties are an all-female country band from Atlanta. They’ve patched together backgrounds in old-time, blues and rock & roll into an amalgam of original, high-heel stomp, honky tonk music. Their sound pays homage to no-nonsense country legends like Loretta Lynn, Wanda Jackson, Norma Jean and Kitty Wells.
Baron von Rumblebuss
Durham’s Baron Von Rumblebuss plays kid-centric blasts of tunage that takes you straight to the playground, combining child-friendly themes and generous doses of humor to engage kids and empower them to rock on their own terms. The Baron leads his audience on an interactive listening experience incorporating classic rock bombast, alt-country, funk and synthetic new wave textures. Song topics include everything from robots and superheroes to falling into onion dip.
Barrel House Mamas
Barrelhouse Mamas are a quartet of women from Asheville, NC that conjure the sweet and sultry sounds of the southern Appalachian mountains. Clawhammer and folk style banjos meet the melodic fingerpicking of two acoustic guitars with the throaty voice of old-time fiddle wailing over the top. Above all of these are the soaring, poetic harmonies of three beautiful and distinct female voices. The result is a musical experience with hints of Appalachian old-time, classic folk, blues, a touch of country, and a bit of swing – a sound entirely their own.
Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba
Malian maestro Bassekou Kouyate is a virtuoso picker and musical visionary whose work blurs the lines between West African and American roots music. He is the leading proponent of the ngoni, a lute-like ancestor to the banjo, and one of the world’s most visible African artists. He has transformed the traditional music of the ngoni into the modern world of today, collaborating with musicians from U2 to Santana along the way. Joining him at Shakori Hills is banjo wizard Bela Fleck, who recruited Kouyate to play on his 2010 Grammy winning cd Throw Down Your Heart.
Bear Fox, or Kenkiohkoktha in Mohawk (pronounced Kon-kyo-KOHK-ta), is a singer and songwriter from the Mohawk Nation of the Haudenosaunee Iroquios Confederacy of northern New York state. Bear sings traditional songs in the Mohawk language with a rattle, water drum, or a capella, as well as her own songs which speak to issues of Native culture, the environment, hope, love and family. Bear’s music is sure to touch your heart!
With Alaskan roots and a new Nashville home, Telluride winners Bearfoot fuse string band traditions with youthful creativity. Bearfoot has been compared to Nickel Creek for their fresh new sound. Their music features evocative original songs, covers of contemporary tunes, lovely harmony vocals and lively instrumentals on fiddle, mandolin, guitars and bass.
Formed in Louisiana in 1975 by fiddler Michael Doucet, Beausoleil (which means “good sun”) is widely considered one of the best Cajun bands in the world. Their mix of loose 2-steps, stately waltzes, and swampy dance reels are enhanced with dashes of jazz and Caribbean to expand on tradition and keep their sound vital and contemporary. Come dance and delight to the street party sounds of this American institution!
The Beast infuses jazz composition and improvisation with hip-hop poetry and soul grooves. Fronted by emcee Pierce Freelon, the Durham-based quartet fearlessly navigates these varying worlds with compelling lyrics, progressive compositions and a gripping live show. Beautifully rebellious and refreshingly conscious, they create passionate music to engage/enrage your mentality.
The Beast is a razor-sharp fusion of hip-hop versifying and cool jazz
atmosphere. Uninhibited and endlessly imaginative, their irrepressible
grooves are augmented by an array of effects. They’ve assembled their dream team and rearranged their catalog for this special Big Band performance featuring horns, strings, percussion and more.*
Bela Fleck & the Flecktones
Premier banjo player Bela Fleck is considered one of the most innovative pickers in the world and has done much to demonstrate the versatility of his instrument, which he uses to play everything from traditional bluegrass to progressive jazz. We loved having him at the Spring 2010 festival so much we thought we’d invite him and his friends The Flecktones to play this fall! With the original band, including bassist Victor Wooten, percussion innovator, Futureman, and pianist/harmonica wonder Howard Levy, it’s sure to be a legendary performance!
Hailing from Joplin, Missouri, The Ben Miller Band is a one-of-a-kind trio that combines the frenetic energy of bluegrass, the soul of the delta blues and the haunted spirit of Appalachian mountain music. They create a unique and modern sound while blending together a variety of musical influences. Their singular sound includes slide guitar, a one-stringed washtub bass, electric washboard and electric spoons.
Ben Payton, hailing from Jackson, MS, is an acoustic blues artist with strong roots in the Delta. He grew up in Chicago where he played with artists such as Bobby Rush before putting down his guitar in the ’70s to focus on family. By the ’90s he was back at it and returned to his home state to teach the blues and to study his beloved inspirations including Robert Johnson and Charley Patton.
This is genuine old time music – powerful fiddle, banjo and string band music. Surry County, NC’s Benton Flippen combines incredible technique with a style all his own to create music capable of expressing the anguish of the blues, the inspiration of the spiritual, or the joy of a square dance. Combining the old time music of his home with the eclectic influence of radio and records, Benton stretches the music while maintaining its solid foundation.
Wilmington’s Big Al Hall makes traditional songs sound new and originals sound familiar. Freight-train vocals, big bass drum, bull fiddle, rock and roll guitar, claw-hammer banjo, accordion, wry and catchy songwriting, high harmonies, and timeless Appalachian tunes all come together as the band fluently blend roots rock, old-time
and Appalachian tunes into one captivating sound.
Hailing from Jacksonville Beach, Randy “Big Cosmo” Judy brings his own brand of Florida sunshine and foot-stompin’ guitar wherever he goes. But his blend of Americana, bluegrass, folk and rock music surely sounds best of all in the sunshine where it was born.
Big Daddy Love
BIG DADDY LOVE brings a a natural blend of jam, grass, roots, and rock to the North Carolina music scene. With fiery vocals, sweet harmonies, authentic song crafting, and undeniable musicianship, this quintet brings high-energy performances comprised of their own brand of good-time music. It is both the startling power of their live performances and their intensely personal lyrics that captivate and resonate with audiences. Easy to connect with and deceptively toe-tapping, this band, with Brian Swenk’s captivating banjo sound, will surely make you feel the love they project.
Big Fat Gap
Big Fat Gap is a back porch bluegrass band that has no plans to take Nashville by storm. Some of them even have day jobs. These Chapel Hill natives just like to pick, they like each other, and it shows. Their shows are excellent for sweet three-part harmonies, smoking solos, and captivating stage dynamics. Their fun performances bring loyal fans back for more. Their name derives from one of the few remaining stands of old growth virgin forest, located in western North Carolina located in the Big Fat Gap in Graham County near the Tennessee border.
Chatham Countyâ€™s Big Range ignores the porous borders between country, blues, Americana, rock and folk to write original songs rich in strong yet beautiful harmonies. They’ve bought a few rounds and fought a few rounds. Theyâ€™ve worked jobs, loved, lost, and lived to tell the tale, and all of it can be heard in their music.
Bluesman Big Ron Hunter has been writing and singing songs for over 45 years. His style is authentic and homegrown – pure, raw blues with a splash of folk and a guitar technique that makes him sound like his own rhythm section. Hunter sings straight from his heart, with messages of hope, faith, strength and compassion in the face of adversity. He will be playing at part of the Music Maker Revue.
Bigtime Party Band
Bigtime Party Band, hailing from Pittsboro, NC, plays the best of southern rhythm and blues, better known as “beach music.” Shag dancers unite under the classic sounds of trumpet, two saxophones, guitar, keyboards, bass and percussion. Tearing through originals alongside classic beach and blues numbers, it’s easy to tell these crowd pleasers really enjoy what they’re doing!
Driven by an intense passion for music and a pioneering spirit that has kept pace with the cutting-edge for nearly 4 decades, few individuals have had as meaningful and lasting an impact upon the dance music industry as DJ Bill Kelly, Co-founder and Director of the largest dance music convention in the world. The Winter Music Conference brings over 1.2 million people to Miami, gathering dance and electronic music performers and industry pros. Bill even earned the Key to the City of Miami Beach and was inducted into the Dance Music Authority Magazine’s Hall of Fame.
Bill and Libby Hicks with Janet Place
Bill Evans Soulgrass
Saxophonist Bill Evans has always explored well beyond the confines of traditional jazz, bringing hip-hop, fusion, reggae, Brazilian and slamming funk into his sound. Evans’ latest project Soulgrass blends jazz, funk and bluegrass into a seamless and wholly unique hybrid of quintessentially American styles, garnering a Grammy nomination in 2005. Evans first gained international acclaim in 1980 as part of Miles Davis’ celebrated comeback band. In 1984, he joined John McLaughlin in the re-formed Mahavishnu Orchestra. Evans also currently co-leads Soulbop with celebrated trumpeter Randy Brecker. Soulgrass features Ryan Cavanaugh on banjo, Chris Howes on fiddle, Joel Rosenblatt on drums and Dave Livolsi on bass.
Billy Eli plays country that rocks and rock that’s country, delivering songs that are vivid slices of real life lived to the fullest and chased down with a stiff shot of whiskey. With a style that’s rooted in his small town Southeast Texas origins that transcends the Lone Star State to achieve an international reach, the Austin, TX-based singer and songwriter has been compared by critics to such stellar American music artists as Tom Petty, Steve Earle, John Prine and John Mellencamp, to name a few. And like them, Eli’s music bears an indelible trademark that’s all his own, nimbly riding the fulcrum where rock and country converge, and singing with fervent heart and soul about the range of human experience from sin to salvation.
Billy Jonas is one of those rare performers who can engage and delight both young and adult audiences. His music is percussion-based, making use of found objects (buckets, broom handles, bottles, key chains & more) alongside traditional instruments. But on any given day, this unforgettable neo-tribal hootenanny is largely determined and shaped by the audience. His concerts are a magical mix of stagecraft and wholesome, open-ended, anything can happen spontaneity. It’s a musical conversation… a sonic celebration … a splendiferous gathering of old and young, because at a Billy Jonas show, the ensemble is… everyone!
Billy Two Rivers & David Reavis
Billy Two Rivers and David Reavis are two Native American artists from North Carolina bringing you the soothing sounds of a morning sunrise. Billy (Tuscarora) and David (Cherokee) combine the sounds of native cedar flutes, drums and acoustic guitar with soul-touching lyrics and melodies to awaken your day and the Spirit within. David is a lifelong musician who was the “NBC Star of Tomorrow” in 2006. Billy is a flutist, percussionist, poet, storyteller, Wolf Dancer, and performs Sound Healings with a Medicine Drum.
Billy Two Rivers is a Tuscarora artist from North Carolina whose music contains the soothing sounds of a morning sunrise. Billy is a flutist, percussionist, poet, storyteller, Wolf Dancer, and performs Sound Healings with a Medicine Drum. He combines the sounds of native cedar flutes, drums and acoustic guitar to awaken your day and the Spirit within.
Bio Ritmo Salsa Machine
Bio Ritmo’s dance-inspired Latin music offers up a sensual and kinetic collection of groove-riddled rhythms. Embracing the stripped-down and straight-up street-wise salsa sound so rare in today’s contemporary Latin music scene, their sound evokes the simplicity and freedom of classic Nuyorican salsa. Flavored with bomba, samba, charanga, and even a bolero, their approach is converting skeptics and delighting dancers across the globe. It’s a classy mass of pulsating rhythm and wry wordplay. Featuring incredible grooves, inspiring solos, and soul-searching lyrics, their hip-shaking melody and lovably fluid sound will have you on your feet.
Chapel Hill’s Andrea and Pete Connolly make up the folk rock duo Birds and Arrows, whose impeccably crafted pastoral songs center on the deeply emotional blend of their intertwined voices. Their pop-righteous, country-graceful numbers are warm, poetic, and rich with textures and harmonies. Their sound is polished yet organic, emoting desperation and longing with a hopeful overtone – the perfect mix of harrowing delicacy and beatific refinement.
The Biscuit Burners have deep roots in classic country and old-time mountain music, layering intricate picking and melodious vocals with a refreshing yet reminiscent sound. Their modern-traditional songs are a beautiful blend of Carolina soul, hard-driving bluegrass, contemporary lyricism and Appalachian roots, with subtle complexities and harmonious arrangements. The dual female voices soar across ancient themes, ranging from honky-tonk to high and lonesome with a deft hand.
The Ghanaian-born, Brooklyn-based Blitz the Ambassador is an MC, composer, producer and visual artist. With a lightning-fast mind, a spot-on sense of flow, the political boldness of Chuck D and the sixth groove sense of Fela Kuti, he unleashes psychedelic Afrobeat colors and triple-time rhymes.
Blue Sky Mission Club
Blue Sky Mission Club’s sound combines zydeco, jazz, blues, pop, soulgrass and beyond. Hailing from Ithaca, NY, their heartfelt lyrics float atop thick grooves and blissful harmonies.
Bluegrass Experience has been a vital force in the North Carolina/Southeastern bluegrass scene for over 30 years. From traditional favorites to “re-engineered” rock or folk songs, the band features tight instrumental work and true harmony singing. Together they offer a diverse menu of great music, both thoughtfully arranged and artfully performed.
Durham’s Bombadil uses whimsical lyrics and upbeat melodies to create a helter-skelter fusion of honky-tonk, neo-folk and pop. Their sound is a melange of instrumentation that revolves around piano-laden rock with nods to the blues, classic rock and the British Invasion. Brimming with authenticity, they forgo synthesizers in favor of trumpets, glockenspiels, accordions and saxophones. One thing is certain: Bombadil’s music emanates optimism and enthusiasm.
Boo Hanks, a descendant of Abraham Lincoln on his mother’s side, is the
greatest Piedmont Blues rediscovery in many years. He sings and plays
acoustic guitar with the driving time and delicate fingerstyle guitar of
the legendary Blind Boy Fuller. He says, “Most people, when they hear me
play, they think it’s two guitars, because I play the bass and the other
strings at the same time. They say, man that’s two guitars, and I say no,
me, it’s just me by myself.”
Boulder Acoustic Society
Shredding guitar licks, soaring gypsy violin, a little ukulele and the thump of an old-time bass bounce around with a jazz accordion and creative percussion to create a new sound – American Roots music with the edge of punk rock and the grace of chamber music. Boulder Acoustic Society is what happens when four songwriters get together to mash up blues, folk, gospel, indie and world music to soothe their musical curiosity. They play everything from astounding classical pieces and jaw-dropping jazz to obscure jug band songs and cleverly reworked covers.
Bowerbirds sit on the dividing line between freak folk and sunshine pop, with an unfeigned positivity to their music that’s refreshingly direct. Their rustic, cerebral, ramshackle indie-folk bursts out of Raleigh with a backwoods, wild-poet-of-the-mountain sound and a relentlessly organic vibe.
Boys from Carolina
Boys from Carolina play traditional and contemporary bluegrass music, bringing a combined total of over 160 years of musical experience to the stage. Priding themselves in style and presentation, their unique outstanding harmonies feature each band member singing, combining to form a driving force that captures the true essence of bluegrass music.
Bravo Norteno is a nationally renowned accordion-driven five-piece Latin band hailing from Goldsboro, NC. Sublime accordion and vocal harmonies provide the emotional anchor as these Latin cowboys blaze their own path through the world of music.
Brenda Linton’s brand of bluesy folk music is both elemental and sophisticated. Her performances reflect a range of genres from her earliest influences of classical and traditional music to coming-of-age protest songs to more recent affairs with jazz and gospel. Linton is a coastal North Carolina native whose equally at home with Appalachian ballads, Celtic songs and French chansons.
Every now and then, you find one of those artists with a smooth voice and amazing lyrics. The voice is distinct, and you can feel the passion spill from the music. This is Brett Dennen – just an average American vocalist with a crazy passion for change and unity in our society. Dennen’s music is gathering followers from all around the country. But as it grows, it seems his music remains true to its purpose, an ideology for hope for the hopeless and strength for the broken.
Brett Harris plays super sunny piano pop with vintage influences, timeless melodies and an unforgettable voice. Hailing from Durham, he’s a spiritual descendent of Brill Building popsmiths, playing classic rock that sparkles with inner light, buoyed by his effortless tenor croon and hopeful, upbeat vibe. With an ear for a hook and equal amounts of pop and pontification, his sweet, jangly songs are wonderfully crafted and suavely delivered.
Asheville-based Brian McGee takes the gritty charm of old-school country and injects it with the drive of punk rock, laying rough, raw-souled vocals over a dark honky tonk shuffle.
The Brothers Comatose play rousing and unpredictable bluegrass-influenced folk rock. Their San Francisco sound hails from the mountains but their collective vibe is all about community. Fiddle-burnin’ and string-pluckin’, they exude a foot-stomping, shout-along ease, with raucous music designed for dancing and celebration.
Brothers & Others
Brothers and Others hails from Siler City, NC, covering a wide range of sounds from blues to beach music. Adept at a huge variety of styles, you’re just as likely to hear country, gospel, rock, swing, oldies or pop standards at one of their mesmerizing performances. Propelled by the lead vocals of Roy Eubanks, the band also includes guitar, keyboards, bass and drums.
Bruce Piephoff has been recording and performing out of Greensboro for several decades. Firmly a part of the Appalachian tradition of story-songs and character portraits, itâ€™s his versatility that makes his music so fascinating. Easily touching both the shores of folk music and poetry with simple, compelling imagery and subtle depth, Piephoff’s unassuming voice, ringing with wit and sincerity, steals the show.
Bubba George Stringband
Playing breakdowns at breakneck speeds, Bubba George Stringband combines the influences of the master fiddlers with the feel of rock and roll, reggae and punk. They grew out of the Ithaca, NY old-time music scene and have played together in various formations since 1974. With original members including Jeb Puryear, Richie Stearns, Shane Lamphier and Jordan Puryear, Bubba George went on to spawn numerous bands including Donna the Buffalo and the Horse Flies.
Renowned for his long-time association with the Ike and Tina Turner Revue
in the ’60s, drummer James “Bubba” Norwood has anchored the rhythm section for a veritable Who’s Who of blues, soul, and R&B greats. Raised in Chapel Hill, his powerful, driving drumbeats have propelled legendary artists
including Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight, Curtis Mayfield, Albert King and
Chapel Hill’s BUS., formerly known as Big Pretty and the Red Rockets, have cultivated a fresh blend of reggae, rock, hip-hop, classical, country and tribal music into a saucy mix affectionately dubbed “Bi-Polar Rootz Rock.” The band features guitar, cello, accordion, beatboxing, socially-absorbing lyrics and an infectious sense of enthusiasm.
Butterflies is the newest musical project from Chapel Hill-based singer, guitarist and trombonist Josh Kimbrough. Filled to the brim with nostalgia and instantly appealing songwriting, they prove that emotional music doesn’t have to be painfully dramatic. With Kimbrough’s signature guitar lines fluttering over the top, Butterflies celebrates the craft of pop songwriting.
The four Campbell brothers play electric gospel music, but it makes no difference whether they’re in a church or club; the place becomes sanctified by their offering. Their sound is heavily tinged with rock, blues, and more than a smidgen of soul. Emphasizing the steel guitar, the group also draws from country, jazz, and other forms. The guitar work of Chuck Campbell in particular is imaginative and at times even experimental, using a tuning he devised himself and the E-bow to produce eerie sustain. It’s like having a revival right here at Shakori Hills!
Bluesman Luther Mayer, known as “Captain Luke,” is blessed with a deep natural baritone. His music and art are rooted firmly in the African-American working class of the Carolina Piedmont, and the mystique of his message refers continually to the blues experience. He explores the broad ranges of the idiom, from its roots in the deep country all the way to its modern pop/showbiz manifestations. He arrives at an unusual convergence that might be called Outsider Lounge Music – basic and sophisticated in the same moment. Luke will be performing at Shakori Hills as part of the Music Maker Revue.
Carolina Chocolate Drops
To say that Carolina Chocolate Drops are an anomaly in the 21st century would be a huge understatement. Here are three twenty-something African-Americans playing a brand of acoustic, banjo- and fiddle-driven string band music that is nearly extinct today. They revisit the rich tradition of Carolina Piedmont music with a joyful vengeance that’s dazzling in its velocity and virtuosity. Justin Robinson is also appearing at Shakori Hills with his solo project Justin Robinson & The Mary Annettes.
Three of North Carolina’s finest traditional performers – Tommy Edwards (of The Bluegrass Experience), Alice Zincone and Rick Lafleur – have combined their considerable talents to create Carolina Lightning. They perform a vast repertoire of traditional bluegrass tunes and original songs alongside country, folk and rock songs that have been re-imagined as bluegrass numbers. With a trio of vocalists, they create an amazing blend of music and energy with just three acoustic instruments.
Carolina Samba School
The Carolina Samba School from Carrboro, NC is a Rio de Janeiro style percussion ensemble led by Brazilian Eduardo de Souza. They play samba batucada, pagode and Bahian style rhythms. They will be joined by special guests from Cakalak Drum Corp of Greensboro, NC.
Caroline Pond Band
Snake Oil Medicine Show front woman Caroline Pond’s new project showcases her distinctive singing, fiddle playing and song-writing. With influences ranging from Reggae to Swing to Pop, Caroline’s standout talent shines through on every number. Her band consists of Ami Worthen and Jason Krekel of the Mad Tea Party, and a kickin’ rhythm section.
Cary Morin has been traveling for much of the last 25 years, performing at college campuses, festivals, theaters, and clubs for much of the past 25 years. His songs have been described as acoustic Native Americana, jam, reggae, jazz, blue, and dance. Cary is a Crow tribal member; his native heritage is a major influence on his guitar playing and songwriting. Currently Cary is performing with friends Pura Fe and Peter Knudson.
Cary Morin has traveled performing at college campuses, festivals, theaters, and clubs for much of the past 25 years. His songs have been described as acoustic Native Americana, jam, reggae, jazz, blues, and dance. Cary is a Crow tribal member, his native heritage is a major influence on his guitar playing and songwriting. Currently Cary is performing with friends Pura Fe and Peter Knudson.
With limitless energy and spontaneity, Nashville fiddling fanatic’s Casey Driessen’s unique creative vision is simple: One man, one fiddle, one pedal board. Mixing his signature percussive fiddle style with digital loops and effects, the Grammy-nominated fiddler builds each show layer by layer in real time. The result is a one-of-a-kind experience that pushes the boundaries of musical genres and styles. The unconventional Driessen has played alongside Steve Earle, Darrell Scott and Tim O’Brien, and is a founding member of The Sparrow Quartet with fellow Shakori alumni Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn.
Casey Driessen & The Colorfools
With inspirations from Tennessee to Tibet, Nashville fiddling fanatic Casey Driessen straddles the line between jazz and country and falls off it every chance he gets. The thick groove of toe-tappin’ old-time and bluegrass fiddle collides with R&B and music from around the globe. This genre-defying virtuoso is a restless explorer and bold boundary crosser who could recently be seen playing with Bela Fleckâ€™s Acoustic Trio.
Hailing from southern Louisiana, Cedric Watson puts a unique take on traditional Creole music, expanding the genre while still respecting its roots. Moving with ease between fiddle and accordion, his strong blues- inflected vocals soar above a jubilant set of top-notch Cajun/zydeco songs. His creative style and exuberant joy have led all three of his albums to be nominated for Grammy Awards.
Charles Pettee and Folk Psalm
Charles Pettee & FolkPsalm performed live for the very first time at the first Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival back in 2003, inaugurating what has become a Sunday morning tradition in the Dance Tent. That tradition continues this year as far-flung band members reunite once again to perform their amalgamation of bluegrass, celtic, and folk music melodies, with lyrics from the poems of the ancient Hebrews, creating their earthy gumbo of stunning harmonies, wailing fiddles, and spiritual wisdom. Worth waking up for.
Chatham County Line
Incorporating genre-bending country forms with deft picking and spot-on harmonies, Chatham County Line’s warm and organic sound has a naturally soulful end result. Centered around a single microphone, the Raleigh-based troubadours play acoustic instruments in the traditional style, specializing in purely honest honky tonk bluegrass, earnestly sung and expertly picked. The group croons and stomps with an authenticity – sometimes whimsical, sometimes heartrending – that belies their young age. You can also catch John and Chandler appearing with their rock and roll side project The Jackets.
Chic Gamine is a Canadian band giving a new spin to the classic ’60s girl group sound. With wall-of-sound harmonies, irresistible vocal hooks and hip-shaking beats, their fresh new sound is inspired by R&B, French pop, vintage soul and sambas – truly a border-blending journey of bewitching melodies and pulsing vocal percussion.
Children of The Horn
Blurring the distinctions between jazz, R&B and Afro-Caribbean music, Raleigh’s Children of the Horn hit the funk heavy. They take the listener on a kaleidoscopic journey through original compositions running the gamut from super-syncopated Latin funk breakbeats to swaggering New Orleans Second Line styles to Classic Motown-inspired soul-jazz grooves.
Zimbabwe’s Chiwoniso performs an entrancing and uplifting R&B-drenched style of African pop with ancient soul and modern spirit. Backed by the mesmerizing interlocking melodies of the mbira and the deep grooves of an all-star lineup featuring some of Zimbabwe and South Africa’s top musicians, Chiwoniso’s voice resounds with defiant strength and profound tenderness.
Bursting out of Asheville with inspired singing and wild picking, Chompin’ at the Bit tears into traditional North American old-time string band music with raw energy and a rowdy, unconventional style. Tipping their hats to the old greats while maintaining their vision of originality, there’s no denying their passion for the music.
Chris Barron & the Time Bandits
Best known as the lead singer of Spin Doctors, one of the most popular and ubiquitous bands of the early-’90s rock scene, Chris Barron and the Time Bandits play a song-oriented mixture of American musical forms that showcase the beauty, versatility, subtlety and raw emotional power of Barronâ€™s voice. Based out of New York City, their show features a combination of his new material and Spin Doctors favorites.
Christabel and the Jons
From eastern Tennessee comes the sultry swing of Christabel and the Jons. Their music is a lushly orchestrated affair that mixes Big Band swing, old-timey torch jazz, greasy blues, European gypsy folk, and ragtime into a smoky performance all set in motion by Christa DeCicco’s languid, sensual vocals. With nostalgic lyrics cloaked in a vintage velveteen purr, her misty romanticism mixes with retro costumes and a charismatic stage presence to give their show a uniquely elegant, speakeasy feel.
Club Boheme presents string jazz with pizzazz – a toe tapping collection of swinging originals and Tin Pan Alley favorites. The music has roots in the early 20th century with a decidedly modern angle. Although they pay homage to greats like Django Reinhardt and Billie Holiday, their musical chemistry and effortless harmonies are focused more on fun than tradition.
Sitting somewhere between pop, blues, indie, and rock and roll, Cole Park’s sound has been described as diverse, tight, and just plain fun, with a positive outlook that canâ€™t help but shine through their music. Their name comes from the Cole Park Plaza in Chapel Hill, where the members went to school together and first discovered their sound.
Colors of Flying
Hailing from the NC Triangle area, Colors of Flying have forged an intimate connection between distant musical cultures. These far-reaching world music performers play oud, kora, cello, fiddle, upright bass and percussion, creating an improvisatory energy focused into an original fabric of sound.
Community Independent School Children’s Community Chorus
CIS Childrenâ€™s Community Chorus is a 28-member group based in Pittsboro, NC performing originals written by director Jimmy Magoo. The group is an outreach program of CIS and is open to children from the wider community. Scholarships are available for group membership as well as for attendance in the school’s summer chorus camp.
Community Trees is an instrumentally-driven collective from the woods of British Columbia with a distinct and dreamlike sound – an expressive blend of folk vocal melodies, ambient strings and thunderous tribal beats. Their blissful melodies and exhilarating six-piece harmonies wash over you like a soulful meditation, bringing warmth and a cosmic compatibility between darkness and light.
