This event is like nothing else, ever. All those music festivals you missed in 2020? They just caught-up with all of us in one multiday online event.
We told you this would be delightfully amazing. We underestimated it.
Our special coverage should convince you that you need to be there. Read on.
But first... before we jump into the extensive content of this edition, please take a moment to remember...
Today the US surpassed the horrific milestone of a half-million citizens dead from COVID-19. That number, increasing by the moment in evermore heartbreaking excess of 500,000, is a number that's greater than the COMBINED combat deaths of Americans in World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Each of those wars lasted for years, taking a total of more than 24 years to kill that many Americans. This pandemic took that toll in barely one year.
With less than 4% -- four-percent -- of the planet's human population, Americans have comprised more than 20% -- one-fifth -- of total global COVID deaths.
All of it still lacks a sense of reality for a great many people, largely because the numbers have been so staggering.
Just 36 days ago, America marked 400,000 COVID deaths. Newly-reported cases and hospitalizations are finally declining. And vaccines are the light at the end of the tunnel. But those refusing to wear masks or relaxing the precautions that protect the rest of us are still the headlight of an oncoming train.
As a nation, we could have handled this promptly and had a tiny number of deaths, like Taiwan, Vietnam, Somalia, and Bhutan. The last nation in that list has lost only ONE person to COVID-19.
We do need to learn from our bungled response so we will never make the same mistakes again. Because it is a certainty, given human encroachment into the habitats of other species, that their exotic diseases (for which we lack resistance) will be our pandemics.
And we need to remember that 500,000 isn't just a number. It's individuals we lost, along with their hopes and dreams, their passions and creativity, and the contributions each of them had not yet made to humanity.
"Let this not be a story of how far we fell, but how far we climbed back up... That we leave nobody behind... this nation will smile again, will know sunny days again," said President Biden in a 3 pm Pacific / 6 pm Eastern address to the nation today.
He had already spoken of becoming numb, but remembering that every one of those 500,000 deaths was a person with loved ones. The First Family then went on to lead a candle lighting ceremony in memory of all those lost. 500 candles were lit the White House South Portico -- one candlelight for each 1,000 Americans killed -- as "Amazing Grace" was played by the Marine Band.
*** Tonight at 8 pm Pacific / 11 pm Eastern, CNN will air a memorial in song, words, and images that pays tribute to those we have lost. Program the DVR before you lose yourself in what follows.
Today is also the actual date of George Washington's Birthday. The Father of Our Country is now lumped-into a strange holiday that celebrates all the presidents without regard that some are not worthy of find remembrance.
Garrison Keillor's daily missive, "The Writers Almanac," reminds us of a particularly appropriate quote from Washington. Keillor writes:
"In his Farewell Address to the nation, he warned that his greatest fear for the new country was that forces would try to divide Americans and undermine the country’s principles. He argued that its citizens should come together to resist those people: 'Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.'”
Now, here's our special extended coverage of the 1,000+ artist "Folk Unlocked" Festival, which runs multiple days and began late afternoon today, Pacific time.
A HANDY OPTION LETS YOU SIT BACK AND ENJOY PRE-SELECTED ACTS
Southern California music presenter Julie Zipperer ("Julie's Joint") has assembled a three-night, four-hours-per-night series. She says:
Thanks, Julie. That will surely increase traffic and donations to the cause.
Or use the main link to watch what you want at this unprecedented mega-festival. Because as the late Huell Howser would say, "It's Ah-MAZE-ing!"
We pick up the FIRST DAY'S FULL schedule below,
AFTER TWO-HUNDRED-THIRTY-EIGHT acts have already performed
on this, the FIRST DAY of this largest-ever virtual music festival.
The full story on "Folk Unlocked," with plenty of links, is the lead story in our previous edition. The link to that is right here.
You can jump right in and start watching and listening with just one link, direct to the festival, and we'll repeat it at the bottom of the schedule that's below. The 'uge amount of info that follows only covers THE REMAINING ACTS ON THE FIRST DAY.
The link to the festival works to get you your pass for EVERY remaining day -- all in return for your donation to the music charity that all the artists are playing to benefit.
