Advance ticket rates run through April 28th.
Visit these fine locally-owned businesses starting Friday, March 1 to get 4-Day or Single Day Passes:
- Townsend Bertram & Co, Carrboro, NC
- Circle City Books, Pittsboro, NC
- The Regulator Bookshop, Durham, NC
- Redix Store, Wilmington and Wrightsville
- All Schoolkids Records locations
From Cajun to country, reggae to improv, zydeco boogie to roots-rock riot, GrassRoots festival host band 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 almost 30 ago outside of Ithaca, NY to raise funds for local charities and showcase the talents of their friends and inspirations from around the world. The band consists of multi-instrumentalist Tara Nevins, guitarist Jeb Puryear, keyboardist Dave McCracken, bassist Kyle Spark and drummer Mark Raudabaugh.
The self-described "cowboy hippie surf rock" of Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real features Willie's son shining brightly on gently rolling acoustic numbers, funky blues and cosmic country soul. Their songs are ever-evolving and explorative, a gritty dreamscape both strong and sensitive. Since 2015 they've been Neil Young's band on multiple albums and tours, and they appear as Bradley Cooper's band in the new film A Star is Born, for which Nelson co-produced the soundtrack and wrote songs with Lady Gaga.
Brooklyn-based 9-piece funk army Turkuaz creates an explosive audiovisual circus bursting with boisterous horn arrangements, primal rhythms, huge harmonies and white hot guitars. Energetic splashes of rock, R&B and psychedelia color their signature stampede of sonic fury. This is a can't-miss dance party!
Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad mixes traditional folk and country with reggae rhythms, weaving improvisational jams into layers of intricate sound. The Rochester, NY-based crew concocts air-tight dub, roots revelry and Afrobeat affirmations, flavoring their positive message with upbeat energy and thoughtful lyrics.
Two masters of rhythm join together for an inspired percussion showcase when Big Mean Sound Machine's Lucas Ashby meets renowned virtuoso Cyro Baptista. Ashby's outbursts fuse Brazilian, Hindustani and Afro-Caribbean traditions, perfectly complementing the passion of Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista, who has played extensively with artists including Paul Simon, Yo-Yo Ma, Herbie Hancock and Trey Anastasio.
Zach Deputy is an astonishing one-man dance party offering up “Island-infused, Drum ‘n’ Bass, Gospel-Ninja-Soul.” Based in Bluffton, SC, he's an amazing multi-instrumentalist and soulful singer known for his solo live looping shows which include vocals, guitar, bass, drums, beat boxing, horns and more, all coming directly from him. Full of hope and the promise of a new day, he's a powerhouse of performance and technical ability.
In a post-modern world of skyscrapers and handheld computers, Driftwood looks beneath the concrete and circuitry to find their inspiration. Based in Binghamton, NY, their remarkable mix of old-time folk with contemporary and world music features blazing fiddle work, boundary-less banjo, booming upright bass, and gleeful guitar.
Travers Brothership is a wild and intense alternative soul funk ensemble from Asheville that's positively overflowing with joyous energy. Founded by twin brothers Kyle and Eric Travers, their epic concerts are thrilling throwdowns with perfectly blended vocals soaring above groovy beds of wholehearted rock and blues.
Bella's Bartok is a combustible kaleidoscope - an uproarious and ecstatic dance party mixing Eastern European, Americana, punk and pop into a soulful sonic circus. The spirited seven-piece set sail from Massachusetts to dish out a theatrical onslaught with lyrics that defy oppression and embrace their massive manifesto of joy.
Hard-chargin', foot-stompin', guitar beatin', upright poundin', washboard scratchin,' banjo pickin' madness with a voice like you just ain't heard before. It can only be Charleston, SC-based duo Megan Jean & the KFB, who arrange a demented blend of gypsy, circus, Americana and the avant-garde.