Combining the improvisational style and solos of a jazz band with a repertoire of traditional Celtic, Quebecois and American old–time music, Contrazz is a high-energy ensemble known for its driving rhythms and hot music. A band with a serious groove, this quartet of highly skilled players includes David DiGiuseppe on accordion, Rodney Marsh on saxophone and flute, Bernie Petteway on guitar and Diane Petteway on piano.
Cool John Ferguson
Fiery blues guitarist Cool John Ferguson has been playing guitar since age three and grew up with the traditional ways all around him. At five he was playing church music professionally, often out-seating musicians tentimes his age. He breathes music and plays from the inside out, commanding the rare ability to develop a theme on the fly, incorporating every element of the situation along the way. His improvised pieces carry the aesthetic sensibility of careful, painstakingly crafted works, which in fact they are; just done in real time.
Corey Harris channels the direct emotion of acoustic Delta blues, mixing a considerable variety of influences – from New Orleans to the Caribbean to Africa – into his richly expressive music. Everything meshes together like pieces from the same bright quilt, preserving the blues by gracefully expanding the genre’s possibilities. Harris is a player whose reverence for the blues doesn’t keep him from instilling the form with both joy and innovation. Go on a tremendous journey that redefines the rules of revivalism.
Corinne West’s music runs a golden thread through country, bluegrass, western, Americana and folk, resulting in a style that is hers alone – the perfect Americana recipe. Spinning tales with a voice both achingly penetrating and highly addictive, her cool, layered sound is part velvet, part grit. Her songs radiate the passion and disappointment from someone who has put her heart and soul into the music.
Corn & The Colonels
Corn & the Colonels play extraordinarily fun early ’20s blues, jazz and ragtime mixed with bluegrass and hip hop, culling words and melodies from musical traditions around the world – some forgotten, some familiar – to warm your heart and make you dance.
The Boston Globe calls Crooked Still “the most important folk group to emerge from Boston since the early ’60s.” No one else captures the eerie, gorgeous imagery of classic folk ballads with such radiating warmth. They combine old-time, alternative bluegrass, dark-folk, alt-country and string band music into chamber twang at its best, all highlighted by the rare, stunning purity of lead singer Aoife O’Donovan.
Imagine Jill Scott and Otis Redding had a daughter and Tracy Chapman was her godmother. You might end up with a sound close to the easy-going, genre-defying style of NC native Crys Matthews. Her delightfully eclectic sound is based in the blues but also fuses jazz, funk, folk and Americana to form her own unique blend of soul music. Her songs offer up a resounding affirmation of both the beautiful and heart-wrenching lessons in life.
Crystal Bright unleashes a genre-bending mélange of dark and whimsical gypsy carnival music led by her amazingly ethereal voice and an arsenal of exotic instruments. Her dreamy circus pop draws on a world of influences, with lyrics deeply connected to mythology, fairy tales and the mystical side of feminine power. Based in Greensboro, this wildly inventive, wonderfully spooky group creates otherworldly landscapes and swirling eclectic melodies. From deranged Cirque du Soleil to burlesque European carnival, it’s a vaudevillian nightmare wonderland of sound.
Curtis Eller is one of the most eccentric and individual performers in today’s acoustic music scene. The wild-eyed vaudevillian’s banjo-driven songs describe a dreamlike vision of American history where all points in time have collapsed into one, where Elvis Presley and Abraham Lincoln can rub shoulders with Buster Keaton and Joe Louis. With banjo work ranging from exuberant to downright haunting, his singular storytelling and unorthodox approach are imbibed with a thrillingly old-time outlaw feel.
CX-1 and the Blackhole Bluegrass Boys
Discovering combinations of world beat, reggae, rock-n-roll and Americana, CX-1’s textural compositions and three-part harmonies continue to expand musical boundaries. Featuring former members of Acoustic Syndicate and the Snake Oil Medicine Show, CX-1’s explorations of acoustic electronica will take you on a journey through vast soundscapes and musical adventures. As one of the best examples of modern fusion music, the dynamic between Andy Pond, George Pond, Jay Sanders and Billy Seawell is an equal union. Spreading the music and message of universal harmony, these four travelers have been at the epicenter of Western North Carolina’s progressive acoustic movement.
Whether ripping into meaty, slashing slide guitar or delicately spacey Hendrix-like phrases, Cyril Lance’s virtuosity on electric guitar and lap steel is undeniable. Hailing from Carrboro, Lance and his band wade into swampy blues-rock that sizzles and smokes with astounding passion, combining rootsy grooves with deep and spontaneous improvisational explorations.
Cyro Baptista & Beat the Donkey
Beat the Donkey makes mysterious, spellbinding, infectious, irresistible world dance music. Renowned Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista has recorded and toured with everyone from Paul Simon and Sting to Trey Anastasio. Beat the Donkey is a wild and woolly brew that parties from start to finish – a solid program of tribal polyrhythms and folk melodies that takes no prisoners. They weave jazz, new music, classical, and even rock into the songlike heart of Brazil’s wonderfully rich musical tapestry. Baptista holds court over a group of musicians, dancers, singers, handclappers, tap dancers, and who knows what else. This is wild, untamed, and wondrously joyous music.
Wilmington, NC’s D&D Sluggers – aka the dynamic duo of Soultron and Hyphen – utilize a Game Boy and Nintendo in harmony with guitar, synths and vocals to create seriously catchy music about love, life, perseverance and Pokemon. Their infectious live show is a self-aware blend of catchy, danceable alternative rock mixed with chiptunes, the electronic music subgenre based in the 8-bit audio chips of old-school video game systems.
Danielle Howle is a powerful performer whose vivid yet off-kilter musical stories weave a sweet sensibility and bare honesty into her work. Often compared to Nina Simone and Flannery O’Connor, her solo performances are breathtaking, with captivating vocals. A comedian between songs, her prattles are filled with insight, inquiry, and wonder that speak of true romanticism. Howle’s polished yet spontaneous hilarity creates a singular experience on the music scene.
Danuwa analihi Adonvdo
Danuwa analihi Adonvdo (Spirit Warrior in Cherokee) is a branch flute-maker, and member of the International Native American Flute Association. He plays from the heart and gives all praises and credit to the Creator â€“giving thanks for the music that Creator plays through him and for the gift of flute-making by playing for others. He has been playing his flutes for 37 years.
North Carolina’s Dark Water Rising expresses a sound and free spirit that embraces several genres of music, playing Southern rock full of gospel harmonies, hip-hop inflections and Motown soul. Led by inspiring female lead singer Charly Lowry, who appeared on American Idol in 2004, they deliver up inspiring bursts of truthful soul layered with exquisite harmonies.
Darrell Scott is an acclaimed songwriter and instrumentalist with a string of hits including the Grammy Award winning “Long Time Gone” and “Heartbreak Town,” both top hits for the Dixie Chicks. “Great Day to be Alive” helped Travis Tritt complete his comeback, “Born to Fly” was a No. 1 hit for Sara Evans, “Family Tree” was successful for Darryl Worley and “When No One’s Around” extended Garth Brooks’ run. He was named Songwriter of the Year by ASCAP in 2002, and recently launched Full Light Records so he can fully control his recordings.
Dave Quick & The Swirlies
David Quick is a performer of roots music in its truest sense. A veteran of such bands as Jack Black (NYC), Edsel 500, TCB, and the Swang Brothers, David has also been spreading roots in the NC music scene by hosting his two annual events, Elvisfest and Heavy Rebel Weekend, which host an aggregate 100 bands of many genres, bringing the truest roots music right to you for over a 12 years. David is playing this, his first Grassroots Festival appearance, with his newest band of kindred musical souls called Dave Quick & the Swirlies! Under the influence of classic honky-tonk, swing, and rockabilly music, Dave Quick & the Swirlies will pump and thump and grind and groove and move your body for you! Just kick back and see what happens!
David Dyer & The Crooked Smile Band
North Carolina’s David Dyer plays high energy alt-county and roots rock, fusing his own style of bluegrass-dusted “porch-rock” with Byrd-like vocal harmonies and Prine-like storytelling that is sometimes humorous, sometimes guttural, but always honest. His high-octane live performances are filled with rich vocal harmonies and catchy songwriting.
A folk musician since 1970, Oaklandâ€™s David Gans is the consummate troubadour, traveling the country solo with just an electro-acoustic guitar and a few gadgets. Spiritually positive and socially critical, heâ€™s an earthy storyteller with thoughtful lyrics filled with humor, anger, despair, and delicacy. Heâ€™s had a long career as a media multi-hyphenate: singer-songwriter-guitarist-radio producer/host-author-journalist-record producer-photographer. He says, â€œI came up in the time when we thought music could change the world, and I still think it can – the only way the world can be changed: one person, one soul at a time.
David McCracken & Friends
David McCracken, keyboardist with Donna the Buffalo, is a native of the North Carolina piedmont area. The “Friends” set will feature David’s eclectic and varied musical tastes. Friends include members of his own family as well as Vic Stafford & Kyle Spark of Donna the Buffalo. The set will showcase NC regional luminaries yet unfamiliar to Shakori Hills. This season’s performance will feature Greensboro, NC’s Sam Frazier.
Recently anointed as Boston’s Americana Artist of the Year, the David Wax Museum has been called “pure, irresistible joy” by NPR and hailed by Time.com for their “virtuosic musical skill and virtuous harmonies.” The Museum fuses traditional Mexican folk with American roots and indie rock to create an utterly unique Mexo-Americana aesthetic. They combine Latin rhythms, call-and-response hollering and donkey jawbone rattling to create what The New Yorker called a “high-energy border-crossing” sound.
Daygot Leeyos Edwards
Daygot Leeyos Edwards is a young female lyricist and producer from Oneida Nation of the Wolf Clan. Her music empowers, educates, and uplifts our consciousness, with lyrics reflecting the struggles and triumphs of being a spiritual human being. She mixes together collages of words and melodies to deliver a message of inspiration to all.
Deep Chatham features ferociously talented songwriters churning out original material characterized by driving rhythms, intricate harmonies, and haunting melodies. This power quartet has quickly gained a reputation for their high energy live performances and infectiously catchy songs, with a sound born out of bluegrass and folk traditions, relying heavily on vocal harmonies, upright-driven rhythms, and gothic songwriting, then swaying towards ghostly minor-key progressions and gypsy-tinged melodies.
Dehlia Low’s vocal harmony and instrumentation reflect a deep connection to traditional music with modern arrangements and relevant, smart songwriting. The band combines their gripping, rustic-flavored vocal style with extraordinary instrumental prowess in original songs that feel at once both old and new pushing their sound into the emerging Americana genre. The group’s sound is focused on original music rooted in bluegrass but with a distinctive country/folk feel true to their southern Appalachian roots.
Des Ark (solo)
With angular guitar slashes and fractured rhythms, anachronistic Durham-based indie rocker Aimee Argote of Des Ark provides an intense burst of energy expressing her deeply felt politics and controversial life decisions. A little bit Southern twang and a little bit punk, Argote has no qualms about expressing herself and is no stranger to confronting her demons through song.
Diali Cissokho and Kaira Ba play music inspired by the ancient West-African griot tradition. Led by the kora, a 21-stringed harp-lute, this highly original blend of traditional and modern styles creates an infectious sound reminiscent of West African dance bands – full of unison melody, adventurous improvisation, fiery solos and polyrhythmic frameworks.
Charging out of New Orleans is the gypsy folk circus rock band Dirty Bourbon River Show. Their whiskey-soaked carnival eclecticism ranges from kazoo- and clarinet-blown circus shenanigans to smooth-croon lounge, from finely-fingered folk ballads to banjo hoedowns, from jazzy sax solos to swashbuckling sea chanties. Riotous and raucous, Dirty Bourbon’s eccentricity and dexterity harkens back to bygone eras.
divineMAGgees (pronounced “Maggies”) features Cregan Montague on acoustic and electric fiddles and Danielle Tibedo on acoustic and electric guitars. Their sweeping harmonies and lush textures echo traditional folk seamlessly mixed with the urgency and raw power of punk. They compose deeply emotional songs and deliver them with startling passion, ranging from dreamy ballads to edgy pop tunes. Montague’s fiddle, with its tantalizing and ethereal sound, perfectly balances with the rousing chords of Tibedo’s edgy and forthright guitar.
Chapel Hill, NC based songwriter Django Haskins has made a name for himself on the strengh of his instantly memorable melodies and well-crafted lyrics. Django’s music has been featured on MTV, Discovery Channel, and the WB among others, and has received rave reviews in Billboard magazine. The Winston-Salem Journal recently said of his record, OverEasySmokeMachine, “The album is eclectic in a way that never fails to hold a listener’s interest, unfolding like a trip on which some scenic and contrasting new vista awaits around each bend in the road.” Django co-led the award-winning pop band International Orange, along with Robert Sledge (Ben Folds Five) and “Snuzz” Uzzell, and now spends most of his time leading The Old Ceremony, a ‘pop-noir orchestra’ described as “like Sinatra fronting Tom Waits’ band,” which features some of the area’s finest jazz and rock players.
Do It to Julia
Do It to Julia is a four-piece band formed in Boone, North Carolina in 2006. They combine classical training and creative and intuitive musicianship to meld together a sound that is both wistful and joyful, thoughtful and rocking. Drummer Alex McWalters keeps multi-layered beats, combined with Matt Rossino’s bass and banjo, that underlie simple duets to the full-band, swirling sound accented by violinist and singer Halli Anderson’s sometimes wild and skirling, sometimes gentle and rhythmic violin sound. Ryan O’Keefe’s timely guitar and his unique vocals, which often twine with Anderson’s voice, lead the band through musical journeys with beautiful results. Definitely worth checking out!
From Cajun to country, reggae to improv, zydeco boogie to roots-rock riot, Donna the Buffalo aims for the best of what music has to offer. Their singular sound features upbeat grooves, inspirational lyrics, memorable hooks, superb musicianship and an overwhelming sense of celebration. They’re an American institution, socially conscious yet eternally danceable. Donna the Buffalo started the GrassRoots Festival over 20 years ago outside of Ithaca, NY to raise money for local charities and showcase the sounds of their friends and inspirations from around the world. The band features multi-instrumentalist Tara Nevins, guitarist Jeb Puryear, keyboardist Dave McCracken, bassist Kyle Spark and drummer Mark Raudabaugh.
Bringing the sounds of the Highlands and the Islands, Dora Owens performs Scottish and Irish music on her Celtic harp, as well as other traditional and popular tunes. Her beautiful melodies and softly soaring sounds come from the heart of Chatham County, NC.
In a post-modern world of skyscrapers and handheld computers, Driftwood looks beneath the concrete and circuitry to find their sound. Based in Binghamton, NY, their unique blend of old-time folk with modern and world music features blazing fiddle action, boundaryless banjo, booming upright bass and gleeful guitar alongside a scrap wood kick box, clapping hands and stomping feet.
Hailing from Ethiopia, dub Addis combines intricate Ethiopian melodies with the rhythms of reggae to create an original sound that moves both the heart and mind. With soulful sounds embedded in the polyrhythms of Africa, their energizing songs are dedicated to bringing a positive message to the masses and uniting people of all backgrounds in a celebration of life.
Dubconscious is a dub reggae collective from Athens, GA playing intoxicating, laid-back music with socially conscious lyrics and a feel-good vibe. They spread the gospel of unity, love and understanding along with an energetic, soulful live show. Embracing a mantra filled with expressive positivism, their music ranges from transcendental, mystic-like states to heart-warming, spirit-lifting moments of rejoicing.
Hailing from Binghamton, NY, the experimental folktronica act Dutch Bucket System is determined to stimulate the seeds and plant new roots as their genre-defiling soundscapes and infinite space-filled explorations provide endless inspiration. Get ready for your feet to dance and your mind to wander!
Hailing from Guerrero in Mexico, Eduardo Moran revives the New Trova music from the 1960s and ’70s that was made famous by Silvio Rodriguez, Pablo Milanes, and others from Cuba. New Trova’s members recognized the varied influence of the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Daniel Viglietti and Violeta Parra, with the inclusion of South American rhythms and instruments. His songs are elaborately poetic, covering everything from political to love themes.
Eileen Ivers has established herself as the foremost Irish fiddler in the world today, transforming it from a folk music staple into an internationally-acclaimed art, with virtuosic playing that is surprising, fresh and boldly imaginative. The Washington Post called her “the future of the Celtic fiddle” while the L.A. Times said her “originality and rhythmic swing may well provide the bridge Irish music needs to break through to a mainstream audience.” In addition to maintaining a highly successful solo career, Ivers continues to perform as a cast member of Riverdance.
Boston-based Eilen Jewell puts her own beautiful stamp on a wide range of traditional musical styles, including jug band, country gospel, early R&B, Chicago blues and the bristling electricity of ’60s UK garage rock. Her thick, warm voice and authentic songwriting put an emphasis on sad sounds from the seamier side of the tracks. With dirty sax riffs and low-slung guitars, her band evokes the exotica of vintage Southern California suburban saloons, imbuing their slow, jazzy numbers with torch and tenacity that linger long after the music fades away.
Elastic Bond embraces their Miami roots by delivering a unique sonic cocktail with an urban edge and a tropical twist, mixing Latin and soul with modern sample-based production and the vibrant voice of Honduran songstress Sofy Encanto. Fusing a horn section and percussion with electronica, tasty melodies and positive vibes, their funky groove kisses musical boundaries goodbye.
Indie-acoustic quintet Elephant Revival is on the cutting edge of an emerging new genre called Transcendental Folk. They serve up a unique sound soaked in all manner of tradition with a modern twist. In a single show they may delve into Celtic fiddle tunes, inspirational indie rock, original folk songs, psychedelic country, traditional ballads, powerful reggae grooves, and jazz standards with hints of hip-hop, Appalachia and blues. They carry a fresh sense of creativity and inspiration from their Nederland, Colorado home.
Elikem African Dance Company
Founded in Durham by Daniel & Kai’ Appah, Elikem African Dance Company performs dances from West Africa – specifically Ghana, Senegal, and Guinea. Its members include veterans of the Ghana National Dance Company, African-American Dance Ensemble, and Collage Dance Company. EADC has toured extensively in America and throughout the world presenting performances, master classes and lecture demonstrations.
Located in rural Appalachia between Boone and West Jefferson, NC, the non-profit Elkland Art Center was founded in 1997 with a mission to build community while making art, and to use art as a means to make the world a better place. They provide a multitude of opportunities for creative expression and fun, including parades, walkabouts, puppet shows, workshops, documentary video services, and a solar-powered puppet caravan. They even host an International Puppet Festival!
Embarrassing Fruits are a ragged-glory rock and roll trio hailing from Chapel Hill. Their sound is a catchy collection of distortion-drenched anthems and revved-up hooks with a trace of vintage jingle-jangle thrown in.
Emerson Waldorf String Band
The Emerson Waldorf String Band plays old-time string band favorites as well as new arrangements of familiar folk tunes. The band developed out of lunch-hour jam sessions among the students and their mandolin-playing teacher Stephen Beck. It has become an institution at Emerson Waldorf High School, where the walls, woods and fields resound with music throughout the day and all students learn to play several instruments. They’ll be playing at the Outpost on Sunday at 1pm.
Emma Gibbs Band
With a mixture of blues, bluegrass, and southern rock, Emma Gibbs Band cooks up a distinctly southern musical stew. Their revved-up approach combines mandolin, fiddle, lap steel, trumpet, guitar, harmonica, stand-up bass and drums to create a wholly original sound. Their beautiful melodies are laced with rich vocals and funky undercurrents, with colorful splashes of southern flair rounding it off.
With years of collective experience under their belts, Drew Emmitt and Bill Nershi exemplify the forward-thinking modern bluegrass musician. As linchpins of two legendary jam-bands – Drew with Leftover Salmon, Bill with the String Cheese Incident – both men have done the stadium-filling, high-profile rock ‘n’ roll thing to perfection. Along the way, however, they’ve honed their songwriting and playing chops and studied the bluegrass, rock and jazz masters they admire. Above all, Drew and Bill have shared a commitment to keeping music human-scaled and honest.
Chapel Hill’s Eric Ginsburg has been a fixture at Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festivals from the beginning, coaxing campers from their sleeping bags with the gentle soothing sounds of his native flutes. Eric makes as well as plays these flutes, donating the proceeds from their sale to organizations supporting Native American self-determination.
Erin Regan’s melodic, hip, alt/anti.folk sound has elicited comparisons with Elliott Smith and Fiona Apple. The acutely observed yet heartfelt sensibilities of her lyrics, along with her addictive melodies and exquisite voice have earned her a big following in her adopted city of New York.
Equanimous Minds are a next level, integrative dance party collective. Founded by percussionist/producer Bopa King Carré and DJ/producer Adam Sikora, they bring together the best of today’s electronica and the universal sounds of percussion. Sikora’s stylistic blend of modern dance and house music is simple yet incendiary, with classy rhythms and vocals backed by bone-shaking bass lines. Bopa King Carré is an extremely versatile and eclectic percussionist whose explorations of music and rhythms bridge the gap between the DJ and live music performance.
Guinean-born Famoro Dioubate is a pre-eminent Mandeng balafonist of griot lineage who’s widely beloved for the joy and warmth that he radiates as a performer. His virtuosic balafon xylophone playing evokes the ancient traditions of West Africa, while adding a distinctly Westernized flavor and a masterful range of style and sound. Dioubate is the grandson of El Hadj Djelli Sory Kouyate, a living legend of the Mandeng balafon.
Farmer Jason is the brainchild of alt-country/Americana legend Jason Ringenberg who strives to educate and entertain children about farm life and the wonders of nature. This highly acclaimed interactive family show involves singalongs and dancing alongside discussions of farming, nature appreciation, ecology and animals. Although aimed at children 2-8, everyone is invited to get involved, and they do! His “It’s a Farmer Jason!” PBS segments even won an Emmy Award in 2009.
Fatoumata Diawara is a Malian musician and actress currently living in France. A Malian woman with an acoustic guitar is an all-too-rare sight, but her sweet, soulful vocals and African rhythms have led her to collaborate with artists ranging from Herbie Hancock to Dee Dee Bridgewater. She’s even featured prominently in the debut album by the new supergroup Rocket Juice and the Moon featuring Flea, Damon Albarn and Tony Allen.
Firehouse Rhythm Kings
The Firehouse Rhythm Kings are a swing ensemble based in Carrboro led by red-hot fiddler, powerhouse singer and uniquely visionary composer Joe Troop. Their thumping rhythmic foundation is guaranteed to make you jump and jive as they tear through inspired arrangements of swing classics alongside their own finely-crafted originals. Their classic 1930s sound includes piano, violin and rhythm banjo. Get ready to dance!
“I’ve been a music fan since I came out of the womb,” enthuses singer/songwriter Fisher Meehan. “Music always meant everything to me. I have a jillion influences.” This might explain why subtle hints of The Pixies, REM, The Replacements, Buzzcocks, Angry Samoans, Hüsker Du, Fleetwood Mac and Michael Hedges permeate his indelible melodies and classic pop arrangements. Engaging and familiar, but not easily categorized, Meehan simply calls his music “heavy pop.” At Shakori Hills, he will be joined by Donna the Buffalo members Bill Reynolds on bass and Tom Gilbert on drums.
From Ireland via the UK comes an inventive and exciting group, featuring melodically dazzling flutes over a hard-driving rhythm section of guitar and bodhran. Flook is an instrumental quartet of two Irish and two British master musicians who come together to hop borders and genres, creating an adventurous new mix of acoustic music traditions. Flook covers the spectrum of waltzes, jigs, and reels in uncompromising and thoroughly thrilling fashion.
The Friends of Daniel Pearl Festival (FODfest) is a living celebration of community and friendship through music. FODfest was founded by Todd Mack, a close friend of Pearlâ€™s, as a way to honor his friend with a legacy reflecting the ideals by which he lived. In addition to being a journalist, Daniel Pearl was a talented musician who believed in the power of music to bring people together regardless of their differences. A classically trained violinist and avid fiddle and mandolin player, music was Dannyâ€™s way of connecting with people and learning about the local culture as he traveled the world. FODfest is a unique performance format that is part jam session, part song swap, part concert. Some of the musicians performing were friends of Dannyâ€™s, while others didnâ€™t know him at all, but they all share Dannyâ€™s belief in music as a universal language.
Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble presents an exuberant fusion of live music, comedy, singing, and a dazzling array of percussive dance forms rooted in different cultures. Based in Maryland, Footworks has represented American culture internationally since 1979, including a Smithsonian Institution tour of Japan and as guest artists with Riverdance in London.
Frontier Ruckus is a roots-based band from East Lansing, MI that incorporates elements of rock, folk, bluegrass, country, blues, and jazz, all as a musical landscape for their hypnotic and cryptically assembled lyrics. They may hail from up north but they sing the sound of the South: delicate finger-picked banjos, aching oaky violin and the haunting voice of frontman Matthew Milia. Their songs are full of rich, rural details: frozen lakes, swaying trees, highway lights glowing in the deep night. Add to the mix baleful brass and trembling percussion and youâ€™ve got the perfect recipe for Gothic Americana.
Full Circle Fire Dance
Fire dance touches our spirits by returning us to a primal, elemental aspect of our beings. With this ritual, we may commune with the power of fire, rhythm, movement, transformation and magic. Jewels, Caroleena, Neidra & Burke will ignite the evenings with their dazzling dance.
Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams
The music of Slambovia has been described as hillbilly-Floyd, folk-pop, alt-country roots-rock and surreal Americana. Their charismatic live performances and whimsical blend of styles are imbued with mystical stirrings and heartfelt idealism. Imagine a band that mixes 25 years of rock and roll with a dash of folk and a pinch of Americana into an enormous cauldron over a blazing fire.
The Galactic Cowboy Orchestra (GCO) is a unique and powerful musical ensemble that fuses an eclectic mix of original and traditional bluegrass-edged tunes with jazz and world/fusion elements. Hailing from Minneapolis, they play “newgrass art-rock” – think Chick Corea meets The Dixie Dregs meets A Prairie Home Companion. The mix ranges from highly accessible bluegrass tunes to extreme arrangements of East Indian ragas.
Featuring several former members of Memphis the Band, Gasoline Stove is a unique Americana roots revival band based in Chapel Hill. With hauntingly
beautiful storytelling, the gritty male vocals intertwine with their delicate female counterpart with gorgeous harmonies to round out the sound.
This is music of confession and celebration.
Hailed as one of the finest blues players in Australia, Geoff Achison’s catchy, intelligent songwriting features a healthy influx of reggae, funk, soul grooves and jazz inflection. He gets the true believers with his gruff, suitably soulful voice, and lets everybody else in with his winking wit. Legendary guitarist Jorma Kaukonen says, “Geoff is one of the finest blues guitarists I know, with a completely individual style.”
Gigi Dover is a soulful singer and a brilliant songwriter, blurring the lines of rock, R&B, country and jazz. Having grown up in North Carolina, her roots are evident in every facet of her music. Through imagery and melody, Dover weaves sonic warmth, southern mystique, charm and even a bit of humor into her music, delivering it with the passion, conviction and presence of a veteran rock chic. Gigi’s voice is at once sultry and steamy, yet as clear and powerful as a boisterous choir of southern angels.
Louisiana’s Gill Landry plays Southern gothic noir – an alternative soundtrack to the American nightmare. The former banjo/guitar player for Old Crow Medicine Show has a new sound with a steamy, almost sinister vibe all its own. His gruff, weary vocals and sharp lyrics are like shards of dark sunshine striking the surface to set off exhilarating musical sparks.
The Gospel Jubilators have been singing a capella gospel music for almost 30 years. Their highly jubilated takes on spiritual nuggets are both earthy and ornate. These elder statesmen entrance the audience with six-part harmonies, hand-clapping rhythms, and rollicking rethinkings of old hymns. Their amazing voices definitely don’t need an outdoor sound system to be heard a mile away!