Here's the link to catch the performances / virtually attend the FESTIVAL! Get your login info with a donation here:
And herewith is just the tail-end of Monday night's schedule...
NOTE THAT ALL TIMES SHOWN ARE CENTRAL STANDARD TIME.
SUBTRACT TWO HOURS FOR PACIFIC TIME ZONE.
9:55-10:10 pm -
☆ Noel Paul Stookey is a legend from his years with Peter, Paul & Mary. (Peter Yarrow has a showcase here tonight, too.) These days Noel Paul is most proud of being co-founder of the activist charity "Music to Life," as he continues to delight fans as a performing singer-songwriter.
9:55-10:13 pm -
☆ Ruth Purves Smith. Ramblin' from the wheat-gold walls of the Alberta Prairie, this singer-songwriter has traversed the troubadour's path with the best. She has released two acclaimed, self-penned, full length CDs, toured across Canada, America, & Europe, performed with Legends, and has her music licenced to the MTV network.
9:58-10:12 pm -
☆ Nathan Evans Fox is a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.
10-10:20 pm -
☆ Amy Speace has made the most revealing album of her career with "There Used to Be Horses Here." Beautifully uplifting and deeply personal, the album sets Speace's majestic voice to symphonic arrangements, yet her songwriting remains intimate and emotional. Her love of language has carried her from her native Baltimore to the iconic folk venues of New York City, and to the diverse musical community in Nashville.
In 2020, "Me and the Ghost of Charlemagne" was named International Song of the Year by the Americana Music Association UK. Speace recorded and co-produced "There Used to Be Horses Here", her ninth album, with Nashville band The Orphan Brigade.
10-11 pm -
☆ Arielle Silver, a Los Angeles-based artist, returned to the stage in 2019, and in 2020 played over 80 shows, including livestream shows from her backyard shed. From there, she released her new AAA singer-songwriter album, "A Thousand Tiny Torches," getting top reviews in "American Songwriter," "Americana UK," "For Folk's Sake," and more.
A consummate storyteller, Arielle crafts songs that are luminous, literate, and alive. Her rich, expressive alto voice and acoustic guitar frame expansive melodies that echo the American heartland.
10-10:20 pm -
☆ Michael "Banker" Bank is the lead singer, songwriter and rhythm guitar player for the band Parkin' Lot based out of Ward, Colorado.
Banker is a self declared Hippie Capitalist, owning and running a few different ventures. His proudest association is as VP of the Board of Directors of The Conscious Alliance, a 501-C charity which sends food directly to economically isolated communities in need, including Native American reservations and rural areas where music festivals often take place: "Art that Feeds."
Banker has been playing guitar and writing songs for almost 40 years, and has released four albums of original music:
Banker, "Town of Confusion" (2003)
Parkin' Lot's "The Peace Album" (2011)
Parkin' Lot's "Monkey in the Middle" (2015)
Parkin' Lot's "Garden of Weeden" (2019)
In 2020, Banker produced singer-songwriter Joe Rooyakkers's debut album "Souvenir", which was released on February 1, 2021 to popular acclaim.
10-10:30 pm -
☆ Beth Bombara, based in Missouri, has spent much of her adulthood on the road, carving out her own award-winning mix of folk and electric roots-rock.
She's been a solo artist, a bandleader, and an occasional side musician for other artists. With her most recent album "Evergreen," Bombara resumes her role as the leader of an amplified Americana band. From Tom Petty's heartland rock & roll to Aimee Mann's quirky indie-folk, "Evergreen" finds its inspiration from iconic sources. Even so, this is the unmistakable work of Beth Bombara, a singer-songwriter who, over a half-dozen albums, has nodded to past traditions while always pushing ahead into new territory. Tonight, Beth presents a stripped-down acoustic performance for the Folk Unlocked showcases, similar to the shows she's presented every Monday night since the beginning of the pandemic. She looks forward to completing 52 weeks of livestreaming on March 26, 2021.
"Evergreen finds a freshly invigorated Beth Bombara fronting a tight, taut band and performing her songs with the fortitude of an artist coming into her own after years touring the endless highway. Don't let this one pass you by."
~ American Songwriter.