Accordionist Preston Frank has laid down his blazing bayou boogie and fearless yet traditional Louisiana zydeco for over half a century. His trademark swamp groove combines Cajun, funk and soul to cook up smooth and flowing Creole tones that instantly make you move. With jumping rhythms and festive vibes, he remains an important force in preserving traditional zydeco and Creole French music.
Dr. Bacon is a musical detonation - a genre-defying Appalachian soul-grass funk-rock band from Asheville breaking the sound barrier with an infectiously uplifting blend of bluegrass, soul, hip hop, blues and more. Their unique and multicultural voice is a joyous shout from the mountaintop!
Otto Von Schirach
Miami-based IDM and breakcore artist Otto Von Schirach designs magical supernovas of sound waves, with a passion for grimy diamond-soaked kick drums crashing through distorted fuzz muck.
Ellis Dyson & the Shambles are a swing-ragtime sextet from Chapel Hill known for their foot-stompin’ sound and frenzied live shows. Their old-timey front porch vibe infuses Appalachian traditions with hootin’ and hollerin’ folk rock. Their Sunday set will also feature the velvety vocals of celebrated songbird Katharine Whalen from Squirrel Nut Zippers.
Root Shock dreams up high energy reggae with positive and conscious lyrics, skanking out of Syracuse with heavy drum and bass spiced with American roots music. Spearheaded by the stunning vocals of bona fide soul powerhouse Jessica Brown, they crank out seductive dance music that's sophisticated and smooth, elevating and energizing.
Bass virtuoso Jose Albizu delivers a performance packed with intricate, soulful, soaring improvisation. Noted for blending modern styles with the traditional, Albizu brings the Miami heat to move your feet!
Friday, Oct. 5 at 12 p.m., Dance Tent Saturday, Oct. 6 at 4 p.m. Carsons Grove
Carrboro's Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba play a highly energetic combination of traditional and modern styles inspired by West African dance bands and led by a 21-stringed harp-lute called a kora. They’re full of flaming solos, adventurous improvisation and unrelenting polyrhythms that spiral and surge into moments of sublime triumph.
West End Blend is a high-energy funk-soul-groove steamroller from West Hartford, CT, whose relentless rhythms pay tribute to classic throwback tones with a huge dose of their own bubbling boogie boiled in. Captivating singer Erica T. Bryan and a rapturous 4-piece horn section blaze a vibrant trail through their slinky, slippery sound.
Hailing from Snow Camp, NC, the Tan and Sober Gentlemen pioneer "Celtic punk-grass." It's a raw and unfiltered blend of hard-driving, danceable roots music from both sides of the pond, conveyed with a punk edge and wild abandon. They're famous for their rip-roaring live shows, featuring all manner of shenanigans, audience engagement and tremendous bursts of energy.
Thursday, Oct. 3 at 9 p.m., Dance Tent
The Gaslight Tinkers' blend of global rhythms generates a joyously danceable sound around a core of traditional New England old-time and Celtic fiddle tunes. Bouncing out of Brattleboro, VT, they reimagine African, Caribbean and Latin influences into funky jigs and reggae grooves that sizzle and pop with boundless positive energy.
The Broadcast tunes in a soulful ’70s classic rock vibe filled with funky old-school hooks and groovy psychedelic blues. Scorching lead singer Caitlin Krisko’s vocals are smoky and sensuous blasts of ecstatic epiphany drenched in honey and dripping with soul. Formed in Brooklyn and relocated to Asheville, their dynamic sound features heartfelt melodies and hard-edged polyrhythmic grooves.
Aaron Lipp & the Slack Tones conjure a bustling 1950s rockabilly juke joint brimming with mind-bending guitar riffs soaring over infectious old school rhythms. The Naples, NY native's earnest originals feature pinpoint bluegrass flatpicking, screaming fiddle, groove-hungry upright bass and bedrock drumming.