The ultimate post-punk conundrum, somewhere in between soaring, atmospheric riffs and nuanced, delicate melodies, the band navigates extremes like a weathered mountain climber. Gray Young’s songs seethe with intensity and susceptibility, and the group’s largely instrumental style garners it comparisons with such greats as Explosions in the Sky and Sigur Ros. Unlike artists whose instrumentals are merely bolsters between hooks, Gray Young’s are a constant push and pull between calm and chaos, and every climactic swell bears the power of a riptide.
The Green Grass Cloggers, founded in 1971 in Greenville, NC, were inspired by traditional mountain-style clogging teams as well as older flatfoot and buck dancers. They developed an original, eclectic style unlike the traditional “big-set” mountain square dance figures, using choreography based on four-couple Western square dance figures in short energetic routines consciously designed for audience appeal. While the groups’ footwork is synchronized, as in precision clogging, their free-spirited performances include head-high kicks and other unconventional steps.
Singer/songwriter Greg Humphreys’ mad mix of stylistically diverse songs move from roots-pop and straight-up blues to country and bluegrass, using pop hooks and his soulful voice to showcase his spirit and sound. The Hobex and Dillon Fence frontman takes you on a musical journey that is disarming, personal and intimately engaging, with a well-known friend or two usually popping in for a visit.
Hobex makes oh-so-sweet soul music with a healthy dose of screaming guitars. Singer/guitarist Greg Humphreys assembled Hobex from the ashes of Dillon Fence, one of the biggest southeastern touring acts of the late ’80s and early ’90s. Inspired by Stax/Motown-era funk and soul artists, Hobex hit on a unique sound – song-based grooves seasoned with various folk, rock and roll, and British Invasion influences. A strong jazz and hip-hop sensibility helps take their swaggering sound over the top. Don’t miss their Sunday night performance where they’ll be joined by a great cast of special guests!
Hammer No More The Fingers
Hammer No More the Fingers is a Chapel Hill/Durham trio that writes catchy, edgy, off-kilter indie rock. Their energetic lo-fi sound is powerful and reckless while remaining tasteful and refined.
Harmute is a rustically upbeat four-piece indie pop/folk outfit hailing from Carrboro who spin stories about love, vampires, and ancient Greek wars.
Imagine a singer with the deep soul of Motown, a harmonica player who can graft Little Walter with Sugar Blue, and a songwriter with relaxed, compelling stories, and you have a glimpse of what Harper is about. Harper mixes the didgeridoo, an important part of his Australian Indigenous heritage, with infectious modern percussive rhythms. An inspiring, earthy pleasure, Harper and his bandmates concoct a fiery sound that blurs the lines between rock, folk, blues and soul.
Haw River Rounders
Chapel Hill’s Haw River Rounders play up-tempo juke joint jug music from the ’20 s and ’30s. They offer up a mix of rags, early swing, and jumping acoustic blues with a little Cajun and zydeco thrown in for extra spice. This is acoustic party music – just add your dancing shoes!
Hee Haw Nightmare
Hee Haw Nightmare plays old-time music with a punk rock edge, both musically and lyrically, never shying away from a terrifying old murder ballad with intensely raw energy. This hoedown will get raucous, so get ready!
Hindugrass fuses the folk and bluegrass styles of Appalachia with the classical and folk music of Northern India to create ragas punctuated as much by jaw harp as tablas. Based in Durham, their haunting and soaring sarod melodies intermingle with the sweet twang of the Smoky Mountains and a driving bedrock of percussion as they coalesce behind intriguing arrangements of everything from The Beatles to Eastern European folk dances.
Hobex makes oh-so-sweet soul music with a healthy dose of screaming guitars. Singer/guitarist Greg Humphreys (who also has a solo set at Shakori Hills) assembled Hobex from the ashes of Dillon Fence, one of the biggest southeastern touring acts of the late ’80s and early ’90s. Inspired by Stax/Motown era funk and soul artists, Hobex hit on a unique sound – song-based grooves seasoned with various folk, rock and roll, and British Invasion influences. A strong jazz and hip-hop sensibility helps take their swaggering sound over the top.
With themes ranging from rock to soul, blues to funk, Hollywood Red delivers their Funky Mountain Rock with a sound that is fresh yet familiar, progressive yet reflective, and completely original. 2004 brought the release of the self-titled, debut album from Hollywood Red, which has received substantial airplay and national media coverage. The band has their second release due out in late 2006 and looks to tour nationally in support of it. Hollywood Red features Woody Wood (guitar, vocals), Aaron Price (bass, vocals), and John Spurrier (drums).
Holy Ghost Tent Revival’s rhythmic riot features throttling acoustic guitars and horn rave-ups, conjuring a ragtag New Orleans street corner band gone south into the land of indie rock. Bursting out of Greensboro, they offer up tightly crafted gems with timeless melodies, great harmonies and an organic rush of joyful energy. Like a jug band in a jazz dancehall, their Dixieland hilarity and rock sensibilities add up to one thing – pure and wonderful dance music.
HoopDrum is composed of Carrboro, NC natives Julia â€œJewelsâ€ Hartsell and Scott Crews. Jewels is a hoopdancer and crafter who has taught across the country and internationally. Her mystical movements and water-like flow entrance inspire audiences. Scott Crews is a musician and teacher who has taught drumming to a wide variety of children and adults. Their performances always include stunning hoopdance, moving music and ear-to-ear smiles.
Forward-thinking roots rockers Hoots and Hellmouth offer up “new music for old souls” in a wildly intense live show that infuses their soulful, alt-folk sound with touches of bluegrass and gospel. Hailing from Philadelphia, they’re committed to celebrating a variety of styles while pushing their boundaries and exploring new sonic horizons. Don’t miss your chance to dance to their rollicking revelry revival!
As shantytowns, or “Hoovervilles,” sprang up across the American landscape during the Great Depression, there was much to lament. Yet the popular music of that era offers lasting inspiration even today. In 1997, John Bemis and Greg Hanson discovered a mutual love for this music. They picked up their guitars and blended their voices, and the musical duo, Hooverville, was born. Hooverville’s debut album, Lucky Rabbit’s Foot, showcased original songwriting and spare arrangements delivered through taut brother act-style harmonies. The band created lasting hits in the North Carolina music scene with songs like the murder ballad “Alston Lynn” and the tensely waltzing “Fairly Good Man.” Their songs have been covered by other recording artists and still see heavy rotation on WUNC Radio’s weekly Americana music program, Back Porch Music. With the addition of a rhythm section, Hooverville’s traditional sensibilities and vintage sounds have evolved into new Americana music territory. Classic country, bluegrass, blues, folk, and roots rock all find their way into the mix, along with a third voice and writing perspective, courtesy of upright bassist Paul Dowds. Completing the band’s sound, drummer Nathan Logan finesses the mood with tasteful dynamic intuition. Hooverville’s new album, Follow That Trail of Dust Back Home, spotlights the singing and writing talents of the band’s three lead vocalists, recalling other rootsy group efforts like The Band, The Flatlanders, and Uncle Tupelo. Produced by James Mathus (Elvis Costello, Buddy Guy), the new record rambles across the great map of American roots music, and follows that dusty trail back home.
Hot Politics is a Greensboro-based funk band with tight intertwining horn melodies crisscrossing over hard-driven grooves. They take the listener on a thrill ride as they tap into the heartbeat that drives all music – the groove.
Forged from the depths of the Deep Chatham Dance Party, Howie DeWitt is a neo-soul trio made up of members of Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band and McLaws Drive. Members include Ben Hite on keyboards and vocals, David Thornton on bass and Russell Harper on drums. Wear comfortable shoes because you won’t stay seated for this one!
HuDost’s unique wide-ranging style blends alternative World music with atmospheric, experimental sounds to create their own “Country and Eastern” fusion. They mix traditional Sufi, Bulgarian, Turkish and Arabic music with folk, pop, rock and Southern gospel to create a breathtaking combination of sonic moods. Hailing from Montreal and New York, their captivating live shows also include performance art, video and temple dance.
Hugh Masekela is the father of African jazz and is South Africa’s musical ambassador to the world. A worldwide superstar and renowned trumpeter with over 30 albums, his powerful blend of jazz, funk and afro-beat has mourned the tragedy of apartheid and rejoiced at its demise. In 1961, as part of the anti-apartheid campaign, Masekela was exiled to the United States. His trumpet and flugelhorn became instruments of resistance, a call to freedom and a celebration of the resilience of his people. The 1987 hit single “Bring Him Back Home” became an anthem for the movement to free Nelson Mandela. He has performed with artists ranging from Louis Armstrong and Paul Simon to Fela Kuti and The Byrds. After apartheid ended, Masekela returned to South Africa where he now lives.
The voice of Shawn Luby, who leads Humble Tripe, is rich like loam, its low tones gilded above by incandescent flashes. The quintet is a fog in the forest, with guitar floating over earthy percussion while strings and brass call out from the distance. Based in Durham, they combine modern Americana folk pop with the delicacy and movement found in their classical roots, embracing tender, plaintive melodies that waver between introspection and jubilance.
Boasting resounding lyrics, supreme originality and an unforgettable sound, Raleigh hip hop group Inflowential is composed of 2 MC’s, guitar, bass, a DJ, and a Beatbox extraordinaire in lieu of a drummer, who performs all of the percussion parts vocally through a mic. Inflowential slides comfortably across genre labels, including blues, rock and reggae, using their live instruments and jazzy undertones to create tracks with an energy and power that feels fresh.
From Africa to the Delta and back again, International Blues Express is a musical excursion exploring the powerful ties of blues music between Africa and America. Sidi Touré challenges his roots, crossing western folk and blues to play authentic West African music with modern guitar techniques. Fiddle and accordion player Cedric Watson’s strong vocals and eclectic take on Creole music reveal the blues as an intercontinental dialogue and eternally renewing resource.
A truly gifted and engaging blues performer, Ironing Board Sam’s powerfully
soulful voice and remarkable piano prowess remain undiminished half a
century after starting out from Rock Hill, SC. A hybrid between Little
Richard, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and Ray Charles, his long and storied
history includes inventing his own instruments, using a wind-up monkey as a
rhythm section, playing with flaming drummers, performing inside an
eight-foot tall jukebox, and playing an entire JazzFest set underwater in a
Isaac Akers began playing old-time fiddle in 2001 at the age of 7, going on to perform at MerleFest 2003 just after his 9th birthday. He’s won several youth fiddle competitions over the last three years, with a style influenced by master fiddlers including Shay Garriock, Joe Thrift, Mark Campbell and Rhys Jones.
Jaafar is a Middle Eastern jazz / Arabic funk fusion ensemble that originates from NC’s Triangle area. Fusing traditional Arabic music, classical Indian concepts of composition, North African rhythmic grooves, and pure American “old-school Funk,” they produce the unique soundscape that is Jaafar. Their music has a spiritual and meditative philosophy which exhibits a powerful beauty that’s both energetic and explosive while remaining subtly sensitive. The band is a collective of extremely talented musicians with a willingness to push themselves and their audience to unforeseen places.
Jace Everettâ€™s sly wit, mystery, sensuality, drop-dead charisma and musical substance boasts a modern yet timeless handling of Americaâ€™s roots music. Best known for writing â€œBad Things,â€ the theme to HBOâ€™s True Blood, this Indiana/Texas native pours his soul into his performances, lacing his teasingly dark rockabilly with a swampy, bluesy, country-tinged mojo.
Jack Maverick & His Wild Rebels
Chatham County’s own Telecaster/Lap-steel virtuoso Jack Maverick and his trio of Wild Rebels are an instrumental outfit, celebrating a time in American music that only remains in the grooves of dusty old hi-fi records. The untamed combination of thumpin’ upright bass, chunky acoustic guitar and in-the-pocket drums lay the rhythmic foundation. Their repertoire includes energetic renditions of twangy numbers from some of country music’s greatest pickers, coupled with the band’s softer side: the soothing steel guitar sounds of Hawaii.
The Jacob Jeffries Band burst out of south Florida in a piano-bashing frenzy of hook-filled rock and roll. With insightful lyrics and freewheeling youthful energy, their heartfelt originals are overflowing with sheer joy and unbridled enthusiasm. Their sunny melodies and penchant for pure pop essence create an infectious and refreshingly optimistic musical experience.
James Olin Oden is a Raleigh-based singer/songwriter of Celtic and Americana roots music who has developed a compelling rhythmic style that takes the listener straight to the vistas of Ireland and Scotland. With enchanting songs ranging from raucous singalongs and heart-rending ballads to foot-stomping jigs and reels, he covers the full scope of what Celtic music can offer.
Jason Harrod draws from the best traditions of American music to create a sound all his own, indulging his Southern and traditional folk influences alongside a contemporary sound and excellent songwriting. Sung in a rich, brooding tenor and underscored by inventive guitarwork, his songs about lost love, found joys, and spiritual longing have garnered him a loyal following across the country. Harrod uses his displaced country-boy nostalgia as a metaphor for his central theme of spiritual alienation.
A veritable troubadour, Jason Ringenberg has traveled and toured on his own and with his former band,Jason & The Scorchers,for 30 years He has maintained a prolific catalog, a stellar reputation as a wild live performer and an ability to change with the times and situations,one of them now being Ringenberg’s success with a younger set as Farmer Jason (also performing this weekend). He is in the Country Music Hall of Fame, and he changed the Nashville music scene for good. Much of what is considered the current “Americana” scene would be inconceivable without Jason Ringenberg.
Singer/songwriter Jeanne Jolly broke onto the music scene as the featured vocalist for Grammy Award-winning jazz trumpeter Chris Botti. A diverse, classically-trained vocalist, Jolly’s heavenly voice embodies the early belting power of Linda Ronstadt combined with the delicate lilt of Alison Krauss, with a straightforward style that belies an extraordinary musicality delivered with seeming ease. Born in North Carolina, she has performed with world-renowned symphonies and at venues including Carnegie Hall and the Monterey Jazz Festival, and she won NC Metro Magazine’s award for “Best Local Musician” in both 2010 and 2011.
Jennie Stearns is a classic American songwriter. By turns heartbreaking and hopeful, her songs are evocative, poignant and haunting. Quintessentially human. Her strong yet intimate vocal style and the vivid imagery portrayed by her lyrics gently draw the listener into her world. Despite the often somber mood, you’ll find yourself strangely at one with her perspective, akin to the intimate atmosphere of a late-night red-wine-confessional with a lifelong, much-loved friend.
Jeremy Lev is an emerging solo artist from Chapel Hill, NC. His band is a groove-based, eclectic pop trio infused with hints of classical, jazz, rock, and world music elements. Stylistically broad, Jeremy’s music is “crafted for those flying inches below the radar” (The Independent), and for those with diverse musical interests. Often compared to artists like Ben Harper and Jack Johnson for his warm vocals and positive vibe. Jeremy Lev creates music that favors the melody over the beat, southern France over southern Florida, and optimism over pessimism.
jerry & linda
Jill Andrews, formerly of the everybodyfields, is bringing her signature alt-country roots-rock sound back to Shakori Hills with her new solo project. Her songs are born from true-to-life experiences and have universal themes, reflecting her deep empathy and revealing her own vulnerabilities. The result is soul stirring, contemplative and focused: a story, a feeling, a song that warms you like a winter quilt â€“ or chills you to the bone.
Jim Avett grew up in a home full of music but it was after his retirement that he returned to music and recorded his first album of gospel songs with his children Bonnie, Scott and Seth. His shows are a combination of beloved country tunes, his original ballads and the earnest charm of a beloved storyteller honestly sharing his life and love of music. It’s like spending the evening on the front porch singing and talking with a good friend.
Singer/songwriter Jim Lauderdale is a Nashville treasure who helped lay out the blueprint for the Americana movement of the ’90s. He earned high critical marks for an eclectic series of albums that spanned hard country, slick pop, rootsy rock & roll, blues, folk, R&B, and bluegrass. After his success as one of Nashville’s most successful songwriters, Lauderdale has finally begun receiving more attention for his own records and concerts. Recent albums include collaborations with Ralph Stanley, Robert Hunter and Donna the Buffalo.
Born in the Dominican Republic, Joan Soriano plays steel string guitar Bachata with equal parts romance and grit. He blends together
Afro-Dominican sacred traditions and imparts his music with a down to earth spirit and Afro-infused rhythm that makes him a favorite among dancers. Drawing upon influences from Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, he creates gorgeous songs about love and heartache.
Joe Bell and his band the Stinging Blades have been cranking out soul and R&B throughout North Carolina since 1989. Their music is inspired by the spirits of Wilson Pickett, Tyrone Davis and Van Morrison. While their new material ventures towards funky Southern-fried rock, Bell says, “The spirit of R&B certainly pervades everything we do.”
Joe Thompson is one of the most historically important American traditional performers active today. Representing a traditional Afro-American country fiddling that has now all but vanished, Thompson is a powerful vocalist and a vital, dynamic fiddler with a distinctive short bow action that brings rare life to a good selection of old square dance tunes.
Neo-honky tonker John Anderson doesn’t just ride the crest of new country, he harkens back to its more traditional roots, going between rocking country, honky tonk, and soulful ballads. His concerts are full of twangy rubble raisers and moving, yearning ballads. He’s able to bridge the gap between old and new, being faithful to both while fluidly combining them. From up-tempo honky-tonk songs to sentimental, quasi-religious tearjearkers, this is contemporary country at top form.
Named in honor of the legendary abolitionist, John Brown’s Body has an organic roots reggae sound that’s both reverent and revolutionary. Based in Ithaca, NY, their lyrics speak of spiritual and social uplift with gorgeously melodic vocal hooks and a rhythmic style based on the classic reggae of the mid-’70s. But this is “Future Roots Music”, where elements of dub, electronic, funk, ska, hip-hop, and dubstep are peppered throughout their soothing sound.
Singer/songwriter/guitarist John Howie, Jr., former frontman for North Carolina honky-tonk heroes Two Dollar Pistols, keeps his rustic, burning voice on full display with his new outfit the Rosewood Bluff. Playing earnest songs from the heart, they put a soulful sheen on a sound that’s more country than alt.
John Jorgenson Quintet
Southern California native John Jorgenson is a three-time winner of the Academy of Country Music award for Guitarist of the Year. He’s played with everyone from Bob Dylan and Elton John to Roy Orbison and Bonnie Raitt, alongside forming the seminal country-rock Desert Rose Band. Known as one of the pioneers of the American gypsy jazz movement, his dazzling fretwork and sizzling clarinet playing abound. Whether performing his own compositions or classic standards, his music is equally romantic and ecstatic, with an abundance of virtuosity and soul.
John Saylor plays music in a style he’s dubbed “Neo-Post-Alt-Folk.” He blends elements of lyrically driven tunefulness with emotional depth and frequent bits of cerebral humor, creating a tasty stew of sonic delight for head and soul. He has been hailed as “The next Johnny Cash” by Grammy winning producer Rob Fraboni, “One of America’s greatest living songwriters” by the Internet, “King of Neo-Post-Alt-Folk” by himself, and “An American Treasure” by Chapel Hill, NC’s Temple Ball Gallery.
John Specker is an original folk stylist, playing the fiddle and singing with stunning intensity. Known as the “Father of the Ithaca Sound,” Specker’s influence is legendary.
Johnny Burke & the Deltas
Johnny Burke & The Deltas are a raw, stripped down powder keg of musical energy from Chapel Hill. Priding themselves on their diversity of styles, they fly through funk, blues, rockabilly, soul, bossa nova, psychedelic rock, rag and roots reggae dub. The Deltas are an instrumental band – always soulful and groovin’, they focus exclusively on the music with no words to get in the way.
Jon Shain Trio
Combining Piedmont blues with bluegrass, swing, folk and ragtime, singer/songwriter Jon Shain crosses rich musical terrain, taking us on a breezy, open-air train ride through the history of American music. His approach is equal parts humorous, love struck and world-weary, all with a homespun flair. Shain’s musical partners include John Currie on dobro and guitar, Bill Newton on harmonica and FJ Ventre on upright bass.
Jonathan Byrd Band
Jonathan Byrd doesn’t sing songs; he sings truth. The Chapel Hill, NC native plays delightful, substantive songs that are rich with imagery and textures of influences from Appalachian, country, early American balladry, modern atmospheric Mideastern, urban and old timey folk music. Tom Paxton said, “What a treat to hear someone so deeply rooted in tradition, yet growing in his own beautiful way.” His roots are always evident in his simple, poetic storytelling and classic flatpick guitar style.
Jonathan Scales is to steel pans what Bela Fleck is to the banjo – an uber innovator. The steel pan is a gorgeous instrument born in the Caribbean nation of Trinidad & Tobago. Scales, based in Asheville, is a classically trained composer turned steel pan maestro who takes influences from everyone from Igor Stravinsky to Kanye West as a basis for his mind-bending jazz/rock compositions. The Fourchestra is a true mix of jazz edge and classical sensibility.
Jose Conde y Ola Fresca
Jose Conde’s powerfully danceable music shimmies between such diverse sounds as old school funk, Latin music, NYC dance beats, Afrobeat, jazz, reggae, New Orleans swamp-funk, and jamband ballads. He breaks the mold by writing his own arrangements, so both the charts and production grow organically from the lyrics, which feature plenty of humor alongside the substance. Conde glides effortlessly between Latin and American storyteller traditions, sliding poetically from universal themes of nature’s beauty to personal expressions of romanticism.
Joy Kills Sorrow
With its bold new brand of acoustic music, Joy Kills Sorrow pushes right through the envelope and out the other side. The Boston-based stringband brings a decidedly modern sensibility to an old-world sound, channeling the prodigious talents of its individual members into elegant arrangements and well-crafted songs. While the group pays due homage to its Bluegrass rootsâ€”its name is taken from WJKS, a radio station that broadcasted the Monroe brothersâ€™ show in the 1930sâ€”the band truly excels in its rich and textured treatment of more contemporary material.
Former Jennyanykind frontman Mark Holland leads the rock group Jule Brown, whose surreal country folk blues are so sinister it could scare the guy who scared Robert Johnson. This is the real roots deal, with a sound and style reminiscent of the early masters, but containing elements of jazz, world music, and today’s indie rock and jam scenes.
Acoustic funk-popsters Jump (formerly known as Jump, Little Children) make uniquely beautiful music. Ranging from ragged Irish indie folk to up-front alternative sounds, they ply an ornate, highly stylized music with twisting song structures and soaring vocals. They craft pure pieces of pop with a deep sense of melodic and lyrical subtlety, drawing on everything from Delta blues to straight up power rock – music with big sound and bold melodies. Their creations are blissfully eclectic, extraordinarily musical, elegantly simple, deliriously earnest, hopeful, smart and engaging.
From the rhythmic, back-porch simplicity of Mississippi and Piedmont Blues to the smoky electric cries of Chicago Blues, Justin Johnson’s performances pay homage to a range of diverse traditions while exploring new and exciting elements of the music. Johnson takes an unorthodox approach, blending techniques, tones, rhythms and harmonies from multiple styles and finding the soulful common ground that they share. The results are sincere and soulful explorations that wax between playful romps, hauntingly pensive dreamscapes, and gritty, driving blues
Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Justin Robinson takes up the challenge of making modern music using rootsy folk instruments such as acoustic guitar, banjo and fiddle, with stunning results a far cry from his Grammy-winning work with Carolina Chocolate Drops. This melodically adventurous quartet fills their dynamic sound with imaginative lyrics and absurdist humor, serving up evocative songs that retain a lightness of step even at their most intense.
Justin Townes Earle
Justin Townes Earle comes from good stock – his father, legendary singer/songwriter Steve Earle, must have taught him well. He melds the qualities of a short story with the lyrical acuity of excellent songs, celebrating grand Southern traditions while using a base of acoustic blues and pre-war folk to build his own brand of American roots music. Hailing from Nashville, his honest voice perfectly reinforces his searing melodies and provocative lyrics.
Durham-based Kamara Thomas writes astro-religious songspells and hypnotic musical tales culled from ancient songlines and dreamtimes. Channeling dusty Americana, rootsy folk and classic rock, she spins hazy narrative paeans to America’s epic landscape and mythic past. Her bewitching live performances incorporate intricate vocal harmonies, Native American shamanism, cosmic trance-inducing jams, mountain songs and spellbinding stories of the fabled Old West.
Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe
A highly energized funk machine, the Tiny Universe brings a dynamic sound that defies categorization. Led by former Lenny Kravitz and Greyboy Allstars saxman Denson, their sound is at once R&B, jazz, hip hop, afrobeat, funk and the next dimension of soul. A multigenre mix of deeply grooving music making rhythm and emotions relative. The band features Denson on vocals, sax and flute, Chris Littlefield on trumpet, Brian Jordan on guitar, David Veith on keyboards, Ron Johnson on bass and John Staten on drums. Denson toured and recorded with Lenny Kravitz on his first three hit-filled albums, released several acoustic jazz records, and paired with DJ Greyboy to form the acid jazz groove band Greyboy Allstars. Formed in 1998, his latest and greatest project is Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, and they’ve already earned a reputation as “kings of the unstoppable all-night show.”
Katharine Whalen & The Fascinators
Katharine Whalen’s unique and soulful voice led the charge of the roaring nineties swing, hot jazz and jump blues band Squirrel Nut Zippers. They burst out of Chapel Hill, NC and sold over a million albums while playing everywhere from Letterman to the White House. These days, her inner jazz chanteuse frequently bumps up against modern electronic effects and percolating rhythms, though always overlaid with impeccable popcraft and an intimate, affecting vibe. Just when you think you’ve got her figured out, she shifts direction. But weâ€™d gladly follow her lovely, quirky singing style anywhere. Her Thursday set at Shakori Hills is an intimate acoustic performance, and the Friday show is an electric dance party!
Katherine Whalen & Hooverville
One night last fall Katherine Whalen and Hooverville got together in Whalen’s kitchen and scribbled lyrics of songs by Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Loretta Lynn and Bruce Springsteen. Playing and writing together, they found something wholly different from any of their previous projects. Whether with the Squirrel Nut Zippers or her own Jazz Squad, Katherine Whalen has been a unique and soulful voice not only locally but internationally. Considered one of the best country bands in the Triangle, Hooverville showcases taut harmonies and wide-ranging musical instrumentation. Together, Katherine Whalen and Hooverville go beyond jazz and country into new blends of vintage Americana music.
Katherine Whalen and the Jazz Squad
Keith Frank & The Soileau Zydeco Band
Louisiana-based accordionist Keith Frank combines Creole and Cajun sounds with massive elements of funk and soul, putting his own singular spin on genuine American roots music and transforming it into a modern day dance party. Adding elements of R&B, blues, pop, rock, reggae, and even hip hop, the sonic gumbo he cooks up is known as “nouveau zydeco,” and no one does it better. Keith Frank is forging his own urbanized and infectiously danceable style, with legendary shows that unleash an uninterrupted flow of positive, uplifting music. Together with the Soileau Zydeco Band, he’s gained critical acclaim on the international festival circuit.
Keith Secola & Wild Band of Indians combine rock and roll with Native American sensibilities, adding flutes, indigenous drums, and native chants to their musical vision. Their Tempe, AZ-based sound is a unique blend of folk, rock, reggae and world beat – what he calls Native Americana music – with an ample dose of humor and style. He has a special way of getting the audience involved in the music and the stories. An inspirational eclectic soundscape is their goal, with hopeful lyrics aiming for a unified world.
The music of Kelley and the Cowboys, based in Mt. Airy, NC, is a soulful trip through honky-tonk days gone by. With the powerful voice of Kelley Breiding and the rich melodies of the Cowboys, their hypnotic, timeless sound returns to the early country roots of Patsy Cline and Hank Williams.