10-11 pm -
☆ David Hakan is a native of Kansas City who gives us a voice like John Denver's, wit like Todd Snider's, and the subtle poetry of Leonard Cohen.
He's been performing his original music for many years. In 1992 he co-founded the Songwriters Circle of Kansas City with Dave Lizor. This nonprofit organization has a regular event each month to showcase area singer-songwriters.
His own achievements are formidable. Take a cruise through his Songwriting Awards:
• Showcase 96, Open Category Winner for "Salt & Pepper Days"
• Winfield Songwriters Showcase ‚Äò98
for "Barbara's Place" and "Sidewalk Van Gogh"
• Winfield Songwriters Showcase 2000
for "Eyes of Galileo"
• Winfield Songwriters Showcase 2004
• Winfield Songwriters Showcase 2015
for "Your Business Dollars" (Alternate)
• Winfield Songwriters Showcase 2016
for "Jumping Rope" (Alternate)
• Winfield Songwriters Showcase 2017
for "Day & Night"
• Winfield Songwriters Showcase 2018
for "Intruder Drill"
• Woody Guthrie Festival 2018 Honorable Mention
for "Storm On Fire"
• Winfield Songwriters Showcase 2019
for "Like Worms"
for "Blue Sky" (Alternate)
10-10:25 pm -
☆ HeartWood. Jack and Jen Heartwood is the perfect pairing of two award-winning musicians.
10-10:45 pm -
☆ Miriam Lieberman Trio. African influences blend seamlessly with blues-infused melodies and soaring vocal harmonies in the music of Sydney-based singer song-writer Miriam Lieberman. Her albums are soulful collections of stories, beautifully told through strings, West African harp, kora and Lieberman's unmistakable voice. Her musical journeys, most notably to West Africa and South America, have left an imprint on her musical style and a catchiness and contemporary Australian tone that is entirely her own.
Miriam is joined by trio members Lara Goodridge (Baby et Lulu, FourPlay) and Susie Bishop (Chaika) who add soaring violin parts and lushious vocal harmonies. Together they are an uplifting force de femme.
Miriam is a multiple awardee of grants including the John Butler Seed grant, Australia Council, Create NSW, APRA, Music NSW and the Australian Songwriters Association Award. She's featured at festivals across Australia including Woodford, The National Folk Festival (as the NSW showcase act), Fairbridge (WA).
10-10:30 pm -
☆ Monique Clare comes to us after two years on the road with The Maes.
10-11 pm -
☆ Naomi Vernon is a Tucson native performing selections from her debut nostalgic album. She gets a full hour to take you there.
10-10:20 pm -
☆ Raina Rose. This talented second daughter of a country music historian and a Jewish poet was a frequent performing guest on our "Tied to the Tracks" broadcast radio show in Los Angeles every time she was in town from Portland.
10-11 pm -
☆ Samson's Delilah- The Dream Heavy Project. Described by fans and reviewers as "Unique, fearless, soul-full rock opera, world folk music," Samson's Delilah offers audiences a fierceness and intensity woven through their soundscape.
The group enjoyed a busy release season of their debut album headlining many Festivals throughout Western Canada in 2017-2018. The band's debut release "Unfinished Humans" charted successfully within the top 10 plays on campus and internet radio across Canada and beyond.
Most recently, Samson's Delilah is presenting "The Dream Heavy Project." As evidenced by the strong message of their lyrics, the duo has consistently stood in solidarity with oppressed and marginalized persons or groups within our society. They have always broadcast messages of social justice, advocated for action on climate change and the protection of our natural world and strongly protested totalitarian ideas and systemic racism. Although The Dream Heavy Project/Samson's Delilah has been unable to tour due to the Pandemic, the band recorded a small socially-distanced live concert as part of the "Robson Valley Music Festival's Tiny but Mighty Schoolhouse Concert Series" in September of 2020. They are currently working on an EP with the release of its first track set for March 2021.
10-10:10 pm -
☆ SaulPaul Presents. Grammy Award-nominated artist SaulPaul has garnered an international can base. In ten minutes, he'll show you why.