The Collection is a profoundly uplifting orchestral folk collaborative teeming with endless musical textures and inspired lyrics on faith, doubt and redemption. Singer/songwriter David Wimbish's magnetic and passionate voice shepherds the Greensboro-based chamber-pop troupe through a multicolored movement of sonic jubilee.
Ithaca, NY's Tenzin Chopak plays stunningly beautiful progressive chamber folk music with hints of worldbeat, prog and electronica mixed into the sound. His multi-instrumental versatility and deeply rooted spiritual beliefs instill his art with rustic and religious overtones that add a mystical sheen to his creations.
Fusing elements of rock, soul, blues and folk, Rebekah Todd creates smooth melodies charged with a heavy dose of raw energy. Hailing from Wilmington, her sultry voice, catchy hooks and powerful lyrics lead the charge while the band cranks out a smoking hot Muscle Shoals R&B sound of generations past.
NiiTO is a Raleigh-based band playing groovy R&B-jazz-soul fusion with seductively smooth vocals and sparkling saxophones. Boasting expert musicianship and a singular sound, they’re both incredibly relaxing and fun to dance to.
The Music Maker Relief Foundation is a Hillsborough-based nonprofit 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 musicians' lives, affirming to these artists that we value the gifts of music and inspiration they've given to the world. Music Maker's mission is to give back to the roots of American music. This spring brings a select group of amazing artists that Music Maker has supported over the years.
The Oblations are a one-of-a-kind two-man blues/funk band led by Joe MacPhail on simultaneous drums and keyboards and Daniel Fields on masterful guitar. They weave their own original stories from the long thread of American blues and split the difference between songcraft and improvisation. This spring finds their potent energy bolstered by the mighty brass of Carrboro's Dino Horns.
RKIII is what happens when a spirited jazz trio mutates into improvised livetronica, pushing the boundaries of what musicians can achieve with modern technology. These Winston-Salem natives utilize computers as improvisational tools to forge their potent attack alongside screaming guitars, inventive bass runs and stomping drums.
Hailing from Winston-Salem, the gorgeous indie pop of Victoria Victoria effortlessly incorporates slinky R&B, dreamy synth jazz and laid-back acoustic folk ballads. Tori Elliott's powerfully emotional voice glides over glorious melodies to showcase the dynamic subtleties of her vast range.
Bulltown Strutters are a sparkling and fun community parade band delivering a raucous mix of old-school New Orleans second line classics and new-school funk. Boasting over 20 members, they bust out hip-shaking, smile-making boogies powered by an epic horn section and an extra dose of Durham craziness. Don't miss them leading the Saturday parade!
Carrboro's John Harrison filters cosmic America through pastoral Appalachia with back porch banjos, richly layered ragas and hazy electronic pop nuggets. Earthy slide and acoustic guitars shimmer through spacey programmed beats and synthesized strings in an uncanny blend of the time-honored and the state-of-the-art.
Honey Magpie is an indie/folk band from Carrboro sewing a patchwork quilt of warm and rustic three-part harmonies, complex yet catchy string parts and sweetly layered piano riffs. Their uniquely beautiful creations blend banjo, violin, cello, percussion and more into a flurry of elegant notes.
Asheville-based singer/songwriter Laura Boswell plays folk music with classical influences, a minimalist Americana approach reflecting the profound intimacy and vulnerability of her lyrics. She constructs deeply honest songs on loving, struggling and simply existing, conveyed with compelling depth and poetry.
Pittsboro-based twin brothers Mark and Michael Holland form a harmonious duo playing old-time folk, timeless country, and Piedmont and Delta-style fingerpicking blues. Inspired by masters like Charlie Poole and Charlie Patton, their choice covers and rousing originals offer up charismatic displays of wailing blues harp and churning acoustic slide and 12-string guitar.
Founded in 1971 in Greenville, NC, the Green Grass Cloggers are inspired by traditional mountain-style clogging teams as well as older flatfoot and buck dancers. Their eclectic and energetic style features unconventional steps and free-spirited performances, and led them into the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame in 2014.