Redefining Freedom is the performance name of Kimberly McCrae – poet, activist, singer, minister, musician, author and spoken word artist. Redefining Freedom seeks to bring enlightenment to social issues using her poetry as a vehicle to champion her causes. Her personal belief is, “If I have not positively influenced someone everywhere I’ve gone, I‘ve not functioned in my purpose.” She’s a prolific educator who will be presenting special workshops throughout the weekend. <em>Sat. – Grove, 11:30pm</em>
Singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Keller Williams teams up with Nashville’s beloved bluegrass family The Travelin’ McCourys to put a unique twist on Americana music’s long storytelling tradition. On his own, Williams’ music combines elements of bluegrass, rock, reggae, electronica and more. The Travelin’ McCourys consists of Rob McCoury on banjo, Ronnie McCoury on mandolin, Jason Carter on fiddle and Alan Bartram on bass. Rob and Ronnie are the sons of bluegrass legend Del McCoury and all 4 are Del’s backing band.
Led by Williams’ fearless creativity, the Travelin’ McCourys’ flawless playing and harmonizing meshes perfectly with his inventive songwriting to bring forth all the heart and heartache inspired by the genre. Their vibrant mix of originals and unexpected covers are boiling over with an infectious energy. Exploding with excitement and passion, this is string picking rooted in Americana’s heart.
Infectious, catchy, soul inde-pop with lyrical substance, Kellin Watson offers jazzy vocals and fluid songwriting. Imagine the high lonesome sound of appalachia roots meets the deep reaching feelings of oldschool soul and funk. In one word: Eargasmic. She grew up in the mountains of Western NC, but Watson has developed a musical style all her own, filling her melodies with soul, funk and pop. Catchy but three-dimensional, her music is undeniably listenable.
Kennebec plays summer day country-pop, laying steady grooves behind Troy Smith’s songs that still rustle with the comfort of his rural childhood. The Raleigh-based quartet gets its inspiration from the simple joy of playing together – howling ruefully one moment, gently intonating the next.
Formed in Ithaca, NY in 2010, Kin Ship plays rock and roll in the truest sense, offering up summery, reverb-laden folk-pop songs that bring together a range of influences and soundscapes into an arresting live performance. Drawing on influences ranging from Harry Nilsson to The Kinks and back again, Kin Ship is what you miss about your father’s record collection – a wistful escape to simpler times.
Hailing from the dogwood heavy hills of NC, super group Kooley High arrives on the scene with the mission to delight, electrify and ignite seas of listeners thirsty for something new from the world of hip hop. Since they began making music together in early 2007, the 6 independent members have been allowed and encouraged to let their own individual talents flourish, ensuring that the sounds coming out of the Kooley High music factory are one-of-a-kind.
The Kusun Ensemble is an extraordinary group of musicians and dancers from Ghana, West Africa. Founded by Nii Tettey Tetteh, the ensemble includes past and present members of The National Ballet and The Pan African Orchestra. Although rooted in traditional music, the group has developed a new brand of music and dance they have dubbed Nokoko. They have created innovative rhythms and dances by fusing bass and lead guitar with traditional Ghanaian instruments to produce an electrifying blend of jazz and African music. On a mission to share this new style of Ga music, the ensemble has been dazzling audiences in Ghana and around the world.
Lafcadio is a quartet out of Carrboro named after a Shel Silverstein story. Mixing Nick Drake-styled folk and Janis Joplin-flavored blues with local indie rock influences and undertones of country has led them to a distinct sound and infectious musical energy. Liz Ross is a sultry and powerful singer who can go from a swinging dance number with playful trills to a mellow Southwestern samba without batting an eye.
The vivid, largely acoustic, groove-driven indie pop of Boston’s Lake Street Dive is unlikely, infectious and naturally exhilarating. Pulling in familiar elements and irreverently scrambling and recombining them, these jazz-schooled, DIY-motivated and classically pop-obsessed songsters injects their catchy songs with an irresistible blend of abandon and precision.
Lakota John Locklear is a 14-year-old Native American (Lumbee/Lakota) guitar prodigy from Pembroke, NC. He blends traditional styles of Delta and Piedmont acoustic blues with bottleneck slide guitar and a mix of Chicago electric blues. His unique sound is influenced by his indigenous heritage, with his soulful voice augmented by harmonica and Native American flute.
It is a special time for Langhorne Slim as he is so proud to announce and present Be Set Free, his mighty third album being released by Kemado Records. One of the most endearing and standout qualities of Slimâ€™s live shows is the sureness that one is always entering a genuine gospel-like musical experience full of little miracles. Be Set Free has captured this charisma and spirit -the â€œhold your heartâ€ moments and â€œraise a drinkâ€ dance vibes shine throughout with lush string arrangements and the fine sonic talents of his band. Langhorneâ€™s stronger than ever vocals lead the journey blending his poetry through the beautiful chaos and bearing a wisdom that reflects a broken heart battling the perils of true hope.
Larry Keel and Natural Bridge
Flatpicking Guitar master Larry Keel is a dedicated force in preserving and creating American Mountain Music. Delivering powerful and honest performances, Keel and his 4-piece Bluegrass band Natural Bridge are a breath of fresh air in the traditional Bluegrass market of today, paying their deepest and dearest respects to the forefathers of Bluegrass who laid down the laws of how it should be played and sung- with joy, and from the heart. Larry Keel and Natural Bridge includes Larry Keel on guitar and vocals, Mark Schimick on mandolin and vocals, Andy Thorne on banjo and Jenny Keel on bass and vocals.
If you could take four girls from Appalachia, raise them on fiddle music, whiskey, and their Romanian grandmother’s costume box, the end result would be Las Gitanas. Las Gitanas is Alex Caton (fiddle, vocals), Cathy Monnes (fiddle, vocals), Sara Read (guitar, vocals) and Michaux Hood (accordian, banjo, vocals) with Spenser Lathop (drums) and Lewis Burrus (bass). These women play what they call “Gypsalachain” music; a blend of original tunes with traditional Old-Time, Hungarian, French, Cajun and Blues favorites.
Laura Blackley’s music is rich with a reverence for old-school blues and classic country, with a deep love of ghost stories and a touch of Appalachian soul. Her music is like a rock tumbled by a cool Appalachian stream, honed smooth, but with enough rough edges to give it character. Citing influences ranging from Johnny Cash and Patty Griffin to Hank Williams and Bessie Smith, her show promises to be a foray into the grittier side of American roots music, full of country heartbreak, sorrow-soaked blues and backwater gospel sounds.
Laura Reed & Deep Pocket
Laura Reed & Deep Pocket use music as a medium for positive change, filling the stage with captivating, soul shaking, conscious music. This Boone, NC outfit slides between high-energy blues & funk, laid back R&B and down-tempo soul, with Laura’s roots as a blues/soul singer from South Africa adding a global seasoning to her unique sound and captivating stage presence.
Folk singer/songwriter Laura Thurston takes multi-instrumentalism to the next level by playing four instruments at the same time in her original songs. Armed with a guitar, harmonica, tambourine and suitcase kick drum, Thurston is a one-woman band. Add the Wildwood Flyers to the equation and you get a full band with a soaring spirit of soul, bluegrass, Americana and folk. Based in Charleston, SC, her sweet melodies and enchantingly warm voice will lift your heart.
Piedmont-based singer/songwriter Laurelyn Dossett’s hauntingly beautiful voice first came to prominence with Polecat Creek, the band she co-founded in 1997. Her songs are rooted in local folk music customs but cross-pollinated with classical music and the theater to reflect the wide range of stories in the region, both traditional and contemporary. Look for her to debut a song cycle with the North Carolina Symphony this fall! Photo by Hal Schnee<em>. Fri. – Grove, 3:30pm. Songwriting workshop on the <em>Front Porch, Saturday 2pm</em>
Bursting out of Boulder, CO in 1989, the revved-up revelers of the legendary Leftover Salmon are the originators of “Polyethnic Cajun slamgrass” – their own style of music that blends bluegrass, rock, country and blues into one of the most exciting concert experiences to ever hit the road. Their sound is simultaneously muscular, subtle, technically sharp and creatively overflowing with an “anything goes” attitude brimming with earnest joy. Their live shows are fluid, loose-limbed, rootsy and daring affairs that you definitely do not want to miss. Shakori Hills is thrilled to fill the bill with the real deal bluegrasskickers of Leftover Salmon!
The Letter Jackets play shimmering pop drenched in reverb and harmonies to produce a sound reminiscent of eras gone by. Driven by high-powered guitar melodies and lofty vocals, they’re the electric alter-ego of Chatham County Line banjoist Chandler Holt and mandolinist John Teer. Based in Durham, they offer up a solid Americana pop sound bursting with high-octane energy.
New Orleans-based cellist/banjoist Leyla McCalla offers up originals alongside jazz standards and the occasional Haitian folk song, all with an exquisite sense of taste and a captivating voice. McCalla has worked as an accompanist for artists including Mos Def, and is currently composing music for, and giving voice to, the poetry of Langston Hughes. She recently began working with the Music Maker Relief Foundation in their Next Generation program on the urging of her enthusiastic admirers Taj Mahal and the Carolina Chocolate Drops. <em>Sat. – Cabaret, 6:15pm. Sun. – Meadow, 11am.</em>
Mike “Lightnin'” Wells plays and sings traditional music using a variety of acoustic instruments, including the guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele and harmonica. Variety is a trademark of Wells’ musical style and he attempts to educate as well as entertain. A veritable bottomless pit of songs and techniques, a Lightnin’ Wells performance is a spirited, exciting interpretation of folk blues classics, quirky songs, and occasional originals.
lil’ MaQ and the TEENSTERS
North Carolina’s youngest R&B singer and rapper, 13-year old Lil’MaQ has been performing on tour throughout North Carolina. It’s not just his music, but the whole show that captivates the crowds. A natural born entertainer, everyone’s first reaction when they witness him perform is WOW!
LiLa is a six-piece “hip-folk” band out of Durham uniting an exciting mix of styles into one infectious and dynamic act. A group that uses hip-hop to motivate and accentuate the qualities of the other genres they love, LiLa shies from no sound, from folk to rock, pop to reggae and way beyond. Unique and beautiful, their sound is so brightly lit that LiLa is not on the radar; the radar is on LiLa.
Little Green Chairs
Hailing from Athens, GA, Little Green Chairs uses a combination of funk, rock-fusion, jazz, reggae and non-conventional improvisational elements to create their own distinct sound. Incorporating socially conscious lyrics and deep, deep grooves, the sound is designed to get people dancing. The result is a “70’s radio”-style hybrid that is not easily defined – the music moves and so does the crowd.
Lynda Dawson (from The Kickin Grass Band) and Sally Mullikin (from Justin Robinson & the Mary Annettes) are on an adventure to make homemade music that both kids and adults love to sing, play and move their feet to. Whether an old-time favorite or sing-along original, each Little Root song is made from scratch, straight off the back porch. Their traditional instrumentation and ear-catching harmonies leave space for singing and dancing along. This is music the whole family can enjoy.
Liz Moudy, aka Young Liz, is a Triangle-based singer/songwriter whose fusion of folk-rock and indie-Americana creates a unique and enchanting vocal style. Her sheer exuberance in her amazing live performances is a joy to behold.
Chapel Hill’s Lizzy Ross Band delivers exuberant Americana with a huge dose of soul. Voted Carolinas’ Best Rock Female in 2011, Ross is a sultry and powerful singer who blends the jazzy and bluesy flavors of Janis Joplin and Grace Potter to create a smooth and soulful sound. Her shrewdly personal lyrics are woven into sophisticated arrangements that include touches of country and ’60s roots rock with a dash of Motown.
Based in Durham, Loamlands features Kym Register and Will Hackney from local indie folk icons Midtown Dickens. Their new collaborative project captures the uniquely sweet melodies and poignant songwriting for which they’re renowned.
The Locklear Bluegrass Family comes from Maxton and Pembroke, NC. A true family band with many years of experience in bluegrass music, they’re made up of James Locklear on guitar, his wife Margaret, their son James Jr., their daughter Tammy and Mr. Less Norman Locklear.
Locklear Bluegrass Family
The Locklear Bluegrass Family comes from Maxton and Pembroke, North Carolina. A true family band with many years of experience in bluegrass music, they’re made up of James Locklear on guitar, his wife Margaret, their son James Jr., their daughter Tammy and Mr. Less Norman Locklear.
Locos Por Juana is a Latin urban orchestra from Miami whose wide-ranging musical approach draws from tropical styles such as reggae, cumbia, and salsa as well as urban styles such as hip-hop, rock, and Latin alternative. This burning, rapid-fire multicultural ensemble heats up to a high-energy hyperactive sizzle sure to get you moving. Their biting social commentary integrates a message of unity and their philosophy of “One Sound.”
Locust Honey, hailing from Swannanoa, NC, blend sweet harmonies with raging old-time fiddle tunes to take the concept of a “girl band” to a different level. Using various combinations of fiddle, banjo, guitar, and bass, they each contribute a different style to create their own unique blend of danceable music. The three women combine their interests and experiences to generate a collective sound of blues, old-time, honky tonk, and old country music.
Lonesome Heart is an exciting new collaboration between banjo virtuoso Stan Brown and multi-instrumentalist Tommy Edwards, both of the Bluegrass Experience. Joining on vocals is LaNelle Davis from the Shelby’s and Big Medicine, one of the area’s most popular female vocalists. Rounding out the quartet is talented guitarist and singer Ben Runkle of the Leroy Savage Group. The result is fresh but traditional sounding bluegrass that features the four singers in a variety of combinations performing originals alongside classic bluegrass, folk and country tunes. Heartfelt solos, great harmonies and powerful picking – that’s Lonesome Heart!
The Lonesome Sisters are known for their hard hitting high harmonies and their love of singing about tragedy and heartache in all its forms. They sing traditional mountain, Appalachian and old-time country songs, mixed with early bluegrass, gospel, a cappella ballads, originals and more. Their show features bell-clear vocals and stirring harmonies from Debra Clifford and Sarah Hawker, niece of master traditional vocalist Ginny Hawker. Anyone who is a fan of wonderful harmony singing and well-written songs will truly enjoy the work of the Lonesome Sisters.
Chapel Hill’s Lost in the Trees plays intensely lush orchestral indie pop with gorgeous textures and symphonic grandeur. This is melodic chamber-pop that’s as musically ambitious as it is lyrically precious, with a big, sweeping sound that somehow remains intimate and folksy. Seductively scored with swirling strings underpinned by trip-hop beats, they mix a love of classical music with all the modern glory of 21st century pop. A truly cinematic musical endeavor.
Louise Kessel Stories
In Louise’s delightful stories you might hear seeds sprouting, rivers murmuring, or frogs playing the fiddle. You might meet a mouse poet, a Japanese kite-maker, or an old woman who can hear the corn singing. Children, parents and unaccompanied adults all welcome!
The incredibly polished yet wholly organic sound of folk rockers Lucy
Michelle & The Velvet Lapelles contains a pinch of mountain gypsy and a
dash of psychedelia. They orchestrate complex, lush arrangements filled
with scorching yet whimsical lyrics, hauntingly beautiful melodies and gorgeous harmonies. Coalesced in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, there is a rusted brilliance that comes out of their rural world.
Romanian gypsy melodies, punk frenzy, salty tangos, hard rocking klezmer, haunting Balkan harmony, hip-hop beats and Appalachian fiddle are all eaten and spit out by three violins, resophonic guitar, bullhorn harmonica and guitarron. There’s a fine line between gypsy music and punk rock, and the Luminescent Orchestrii falls off it every show. They play renditions of Appalachian and Gypsy tunes that run from lively and infectious to deeply melancholy. The band stomps the stage, thumps their strings and saws into their instruments. Their richly arranged musical adventures will make you dance, kiss and scream.
Lunch Money began in 2003 when singer/guitarist Molly Ledford decided to try her hand at bringing the live music experience to young audiences. She enlisted Jay Barry (drums) and multi-instrumentalist J.P. Stephens (bass, mandolin, harmonica) to form Lunch Money, the name chosen to honor that first taste of childhood independence and power. The band soon accumulated songs about such things as wishing for a pet dog, getting up the nerve to ride a roller coaster, and twirling around in rain and sun beneath an umbrella. Lunch Money delivers a high-energy show that aims to get children and their parents dancing, thinking and laughing.
Firebrand country singer Lydia Loveless combines the honky-tonk sound and style of classic country stars like Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline with the no-quarter attitude and spunk of punk rock divas. Though just 21 years old, Lydia Loveless has the songwriting soul of someone twice her age and a voice to die for. Blessed with blast-it-to-the-back-of-the-room vocal chords, this Columbus, OH native is much more than the sum of her influences. Her writing and singing talents are in a class all their own.
Lynn Blakey’s impassioned vocals and inspired songwriting have illuminated
both the beloved pop-rockers Glory Fountain and the harmony-driven all-girl
super-group Tres Chicas (with Caitlin Cary and Tonya Lamm). Her new songs
are straightforward, soulful, melodic epiphanies that surge and swim in the
waters of love, living, and loss, and are supported by her husband Ecki
Heins, who lends sympathetic harmonies and sweeping fiddle lines.
Macavine Hayes pumps out loping juke blues, creating and preserving this American musical art each time he plays. Describing his childhood, he says, “There was always something to do down on the farm, we listened to the radio and got up on the back porch and played the music of Chuck Berry and Jimmy Reed.” In the 1960s he met Guitar Gabriel, who “taught me how to experience the road, play at juke joints and lay a hat down. Gabe was a free spirit and taught me that you can go anywhere you want to go.”
Asheville’s Mad Tea thumps out garage pop and assorted whatnots through a sonic palate of juke joint guitars, one-man-band drums, maracas and sweet harmonies. They believe in the basics of rock ‘n’ roll – a driving beat, a catchy melody, a 3-minute song. Formerly known as Mad Tea Party, Krekel and Ami are back to get you dancing again, so don’t miss their rollicking rockabilly return to Shakori Hills!
Known for their fusion of musical styles, The Major Sevens’ gorgeous old-school vibe draws from the roots of bluegrass and folk music while adding heavy elements of rock-n-roll, blues and jazz. Hailing from Chapel Hill, their enigmatic sound – brimming with graceful harmonies and thought-provoking lyrics – is based in the acoustic past while surging forward into an electrified future.
Born and raised in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Malcolm Holcombe is an acclaimed singer/songwriter/musician in the insurgent country/folk vein. Holcombe’s album “A Hundred Lies”(Hip-O/Universal) received a four star review in Rolling Stone by music editor David Fricke, and received accolades from USA Today, No Depression, and Dirty Linen as well as international press. His moody poetry, country blues guitar and rumbling baritone has garnered comparisons to notable musicians such as Tom Waits and John Prine. He has also earned raves from such Nashville notables as Lucinda Williams. Malcolm has toured nationally with Shelby Lynne and opened for artists such as Richard Thompson, Merle Haggard and Wilco.
Raised in Mali, Africa into a musical lineage going back seven centuries, Mamadou Diabate plays a 21-stringed instrument called a kora. His passionate songs feature sparkling technique and soulful precision, fresh with melodic complexity, with compelling rhythmic grooves carrying the listener on an adventure that is exotic yet somehow familiar. His set at the Shakori Hills Spring ’09 festival will be a scintillating solo performance.
Close your eyes and let Mamar Kassey’s music transport you into the heart of modern Niger. Their music is a wonderful combination of traditional and modern sounds that is at once beautifully authentic and completely original. The instrumentation is just right — flute, bass, molo and komsa (two- and three-stringed lutes), calabash, chorus and contigui (single-stringed lutes), kalangou (hand drum), and guitar. There are soulful vocals as well. Afro-pop is at its best in the hands of Mamar Kassey and his band. (From calabashmusic.com.)
Carrboro folk-Americana duo Mandolin Orange combine guitar, violin and mandolin with alluring lyrics and seamless harmonies, reflecting the influence of traditional music on their contemporary style. The duo’s voices and instruments fit alongside each other like Johnny and June Carter Cash and embody the same backwoods lovebirds aesthetic. Their influences range from Cole Porter to Townes Van Zandt but their sound is something charming and all its own.
Mariachi Los Galleros
Mariachi Los Galleros, hailing from San Antonio, represents the highest quality entertainment in Mariachi music, the traditional celebratory romantic dance music of Mexico. Always dressed in their elegant and traditional Traje de Charro, they’ve entertained and dazzled audiences throughout Mexico and the United States.
Martha and the Moodswingers
Martha & the Moodswingers are a swing and jump blues band that create a unique groove based on jump, jive, and jazz from the 1930’s and 40’s. You’ll love to boogie to the scatty three-part vocals, lyrical horns, and funky beat of this energetic, elegant ensemble. Martha Bassett will also play acoustic sets in the coffee house Saturday evening at 7:00 and Sunday morning at 12:30, where her quartet will mix it up with southern swing and cocktail country.
North Carolinians have known Martha’s music for some time now, but in the past couple of years, she’s been finding a new audience throughout the southeast. Martha’s sweet voice is supported by a strong groove resulting in sultry southern swing, or cocktail country if you prefer. Although known for their ability to infuse jazz, rock, country, and traditional standards into the live shows, it is their original music that fans appreciate most.
Mary Johnson Rockers
Mary Johnson Rockers (yup, thatâ€™s her name!) inspires a porch-swing summit of folk and introspective country. Hailing from Carrboro, NC, hers is a voice that’s pretty without being too pretty, familiar but never humdrum, and gutty at just the right times.
Mary Lorson & Saint Low
Featuring a jazzy feel complete with funkadelic vibes and smooth pop hooks, Mary Lorson and Saint Low offer a pop-noir, groove-loving take on the confessional pop song. Featuring her dark and enchanting voice, she renders messy complexities simple but never banal. Lorson was the lead singer and guitarist in the alt-rock-pop band Madder Rose before creating Saint Low in 2000. Her band includes vocalist Jennie Stearns, violinist Joe Myer, pianist Michael Stark, bassist Stahl Caso and drummer Zaun Marshburn.
Mason’s Apron is a Triangle-based acoustic supergroup featuring Andrew Marlin from Mandolin Orange, Miles Andrews from Big Fat Gap, and Jeff Stickley from Hammer No More the Fingers. They’re putting their own indelible stamp on traditional roots music and creating a unique and upbeat version of Americana jam music.
Matt “Mojo” Tedder, a 13-year old blues guitarist and songwriter from
Weatherford, TX boasts skills far surpassing what you would expect from a
young prodigy. He plays in the fiery passioned style of the axemen who
inspired him – B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jeff Beck –
and boasts a resume already brimming with prestigious gigs.
McCarthy Trenching is the alternative country-rock project of Omaha-based Dan McCarthy. He plays tear-in-beer waltzes, anthemic songs, and restless tunes of longing. He’s methodical and deliberate – the man takes his time, and it’s a real treat to hear him mosey his way through a story.
Durham’s Megafaun splices together different strands of sounds, from tape manipulated hoedowns to banjo-and-white-noise-laced epics to rural barbershop doo-wop. Focusing on a wide palette of instrumentation, but always coming back to their soaring three-part harmonies, they neatly balance the old-time rigors of country and gospel with the free-floating experimentation of rock, jazz and improvised music.
Melville Toast is an NC-based rock & roll/R&B band which evolved out of the Solecrackers, who released seven albums from 1991-2005. Melville Toast churns out gut-wrenching, honest, fun music that’s sure to grab you and shake your foundations. Band members include Mike “Woody” Hartley on guitar & keys, Craig “Kracker” Pannell on bass & keys, and Count Beat on drums.
Memphis the Band
Rough and raunchy garage roots-rock meets blues-funk and punk-country, Chapel Hill, NC’s Memphis the Band conveys a wide range of stories and emotions based on Southern life and good times. Adding in dashes of folk, jazz, rockabilly and psychedelic, they play gut bucket thump and twang – ragged beauty with a rough-hewn soul side.
Luscious, original and sassy, Menage delivers a contagious mix of soul, swing, country and blues. The band features beautiful three-part harmonies and a sharp visual style complimenting their energetic originals. Shimmering, jangly and always fabulous, the Asheville, NC natives are pioneering the new “mountain pop” sound. They’ll take you to the ballroom, the dirt road and the sunny steamboat – they will steal your poor heart.
North Carolinaâ€™s Michael Holland embodies a true independent American spirit. His music is a unique and melodic mixture of timeless Southern musical forms, including acoustic country, folk, bluegrass, honky tonk, old time string band, blues and gospel, led throughout by his warm and haunting voice. Based in tradition, yet modern in its translation, he’s inspired by the wellspring of American music and the rhythms of everyday life to create an original and emotional musical experience.
Michael Hurley’s music is often coined as “outsider folk” and he’s been called “the last unreconstructed folkie-shaman in America.” He mines the roots of American music, delivering warm and heartfelt original songs with an earthy twang. His music draws from the wealth of old American folk styles like country blues, bluegrass, and country. His songwriting tends to switch from the serious to the satirical at the drop of a hat, sometimes right in the middle of a song. Hurley is truly one of the last insiders keeping alive the traditions of the folk troubadour.
Michael Jacobs is an award-winning contemporary Native American recording artist, and his music is a compelling mixture of Native American, roots rock, pop, and folk. His songs don’t just address Native American issues – they address human issues: peace, justice, suffering, the environment, relationships, personal responsibility, and wholeness.
Midtown Dickens is a quartet of experienced yet ramshackle players and friends playing their unrefined brand of punk-folk that that draws from old-time, bluegrass and the anti-folk minimalism of the Pacific Northwest. They share instruments like the banjo, accordion, musical saw, trumpet, trombone, guitar, drums, mandolin, upright bass, harmonica, glockenspiel, spoons and whatever else makes an interesting sound!
The Mighty Sanfordaires
This well-known family gospel group from Sanford, NC was founded by the late Eddie Williams and his four sons in 1967. The brothers have expanded into a 7-piece group made up of a vocal quartet and backup band. They’ve offered up the best of what traditional gospel music has to offer in concerts up and down the East Coast.
The Mighty Wonders
Originally formed in Winston-Salem, The Mighty Wonders have a career in
gospel singing dating back to the late 1950’s. In the 21st century, The
‘New’ Mighty Wonders have changed personnel but are still performing and
recording in the soaring sacred style that inspired them.
Mike & Ruthy (from The Mammals)
Mike and Ruthy, formerly of alt-folk darlings The Mammals, are a songwriting, harmonizing, banjo and fiddle-slinging couple from the Hudson Valley, NY area that have been described as literate, political, organic, and inspired. They play gorgeous, mellow, rootsy acoustic music, juxtaposing intense themes with gentle sounds on their own striking vision of indie-tinged Americana. Fun, heartfelt, imaginative, and insightful!
Milagro Saints are a folk rock outfit from Raleigh who play a bright blend of sweet contemporary country and acoustic folk. This is roots rock Americana at its finest, with slow-burning poetic songwriting and lively improvisation. Their respectful melding of acoustic and electric sounds is quite brilliant, and their sublime vocal harmonies add real depth and tenderness to the mix. Milagro Saints have concocted a wonderfully vibrant but somehow mellow and expressive sound – rich, warm, and extremely fulfilling.
Milkweed is a quartet from Binghamton, NY’s tightly-knit folk scene featuring Driftwood fiddler Claire Byrne on mandolin. Four stringed instruments and great four-part vocal harmonies meld into a cohesive whole to illuminate the group’s intricately orchestrated original songs.
Rooted in the music of North Carolina’s mountains and Piedmont, Chapel Hill-based Mipso is a modern string trio bringing soul to folk, rock and roll to bluegrass, and something funky to Americana. They meld the rich acoustic traditions of the Appalachians into feel-good, catchy tunes that are sweetly surprising and occasionally irreverent. Mixing old-school bluegrass instrumentation and four-part harmonies with a healthy dose of 21st century energy, their traditional influences get a distinctly modern twist.