10-10:30 pm -
☆ Sophia Rei. Folklore and futurism, graceful elegance and raw passion, virtuosic precision and spontaneous exploration all merge together in the music of award-winning vocalist, songwriter and producer Sofia Rei.
Redefining authenticity from an intensely personal perspective, she's carried diverse Latin American traditions from her native Buenos Aires to the multi-cultural mecca of New York City, where she's fused those sounds with jazz, experimental music, pop, and electronic music influences.
With a voice that's been hailed for its captivating beauty and versatility by such prestigious publications as the New York Times and DownBeat Magazine, Rei's talents fit comfortably into any number of genres. A self-described "frog from another pond," Rei's natural inclination is to leap, an instinct that has taken her on a circuitous route from early classical training and Argentinean folk music through the punk rock nightlife of Buenos Aires, into some of the most prestigious venues in the U.S. and on to a wealth of festival stages around the world.
10:05-10:15 pm -
☆ Brother Elsey is a trio bringing the nuances of the human experience "by way of dusty Southern rock and endearing Americana, exploring the tension that tears us apart."
10:10-10:30 pm -
☆ Innes Watson plays. They didn't send us their bio.
☆ Peter Yarrow (born May 31, 1938) is an American singer and songwriter fondly regarded and forever remembered for his part in the trio Peter, Paul & Mary.
10:10-10:30 pm -
☆ This Way North. Winners of "Best Outer Suburban Act 2018" at "The Age Music Victoria Awards," this Australian act is enjoying a steady incline. It's easy to forget they are just a two-piece band. Drummer/vocalist Cat Leahy and guitarist/vocalist Leisha Jungalwalla create explosive energy and expansive sound, that translates effortlessly from the studio to the stage. Live is where they really shine.
After spending 3 years touring full time and living on the road, This Way North is currently taking their COVID forced grounding in Yackandandandah Victoria, Australia.
2020 saw them play an official showcase at Folk Alliance International in New Orleans. Their next EP, recorded in Nashville, is set for release in March 2021.
10:13-10:28 pm -
☆ Jackson Grimm, when playing with his band, brings "a perfect mixture of high-energy bluegrass, beautiful melodies, & real, raw songwriting."
Tonight he goes it alone.
10:13-10:34 pm -
☆ Maria Dunn, a true preserver of the spirit of folk music, is a twice Juno-nominated artist. Alas, a short set...
10:15-10:45 pm -
☆ De Temps Antan provide a surprising and surprisingly exploratory experience, an explosion of fiddle, accordion, harmonica, guitar, and bouzouki.
Their sets include ancient songs, new tunes, uncontrollable fits of laughter, dusted-down verses, and the occasional unplanned side trip. Together since 2003, De Temps Antan is said to be hands-down the most powerful trad trio in Quebec. Their third album, "Ce monde ici-bas," won the ADISQ's 2014 "FELIX Award for Best Traditional Music Album" and got them selected for an official showcase at the Folk Alliance International Conference held in Montreal in February 2019.
Since releasing their fourth opus in the fall of 2017, they were busily touring North America and Europe until COVID.
10:15-10:23 pm -
☆ Elliot BROOD, from the mountains of Utah to the trenches of Vimy Ridge, does indeed use that unusual split capitalization. They get the shortest of sets tonight.
10:15-19:40 pm -
☆ Tony Furtado is an evocative and soulful singer, a wide-ranging songwriter and a virtuoso multi-instrumentalist adept on banjo, cello-banjo, slide guitar and baritone ukulele who mixes and matches sounds and styles with the flair of a master chef (he's also an accomplished sculptor, but that's another story).
10:20-10:40 pm -
☆ Alice Howe, often seen sharing sets with Freebo, gets her own showcase tonight. A rising voice in modern folk, she is, these days, an L.A.-based singer and songwriter.
10:20-10:40 pm -
☆ Ben Hanna brings lyrics that are often that voice in your head that you don't tell people about. His "post-post rock" style is described as a blend of americana-inspired modern storytelling and high-energy punk. He sings about the human condition and finding your place in groups in society (or not). Even people who think he sucks admit some of his songs are ok.