Miss Tess & The Bon Ton Parade
Armed with a rhythm guitar, a songbook full of down-on-your-luck lyrics, and a seemingly endless supply of fancy hats, Miss Tess is reimagining the golden age of jazz in 21st-century Boston. Her vocals soar and caress as she strums and picks her way through an array of styles, from ragtime and swing to country and blues. Accompanied by The Bon Ton Parade, a small ensemble that leans heavily on brushed drums and saxophone, the group taps into that laid-back cabaret sound that appeals to the vagabond lurking inside of all of us.
Missy Raines & The New Hip
A beloved figure in bluegrass and a pioneering force in acoustic music, Missy Raines is a 7-time winner of the Bass Player of the Year Award from the International Bluegrass Music Association. Hailing from Short Gap, WV, sheâ€™s played with Eddie Adcock, Uncle Josh Graves, Jesse McReynolds, Claire Lynch, Jim Hurst, and more. Sheâ€™s now stepping out to make a longtime genre-blurring dream come true: a fusing of bluegrass virtuosity, jazz-tinged groove, pop song-driven sensibility, and a hot and funky band.
The Monkey Charmers are a local NC band that originates in Durham, Chapel Hill, Calvander and Pittsboro. We came together to in late 2006 after several years of entering and winning the Shakori Hills Band competition in one configuration or another. We figured there must be some kind of magic happening so we decided to put our creative energy together, create a band and play a little swing music. Our music is up tempo, lively, uniquely fun and great for dancing. With 6 raucous members, great harmonies and lots of energy, it’s a show you won’t want to miss.
Mood Cultivation Project
So, what exactly happens when hillbillies listen to Hendrix? What is the end result of country boys on Coltrane? What if The Mothership landed in the mountains? It seems there would be no choice other than to combine these elements in a manner becoming one’s heritage. It was this philosophy that spawned the Mood Cultivation Project. When they hit the stage, they all jump on the plow and rip the soil beneath you. Dancing is impossible to avoid.
Moontee Sinquah, a member of the Hopi, Tewa, and Choctaw tribes, has multiple talents, he has been called a drum master, a hoop dancer, a rock-and-roller, a bluesman, a faithful interpreter of old traditions, and a sage innovator of modern traditions. He was recently awarded the title of 2008 World Champion Hoop Dancer. His new flute album is nominated for a Native American Music Award. Moontie is also famous for his his performances often include his 15 and 16 year old sons showing off their hoop dancing abilities as well.
Hailing from Raleigh, The Morning After is a soul-fueled Latin hybrid ensemble who seamlessly mix bluegrass, folk, blues, rock, jazz and funk elements into their vision. Picture a Motown sound from the 60’s with a Latin feel and you’ll start to get the notion. The band reunites former Barefoot Manner virtuosos Hank Smith on banjo and Shawn Chase on mandolin for memorable melodic interactions alongside singer Rachel Koontz’ stirring evocations of Aretha Franklin and Nina Simone.
Mosadi Music is orchestrated by poet/vocalist/bassist Shirlette Ammons, who revisits the consciousness of 60’s soul, the thump of 70’s funk and the roots of 90’s hip-hop. This NC outfit brings audiences together with thought-provoking messages soaked in heavily infectious grooves, with head-bobbing drumbeats lurking beneath screaming guitar riffs. Don’t miss their unique blend of poetry, jazz soundscapes, funk-heavy rock and international hip-hop.
Young Chapel Hill sextet Morning Brigade employs piano, violin, cello and softly cooed co-ed harmonies to add ornate touches to tunes that explode from delicate, restrained baroque folk into blasts of bustling orchestral indie rock. Their ambitious songs are nuanced yet hooky, creating an autumnal acoustic pop sound both epic and intimate. Lyrically and melodically complex, yet meticulously funky and insistently catchy, they straddle the line between simplistic structure and grandiose embellishments.
Heather McEntire (of post-punk veterans Bellafea) and Jenks Miller (of heavy-psych outfit Horseback) established Mount Moriah as an outlet for their mutual interest in classic American folk and rock music. Mount Moriah’s 2010 EP, The Letting Go, highlighted the band’s thematic range, moving from delicate acoustic narratives to a dark, fuzzed-out, soulful stomper in just three tracks. Mount Moriah’s long-awaited, self-titled debut (out this month) features guest instrumentation by members of St Vincent, Megafaun, and many other North Carolina-based musicians, and offers far-reaching and non-traditional takes on classic folk themes like devotion, tribulation, redemption, and an indelible sense of place
Mountain Heart is a bluegrass band filled with soulful gospel artists, playing traditional tunes with impeccable musicianship while imbuing their performances with rock and roll energy. This is slick, cosmopolitan bluegrass, swinging from quiet, introspective numbers to wild, uproarious jumpers. Their warm harmonies and bright picking appeals to fans of traditional and modern bluegrass alike.
Music From The Gathering Church is a collection of beloved sacred numbers performed by religious converts and critics alike. They offer up perfectly reverent revisions of traditional hymns in an inspired and accomplished mix of styles that maintain a delicate balance between the traditional and contemporary. Fresh new arrangements and skillful performances let these old hymns speak again for a new generation.
Music Maker Relief Foundation is a Hillsborough-based nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the true pioneers and forgotten heroes of Southern musical traditions gain recognition and meet their day-to-day needs. Music Maker’s aid and service programs improve the quality of recipients’ lives, affirming to these artists that we value the gifts of music and inspiration they’ve delivered to the world. Music Maker’s mission is to give back to the roots of American music. This spring Music Maker will bring Captain Luke, Ironing Board Sam, Ron Hunter, and Pat “Mother Blues” Cohen to Shakori Hills.
Nadine at the Cider Mill
Based out of nearby Carrboro, Nadine at the Cider Mill is a young, local string band inspired by the great old-time fiddlers and singers of the past and present. Jaso Phillips carries the rockin’ tunes on fiddle; Kelly Owensby brings it on guitar and provides richly beautiful singing; and Alec Clevenger knocks out solid rhythms on the banjo. Playing sweet melodies, intricate fiddle tunes, heart-felt songs, and awe-inspiring old-time dance tunes, Nadine will stir your soul and set your feet in motion.
Nawal’s original sound combines Indo-Arabian-Persian music with Bantu polyphonies, Sufi chants and the syncopated rhythms of the Indian Ocean. She originally comes from the Comoros Islands, also known as the “Islands of the Moon,” located in the Indian Ocean off the eastern coast of Africa. Exploring her mixed cultural roots, she creates her own musical approach based on the diverse character of life in her native islands, while never forgetting the global influences present in modern-day Europe.
New Clear Fusion
Blending rock, jazz, pop and funk with slinky vocals and horns, Buffalo, NY’s New Clear Fusion is a new generation of jam. Their tight, untamable sound features killer solos, mellow grooves, and funk-injected fusion for the inner mind’s eye.
Since 2003, Carrboro’s Diane Koistinen and Roberto Cofresi have performed as New Town Drunks accompanied by some of the best talent North Carolina has to offer. Currently the band includes Stu Cole from Squirrel Nut Zippers, Nathan Logan from Hooverville, Doug Norton from Bill Newton’s Big Blues Quartet, and Robo Jones from Sex Police. Their new vaudeville-flavored folk rock offers up wild and crazy, yet thoughtful, reflections on working-class living.
Originally created as a bluegrass band, Nickel Creek’s music has expanded to include Beatles-flavored psychedelia, left-of-center alt-rock, pop, modern folk, Celtic and more. Distinguished by their youth and eclectic taste, they’ve forged a new style, strutting their hot licks on soaring instrumentals and their graceful, heartfelt harmonies on lovely ballads. Elements of classical, jazz, gospel and rock and roll are fused alongside traditional roots music and progressive bluegrass in an endlessly rewarding and accessible show. The band features mandolin wizard Chris Thile, fiery flatpicking guitarist Sean Watkins, and his younger sister, the hauntingly sweet fiddler Sara Watkins, whose sparkling harmonies with her bandmates are at times chilling. They are joined by Mark Schatz on upright bass and the occasional tap dance. Any fan of acoustic music will instantly fall for Nickel Creek.
Nikki Meets the Hibachi
Chapel Hill, NC’s Nikki Meets the Hibachi plays alternative acoustic folk-rockin’ originals. Their unorthodox, world-borne meters feature big, compelling chords, while their beautifully warm harmonies embrace each other to paint pretty pictures of plaintive pop.
Based in Asheville, Nikki Talley has been described as country, folk, sultry, goth, and that hippie chick from the South. Balanced on the edges of various musical styles, she offers up a fiery stage performance with hauntingly seductive and gritty lyrics. Her honky-tonk heartache is bolstered by her acoustic guitar, clawhammer banjo, and her trademark stunning voice which belts out authentically passionate songs with desperate power.
An international jazz star, Nnenna Freelon is an accomplished singer, composer, producer, and arranger, as well as a captivating live performer. Her adventurous and original style is inspired by jazz traditions, gospel influences, and pop favorites. Her beautiful, dynamic voice fills the air with cozy intimacy, soulful nuance, and curvaceous phrasings. This six-time Grammy Award nominee has dedicated herself to educating young people all over the world about the wonders of music.
Atlanta-based Noot d’Noot are an 8-piece tour de force of funk, psychedelia and Afro-pop. Their energetic live show is bursting with horns, organs, percussion and harmonies, creating a harmonic jungle of spongy funk and spaced-out dance grooves.
Northwood Jazz Ensemble
Pittsboro, NC’s Northwood Jazz Ensemble plays a wide mix of music covering swing tunes, bebop jazz, lush ballads, jazz standards, pop tunes and even some jazz rock fusion. Under the direction of Eugene Cottrell, the volunteer Northwood High School organization has received superior ratings at statewide and regional festivals.
Now You See Them
Asheville’s Now You See Them is an acoustic indie/folk trio delivering beautiful harmonies and slow burning lyrics with non-traditional instruments. NYST combines thoughtfully ironic originals alongside carefully selected covers making their shows a not-to-be-missed breath of fresh air.
North Carolina’s Nu-Blu projects a dynamic edge while staying grounded in the traditions and fundamentals of bluegrass. By mixing original and traditional bluegrass along with choice material from other genres, Nu-Blu has created a unique and driving blend of music.
Nyssa Cave is a self-taught, 14-year-old singer/songwriter from Cary, NC with eclectic compositions that come from the soul and speak beyond her years. Performing her original songs in the Triangle area, Nyssa has developed an alluring blend of evocative rock and pop ballads. Her passionate voice and compelling guitar style will bewitch and enthrall you.
Oculus plays a medley of rock, alternative, urban, and world beat, bringing crowds to life with their soulful, soaring vocal harmonies, driving rhythm section and virtuoso lead guitar. Their songs range from foot stomping dance tracks and beautiful love ballads to spine-tingling symphonic masterpieces. They combine to create a sonic phenomenon which manages to continually surprise and thrill, uniting people of all different generations and backgrounds with profound, playful, and charismatic performances.
Old 86 venture from zydeco-influenced ’50s rock and low down blues to intense psychedelia and smooth funk. This young Pittsboro-based band features hard-rocking keyboards, funky bass, smooth saxophone and violin, vicious guitar attacks and swinging vocals.
Old Man Luedecke is one of Canada’s best loved and most intriguing roots-based singer-songwriters – a truly original musical singularity to be savoured and shared. He took up the banjo as an instrument of unconquerable joy, and his memorable melodies, poetic sense and easy charisma appeal to anyone searching for new growth from old roots.
Old School Freight Train
Old School Freight Train creates electrifying acoustic music, playing progressive bluegrass while keeping one foot planted firmly in tradition. Their unique sound is synergistic and ultimately compelling with a variety of contemporary influences. They dig deep into smooth harmonies while remaining loose enough for innovative solo work. With no intention of being pigeonholed, they’re eagerly drawing their own musical map, with the obvious intention of expanding it on their journey together. David Grisman calls them “an emerging force to reckon with in today’s world of acoustic music.”
Old Sledge is a group of young musicians from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Blowing the dust off old tunes and songs from the golden era of early country, hillbilly and blues music, Old Sledge represents the best and brightest of the new generation of traditional musicians from the south. Their repertoire spans the gamut of old-time, country and blues music, moving from virtuosic fiddle tunes to Appalachian murder ballads to greasy blues. The band is quickly gaining notoriety, not only as a great performance ensemble, but also as a torchbearer of traditional music.
Oliver Mtukudzi is one of the true giants of African pop and the best-selling artist in his home country of Zimbabwe. Gifted with a deep, gutsy voice, he plays a unique blend of southern African musical traditions and pop influences with a distinctly exotic yet simple gospel/R&B air. “Tuku” music is undeniably contagious, with moods ranging from fast-paced dance beats to gentler repetitive rhythms and socially conscious lyrics that capture the heart of his people.
One Leg Up
Ashevilleâ€™s One Leg Up plays Gypsy jazz with conviction, mixing covers of Django Reinhardt melodies, old standards, and hot Latin pieces into an infectious mix of improvisational swing. The solos come fast and furious, with their feet firmly planted in traditional European jazz, yet with a carefree, whimsical nature that appeals to the romantic Gypsy in all of us. Their show is lively, intimate, danceable, and brings about the atmosphere of French cafe music before World War II.
Onward, Soldiers is an eclectic indie rock band from Wilmington renowned for their compelling blend of high energy performances illuminated by their haunting prose. Playing everything from ’70s-era blue-eyed soul and arena rock to straight-up country, they pack their irresistible grooves with a robust variety of styles. Their raw yet melodic spirit delivers the unexpected twists and turns of cleverly-crafted musicianship mixed with their own singular style.
This hot new Pittsboro-based group draws inspiration from cool old music like Gypsy jazz, French musettes, Brazilian sambas, swing and ragtime. It’s a trip around the world which will make you swoon, tap your feet, and realize how universal and similar music really is. Their members have played in a variety of beloved Shakori Hills favorites including Squirrel Nut Zippers, The Old Ceremony, Midtown Dickens, Club Boheme and Paperhand Puppet Intervention.
Open Air Dance
Open Air Dance was founded by Hannah Chalut as a means to explore the divine feminine through movement and modern dance. This year they’re presenting their first series of movement choirs. Audiences can both observe and participate in a series of simple movements that wind through weaving and circular patterns across the performance arena. Anyone and everyone is welcome to participate as the dancers facilitate this spectacular event.
Orgone is an eight-piece juggernaut from Hollywood dedicated to heavy, raw, adrenaline-fueled funk and sweat-dripping soul. Weaving seamlessly between gut-bucket funk nastiness, Afrobeat, disco and house, their songs are rooted in old-school respect but pulsing with the force of the new millennium. Their retro-revival sound is overflowing with organic soul and sensual power.
What do you get when you cross an accomplished ethnomusicology professor with a dynamic lead vocalist and a bevy of North Carolinaâ€™s finest salsa and jazz musicians? None other than the twelve-member salsa supergroup known as Orquesta GarDel! The band plays classic and modern salsa music rooted in the sound of the New York-Puerto Rico connection of the 1970s. With its powerful horn section and â€œhurricane-forceâ€ percussion battery, GarDel is sure to have the dance floor pumping!
Oteil and the Peacemakers
Oteil Burbridge is one of the top electric bass players in the world and a master of funk, rock, blues, jazz, and everything in between. He has won kudos for his intricate melodicism and finger-tangling technical ability, for his far-reaching versatility and his innate down-to-earth funkiness. Burbridge first emerged as a founding member of the Aquarium Rescue Unit before joining the Allman Brothers in the mid-’90s. Oteil & the Peacemakers are an improv-laced stew, blending modern jazz-fusion, soulful funk, and gospel grooves. When the Peacemakers take the stage, the vibes are positive, the grooves are upbeat, and the theme is full of hope and joy.
The Owen Family Band
Hailing from Brevard, NC, the Owens Family Band has been cranking out
old-time, country, Southern rock and gospel music with their unique recipe
for over 30 years.
Paleface is a fun-lovin’ folkcore duo from Concord, NC. With a booming raspy baritone, Paleface sings everyday stream-of-consciousness neo-folk songs. Through tight instrumental layering and baldly honest lyrics, they create an atmosphere alternately mysterious, confident and optimistic. The songs are overly energetic, resembling folk played like punk rock, and Paleface himself blows a mean harp to take this dynamic duo’s sweet charm and charisma right over the edge.
Come explore the amazing world of Paperhand Puppet Intervention! NC’s imaginative puppeteering troupe uses cardboard, papier mache, trash, and a variety of puppetry styles to help promote social change, peace and hope for a better world. Their magical environmental program includes giant puppets, masks, and music. Be prepared to let your spirits soar!
Paso Fino Duo
Paso Fino’s music is a swirling mix of Latin, folk, blues, rock, old-time and more, as exotic rhythms find their way into the band’s finely crafted songs. Their intoxicating organic sound is further colored by superb instrumental embellishments. Diana Andersen’s vocals recall an empty western canyon or an open desert, while multi-instrumentalist Shane Lamphier was the original drummer for Donna the Buffalo and the original mandolinist for the Bubba George Stringband. Honing the knife’s edge balance between clarity and complexity of sound, their songs offer plenty of quality hook-laden, harmony-laced moments filled with quirky and unexpected musical turns
For years, Pat “Mother Blues” Cohen sang in New Orleans six nights a week, performing at venues including the House of Blues, until Hurricane Katrina destroyed her home. She relocated to North Carolina where she unfurls the tapestry of her life experiences through her soulful words and music. A dramatic and exotic performer, she shares the mettle, pathos and ocean-deep compassion of the famous female blues singers who inspired her – women like Billie Holiday, Koko Taylor and Etta James.
Reggae singer/toaster Pato Banton is a band leader, MC, singer, songwriter, and world renowned reggae star from Birmingham, England. In DJ circles a “Banton” is a heavyweight lyricist, which fits Pato perfectly as he blends his classic reggae sounds with more serious messages of universal love, unity and peace. Like the best toasters, he has a quick wit, and is an entertaining mimic, mixing comic vocal characterizations with tough commentary and razor sharp observations on society. His music features strong rhythms and heavy roots that echo the edginess of the cultural numbers, but turn upbeat for the more humorous offerings. Recent years have found him working tirelessly for the benefit of young people in his community.
Pattie & Jack Le Sueur and Cedar Creek
Pattie & Jack Le Sueur and Cedar Creek are from Durham and have been performing folk, country and bluegrass music in the Triangle and beyond for over 15 years. Among numerous other engagements, the band has played at the Kruger Brothers’ Carolina in the Fall festival in Wilkesboro the past two years and are featured on the KB’s just-released Carolina Scrapbook, Volume Two.
Peace Jones is an Asheville, NC-based band led by frontman Paul DeCirce as a vehicle for his catchy and positive tunes. They cover a wide spectrum of sound, playing everything from hip-hop to reggae dance vibes, from experimental jazz to aggressive rock anthems, from hard blues to funky grooves.
Randy Whitt and Jamie Sneeringer grew up on the Deep River in High Falls, NC playing guitar and writing songs. Alongside Susie Hicks on fiddle and keyboards, Josh Sokal on bass, and Matt Brown on drums they make up Penny Prophets (formerly Scatterbones), an eclectic mix of rock and Americana with hints of old school R&B and British psychedelia.
Peter Holsapple & Chris Stamey
Collaborating again for the first time in almost two decades are the acclaimed songwriters of the dBâ€™s, Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey. They grew up together in Winston-Salem and started playing music together in middle school. Now based in Durham, theyâ€™ve released a beautiful new album of grown-up pop, meshing Holsapple’s emotional directness with Stamey’s headier approach. These are piercingly pure pop songs about hard-won wisdom, performed with humble good humor and Everlys-worthy harmonies.
Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band
Grammy Award winning singer and multi-instrumentalist Peter Rowan is a major cult figure among progressive bluegrass aficionados, having participated in a number of adventurous projects in the ’60s and ’70s before launching a highly productive solo career. Hailing from Boston, Rowan began his career in 1964 as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for Bill Monroe and The Bluegrass Boys, living in Nashville and playing with Monroe on the Grand Ol’ Opry every week. The late ’60s and early â€˜70s found Rowan in a number of hybrid rock, folk and bluegrass bands including Earth Opera with David Grisman (a frequent opener for The Doors) and bluegrass supergroup Old & in the Way with Jerry Garcia and Vassar Clements. It was during this time that Rowan penned the song “Panama Red,” a subsequent hit for the New Riders of the Purple Sage and a classic ever since. Other time-honored compositions by Rowan include “Moonlight Midnight” and “In The Land of the Navajo.â€ Never one to slow down, Rowan is currently working with three acts: his bluegrass band, a quartet with Tony Rice, and his rock and roll band The Free Mexican Air Force. Shakori Hills is thrilled to welcome the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band to the fall festival!
Pilot Mountain Bobcats
The Pilot Mountain Bobcats have been entertaining dancers and festivalgoers with their infectious brand of old time string band music since 1989. The Bobcats include Nancy Sluys on fiddle, Jacki Spector on fretless banjo, Allin Cottrell on guitar and Bill Sluys on bass. Based in Surry County, NC, the band has played for many regional and nationally known dance events, fiddlers conventions, festivals and concerts.
Pine Leaf Boys
Louisiana’s finest, four-time Grammy nominated, world renowned Pine Leaf Boys have made a name for themselves by presenting their own inimitable brand of Cajun music with youthful exuberance. Hailing from southwest Louisiana, Pine Leaf Boys are known for both their wild shows and their thoughtful arrangements. They breathe new life into Cajun music, reviving ancient songs and bringing them to the bandstand. Described in The New York Times as “the link that connects the young and the old generations,” and “the best new, energetic, and fun Cajun band in a very long time,” Pine Leaf Boys play the old fashioned dance hall standards while making a priority of bringing many of the more obscure songs of past masters into their repertoire. Pine Leaf Boys preserve the traditional Cajun sound, while allowing it to breathe and stretch with those who play it.
Puerto Rico’s Plena Libre plays a modern style of plena and bomba music mixed with cumbia, merengue, salsa and other Afro-Caribbean sounds to create a new and exciting hybrid. Crisp, elaborate layers of percussion and spicy dance beats move the music along, while horns and vocals intertwine in intricate arrangements full of passion and abandonment.
Possum Creek began as a jam among a few bluegrass pickers in the Wilmington, NC area. Soon people wanted the band for parties and weddings. The group eventually distilled down to a bluegrass power trio. Alex Ball On the fiddle and guitar, Jones Smith switching between mandolin, banjo and guitar and Ben Chontos rounding it out on the Upright bass. The sound is tight with strong bluegrass energy, hot picking and proud singing. Possum Creek like to highlight their originals among the bluegrass favorites with a few outlaw country songs thrown in for flavor. The hard driving, barn burning music draws in music fans young and old alike. So grab your dancing shoes and a partner for a lively time whenever you see the boys from Possum Creek.
Boone-based Americana quartet Possum Jenkins plays a sonic Southern recipe of melodies married to boundless, off-the-rails energy. This tight-knit group zeros in on a sound that seamlessly incorporates strains of the timeless mountain music of Appalachia, the compelling alt-country of East Nashville and Austin, a touch of funky Memphis soul, and a helping of unabashed Southern rock.
Accordionist Preston Frank has been laying down his blazing bayou boogie and unabashed, traditional Louisiana zydeco for decades. His trademark swamp groove is a combination of Cajun, funk and soul, a smooth and flowing Creole sound that instantly makes you start to move. The jumping rhythms and festive vibes rest in his hands while his fingers work magic on the diatonic accordion. Firmly planted in his musical roots for over thirty years, Preston Frank remains an important force in preserving traditional zydeco and Creole French music.
Singer, composer, teacher, poet, dancer, actress, and lion tamer, the multi-talented Pura Fe has studied with the American Ballet Theater and Martha Graham Dance Company, and sung with the Mercer Ellington Orchestra. Besides appearing in three Broadway shows, she is a guest instructor at the Native Theatre School in Toronto, a Smoke Dance Competition Champion, and first prize winner at many other dance competitions, including the Kanatsiohareke Homecoming. She also does vocal workshops throughout the Americas, and has done studio work with numerous jazz bands, TV commercials, and jingles.
Quetzal was formed in 1993 to provide a new experience in Chicano music. Their mix of Mexican and Cuban rhythms, jazz, and rock is supercharged by the dynamic vocals of siblings Martha and Gabriel Gonzalez, as well as the use of the violin as the lead instrument. Quetzal embodies the soul and the struggle at the heart of the Mexican-American legacy, with music informed by radical authors and grassroots tenacity.
Algerian worldbeat artist Rachid Taha created a style of Arabic rock heavily influenced by Algerian rai music and Western styles including techno, rock, punk and Afro-pop. His show features prominent, danceable rhythms, strong melodies, and powerful vocals, all infused with a Middle Eastern flavor and lyrical themes ranging from spirituality to alienation. Politically engaged, he stands up to defend democracy, tolerance and altruism against racism and discrimination.
Adorable Miami-based folk duo Raffa & Rainer play quirky, insightful, and downright haunting ditties of life and love, with a delightfully campy yet heartfelt sound. Their decade-long partnership began in high school and has developed into an amazingly idiosyncratic and earnest expression of beautiful music.
The music of Railroad Earth skates the edge of bluegrass to produce an eclectic blend of folk, Celtic, jazz, and rock filtered through a bluegrass lens. Lush with frantic fiddles, acoustic layers and tight harmonies, they express a positivity inside their music which is carefree and jovial. There’s a fire, and sometimes frivolity in what Railroad Earth does that evokes more than the spirit. The band’s sound is timeless, while at the same time utterly unique.
Austin, TX-based Rajamani is a renowned world music artist who is credited for keeping alive the ancient vanishing Gypsy folk music of South India. His live shows are spiritually uniting, melodically soothing, rhythmically energizing, technically breathtaking and historically educating. His music is a sound that is at once foreign and familiar. Drawing upon ancient Eastern traditions, his music resonates in a deep place within its listeners, while remaining accessible and satisfying to the Western ear.
Ralph Roddenbery Band
Ralph Roddenbery’s music could be described as Bob Dylan meets Jerry Garcia and Shawn Phillips at the crossroads – roots rock Americana with an acoustic twist. It’s lyrical, upbeat and reaches out with an earnest depth of “life is good.” His songs focus on friendship, love, life, trust, honesty, and hopefulness and how we shouldn’t take these vital intangibles for granted. He combines sentimentality and the human condition with an extra dose of humor, and often draws upon audience participation to create a new tune off-the-cuff.
Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys
Without a doubt the finest first-generation bluegrass singer still touring, Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys have been spreading their poignant, mournful sound for over 60 years. Ralph and his older brother Carter formed the band in 1946, taking traditional mountain songs and weaving them into a sound of purity, simplicity, and astonishing beauty. They helped bring the mountain style of bluegrass music to mainstream audiences, with an edgy, almost desperate immediacy to their performances. Known for his distinctive singing and three-fingered banjo technique, the raw emotion in his voice cuts like a whipsaw and echoes like a stainless steel bell. Whether singing about God, sin, resurrection, love, family, misery or death, he always has the church in his voice while pouring out soulful American music of the highest order. <br> <br> Ralph Stanley grew up in a musical family and learned to play claw-hammer banjo from his mother, whose 11 brothers and sisters all played banjo. Playing everything from gospel to honky tonk, his spirit shines through the rough-hewn charm of the old-time string band sound. His latest revival as a member of the O Brother, Where Art Thou? cast is just a reminder of his long string of amazing recordings dating back to the 1940s. Thanks to his long career and numerous musical milestones, Ralph Stanley is a bluegrass institution.