10:29-19-40 pm -
☆ Nicolette Good is a singer-songwriter and a Kerrville New Folk winner. Her songs are known for intricate emotional setups, plain-spoken wisdom, and effortless hooks. Using subtle production, Good's latest album "Reverie" (2019) captures her unglamorous performing persona and heartfelt, gentle vocals. Based in Austin, TX, Nicolette has shared bills with Mason Jennings, The Flatlanders, Carrie Rodriguez, and David Ramirez.
"Good is an insightful and unsympathetic observer of the world she sees around her ... and imagines for us." - D.c. Bloom, Lone Star Music Magazine.
10:23-10:38 pm -
☆ The Bones of J.R. Jones. Over the course of three full-length albums and two EPs, Jonathon Robert Linaberry, the songwriter, storyteller, visual artist and one-man band behind the name, has woven his own tapestry of American roots music. It's a classic sound for the modern world, influenced not only by blues, soul, and forward-thinking folk, but also by J.R.'s environment.
From the bustle of New York City, where he launched The Bones of J.R. Jones with 2012's "The Wildness," to the rustic solitude of his current home in the Catskills, J.R. has always looked to the world around him for inspiration. Few places have left him feeling as inspired as the American Southwest, an area whose desert panoramas and infinite horizons inspired the songs on his newest release, "A Celebration." Written during trips to Tucson, Bisbee, Joshua Tree, and other desert destinations, the six-song EP is everything its title promises: a celebration of the thrill of getting lost in something new, whether it's a landscape, a sound, a perspective, or all of theabove.
10:30-10:50 pm -
☆ Chris Gray, originally from Lockerbie in the South West of Scotland, is a Highland & Border piper, whistle player, pianist, and composer.
Chris performs original compositions, and music from the Scottish, Irish, and Scandinavian folk traditions. With a deep understanding and respect for traditional music, Chris' compositions celebrate these roots, while integrating exciting new influences from other acoustic and contemporary music genres.
In January 2020 at the "Celtic Connections festival" in Glasgow, Chris released his self-titled debut album, featuring all original compositions, rooted in the tradition of folk music, and a multi-instrumental ensemble. Chris was a 2021 "BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year" Semi-Finalist, and received a MMus Scottish Music Degree from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He performs in a variety of settings -- duo, trio, and with his 5-piece band.
10:30-11 pm -
☆ Jenny & Birch. Jenny Littlefield is a Seattle-based visual artist, musician, and theatrical set designer. Birch Pereira is a Seattle-based musician, teacher, and founder of the swinging Birch Pereira & The Gin Joints. This lovely and talented duo has joined forces as an engaging couple with songs to make you smile and perhaps bring a lil' sweet tear to the eye.
10:30-11 pm -
☆ Nigel Wearne is an Australian singer-songwriter, luthier, poet and more.
10:31-10:43 pm -
☆ Lily B Moonflower is a songwriter with a velvet voice and a performer that finds joy in sharing her lifelong craft, carrying on traditions of roots music, and connecting with the souls of the world thru song.
She refers to her style of music as "Folk 'n Roll With A Twang." Lily's handscripted lyrics are uniquely crafted and are delivered with grace and grit. She is able to connect with her audience on a profound level and leaves a lasting impression on the folks she meets. Her original songs are like colorful sonic tapestries that uplift any spirit. Her style of writing reflects her genuine soulshine and her unique perspective.
The first single, "Midnight Song" off her debut album, "Moonflower," will be released to all streaming platforms this year. The track is a progressive Americana anthem, beautifully crafted to reflect the essence of midwestern life. Combining honest lyrics with soaring vocals, and intricate instrumental interplay-- this fresh single puts a unique spin on a classic sound.
10:34-11 pm -
☆ Over The Moon brings music in a wild ride from '40s western swing and Appalachian old-time to cowboy blues, all featuring their exquisite vocals and a wide array of acoustic instruments.
Suzanne Levesque and Craig Bignell are award-winning multi-instrumentalists and vocalists who've spent most of their lives as studio and live performance musicians for other artists. After discovering their near-perfect blend of voices, often moving people to tears upon hearing them sing together, they decided to try their own project and Over the Moon was born.