Randy Whitt and the Grits
A singer/songwriter from the American Southeast, Randy Whitt combines all of that region’s root elements of country, gospel and blues to produce a unique sound that is, on one hand, wistful and lonesome, and on the other, jubilant and light. His music ranges from slow grooves to boogie-woogie breakdowns, while always sounding fresh and original.
A singer/songwriter from the American Southeast, Randy Whitt combines all of that region’s root elements to produce a unique sound that is on one hand wistful and lonesome, and on the other jubilant and light, with elements of Americana and country seeping through. His songs are a collection of images in motion, like a Braque painting or a view from your passenger side window on a long ride home. Always fresh and original, Whitt is breaking away from his past work to find a sound and voice all his own.
Self-taught 12-year-old acoustic guitarist Ranford Almond hails from Browns Summit, NC and has already made a name for himself with gigs at MerleFest and Ziggy’s among many other festivals and venues. With sweet fingerpicking and a voice already rich in soul, he plays a captivating mixture of originals sprinkled with Americana, folk, country and rock classics.
Ray Abshire is a Cajun accordion master from the old school who delivers pure, joyful, energetic fare straight out of Lafayette, LA. One of the most awe-inspiring accordionists you’ll ever hear, he’s loaded with technique, impeccable timing and an attacking drive that emanates the fullest sounds possible. Recognized as a master musician, his accordion style is authentic and he sings in the classic Cajun tenor high voice. Ray has assembled an astounding collection of emotions that will hit you right in the heart.
Space-age old-time ensemble The Red Clay Ramblers are a fantasy roadhouse band from a vanishing rural America. Formed in North Carolina in 1972, these string-band masterminds boast bluegrass, New Orleans and classical influences running rampant alongside cowboy songs, gospel and 1920s pop tomfoolery. Their consummate musicianship and zany sense of theater make this a can’t-miss performance. The New York Times wrote “[Their] music making is perfection” and legendary UNC basketball coach Dean Smith said, “I like two kinds of music – jazz and the Red Clay Ramblers.”
Red Herring Puppets
Red Herring Puppets is a professional puppet company founded in 1988 and based in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western NC. They delight young audiences with their lively and informative “edu-tainment.” Artistic Director Lisa Sturz is a nationally recognized puppeteer and teaching artist whose credits include everything from Muppets and Flintstones to Ninja Turtles and Elmo.
Red June hails from Asheville, NC, with a sound touching on bluegrass, roots rock and traditional country. Their raw, emotional performances are highlighted by soulful vocals, tasteful fiddling and elegant, powerful harmonies. Their innovative songwriting and expert musicianship is not to be missed!
Red Stick Ramblers
The Red Stick Ramblers play a mixture of Cajun fiddle tunes, Western Swing, and traditional jazz of the 1920s and 1930s alongside a steadily growing number of tradition-inspired originals. Based in Southern Louisiana, they build upon the songs of seminal fiddlers like Dennis McGee and Dewey Balfa, along with jazz and country swing bandleaders such as Bob Wills and Django Reinhardt, finding a common thread of danceable rhythms and strong, elegant melodies.
Regatta 69’s sound is a swift twist of offbeat rock, fast reggae rhythms, and punchy horn riffs. They’re known as a beat-pounding, foot-movin’, horn-blasting progressive pop-ska band whose infectious groove gets people up on their feet and movin’. Anchored by singer/songwriter Brian Hill, they’be been laying out their worldbeat-flavored rock for over a decade, perfecting their craft of delivering an all-out energetic concert of original music.
Originally formed by the Huerta brothers in the heart of Hidalgo, Mexico, Rey Norteno now calls Raleigh their home. “Norteno” means “northern” in Spanish and describes a particular type of Mexican music, with a heavy emphasis on accordion and the bajo sexton, which is a Spanish 12-string bass guitar.
Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca
Ricardo Lemvo combines Latin and African elements from salsa to soukous with an occasional merengue, funky soul side alley or Afro-Portuguese excursion. This Congo-born artist is the embodiment of the Afro-Latin Diaspora which connects back to Mother Africa via the Cuban clave rhythm. He formed Makina Loca in 1990, raising his joyous voice with strength, singing songs that celebrate life, and most importantly, inspiring his audiences to let loose and dance away their worries. Their music is an affirmation aimed squarely at the dance floor.
Richard McVay is Miami’s premiere vinyl DJ, with a career pedigree nurtured in the greatest nightclubs of the city alongside many of its seediest dive bars. With an eclectic collection of music ranging from Gregorian chants to the latest musings of Cee Lo, Richard spins a weave of music that transcends time to create a mystical intoxication of sensual auditory expression. Music lovers rejoice and dance!
For over four decades, Richie Havens has used his own brand of folk music to convey messages of brotherhood, personal freedom, and good will to the world. His distinctively smoky voice and fiery singing coupled with his thumb-fretted open-tuned guitar style provide a rare and inspiring voice of eloquence, integrity and social responsibility. His intense rhythmic style, often imitated, is a rich blend of percussiveness and melody. <p> Best known for his soulful covers of pop and folk songs, Havens first rose to fame in the Greenwich Village scene of the â€˜60s, bringing a warm and passionate interpretation to everything he touched. The earnest performer who opened the original Woodstock festival has turned into a mellower, wiser man and a very spiritual individual which infuses his music with a wonderful depth. This acoustic soul giant truly seems to be getting more inspiring and graceful with age, and he’s lost none of his power to enthrall and enchant. His concerts are a walk through a blooming garden of the mind and heart.
Wildly energetic and utterly joyous, pedal steel guitar virtuoso Robert Randolph erupted out of the House of God Church in Orange, NJ with an infectious mix of musical forms and flavors drenched in gospel spirituality yet updated with a secular mix of full-tilt soul and rumbling funk undertones. Randolph quickly found himself playing alongside such luminaries as John Medeski, Carlos Santana and Eric Clapton. With inspiring lyrics and gorgeous harmonies, the Family Band moves easily through groove-conscious rock, electric blues, Cajun-country and swampy R&B with a focus on shape-shifting rhythmic and harmonic structures. This is a can’t-miss performance!
Tractor Beam consists of Richie Stearns and Rosie Newton – two dynamic musicians performing gorgeous music rooted in the Americana tradition. As a member of bands including Donna the Buffalo and The Horse Flies, Stearns became a lynchpin of much of today’s American roots music revival. With their sweet harmonies and innovative arrangements, Newton’s elegant voice and glittering fiddle complements Stearns’ mantra-groove spooky banjo as they expand the boundaries of traditional music. Together, they create a sound that is sometimes ethereal and sometimes just plain ol’ down home.
River Whyless is a Boone, NC-based progressive indie folk/rock band crafting robust and bright music that gracefully balances between buoyant pop and a new vision of happy Americana. With songs featuring sharp harmonies singing thoughtful lyrics alongside soaring violins, rowdy jams and orchestral breaks, their eclectic and restless rock borders on the epic.
Roman Candle is an alt-country/indie rock quintet from Chapel Hill combining rootsy country-flavored melodies with a soul-powered vocal punch and the emphatic dynamics of a crack rock & roll band. Their resplendent textures and irrepressible excitement form an unlikely apex of big acoustic chords and strong Southern anthems.
Chapel Hill’s Rootzie provides a rattle of rock and roll, a jolt of jazz, a burst of the blues, a cut or two of country, grand moments of gospel, a blast of bluegrass, and roots reggae revelry. The brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Gregory Blaine, Rootzie combines all this and more on a grand scale.
Louisiana-born accordionist and singer-songwriter Rosie Ledet is a rare female presence in the zydeco world. Brimming with coy sensuality, her songs are sly and suggestive, featuring propulsive, infectious instrumental work and a voice laced with soul. If the Allman Brothers went zydeco, they would probably sound like Rosie Ledet.
The Rusty Bucket Kids is a new family-friendly television/internet show combining educational content with family entertainment – call it edutainment. The show features two kids who go back in time to meet historical figures during their teenage years and help keep their life on track and fulfill their destiny. 12-year-old Roxanna Demers is the lead singer of this Americana/bluegrass-flavored children’s act based in Apex, NC. The show premiered in 2010 on Raleigh’s WRAL-TV CBS station and has already received 3 regional Emmy nominations
Brooklyn-based Rubblebucket is a joyous jungle of trance-inducing, polyrhythmic dance-rock. Their hybrid of world music influences – everything from funk and rock to Afrobeat, jazz and pop – is the sound of eight different freak flags flying in perfect unison. Their intense and eclectic sound is nearly impossible to pigeonhole.
Run of the Mill
Inspired by bluegrass, jazz, funk, rock and blues, Run of the Mill takes traditional music above and beyond expectations. Founded by mandolinist Ben Parker and banjo player Ben Walters, they added a dynamic contrast to the group with the addition of Robbie DiMauro and Tim Shelburne. Though a young band, they play with a passion, dedication, and inspiration that’s rooted in musical complexity.
Rupa & the April Fishes echoes the roots of their San Francisco home, flowing its Latino, African-American, Yelamu Indian, and Islander pasts together. Their songs are a mixture of international musical styles with influences of street music, exotic Latin grooves, Indian ragas and Romani soul. With lyrics in French, Spanish and English, they blend languages to forge a connection reaching beyond the boundaries of race and geography. Combining the sensual lyricism of Latin American nueva trova with the rhythmic punch of cumbia and the theatricality of cabaret, the April Fishes’ sound is ecstatic and powerfully evocative.
Rusted Root integrates jam-heavy groove rock with psychedelic pop. The Pittsburgh natives’ upbeat style of worldbeat features percussion influences based on the music of Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. First rising to stardom in 1995 with the hit “Send Me On My Way,” they’re back in the limelight with their recently released 7th studio album.
Durhamâ€™s Ryan Gustafson has a knack for arena-sized hooks in tunes dosed variably with classic rock, pop, soul, Americana and even psychedelia. His affection for vintage-feeling songs is at once unified yet wildly kaleidoscopic. Hang on while he takes you on a twisting tour of rustic roots pop, heavy Southern-rock-flavored guitar harmonies and gently fingerpicked shuffles.
If you like Sandy Denny, Emmylou Harris or Gillian Welch, you’ll love Sally’s music. Her songs are intertwined with influences from folk, blues, old-time and pop and are generally referred to as “Americana.” Sally’s new cd includes contributions and guest appearances by several notable musicians including Gene Parsons (The Byrds), Tift merritt, Thad Cockerell and Caitlin Cary.
Saludos Compay will swing the Dance tent with high energy Latin rhythms from Cuba and South America alongside their original tunes. Complex rhythms interwoven with tight harmonies unite with soaring solos as this group ignites the dance floor. Come prepared for a powerful sound that will put your feet in motion!
Sam Bush Band
In the world of acoustic music, few artists have enjoyed a career as diverse or successful as that of Sam Bush. He extended the musical capabilities of the mandolin, fiddle and guitar to incorporate a seamless blend of bluegrass, rock, jazz, and reggae. As the founder and leader of the New Grass Revival, Bush pioneered and guided the evolution of modern hill country music. Together with the bluegrass supergroup Strength in Numbers, he pushed the traditions even further. During a five-year stint with the Nash Ramblers, he provided a diverse range of textures for the songs of Emmylou Harris. On his own, Bush has continued to explore an eclectic musical spectrum. Bush is an icon of acoustic music that has inspired a generation of players, yet he remains laid back, warm, and modest.
Hailing from Oklahoma, Samantha Crain writes with brazen conviction and unflinching creative ambition. Her shadowy arrangements and razor-sharp lyrics sound deeply rural and Southern, while also itinerant and urban. Hers is a folk tradition indebted to Radiohead as much as Bob Dylan. Like the classic seekers before her, Crain is lost on the subway, sleeping in boxcars, leaving lovers behind, and dining in small town obscurity all within a few short days.
Kenyaâ€™s Samba Mapangala combines influences of the Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda to play supercharged soukous. Mapangala formed the legendary Orchestra Virunga in 1981, and his voice flows like lava from the great volcano chain in the eastern part of the Congo from which the band took its name. Their tight instrumental arrangements provide ample power and drive, with deft guitar playing that glides and turns like a graceful multi-colored bird, and percussion that percolates throughout. He has been a dominant figure in East African music since the 1970s.
Samuel James is a bluesman of stunningly singular talent. A master of fingerstyle, slide, banjo, harmonica, and piano, this Portland, ME-based phenom is steeped in the traditions of his elders yet has created his own voice that speaks with clarity and pathos to a contemporary audience. Such an understanding of pre-war blues is rarely embodied in the music of one person.
Sarah Carrere is a kora player hailing from Senegal, West Africa. A rarity in the male-dominated field, Sarah is also a composer, lyricist and poetess. She also builds her own koras, which are large 21-stringed instruments dating to the 12th century. Known as the “Queen of Afro-Folk,” she’s played all around the world, including the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. She reinvents the dialogue between harp and listener, bringing with her a new concept in Afro-Folk music.
Sarah Hawker’s songwriting and unadorned style have been compared by her mother to those of Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan, but not favorably. However she does have an honest, plaintive sound and manages to sing fairly loudly about her various thwarted desires. Usually performing as a member of the Lonesome Sisters, Sarah will be performing all by her lonesome this time around.
Austin, TX native Sarah Jarosz is a Grammy-nominated multi-instrumentalist and singer combining traditional bluegrass with deft writing and a smooth yet powerful voice. Her sound is airy and ethereal, mixing elements of old time and modern acoustic string band music with an unusually assured and observant voice for a young artist. Rolling Stone dubbed her a “contemporary-bluegrass prodigy” and the Austin Chronicle calls her “a songwriter of uncommon wisdom.” The story of Sarah Jarosz has only just begun.
Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion
Celebrating their latest release, Bright Examples, married couple Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion are taking their patented country-rock sound on the road. Their sound tilts in a new direction on the album, a direction Guthrie describes as “more atmospheric or psychedelic, sort of dreamy but colorful.” Recorded at Dreamland Studios near Woodstock, N.Y., the album features a dozen original compositions, chosen from more than 50 they had accumulated over the past five years. Their performance is sure to both soothe and energize the listener – come on out and hear their bright, engaging sound!
Sarah Shook & The Devil hits the way back dial when it comes to American genres of music. Smokin’ vocals, savory lap steel, badass bass and come-on-back-y’all geetar make this band a sinister treat. She’s known for covering the likes of Hank Williams, George Jones and Wanda Jackson alongside scorching originals which seem to have come from a time capsule in any small Southern town.
The high-energy, adrenaline-pumping music of Washington, DC’s Scythian ranges from Celtic rock to gypsy klezmer, featuring two dueling classically trained fiddlers powered by the precision of a jazz drummer. Tight grooves, outstanding musicianship, and spontaneous crowd interactions result in creative, infectious, hilarious fun!
Second String Clogging Team
Founded in 2005, Second Street Clogging Team consists of NC State, UNC Chapel Hill, and Meredith students and alumni. They all share a passion for clogging, though some have danced for 19 years and some for just one year. Second Steet won first and second place at the NC State Fair over the last two years.
Shakori Hills Vinyl Lounge
The Shakori Hills Vinyl Lounge features local DJs spinning nighttime grooves between Meadow Stage sets next door and long after the last band has retired into the moonlight. With a beer stand right alongisde, it’s the perfect place to mellow out with friends and dance to your favorite timeless tunes and the deepest rare cuts.
Shannon O’Connor’s music has been described in a number of ways: gutsy, sultry Americana, no-holds-barred honesty, beguiling, Carolina’s own Gretchen Wilson.” Take your pick. But for O’Connor, a single mother of a 10-year old girl, her new Varrga Records Release, Low In Paradise, is an album full of songs that may best be described as “Single Mom Country Blues.” “This is a collection of love songs,” she explains. “Some are songs written to my daughter. Some are about old flames and some are imaginary. But I think they are all true.”
Western North Carolina’s Shannon Whitworth plays a mix of country, bluegrass and folk music. She made her mark with her captivating voice and definitive songs as a founding member of The Biscuit Burners. With songs steeped in Southern elegance, her smoky singing rolls lazily over the lyrics as she adds gorgeous accompaniment on clawhammer banjo and guitar.
Shark Quest is a band whose members hail from Chapel Hill and Durham, NC. Gods and Devils is their third album, and their first in 4 years. Made up of a virtual who’s who of the local music scene over the last 10-15 years, the band draws on a myriad of styles, melding individual influences and talents, to create something that is definitively their own. Theirs is a music which transcends any “scene” or genre reference points. Dusty pop melds with elements of surf guitar, bluegrass, traditional folk, bossa nova, Sufi-western and neoclassical baroque to create a sound that is uniquely Shark Quest. Instrumental music can always be an iffy proposition in the standard rock genre, but Shark Quest succeeds where others may fail simply because their stories emerge ripe and full of vigor without need of ponderous or limiting “words.” The instruments themselves elegantly tell the tales through their deft interplay; expressing the joy, the sadness, the ecstasy and the trepidation that flows through all of us. Live or on record, Shark Quest create lilting, almost hypnotic flourishes that seem to carry the listener away on whatever flight of fancy the imagination can conjure.
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings have come a long way since their humble beginnings nearly a decade ago. Steeped within the gilded and gritty sounds of gospel, soul and funk, this nine-piece Brooklyn collective has continued to electrify fans, disc jockeys, critics, record collectors, and bloggers the world-over with their authentic, heart-felt sound. Their albums recall an analog era led by iconic studios like those at Motown and Stax Records, and have thrust the fifty-three-year-old Augusta, GA native and crew into the multimedia limelight. None of them, however, compare to seeing Sharon and her boys live!
The Dynamite Brothers have been cranking out rock and roll from their home base in Chapel Hill since 1998. They joined forces with Mosadi Music’s amazing hip-hop jazz-funk singer Shirlette Ammons in 2011 to create a deliciously patchwork sound filled with horn sections and sultry, hazy vocals. Slinky keyboards weave through funky workouts, psychedelic hoe-downs and Philly soul seduction as they deconstruct the sounds of the last half century and rebuild them into a madcap indie rock celebration.
Shoot the Moon
Songs of love…songs of hope…songs of heartbreak…songs of the road…and songs of coming back home. That’s what you’ll hear when you see Amy Glicklich and her band at the festival this fall. You’ll be drawn in by her classic style country songs and the sweetness of her voice along with Ward Puryear’s country pickin’. They join us from Trumansburg, NY, part of the GrassRoots family both north and south. We welcome them back to Shakori Hills, with open arms and open ears, ready to be serenaded yet again.
Playing a unique blend of roots-rock, Afro-Caribbean, reggae and folk music, the Ithaca, NY-based Sim Redmond Band will lift your spirit and move your body. The band’s airy, breezy sound draws from the world beat tradition to create a danceable mix of distinctly American pop hooks with African arrangements. Their music oozes over your brain with its sunny sound, earthy rhythms, warm vocal harmonies and lyrics exploring truth, dreams and love.
Skeedaddle is a North Carolina-based six-piece acoustic band that performs all manner of Americana roots music, including pre-war swing, jug band music, jump blues, Dixieland, rockabilly, old time, Hawaiian and hokum. It is music to help you snatch wigs, hit jugs, bang gongs, vipe, flip, vout and orootie. Weâ€™d simply love to play at your swing dance, club, bar, party, wedding, picnic, yacht launching or rodeo. Give us a shout!
Skeeter Brandon plays blues and R&B, reflecting the influence of a century of African-American songster traditions. He makes each show an emotional experience for the audience, as it is for him, rich with infusions of jazz, funk, rock, Motown, beach music and gospel. Steeped in the music of the church, he possesses a powerful, flexible, southern-drenched voice that comes from deep down in his gut.
Slaid Cleaves. Grew up in Maine. Lives in Texas. Writes songs. Makes records. Travels around. Tries to be good. The music of Austin-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Slaid Cleaves is rooted in country, blues and traditional folk songs, but it is unusual enough to “usher him into the company of such Texans as Alejandro Escovedo, Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Guy Clark, Ray Wylie Hubbard and Lucinda Williams,” according to the Washington Post. File under literate country-tinged folk-rock with a touch of swing.
Slewfoot and Carrie B
Slewfoot’s stellar songwriting boasts a power and emotion propelled by his uniquely underground American voice. He truly is a hero of Southern music, an important singer/songwriter whose talent has been recognized by traditional blues artists in the South for decades.
Snake Oil Medicine Show
These slaphappy Asheville, NC mountaineers infuse their old-time melodies with a new-age philosophy and an unmistakable aura of celebration, unleashing a hybrid of bluegrass, jazz, klezmer, rock, funk, polka, reggae, old-time, tropical, swing and more. Snake Oil’s trademark mix of electrifying acoustic flim-flam razzmatazz is a tasty blend of musical styles, dance rhythms, visual stimulation and costumed revelers. The music of the entire planet is channeled into one band as these ragtag trailblazers showcase their view of world unity. A supercharged extravaganza!
Sol & Funk Root
Sol creates a unique blend of Southern fried rock, blues, reggae, and way back yonder funk, all delivered with deep soul, translating dusty musical roots into the present day with tasty original tunes and bluesy, greasy jams.
Sol Driven Train
Charleston, SC’s world-groove outfit Sol Driven Train seamlessly mixes Southern rock, worldbeat and swampy funk, with a punchy horn section adding an extra dimension of sweaty soul.
Solâ€™ Jibeâ€™s transcendent live shows are an effervescent cocktail fusing rock, roots, flamenco, jazz, Latin music and world rhythms into an intoxicating combination of flavors. While their sound is inimitable and their lyrics carry universal significance, each instrument is distinctive but harmonious. Hailing from Reno, NV, their name stems from the Spanish word for the sun and the union of different elements of nature through harmony.
The folk supergroup Solas has invigorated the Irish traditional music scene by incorporating non-traditional instruments such as guitar, banjo and bouzouki to add a modern spice to their sound. Heavily rooted in Irish reels, jigs, airs and other folk song forms, their music is explosive yet seductively personal, timelessly melodic yet rippling with modern muscle. Their eclectic song selection adds texture and complexity to their shows, which are governed less by Irish music’s past than their own creative vision of the future.
Hailing from South America, Solazo delivers a unique blend of Latin folk, contemporary dance music and soulful ballads. Their songs are layered with sensual Cuban rhythms and spiked with the unusual flavors of Andean sounds including panpipe, charango and mandolin. Their artful arrangements move fluidly from flamenco to mambo within the course of a single song, meshing perfectly with their enchanting and pure vocal harmonies.
From the woods of North Carolina comes Songs Of Water, an experimental musical fantasia based half in impressionism and half in realism. With a sound both ancient and modern, they dive into an ocean of exotic instruments to create their gorgeously contemplative instrumental vignettes. Utterly beautiful and meticulously presented, they draw deeply from the pool of World music including folk, Celtic, African, Middle Eastern, classical and jazz influences. Founded upon both composition and improvisation, no two performances are exactly alike.
Singer-songwriter Greg Humphreys is hosting the Fall 2008 Shakori Hills Songwriter’s Circle, featuring Shakori performers and local songwriters. Humphreys has brought his folk rock, power-pop, funk, and soul music to the masses for 20 years as the leader of Hobex and Dillon Fence.
Louisiana-based guitarist, songwriter and singer Sonny Landreth is a musician’s musician. His blues slide guitar playing is distinctive and unlike anything else you’ve ever heard. His unorthodox style comes from simultaneously playing slide and making fingering movements on the fretboard. Landreth has played with artists including John Hiatt, John Mayall, Leslie West and Mountain. His lyrics draw the listener in to the sights, sounds, smells and heat of southwest Louisiana, and a strong sense of place is evident in many of his songs.
The South Carolina Broadcasters offer up a joyful celebration of traditional Appalachian music, bluegrass, and old-time styles. Crisp harmonies and tight instrumentation provide luxuriant atmospheres for the trio’s warm and aching songs. From heart-stompin’ love songs to rowdy gospel numbers, the music is raucous, heartfelt and beautiful, with a powerful sound that’s hauntingly ancient yet refreshingly new.
Speedsquare is a drum and piano duo from Asheville, NC whose songs land under the ambiguous umbrella of musical experimentation, spinning on a dime from eclectic jazz to blues to classical, with video game jingles and mad theatrics thrown in for good measure. Their chameleonesque peculiarity, musical chemistry and madness is provocatively awe-inspiring, with each show manifesting originality and surprises.
Spiral Hoop Dance
Spiral’s energetic and fluid hoop dance takes hula hooping to new levels. In fact, it’s not considered hula hooping anymore, but a unique dance form that’s part whirling dervish, part circus acrobatics and all groovy boogie! She’ll be performing throughout the festival and leading hooping playshops where fans can learn the basics.
Spirit Family Reunion
Brooklyn’s Spirit Family Reunion play good-time hootenannies full of foot-stomping, throaty, joyful songs that evoke everything from Avett Brothers-styled crazygrass to old-time gospel.
Square Dance with Green Grass All Stars
Squirrel Nut Zippers
Ladies and Gentlemen, they’re back! Squirrel Nut Zippers have returned with their reverential revival of hot jazz, Dixieland swing, and jump blues. The Zippers play good-natured post-modern big-band music, adding a dash of ironic humor while remaining faithful to the music’s heritage. The result is magnificent – enthusiastic with a bit of menace and a knack for a solid hook, all delivered with panache and loose-limbed glee. Squirrel Nut Zippers are Katherine Whalen, Jimbo Mathus, Chris Phillips, Je Widenhouse and Stuart Cole. <p> Formed in 1993, the Zippers apply punk’s aesthetic to early 20th century American popular music. They defy description, incorporating everything from Delta blues and Fats Waller to Tom Waits and traditional klezmer music. They hit the Top 20 in 1996 with the Calypso-flavored “Hell,” performing everywhere from the Presidential Inaugural Ball and the Olympics to an appearance on Sesame Street. After several years on hiatus, the band re-formed in 2007. We’re thrilled to welcome them to Shakori Hills on Friday night. Get ready to dance!
Steam Powered Airplane
Steam Powered Airplane is a four-piece bluegrass band based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The band plays the traditional acoustic instruments: banjo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar and upright bass as well as the occasional dobro and electric guitar. Three of the four players trade off on lead vocals (and sing three-part harmony). Band founder Tucker Smith is a former Wyoming state champion of banjo, guitar, and mandolin, while co-founder Kester Erickson is a former Arizona state fiddle champion.
Steep Canyon Rangers are a band of young souls who play old-time bluegrass, churning out foot-stomping music with enthusiasm and fervor. Their powerful sound and razor-sharp musicianship continue to draw crowds of eclectic listeners as well as traditional bluegrass enthusiasts. Their songs offer fresh insights and twists on hard living, sweet love, moonlit mountains and the joys of the music itself. Sharp-eared listeners will recognize them as the band behind actor/comedian Steve Martin’s recent Grammy-winning bluegrass cds.
stephaniesĭd plays indie pop with soaring vocals, catchy hooks, odd and thoughtful lyrics, and clever musical gymnastics. Hailing from Asheville, NC, their songs feature angst and sorrow swirling with dramatic hope and joyfulness – childlike and grown-up sounds mixing with poetry and pop. If a Scandinavian pop princess got lost in the American South and was rescued by a jazz quartet, it might sound something like this emotional yet buoyant band.
Strut plays an energetic and unique blend of ska, funk, and jam-punk. The whole band grew up playing together on the famous commune-turned-spiritual intentional community The Farm in Summertown, TN. The Farm was dedicated to non-violent, eco-friendly, close community living. These beliefs spill out of Strut’s music and onto the dancefloor. Their uplifting live performances are full of rock-steady messages of conscious and peaceful living. Their many years together have merged them into an intuitive, super-tight machine.
The Stuart Brothers are among the best of Western North Carolina’s new generation of old-time music performers. Growing up in Bethel, N.C., in the shadows of Cold Mountain, Trevor and Travis Stuart learned to play some of the oldest and most beloved tunes of the region from the local masters. Trevor plays fiddle and Travis plays banjo; together, they teach the next generation of players how to keep the art of traditional music alive through the Junior Appalachian Music Program.