Their music and lyrics speak of the Canadian west.
10:38-10:54 pm -
☆ The Brothers Comatose are Americana mavens who forge their own path with raucous West Coast renderings of traditional bluegrass, country and rock 'n roll music. The five-piece string band is anything but a traditional acoustic outfit with their fierce musicianship and rowdy, rock concert-like shows.
The Brothers Comatose is comprised of brothers Ben Morrison (guitar, vocals) and Alex Morrison (banjo, vocals), Scott Padden (bass, vocals), Philip Brezina (violin), and Greg Fleischut (mandolin). When, in a normal year, they're not headlining The Fillmore for a sold-out show or appearing at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, the band is out on the road performing across America, Canada, Australia, and hosting their very own music festival, Comatopia, in the Sierra foothills.
April of 2019 found the band touring Latvia and Lithuania as cultural ambassadors for American Music Abroad, run by the US State Department with the goal of sending American artists all over the world as a cultural exchange program. The band toured China in 2018 under the same program.
10:40-11 pm -
☆ Amelia White. The veteran Nashville songwriter's breakout 2018 album, "Rhythm of the Rain‚" turned heads with critical acclaim ranging from Rolling Stone and NPR to the BBC. Coming this fall - White's long-anticipated 10th studio record, the stunning and exquisite "Love I Swore," produced by the legendary Kim Richey and engineered by Grammy-nominated Roger Alan Nichols, and backed by an all-star cast of Nashville players. It all adds up to White's most remarkable studio record to date.
10:40-11 pm -
☆ Freebo is a world-renowned bassist and tuba player -- with Bonnie Raitt, CSN, nd many, many more, plus his acclaimed solo career.
10:40-11 pm -
☆ Toney Ventura. He tells us, "Toney is a guitar player's guitar player. He has gone where few dare to ventur...a (couldn't help myself). As one said "loved your playing... but I still don't know what the hell that was." Toney's fingers do make it to unusual places and positions in a variety of open tunings.
He's got a ... Steven Stills, Leo Kottke, Michael Hedges, Carlos Santana, Beatles/Zeppliny thingy going on, with the "Toney Wall of Sound". Toney sings with a variety of different voices, from sweet to sour, or should I say Tart. His skills with guitar and harmonica are an added treat that comes with the package. He writes keyboard material, but has not done that live yet. Plenty to experience with Toney just on guitar.
10:44-10:56 pm -
☆ Maple Run Band released their debut, self-titled album in August, 2020 to critical acclaim. Several songs are in continued rotation at both terrestrial and online radio stations worldwide, landing the band a spot on the Alt. Country charts soon after release . Seven Days called the album and "seriously impressive debut", and wrote "Maple Run's self-titled debut is a triumph, establishing them as one of the 802's foremost practitioners of [country music]. Ever." TimesArgus.com called it an "intelligently written, authentic sounding country/country-folk album". And RockingMagpie.com says the band's music is "destined for the Ryman Theatre."
The band's signature sound is driven by the vocal harmonies of Trevor Crist (guitar) and Nicole Valcour (drums), accompanied by John "Spence" Spencer's melodic bass lines and Bill Mullins's hot and sweet guitar licks.
10:50-11:30 pm -
☆ Parvyn Singh is a Punjabi Australian singer, dancer and musician based in Melbourne. Best known for her work as vocalist in cult psychedelic band The Bombay Royale, her creative practice is extensive.
10:50-11:10 pm -
☆ Twelfth Day, in the duo's latest album, "Face to Face" (2019), was nominated in the "Innovation in New Traditional Music" category at the Scottish Awards for New Music. You have 20 minutes to see and hear why.
☆ Southern Avenue is an award winning, 2020 Grammy Nominated band out of Memphis, Tennessee, playing a very short set.