Suenalo is a premier eight-piece Latin jam band hailing from south Florida with a signature sound embracing funk, hip-hop, jazz, Afro-Caribbean rhythms and more – the quintessential embodiment of Miami as melting pot. Their dynamic vocals and irresistibly infectious music provides the perfect soundtrack for celebration. Put on your dancing shoes for this hard-grooving fusion of sounds!
Sweet By & By
Chapel Hill’s Sweet By & By weaves captivating three-part vocal harmonies and traditional instrumentation into old-time bluegrass standards and contemporary originals. The result is a fresh take on the all-female string band that is both pure and simple in its approach and rich in its ultimate effect.
Taj Weekes & Adowa unite a true social consciousness with an unforgettable reggae groove. Blending in elements of acoustic roots rock and afro-folk simplicity, the band’s vibrant sound defies genre and has garnered critical acclaim and a wide audience across the globe.
The Tanglewood Puppets have been entertaining children and adults since 1969 with live and interactive performances, with zany puppets encouraging the audience to talk back to them and become part of the show. These warm and friendly characters open the door to imagination, interaction and wonder for all. Based in Louisburg, NC, the show features all original hand puppets and rod puppets with live dialogue and music.
The Tender Fruit grows deep in the sweltering streets of central NC where tenuous songs ring prosaic and true. It is the newest musical incarnation of Christy Smith, a North Carolina native who has lent her voice and talents to Bon Iver and Megafaun. Her songs blend the apocalyptic with the supernal, with layered vocals billowing effortlessly around the crude, earth-bound drum beats and stilted guitar lines that court them.
Tercer Divisa Nacional
This homegrown Latin rock band began playing a new style of music four years ago – urban rock with messages of love, the realities of life, great dance beats, and broken hearts from Mexico City.
Thacker Dairy Road
Thacker Dairy Road plays a well-oiled brand of funky, eclectic roots music blending country rock, samba soul, and electrified bluegrass. Hailing from Whitsett, NC, their stellar musicianship and powerful stage presence provides plenty of spine-tingling musical moments.
The Allen Boys
Mixing the sounds of gospel with rock & roll and country, The Allen Boys play a driving, steel guitar-centered music. Born in select African American Pentecostal-Holiness churches, the sound has burst into popularity recently with such acts as Robert Randolph and the Campbell Brothers. The Allen Boys rarely perform outside of their church in Mt. Airy, NC. This performance is not to be missed – come share in their joyful noise!
Founded by singer/percussionist Shep, the Amateurs have been playing reggae across the southeast for almost twenty years. They’ve lived all across North Carolina, from Wilmington’s well-known Reggae Express Shop to Raleigh’s Latta House – one of the nation’s first colleges for African-Americans. You won’t find many reggae fans across North Carolina who don’t know Shep!
The Bad Mothers
In Shakoriâ€™s backyard youâ€™ll find Pittsboro’s local favorites The Bad Mothers. Brandishing their own â€œAppaDeltAmericanaFreeRangeRock,â€ this trio serves up a buffet of everything from â€˜80s-influenced power-pop to psychodelicate rock ballad jams.
The Believers hail from Nashville and combine elements of old-timey folk, country and gospel to create something uniquely their own: country soul. The duo of Craig Aspen & Cynthia Frazzini are reminiscent of a young Linda Rondstadt and a twangy Elvis Costello. Their voices blend together like the Louvin Brothers on fire. The Believers’ music will swing, sing, lament, honky-tonk, bluegrass and rock you right into their own little world of indie-Americana.
The Belleville Outfit
Mix hot-saucy Texas honky-tonk, city-slicker indie-pop, jam-grass mischief, cool jazz and big-band swing and you’ve about half-described this hot Austin, TX-based band. The Belleville Outfit’s seamless acoustic sound touches on everything from gypsy music to Americana, weaving an improvisational quilt of musical idiosyncrasy.
Hailing from Joplin, Missouri, The Ben Miller Band is a one-of-a-kind trio that combines the frenetic energy of bluegrass, the soul of the delta blues and the haunted spirit of Appalachian mountain music. They create a unique and modern sound while blending together a variety of musical influences. Their singular sound includes slide guitar, a one-stringed washtub bass, electric washboard and electric spoons.
The Blue Ridge Road Gang
THE BLUE RIDGE ROAD GANG: Working the contra-dance highway since 1997. Coming to a work release program near you. This band has been making music together for 12 years. Featuring Ron Cole on fiddle, Brett Riggs on banjo, Pan Riggs on guitar, and Nancy Mamlin on bass, the band has traveled all over the country, playing for dancers with a repertory that is exciting and unique to contra-dancers everywhere. Ruth Pershing will be the caller for the gang’s contra dance set! Ruth has been calling square, contra and community dances for over 20 years, locally and at festivals and camps. She also performs with the Cane Creek Cloggers, and has worked with Mike Seeger to produce the dance documentary, Talking Feet.
The Bulltown Strutters is a community parade band bringing the street band traditions of New Orleans to their own home in Durham. The 20-member group urges the audience to join them in parade, dance, and merry-making. Since 2010, they’ve been bursting out hip-shaking, smile-making boogie music. Dance along at their Saturday afternoon parade or catch their Coffee Barn show later that night!
The Can Kickers
The Can Kickers are a high-energy, old-timey string band with a danceable, punk rock-influenced sound. Less bluegrass than Appalachia turned upside down, this Connecticut trio thrashes away on guitar, banjo, fiddle, and a minimal drumkit, playing older-than-dirt American folk tunes with the manic energy of a punk band.
The Cane Creek Cloggers are a performing dance troupe that have specialized in Appalachian clog dancing since 1980. Hailing from Orange County, NC, the non-profit group choreographs all of their own routines, with innovations in the realm of old-time steps and figures. They share the goal of preserving the heritage of old-time clogging, flatfoot and buckdancing, while exuding the joyful energy and infectious rhythms at the root of it all. The Cane Creek Cloggers invite people of all ages and levels of dance experience to share the enjoyment of clogging.
The Danby Dew-Rites
Fresh outta Steam Mill Valley in Danby, NY, they’re coming down to North Carolina to get away from the winter and represent one of the Northern outposts of Old Time music. Singer of sweet songs, Jiamie Pyles, fiddle by Shakori veteran Lydia Garrison, southpaw Drew Gildea on the banjo, Eric Nichols on his granddaddy’s National, and Chris Watt holding it down on the upright bass. Come on and dance!
Ambassadors for modern Native American ways of life and Tuscarora Indian traditions, Deer Clan Singers make their music and dance charming, funny, mysterious, graceful and participatory. Dave Locklear, Mark Deese, Pura Fe, Jennifer Kreisberg and Chad Locklear are strong singers, harmonizers, and traditional Messengers of the culture of the Tuscarora Native Americans of Robeson County, NC.
The Del McCoury Band
Undeniably one of the most talented, revered and vital groups in bluegrass history, Shakori Hills is proud to welcome back the Del McCoury Band. Born in Bakersville, NC, McCoury has been the epitome of the “high lonesome sound” for over four decades, including a stint as lead singer for Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys. He’s a national treasure, with a sound encompassing shades of blues and gospel and crowds which run the gamut from tie-dyed neo-hippie jammers to button-down yuppies to suspendered good ol’ boys. The band’s instrumental and vocal firepower, deep-rooted dedication to bluegrass heritage, consummate showmanship, and high spirits continue to spread their influence. With sons Ronnie and Rob by his side, their impeccable bluegrass virtuosity remains as stunning as ever. McCoury and his band have won more International Bluegrass Music Association awards than any other artist in history.
The Double E
Songs of love, songs of hope, songs of heartbreak, songs of the road and songs of coming back home. Introducing The Double E, a five-piece rockin’ band from Trumansburg, NY with a sweet country flavor. Amy Puryear will steal your heart with her beautiful voice and classic style country songs, while Ward Puryear and Jason Shegogue on guitar, and Lily Aceto on bass craft a gorgeous musical bed underneath. What people are saying: “I love The Double E”… “Sounds like old Neil Young”…”Well, you got yourself a band”… “Beautiful”… “Lucinda Williams would like that one”… “It’s like hearing my favorite old song that I never heard before”… “The Double E rocks, country style”…
The Duhks (pronounced as in “That’s Just Ducky”) are a singular band from Winnipeg, Canada, who’ve been described as playing “contemporary acoustic,” “progressive soul-grass,” and “kick-@$$ rock/folk fusion.” There are elements appropriated from Irish fiddle tunes, Canadian French and Scots/Maritime folk, and Appalachian Old Time string bands in their high-energy music. They take a progressive approach to bluegrass and folk, with occasional hints towards Latin and rock rhythms.
Embracing a sound and style that combines the high lonesome mood of traditional country with the edgy emotional energy of contemporary alt-country, the Everybodyfields are an acoustic-based act from Johnson City, TN. Their moody, often dark but oddly uplifting sound has a calming poignancy generated by the combination of gorgeous harmonies and exquisite songs that is hypnotic and quietly captivating. Their harmony-driven music is filled with unexpected elements lifted from many musical styles. These are slow, sad sounds with a thin vein of rock and punk running through.
The Fairlanes are a Greensboro, NC-based trio who’ve played together for two decades. Their current three-piece lineup combines blues, rockabilly, soul, funk and country into one big bag of fun. They always brings tons of energy to the stage so be forewarned that when The ‘Lanes start rockin’, it’s time to shake your moneymaker! A true roots music melting pot.
Scorch-porch? Beergrass? Hick-hop? Austinâ€™s alt-country darlings The Gourds have been called all three, but the band members describe their songs as “music for the unwashed and well-read.” The Gourds are a good-time, honky tonkin’ band mixing bluegrass, honky tonk, gospel, and a passing strain of Dixieland or Appalachian dance music. Balancing their brainy wit with quirky Americana, their music merges into a potent gumbo-like mixture, transcending their origins to create beautiful, jaunty tunes which hold a magnifying glass up to life in the south.
The Grady Girls
A quartet of fiddles, flute, and bodhran played by two sisters and their two cousins, the Grady Girls gracefully combine the pulsing melodies of slides and polkas (the dance music from the southwest of Ireland) with more widely known dance tunes such as jigs and reels. Proudly carrying on the musical traditions of their forefathers and foremothers, the lovely young Gradys will sing, fiddle, and step-dance their way into your hearts.
The Gravy Boys
The Gravy Boys play Americana acoustic songs that draw on the rich heritage of homegrown music. Their sound ranges from depression-era folk music and high-lonesome sounds to honky-tonk, alt-country-rock, and contemporary singer/songwriter. Their music is bursting with soul, passion, and an uplifting energy, as they circle around one microphone to sing sweet harmonies with boot-stomping rhythms.
The Green Deeps
The Green Deeps play their own eclectic style of alternative acoustic music from the heart of the Finger Lakes, NY region. Bolstered by a bevy of sweet harmonies, their sound includes hillbilly/Hawaiian dobro, concertina, kora, accordian, banjo and more.
The Greencards, hailing from Austin, TX, break the rules of bluegrass to carve out a fresh hybrid of styles between classic folk balladry and jam band rock and roll. Though committed to traditional acoustic music, their impressive sense of rhythmic interplay mingles discipline and daring in exquisite balance. Their precise arrangements and lovely harmonies are vibrantly independent with a zest for innovation.
The Hackensaw Boys
Whether you call them newgrass, jamgrass, bluegrass, folk, country, punk, rough and ready roots music, or raucous neo-old-timey spit and vinegar, the six piece band known as the Hackensaw Boys, from Charlottesville, VA, are continuing to blow audiences away with their amazing high energy shows and crafty musicianship. Playing old-time music with new-school vision, their fast-and-fierce live show is revitalizing and reenergizing a traditional form of music with modern day vitality, catchy melodies and classic harmonizing.
The Honey Dewdrops
Laura Wortman and Kagey Parrish are the Honey Dewdrops: an award winning, nationally touring husband and wife folk duet who perform fresh, original songs focusing on vocal harmonies and tight instrumentation. Influenced by traditional Appalachian music as well as contemporary singer-songwriters, the Honey Dewdrops blend old styles with new, creating music that is powerful and heartfelt.
Based in Asheville, The Honeycutters’ original Americana, ranging from country ballads to honky-a-billy and blues, is a memorable blend of catchy melody, skillful composition, and honest songwriting. Lead singer Amanda Anne Platt’s voice has been described as perfectly unadorned and recklessly beautiful.
One of the earliest bands to bring truly inventive ideas and energy to traditional American fiddle music, the Horse Flies have created a unique sound that remains fresh, powerful and captivating. Artful original songs, a wild groove-oriented approach to fiddle music, esteemed instrumental skills, and emotive singing come together as old-time fiddle music meets alternative rock, minimalism, modern songwriting and world percussion.
The Hotwires is an energetic Raleigh-based bluegrass band with a deep repertoire of original, contemporary songs, traditional favorites and blazing instrumentals. Their unique individual styles and profuse experience blend together into tight vocal harmonies, polished musicianship and an infectious, driving rhythm.
The Infamous Stringdusters
The Infamous Stringdusters balance a fluency in old-timey bluegrass with indie jamgrass sensibilities, offering dramatic vocals, hot picking and boundless energy. Their tight, quick-moving live shows sparkle with an infectious energy. They’re schooled in the traditions of bluegrass vocal harmony as well as the progressive edge of instrumental music.
The Jackets is a Raleigh-based four-piece rock outfit featuring John Teer and Chandler Holt from Chatham County Line, who are also appearing at Shakori Hills this fall. Driven by high-powered electric guitar melodies and lofty vocal harmonies, they produce a sound reminiscent of eras gone by – concise, hook-centric rock drenched in shimmering pop.
The Java Mules
The Java Mules are a five piece old-time string band with an eclectic flare and a strong Appalachian influence. Their songs range from creative renditions of 1920’s fiddle tunes and traditional songs to country blues and originals with the flavor of the old mountain life. The band features an array of instruments and three vocalists to accommodate the lively variety of tunes. Dancin’, stompin’, and hollerin’ are always encouraged!
The Kickin Grass Band
The Kickin Grass Band takes the stage, and suddenly you’re captivated by pure, strong voices telling true‐to‐life stories spiced with innovative bluegrass instrumentation. You fall in love with the rootsy, Americana style, and can’t wait for more. The group’s fan base continues to expand and grow, as does their talent and musicianship. The Kickin Grass Band’s songs – some mournful, some jubilant – reflect the depth and breadth of the human experience.
The Lee Boys
Part of the “Sacred Steel” movement, the Lee Boys (most of whom are related) put pedal steel guitar at the front of their gospel. But unlike their contemporaries, there’s a slight and unusual country tinge to their bluesy gospel sound, making them sound at times like the mid-’70s Allman Brothers. The rhythm section is rock-steady, but the band rocks the house like no one’s business. Each member began making music in the church when they were 7 or 8 years old, and they haven’t stopped playing since.
Greensboroâ€™s The Mantras are an eclectic band playing a unique blend of rock, fusion, jazz, and funk. Their virtuosic playing and superior musicianship shifts seamlessly between musical genres with the ability to send listeners in any direction in the musical universe at any moment. Donâ€™t miss their unpredictable sonic joyride!
The Marshall Tucker Band
The Marshall Tucker Bandâ€™s definitive blend of rock, R&B, jazz, country and gospel, mixed with extended instrumental passages, helped establish the Southern rock genre in the early 1970s. Every album they released that decade went gold, led by hits like “Heard It in a Love Song” and â€œCanâ€™t You See.â€ In the years since, theyâ€™ve had hits on the country and gospel charts, recorded and toured constantly, and made further forays into a variety of musical genres. Through it all, the Marshall Tucker Band endured and finally began to receive their due as Southern rock pioneers. The good ol’ boys from Spartanburg, SC remain a powerful force in the world of music.
The Mighty Sanfordaires
This well-known family gospel group from Sanford, NC was founded by the late Eddie Williams and his four sons in 1967. The brothers have expanded into a 7-piece group made up of a vocal quartet and backup band. They’ve offered up the best of what traditional gospel music has to offer in concerts up and down the East Coast.
The Minglewood Ramblers
The Minglewood Ramblers are a powerhouse stringband from Westfield, NC led by fiddler Jake Krack who has won numerous fiddler’s conventions including Mount Airy, Galax and Clifftop among many others. Nancy Sluys has accomplished similar feats with her hard driving Round Peak clawhammer banjo style.
The NC Music Love Army
The NC Music Love Army is a new Triangle-based supergroup aspiring to be the soundtrack for the Moral Monday political protest movement in Raleigh. Members include over 40 musicians from well-known acts including Django Haskins from The Old Ceremony, Caitlin Cary & Lynn Blakey from Tres Chicas, poet/rapper Shirlette Ammons, Birds & Arrows’ Andrea Connolly and musical director Jon Lindsay. This loose but fiery collective is adding to America’s rich history of message-driven protest music, with limber and lively performances that are both catchy and thought-provoking.
The punk-pop quintet The Never, hailing from Chapel Hill, bursts forth with three-part, doo-wop-style harmonies, chunky alt-rock riffs, heartfelt piano balladry, seething lyrical sentiment, hallmark harmonies and fantastical atmospheric imagery. With curious compositions and jarring juxtapositions, they shift in the span of a single song from power ballad to teen pop to rock anthem to lilting lullaby.
The New Familiars
From the foothills of North Carolina, the New Familiars grew from the seeds of the folk rock, country blues, and bluegrass found abundant in their native land. They combine a passion for harmony and dissonance with a visceral intensity in their raucous live shows. With honky-tonk elements of dobro and harmonica, mountain touches of banjo, and rough-hewn harmonies made for ’70s-era Southern rock, they play Americana with a grand heartbeat.
The Old Ceremony
The Old Ceremony is a “pop-noir” group from Chapel Hill playing rootsy American rock that’s both faintly exotic and surprisingly intimate. They play cinematic, theatrical and moody music, with baroque arrangements that electrify the supple cabaret jazz outfit at their roots. They’re led by Django Haskins, an eloquent wordsmith able to embrace both the pizazz of romance and the love-skunk blues of the common man in arresting three-minute vignettes.
The spirit of original roots rock reggae culture is live and direct from The Overtakers. They sing with pure spirit and enthusiasm as they convey the blessings and hardships of being Jamaican. Their unique and original sound is mashed up with a dancehall lyrical style as they perform a vast assortment of traditional Caribbean and original songs filled with humor and knowledge.
The Red Hots
From the Roundpeak area of North Carolina, the Red Hots feature Joe Thrift on fiddle, Tom Riccio on banjo, Kelley Breiding on bass, and Nick McMillian on guitar. As if fueled by a mystic music elixir, they play the most rockin’est old-time music you may ever hear!
The Revelers define modern honky-tonk, delivering joyfully energized performances in a wide variety of styles including swamp pop, Cajun, country, blues, zydeco, Western Swing, Tex-Mex and more. Featuring founding members of The Red Stick Ramblers and Pine Leaf Boys, these Louisiana-based master musicians boast whipsmart songwriting, outrageous musical chops, and an infectious enthusiasm for the music and culture.
The Shelbys, a four-piece band from the Piedmont area of North Carolina, play a range of American roots music that draws from sources in pre-war blues, gospel, country and rhythm & blues from the ’40s and ’50s. A highlight of the band is the vocal ability of each of the members, which results in great duets, trios and quartets. Their originals and renditions of great songs by artists such as Memphis Minnie, George Jones, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Hank Williams and Jimmie Reed assure that listeners and dancers have an exciting, honky-tonk, juke-joint experience.
Durham-based poet and musician Shirlette Ammons uses hip hop to channel both painful histories and visionary futures, peppering her lyrics with provocative phrases and a liberated, rebellious energy. Highly individualistic, her rakish verbal virtuosity includes playfully brutal battle raps, seamlessly flowing patters, hypnotic singsong and deep soul. Having previously appeared with Mosadi Music and Dynamite Brothers, Shakori Hills is thrilled to welcome her newest ensemble.
The Side Effects
There’s a family of bands in Atlanta that play shows together, lift each other up, and inspire each other to play music with a real message. The Side Effects came together from a variety of bands within this family, including Stop Drop & Roll and the Ralph Roddenbery Band. The Side Effects play to see the smiles on dancing faces and to spread the sense of family through music. Theyâ€™ll be joined at Shakori Hills by special guest Vince Herman from Great American Taxi.
The Smart Brothers
Jay and Lou Smart are two brothers from California whose raw energy translates into a sparse acoustic sound that is at once classic and entirely refreshing. Inspired by the rich history of American roots music, they have cultivated their vocal harmonies in the finest vagabond minstrel tradition.
No need for bells, whistles, smoke machines, or special effects: The Splendors deliver old school rock ‘n roll in its rawest form. Reminiscent of bands like The Velvet Underground and T.Rex, with Sid Green channeling Keith Richards through his SG, and songwriter Jairo van Lunteren growling “Yeah!”, moving around like a European Elvis and singing songs in Dutch and English. Supported by Bill Reynolds on bass and Tom Gilbert on drums, Ithaca’s The Splendors make you want to put on your go-go boots and have some fun.
The Steamrollers are a high octane five-piece string band from Durham who play with a punk rock energy while holding true to their traditional Appalachian musical roots. From rowdy and beautiful fiddle tunes to songs about love and life, they deliver a fun live show filled with great vibes, funny stories, and a rowdy good time.
Hailing from southeastern Pennsylvania, The Stray Birds craft an original sound which draws upon the richness of American folk music traditions spun with a stirring subtlety and grace. Their sound is an accomplished amalgam of bluegrass, folk, old-time, acoustic country and fiddle music. With powerfully soaring three-part harmonies, last year’s self-titled album landed on NPR’s “Top 10 Folk & Americana Albums Of 2012″ list.
Ithaca, NY’s The TalkToMes plays roots rock smashed into alt-country with a punk rock attitude. If music were bocce, they would be the pallino, the target that gets rolled out in the beginning of the game that everyone else tries to “kiss” with their own bocce balls. Band members include J.T. Puryear, Sim Redmond, Asa Redmond, and Gregor Sayet-Bone, whose stunning original songs are the driving force behind this group.
The Trainwreks are a six-piece, dirty-tonk/Western swing band from Asheville, NC. They’ve developed a unique sound with heavy roots in country & western swing and straight up honky-tonk, playing a wide array of music influenced by everything from the Misfits to Dwight Yoakum.
The Travelin’ McCourys
The Travelinâ€™ McCourys do not stand still. They are on the road entertaining audiences with live shows that include some of the best musicians and singers from all genres. Itâ€™s always different, always exciting, and always great music. No other band today has the same credentials for playing traditional and progressive music. As the sons of bluegrass legend Del McCoury, Ronnie McCoury on mandolin and Rob McCoury on banjo continue their fatherâ€™s workâ€”a lifelong dedication to the power of bluegrass music to bring joy into peopleâ€™s lives. But the band is now combining their sound with others to make something fresh and rejuvenating.They can push forward so far because their roots are so deep. The band has a confidence that only comes with having paid their dues with twenty years on the bluegrass road. Folks hear this immediatelyâ€”the tight rhythm, the soulful material, and the confidence in taking bluegrass from the safety of the shore into uncharted waters.
The Two Man Gentlemen Band
What better musical prescription for troubled times than an impeccably-dressed, throwback, neo-vaudevillian duo whose live performances are a festival of expert musicianship, clever, off-center original tunes, hilarious banter, rowdy audience interactions, and free kazoos for the crowd? Hailing from New York City, The Two Man Gentlemen Band combines hot jazz, vintage rhythm & blues, old-time country, and tin pan alley to create a joyous two-man sound that is all their own, belting out original songs that manage to be at once familiar, bizarre, fun, and entirely new.
The Walker Street Fiddlers
The Walker Street Fiddlers is a diverse group of young musicians from third grade through high school whose common thread is their love of music, particularly traditional Irish and American fiddle tunes. They’re currently comprised of 28 students from a dozen different schools in Guilford and Alamance Counties.
The Waybacks are an eclectic acoustic group from San Francisco possessed with dazzling instrumental chops and an absolute mastery of musical styles. Their sound mixes bluegrass, swing and early jazz, featuring sing-songy Django Reinhardt-style guitar runs and vintage-flavored harmonies, with occasional forays into rock grandiosity. They can hit slower, bluesy numbers with swing and feeling, or launch into a Celtic space jam filled with country jazz.
The Whiskey Gentry is a toe-tapping, steamrolling kind of band, with fingers picking deep into fields of bluegrass and feet stomping in line with a punk-inspired kick drum. These Atlanta-based troubadours combine elements of country, folk, rock and more with a mix of poppy, poignant lyrics and fiery, heartfelt vocals that pull you into the Appalachians with the force of a landslide. With lead vocals alternately delicate as a string of pearls and fierce as a jackhammer, their tight and daring sound is perfectly complimented by their high-energy live performances.
Thomas Mapfumo and Blacks Unlimited
Renowned Zimbabwean political funkster, guitarist and master yodeler Thomas Mapfumo mixes rock and funk with traditional African melodies. His sound blends Zimbabwean traditional music, down-home eastern African guitars and punchy horns into joyous melodies and percolating rhythms. Mapfumo is the originator of “chimurenga” music, which means “music of struggle.” The title is well earned – Mapfumo was imprisoned for subversion in 1977, one year before the Zimbabwean independence. Audiences are sure to dance and sway to this relaxed and upbeat show of extraordinary depth and reflectiveness.
Thousands of One is a community-based, politically driven neo-soul/R&B collective based in Ithaca, NY. Plenty of groups emulate the classic ’70s Marvin Gaye sound, but few try to match his deeply conscious message. Thousands of One spouts lyrics both spiritual and positive while their deeply addictive Afro-hiphop-funk-soul grooves provide the anchor.
Tift Merritt is a triple-threat artist – a gifted singer, superb songwriter, and skillful guitarist. Her music includes a hefty dose of the alt-country sound, while also branching out to include blues, rock, pop, and even some Memphis soul. She calls it a “rock soul throwdown.” Her lyrical perspective speaks of the often-unfortunate twists and turns of fate, but without bitterness or spite. The sweet sensuality of her dynamic voice flows like honey, as she follows her instincts to find an ecstatic sound.
Tim Smith Band
This Mebane, NC band formerly called The Jumpstarts is still cooking up a deliciously original blend of traditional ’50s-style Jamaican ska and reggae while stirring in a heavy helping of jazz with a sampling of gospel and blues. Seasoned with soul and a dash of funk, this concoction really cooks. Singer/songwriter multi-instrumentalist Tim Smith has played with countless bands including The Squirrel Nut Zippers, Hobex, Sol Creech Band and The Countdown Quartet.
Nashville’s Todd Snider is a satirist, class cutup and the rare artist who understands and celebrates the connections between the Stones, Dylan, Bill Hicks, John Prine, Mitch Hedberg, Kris Kristofferson, Hunter S. Thompson and Randy Newman. His satirical wit incorporates bluegrass, blues, country-rock, and folk-rock, and his songs have been recorded by artists including Jimmy Buffet, John Prine, Guy Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker and Roseanne Cash.
Tom Maxwell, former frontman for Squirrel Nut Zippers, plays immensely creative, timeless music – a grab bag of diverse genres from jazz and swing to country and calypso. Based in Carrboro, his beautifully eclectic sound shines with backroom humor, cosmic meditations and smoky barroom romps and ballads. An utterly enigmatic performer, his witty and irreverent shows are a rollicking, heartrending hot jazz experience.
Folk singer-songwriter Tom Rush, hailing from New Hampshire, has been recording since 1965. His distinctive guitar style, wry humor, and warm, expressive voice have made him a legend. His shows are filled with the rib-aching laughter of terrific storytelling, the sweet melancholy of ballads, and the passion of gritty blues.
Tom Rush is a gifted musician and performer from New Hampshire, whose shows offer a musical celebration and a journey into the tradition and spectrum of what music has been, can be, and will become. His distinctive guitar style, wry humor and warm, expressive voice have made him both a legend and a lure to audiences around the world. His shows are filled with the rib-aching laughter of terrific storytelling, the sweet melancholy of ballads, and the passion of gritty blues.
Tony Williamson is one of bluegrass’ more interesting traditionalists, performing the old-time style of music that dates back to his ancestors in rural North Carolina. However, he takes his share of chances, ranging from haunting country gospels and time-honored Irish-Celtic tunes to joyous originals and jazz-inflected instrumentals. His seamlessly blended harmonies and masterfully intuitive picking have figured prominently in the Piedmont’s traditional music scene for decades. He wrote in the liner notes to one album, “It is our greatest wish that you too may wrap yourself in the blanket of these verses and melodies and be comforted by our music, just as if you were on the far side of the river resting under the shade of the trees.”
Hailing from Chapel Hill, Too Much Fun has entertained audiences across North Carolina for a quarter century. They can jump, they can swing, they can flat out rock. Their three-part harmonies light up their own originals alongside choice covers featuring rootsy blues, barrelhouse rockers and everything in between!
Asheville, NC’s Toubab Krewe sets a new standard for fusing West African music with rock and roll. They blend instruments such as kora and ngoni with influences ranging from country and Latin to reggae and hip-hop. Their music is danceable and celebratory, with interweaving melodies floating over two drummers locked in hypnotic beats. Their singular sound is a blend of authenticity and unpredictability – expertly meshed surf guitar with Malian rhythmic patterns, a “Dick Dale goes to Timbuktu” experiment in Afro-California fusion.
Town Hall is a Brooklyn-based alt-folk band with a uniquely fun and rootsy American sound and a notable lushness in their arrangements. Earnest female vocals, strong lyrics and straight-forward rock sensibilities extend the vision of the three members far beyond the sum of its parts.
Imagine a band that occupies the common ground between traditional bluegrass, outlaw country and pure old-time mountain music. Imagine a group that harnesses the frantic energy of the modern punk string band, yet remains respectfully rooted in the tradition of Bill Monroe. This is Asheville, NC’s Town Mountain. Great original songwriting, tight vocal harmonies, a charismatic stage presence, and instrumental expertise place this group in the upper tier of contemporary acoustic bands.
Tres Chicas, the Raleigh band that features Caitlin Cary, Lynn Blakey and Tonya Lamm, combines gorgeously shifting harmonies with elements of country, folk, and rock to create a devastatingly beautiful set of love songs. The trio’s voices are deeply moving, even startling, in their earthy elegance. They blend and weave styles and modes and colors effortlessly and in concert with one another. It’s tough, mysterious, and utterly feminine.
Joni Mitchell meets Bob Wills meets Cole Porter best describes the sound of this trio of singer/songwriters from Pittsboro, NC. Sheila Fleming Warner joins with Brooksie & Richard Edwards to blur the lines between contemporary folk, western swing and jazz. Playing both standards and originals, their three unique voices seamlessly blend into one delightful sound.
Grammy-nominated musician Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews stirs together old-school jazz, funk and soul, laced with hard-rock power chords and hip-hop beats – a sound he’s dubbed “Supafunkrock.” Honoring the hallowed legacy of the great soul men of the 1960s and ’70s, he offers up a rare combination of musical virtuosity and intensely high-energy, party-down live performances. He’s sat in with everyone from U2 and Kid Rock to Dave Matthews Band and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. His 2010 album “Backatown” topped Billboard’s national jazz chart for nine weeks, leading the San Francisco Chronicle to hail him as “New Orleans’ brightest new star in a generation.”
The Turtle Duhks are a trio of young energetic friends playing old time fiddle tunes with an occasional singin’ song thrown in the mix. With musical backgrounds ranging from old time to Irish to punk rock, and members of the group hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba and Trumansburg, NY, the Turtle Duhks bridge time, distance, and culture to land together on stage or back porch to play foot-stompin’ dance tunes. The band features Lydia Clauson of Turtle Island Dream on fiddle, Leonard Podolak of The Duhks on banjo, and Jordan McConnell of The Duhks on guitar.
Turtle Island Dream
Two Dollar Pistols
With a soulful honky-tonk country sound as their foundation, the Two Dollar Pistols, led by singer John Howie, Jr., drive their music home with easy rolling melodies, low-boil twang and an energetic edge. They play with a vital spirit that injects their sincerity with some playfulness, adding hooks, heartbreak and clever wordplay. Howie’s trademark booming baritone croon and robust delivery perfectly conveys the heartbreak and loss in their tear-jerking country & western ballads.
Guitar, keyboard, percussion, vocals – the name Tyler Ramsey has become synonymous with talent, taste, wit, and style. Renowned as a sideman and perennial winner of best-local-musician polls, Ramsey contributed his instrumental prowess to numerous bands before deciding to step out front. Solo, he crafts intricate, finger-style guitar sounds reminiscent of John Fahey. Blues, ragtime, experimental folk – Ramsey is a composer of intricate, ethereal songs of melancholy and rumination.
Blending the rich vocal textures of women from the Garifuna communities of Central America with echoes of rock, blues, funk, African, Latin and Caribbean music, Umalali is an entrancing journey into the heart and soul of a unique and inspiring culture. From the award-winning producer of Andy Palacio & the Garifuna Collective’s Watina comes this album of indescribable emotion, strength and beauty.
Playing Cajun-Zydeco with a twist, Unknown Tongues hails from the marshlands of Eastern NC where they’ve hosted the Gloucester Mardi Gras for twenty years and just launched the Wild Caught Local Seafood and Music Festival on the banks of the Straits. Unknown locally as well as around the world, the Tongues play stealthy and addictive grooves that leave unsuspecting fans eager for more. Come check out the mystico-morphic band of Down East coastal NC bayou.
Weaving together folk, country, swing and blues, North Carolina guitarist Valorie Miller sings like a life-seasoned force of nature, creating musical paintings of dark beauty and intense depth. If you’ve never seen her perform, then the image of a soulful Gaelic banshee with flaming hair will have to do the trick – just imagine that spirit carries an Appalachian voice that’s as sweet as rain water on a rusty tin roof. Her music speaks of a deep realism with lyrics painting visions riddled with unexpected twists.
Vince Herman & Great American Taxi
Led by singer, guitarist, and mandolin player Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon, Great American Taxi’s uninhibited sound is a swinging concoction of swampy blues, progressive bluegrass, funky New Orleans strut, Southern boogie, honky tonk country, gospel, and good ol’ fashioned rock ‘n’ roll. They’re one of the best jam bands in the land, masterfully blending acoustic and electric instruments into music they call “Americana Without Borders.”
Virgins Family Band are a stirring Chapel Hill-based percussive indie pop group whose show includes vibrant shadow and paper-mache puppetry. From mellow feel-good harmonies to explosive experimental instrumentals, their high-energy psychedelic folk captures the dynamic peaks and troughs of the myriad of styles that influence them. This is the perfect soundtrack for a sunny day.
As the longtime band for international reggae superstar Bob Marley, the Wailers have sold in excess of 250 million albums and played to 25 million people across the globe. Still led by original bassist Aston “Family Man” Barrett, the Wailers have also performed with Sting, the Fugees, Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana and more, including recent collaborations with Kenny Chesney, Eve, Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat. Don’t miss this chance to see the true innovators of the “one drop” reggae sound that swept the world!
The Weems-Gerrard Band plays classic country/honky-tonk and their own originals. They hold it all together with pure country soul vocals and the nail-you-to-the wall harmonies of Mark Weems and Alice Gerrard. The band features pedal steel, dobro, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, keyboards, bass and drums. This is pure honky-tonk, good to listen to, good to dance by!
North Carolinaâ€™s own Wembley plays pure indie-pop with disarmingly dreamy guitar-centered melodies, delicate boy-girl harmonies and compulsively bouncy piano rhythms.
West End Mambo
West End Mambo is a high-energy nine-piece Latin band performing a variety of Salsa, Mambo, Latin jazz, Merengue, Cumbia, and Cha-Cha tunes, all with enough zip to get you up and dancing. Nicaraguan born West End Mambo musical director Cesar Oviedo says, “The sound of everyone playing together, that is what makes this music great. I think all people love Latin music once they hear it. They love the energy, the joy, the spirit. It is about having fun.”
Bluesman Haskel “Whistlin’ Britches” Thompson has an amazing spirit and exudes utter joy when he sings, even popping and clicking his tongue like a bushman. He says, “It’s wonderful going out to entertain because we bring happiness, joy, and peace. Tim Duffy says, “He is the only fellow I have heard who can pop and click his tongue like a bushman.” Whistlin’ Britches will be performing as part of the Music Maker Revue.
Shakori Hills is thrilled to host this very special reunion. Don’t miss the only East Coast performance of Fresno’s flatpicking wizard Doug Bremseth and Chapel Hill mandolinist Charles Pettee from the Shady Grove Band, who play bluegrass with a fire and intensity you find only in true believers. Wiffer Creek features fine singing, their trademark finger-defying jams, and originals so finely crafted they sound like bluegrass hall of famers.
Friends of the old-time minor key, Irish dance music and the legendary Atlantic/Stax sound, Wildcat Creek hails from a space between the Ithaca Flats and the South Shakori Waterways. Featuring Claire Byrne from Driftwood, Michael Hansen from Traveling Creatures, Bess Greenberg from Milkweed, and Jordan Puryear from Bubba George String Band, the instruments are simple – fiddle, banjo, guitar and bass – but the possibilities are endless.
Offering a fresh feel to time-honored music such as traditional, old-time, blues and rock, Woodwork Roadshow delivers a unique variety of original and classic roots music. Featuring mandolin, guitar and upright bass, their sound has a jazzy, bluegrass feel alongside elements of country-rock and reggae layered with soul. They create an exhilarating musical experience for audiences every time they take to the stage.
Ashevilleâ€™s Woody Pines epitomizes the swinging ragtime, Viper jazz and country blues sound while embracing an aura of the Mississippi Delta. Donâ€™t miss this delightful group and their rock solid old-time vaudeville hillbilly groove!
Xillbilli Bus Sound System
Xillbilli Bus SoundSystem pushes fiddle tunes to deep beats that give clues to where they’ve come from and where they’re going. Xillibilli is the “Africanized” spelling and a recognition of origins. The bus is what real people – farmers, students, workers, loafers, nomads and musicians – take all over the world to get from point-to-point everyday. The soundsystem, that’s how you get the tunes out and heard from Africa and the Middle East to Jamaica and on to Appalachia. “In our music we take the fiddle and banjo tradition of the Southern Appalachians and add generous doses of Afrophonic spice. This music may be called ‘old-time’ but it’s as alive, fresh and relevant as ever.” The band includes Lydia Sears on fiddle, Ephraim McDowell on banjo, Jordan Puryear on guitar, and Jim O’Keefe on bass.
Yarn’s sound owes as much to Gram Parsons and Earl Scruggs as to Jerry Garcia and the Exile On Main Street-era Rolling Stones. These Grammy-nominated Brooklyn natives straddle the genres of Americana and alt-country, with a dash of jam band thrown in for good measure. This is real country music with an outsider’s edge – a virtuosic collective blending fluid musical runs with lovely close vocal harmonies.
Yellen Horsley is a three-piece acoustic band with primitive bluesy roots music at the base of their sound. Their simple rhythm-heavy style is the key ingredient in almost everything they play. Their sets include blues, old-timey tunes, originals, Tom Waits and Bob Dylan covers. Their name is a combination of the names of two obscure bluesmen, Jack Yellen and Clayton Horsley. Jack Yellen was a Tin Pan Alley blues songwriter and Vaudeville performer. Clayton Horsley was a Piedmont bluesman who played music in Virginia in the mid-1920’s.
Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band
When the Booty Band hits the stage, <em>everybody</em> dances! These seven guys from Asheville, NC mix triumphant horns, laid-back grooves, and heavy backbeats to encompass many styles of music that can only be described as one: Bounce Music. The swarms of swaying bodies at their shows testify to their thick thump and boundless energy. The Booty Band cuts to the core of what great live music is all about: having fun and feeling good. Their energy is contagious as they add colorful costumes and an interactive stage personality to make everyone feel like a part of the show. They are the Booty Band, and they put the Live back into Live music.
From Panama to Mexico to France, Yomira John’s musical story has been the bond between cultures and races and the fusion of rhythms and sounds from across the world. Her sound grows from the roots of Panamanian rhythmic diversity – Tamborera fused with Calypso – creating a perfect mix between the music of her homeland and the echoes of the world around her.
Colorado-based progressive bluegrass quartet Yonder Mountain String Band plays a brand of string band music as steeped in the jam band tradition as the high and lonesome bluegrass sound originated by Bill Monroe. Their amazingly deft banjo, mandolin and guitar interplay features driving rhythms, superb harmonies and virtuoso musicianship. Their enthusiasm is contagious, with frenetic bluegrass, improvised rock and countless other influences blended through their unique chemistry. At their best when they stretch out and play off each other during extended instrumental breaks, they live to make unexpected left turns into surprising new musical territory.
ZamBamBooGee is a Pittsboro-based band serving up a rich, hot stew of dance music overflowing with influences including rock, jazz, reggae, world music, R&B and the sounds of New Orleans. Their mix of innovative originals and eclectic covers features muscular improvisational musicianship underpinning soaring vocal melodies.
Their name means “ample amounts of zydeco” and that’s what they deliver. Zydecopious offers up not only tunes that zydeco afficionados and dancers have come to know and love, but songs that reflect the heavy R&B-tinged music of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast region. And always expect some surprises, as some popular hits of the past get the zydeco treatment.
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With Alaskan roots and a new Nashville home, Bearfoot plays string band music for the 21st century. Their new-timey post-bluegrass sound is equal parts uplifting, energetic, haunting and beautiful. Bearfoot’s evocative originals, contemporary covers, lively harmonies and lovely musicianship even landed them on top of Billboard’s Bluegrass Album chart in 2009. <em>Thurs. – Dance, 7:30pm. Fri. – Grove, 9pm.
Bela Fleck & The Flecktones
Widely acknowledged as one of the world’s most innovative and technically proficient banjo players, Bela Fleck has evolved from traditional bluegrass to progressive jazz, classical, Indian, African and even Christmas music. Along the way, he’s won 11 Grammy awards and been nominated in more categories than any musician in history. The Flecktones’ seamless, unclassifiable blend of genres is a mind-blowing sound all their own. Howard Levy gets chromatics from his blues harp, Victor Wooten picks banjo rolls on his bass, and Future Man plays a Frankenstein-monster drum-machine/guitar synthesizer. This is the reunited original Flecktones lineup, together again for the first time since 1992. If you’ve never seen them in action, don’t miss this chance for a truly unique and amazing musical experience. You won’t believe your eyes and ears! <em>Sun. – Meadow, 6:30pm.</em>
With a style rooted in small town Texas, Austin-based singer/songwriter Billy Eli delivers a primetime slab of barroom country rock. He sings with fervent heart and soul about the range of human experience from sin to salvation. His songs are vivid slices of real life lived to the fullest and chased down with a stiff shot of whiskey.
The Blackberry Bushes Stringband
The Blackberry Bushes hail from the rain-drenched forests of Olympia, Washington with a unique blend of Northwest Americana songwriting and dense vocal harmonies. With a bluegrass foundation, they draw from the deep roots of American folk music and add influences from all over the map, from Appalachian old-time to indie rock and alt.country. Quick-witted, fleet-fingered, sweet-harmonied, high energy and joyously soulful!
The Brand New Life, hailing from Greensboro, constructs a robust repertoire of world-inspired Afrobeat, modern jazz and indie rock. Their unique eight-piece instrumentation features two horn players and four percussionists creating a rousing, danceable melting pot of sound. Powered by fierce momentum and mighty horns, they cultivate lively African polyrhythms, sophisticated improvised jazz, and adventurous explosions of rock.
California iconoclast Brett Dennen spins out funkily elegant strands of timeless pop featuring long-lined melodies unfolding in a rush of words and clever rhymes, often laid over subtle African pop rhythms. He tackles big subjects like love and death and pain, but somehow manages to sound sunny and hopeful the whole way through. His crazy passion for change and unity in our society is an ideology of hope for the hopeless and strength for the broken.
<img src=”http://www.shakorihillsgrassroots.org/act_pictures/dehlialow_web.jpg” alt=”” />Dehlia Low’s vocal harmonies and instrumentation reflect a deep connection to traditional music with modern arrangements and songwriting. Their originals are rooted in bluegrass but with a distinctive country/folk feel true to their southern Appalachian roots. The band combines their gripping, rustic-flavored vocal style with extraordinary instrumental prowess. <em>Sat. – Grove, 5:30pm.</em>
<h2><a href=”http://www.myspace.com/desark” target=”_blank”>Des Ark (solo)</a></h2>
<img src=”http://www.shakorihillsgrassroots.org/act_pictures/desark_web.jpg” alt=”” width=”83″ height=”125″ />With angular guitar slashes and fractured rhythms, anachronistic Durham-based indie rocker Aimee Argote of Des Ark provides an intense burst of energy expressing her deeply felt politics and controversial life decisions. A little bit Southern twang and a little bit punk, Argote has no qualms about expressing herself and is no stranger to confronting her demons through song. <em>Thurs. – Dance, 6pm. Sat. – Meadow, 2:30pm.
<img src=”http://www.shakorihillsgrassroots.org/act_pictures/dsass_web.jpg” alt=”” width=”128″ height=”150″ />dsass is an energetic duo that converts life experiences and lessons learned into raw, stripped-down versions of musical emotion. Their earnest combination of acoustic guitar, percussion and blade tight harmonies cuts straight through. <em>Sat. – Cabaret, 11:15pm.</em> <a name=”558″></a>
<h2><a href=”http://www.dubaddis.com/” target=”_blank”>dub Addis</a></h2>
<img src=”http://www.shakorihillsgrassroots.org/act_pictures/dub_addis.web.gif” alt=”” />Hailing from Ethiopia, dub Addis dreams up soulful melodies embedded in the polyrhythms of Africa. Heavenly horns and traditional Ethiopian rhythms bring forth their positive roots reggae philosophy. <em>Fri. – Meadow, 11:30pm.</em>
<h2><a href=”http://www.duhks.com/” target=”_blank”>The Duhks </a></h2>
<img src=”http://www.shakorihillsgrassroots.org/act_pictures/duhkspress_web.jpg” alt=”” width=”133″ height=”124″ />The Duhks (pronounced as in “That’s Just Ducky”) are a singular band from Winnipeg, Canada, who’ve been described as playing “contemporary acoustic,” “progressive soul-grass,” and “kick-@$$ rock/folk fusion.” There are elements appropriated from Irish fiddle tunes, Canadian French and Scots/Maritime folk, and Appalachian Old Time string bands in their high-energy music. They take a progressive approach to bluegrass and folk, with occasional hints towards Latin and rock rhythms. <em>Sat. – Dance, 11:45pm. Sun. – Meadow, 3:45pm.</em>
<h2><a href=”http://eilenjewell.com/” target=”_blank”>Eilen Jewell </a></h2>
<img src=”http://www.shakorihillsgrassroots.org/act_pictures/eilenjewell_web.jpg” alt=”” />Boston-based artist Eilen Jewell puts her own beautiful stamp on old country, folk and blues and comes out sounding like the time-traveling, sweet-voiced lovechild of Bessie Smith, Gillian Welch, and the Be Good Tanyas. Her thick, warm voice and authentic country songwriting have led the Boston Herald to name her “Boston’s Americana gem.” Her music weaves together threads of loneliness, homesickness, regret, sinning, traveling, dreaming, hope, and redemption. <em>Thurs. – Grove, 10pm. Fri. – Dance, 8pm.</em>
<h2><a href=”http://www.emmittnershiband.com/” target=”_blank”>Emmitt-Nershi Band </a></h2>
<img src=”http://www.shakorihillsgrassroots.org/act_pictures/emmittnershi_web.jpg” alt=”” />These two linchpins of legendary jambands – mandolinist Drew Emmitt from Leftover Salmon and guitarist Bill Nershi from The String Cheese Incident – exemplify the forward-thinking modern bluegrass musician, with one foot reverently in bluegrass history and one foot in progressive experimentation. With stellar musicianship, their songs hop and bound in endlessly entertaining and engaging ways, grasping both big ideas and subtle musical touches. This premier alt-grass outfit offers a lively sound that harkens back to simpler times. <em>Fri. – Meadow, 7:30pm.</em>
<h2><a href=”http://www.facebook.com/thegradygirls” target=”_blank”>The Grady Girls</a></h2>
<img src=”http://www.shakorihillsgrassroots.org/act_pictures/gradygirls_web.jpg” alt=”” width=”125″ height=”120″ />A quartet of fiddles, flute, and bodhran played by a pair of sisters and their two cousins, Ithaca, NY’s The Grady Girls gracefully combine the pulsing melodies of slides and polkas with more widely known dance tunes such as jigs and reels. Proudly carrying on their Irish musical traditions, the young Gradys will sing, fiddle, and step-dance their way into your hearts. <em>Fri. – Cabaret, 9:15pm</em>. <em>Sat. – Dance, 2:15pm.</em>
Green Grass Cloggers
The Green Grass Cloggers is a clogging team founded in 1971 in Greenville, NC. Inspired by traditional mountain-style clogging teams, but more influenced by older flatfoot and buck dancers, they developed an original, eclectic style. Unlike the traditional “big-set” mountain square dance figures, they used choreography based on four-couple Western square dance figures in short energetic routines consciously designed for audience appeal. While the groups’ footwork is synchronized as in precision clogging, their free-spirited performances include head-high kicks and other unconventional steps. <em>Sat. – Grove, 7:15pm.
<h2><a href=”http://hnmtf.com/” target=”_blank”>Hammer No More the Fingers</a></h2>
<img src=”http://www.shakorihillsgrassroots.org/act_pictures/hammer_web.gif” alt=”” width=”83″ height=”125″ />Hammer No More the Fingers is a Chapel Hill/Durham trio that writes catchy, edgy, off-kilter indie rock. Their energetic lo-fi sound is powerful and reckless while remaining tasteful and refined. <em>Sat. – Grove, 12:15am.</em> <em>Sun. – Cabaret, 5pm.</em>
You thought country music ain’t what it used to be. Think again. J.P. Harris and The Tough Choices have been resurrecting the ghosts of a time when real, hardcore honky-tonk ruled the airwaves; before the words “pop” or “new” ever met the word “country.” Harris writes with the humor, grit and grace that only a truly road-worn author can summon.
James Olin Oden
<img src=”http://www.shakorihillsgrassroots.org/act_pictures/jamesolinoden_web.jpg” alt=”” />Raleigh-based singer/songwriter James Olin Oden takes you on a vast tour of Celtic music, with heart-rending ballads, good old drinking songs and foot stomping jigs and reels. His compelling rhythmic style pulls you in and regales you with stories ranging from dark tales to silly revelries. <em>Fri. – Cabaret, 4:15pm.</em>
<h2><a href=”http://www.facebook.com/thegradygirls” target=”_blank”>The Jon Stickley Trio</a></h2>
<img src=”http://www.shakorihillsgrassroots.org/act_pictures/johnstickley_web.jpg” alt=”” width=”150″ height=”100″ />Jon Stickley is an Asheville, NC-based flat-picking guitarist whose trio plays hard driving, bluegrass-rooted music for the modern acoustic music fan. Playing originals alongside their own interpretations of bluegrass and jazz songs, Shakori Hills fans will recognize the Stickley sound from bands including The Biscuit Burners, Big Fat Gap and Town Mountain. <em>Sun. – Grove, 3:45pm.</em>
<h2><a href=”http://www.jubals-kin.com/” target=”_blank”> Jubal’s Kin</a></h2>
<a href=”http://shakorihillsgrassroots.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/jubalskin_web.jpg”><img class=”alignleft size-full wp-image-946″ title=”jubalskin_web” src=”http://shakorihillsgrassroots.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/jubalskin_web.jpg” alt=”” width=”150″ height=”100″ /></a>The distinctively spare sound is grounded in a love for what can only be called the pure and real, at once embracing both a strong roots tradition and a fresh indie vibe – dubbed as “Appalachia-infused Cosmic Americana.” At live shows or in the studio, a seemingly new subgenre is created, their songs displaying raw emotion – vulnerable and unassuming – with handcrafted spins that creak and stomp like a wooden dance floor. With the chemistry of live shows as a calling card, fans at shows and festivals alike connect to their music – real music – that bares its soul like the brothers and sister on stage. Music that draws from its gutsy roots and thrives in live energy. <em>Fri. – Cabaret, 6pm.</em>
<h2><a href=”http://www.kickingrass.com/” target=”_blank”>The Kickin Grass Band</a></h2>
<img src=”http://www.shakorihillsgrassroots.org/act_pictures/kickingrass_web.jpg” alt=”” width=”150″ height=”98″ />The Kickin Grass Band plays rootsy Americana with pure, strong voices that tell true?to?life stories – some mournful, some jubilant – reflecting the depth of the human experience. They bring traditional music to the forefront of modern bluegrass, even adding a few off-the-beaten-path covers along the way. <em>Fri. – Grove, 5:15pm.</em>
Lloyd Canady & The Flying Clouds
Lloyd Canady and the Flying Clouds have been laying down their thick South Carolina gospel-tinged soulgroove since the late ’60s, with four original members still going strong. This type of foot-stomping, hand-clapping, praise-giving goodness makes you get up and dance!
Mike Quinn Band
Scranton, PA-based Mike Quinn plays deliciously tasteful acoustic rootsy rock with a distinctive individualistic streak, peppering his homespun musings with snapshots of life’s little moments. He’s bringing his raucous and quirky sound to Shakori on Thursday night with very special guests Holy Ghost Tent Revival backing him up
The no-boundaries acoustic jazz quintet Peter Lamb and The Wolves play new arrangements of swing, blues and jazz from the 1920s-60s, but don’t assume they’re aiming for nostalgia. Bursting out of Raleigh, they tote a bizarro repertoire where T. Rex and Tom Waits sit alongside Russian folk songs, video game music and New Orleans-style second-line jazz. The Wolves’ appeal outstrips any consideration of genre or generation.
Saludos Compay takes their audience on a musical tour featuring high-energy traditional, contemporary, and original music from Latin America and the Caribbean. Hailing from Carrboro, NC, their complex rhythms interweave with tight harmonies and soaring solos to ignite the dance floor.
Sandbox is a five-piece kids’ and family music band from the Triangle area who play rockin’, rootsy music with bluegrass instrumentation. Sandbox plays originals about food, dreams, family and friendship alongside putting their own twist on timeless traditional songs. Moms and dads will enjoy these songs as much as the kids!
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings are steeped in the gilded and gritty sounds of straight-up Stax and Motown old-school brassy soul. This nine-piece Brooklyn collective tears into raw, heavy, full-force funk, with Jones belting out commanding vocal performances that are uncompromisingly powerful yet full of rich, soulful emotion. The Dap-Kings gained international acclaim backing Amy Winehouse on her multi-platinum Back to Black album. With Sharon Jones at the helm, their deep funk revival will stir your soul. This one is not to be missed!
Singer/songwriter/guitarist Sidi Toure was born in the ancient town of Gao, Mali and plays an original droning kind of Songhai blues. His music moves from the translucent swaying takamba to the trance-inducing Holley, with lyrics often addressing non-traditional issues. His sound has both captured and challenged his roots, and earns a knowing nod from fans of the “king of the desert blues” Ali Farka Toure (no relation). An enriching and meditative listening experience.