☆ Rigby Summer weaves an Americana soundscape that reflects the road she's traveled, from her Kansas City jazz upbringing to the beach pop of her former home in southern California to the red dirt roots of her current home in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
While her influences range from Mary Chapin Carpenter to The Frames, Sia Furler to Johnny Cash, her sound often draws comparisons to Brandi Carlile and Lucinda Williams. A little modern, a little old-fashioned, always earnest. In 2017, after a five-year hiatus from performing music, she founded the "Monday @ Modella" songwriter pop-up and the "ALL MUSIC STARTS LOCAL" initiative and started sharpening her musical teeth, slowly carving a niche for herself in the Oklahoma scene. Since then, she has shared the stage with and learned from a myriad of local and touring artists. Production is complete on her first full-length album "Geography," recorded at Naptime Studio in Norman, Oklahoma, with Kyle Reid at the helm.
11-11:17 pm -
☆ Dave McCann has locked himself firmly into the hearts and minds of the Alberta music scene as one of the best untold singer-songwriters working in contemporary roots music.
Raised in Peterborough, Ontario, singer-songwriter McCann rolled west and landed in Calgary, Alberta during the first Alt-Country inclination of the late 1990s. He founded "Dave McCann and the Ten Toed Frogs" and later "Dave McCann and the Firehearts."
He's released a string of critically acclaimed projects. His newest effort? "Westbound Light," is no exception. An unyielding collection of songs -- story songs, train songs, disaster songs, and message songs -- all informed by some aspect of North American folklore. It's definitive roots music, steeped in Dave's vision and story-based narrative. These are hand-built songs straight from the wind-torn hills of the Great Northern Plains.
11-11:59 pm -
☆ Normal Fauna brings a full hour of "Rhythm and Autism!" Andee Joyce is an autistic singer-songwriter, and this is her project.
11:05-11:16 pm -
☆ Kris Allen. On New Year's Day in 2013, Kris Allen and his then-pregnant wife Katy were in a head-on collision that left the singer/songwriter/guitarist with a career-threatening shattered wrist. In the two years that followed, he underwent three surgeries, re-learned how to play guitar (despite regaining just 30 percent movement in the damaged wrist), recorded his third album, and toured relentlessly, including a two-month-long stint that started just one week after his accident. The American Idol season 8 winner ultimately retreated from the whirlwind and immersed himself in a songwriting spell that yielded more than 70 new tracks. Culled from the collection of songs, Allen's fourth full-length album "Letting You In" finds the Nashville-based artist delivering his most intimate and dynamic work to date.
The follow-up to 2014‚ "Horizons," "Letting You In" builds off the soulful musicality Allen first showcased with his platinum-selling 2009 single "Live Like We're Dying." But with its sophisticated songcraft and vulnerable lyrics, "Letting You In" reaches a new depth of feeling that infuses each track with undeniable emotional power. "Looking back, I think I tried to put off dealing with my feelings around the accident for as long as I could," says Allen. He adds, "But in the past year I've realized how much it all affected me, and that definitely came out in the writing of this album."
11:10-11:30 pm -
☆ Shooglenifty was formed in 1990 by musicians from the Scottish Highlands, Orkney and Edinburgh. Its bright spark was the idea of fusing traditional and traditional-sounding melodies with the beats and basslines of a mixed bag of more contemporary influences. As happy playing a small highland village hall as they are on an outdoor festival stage playing to tens of thousands, the Shoogles (as they‚Äôre known to their fans) have promoted Scottish music all over the world for three decades.
The band reached the ripe old age of 30 in 2020, yet hopes that they would finally settle down were dashed when they accepted an invitation to start the year on stage at Edinburgh‚Äôs Hogmanay. When lockdown stymied their 2020 gig calendar they were grateful that new album, Acid Croft Vol 9, was already in the can. Their first with fiddler Eilidh Shaw, it was released to rave reviews last September.
To make up for the lack of gigs, the Shoogles made a few crazy videos during lockdown - and look forward to presenting new music tonight.
11:12-11:30 pm -
☆ Philippe Bronchtein is a producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist based in Nashville TN.
He stepped away from The War and Treaty at the end of 2019 to focus on his own writing & recording, and shortly thereafter, the Covid-19 pandemic brought the music industry to an abrupt halt. As tours and live music all but disappeared, Bronchtein built-out his home studio and shifted his focus towards recording.
Versed in a variety of stringed instruments, keyboards, pedal steel, MIDI-programming, sampling, and analog synthesis, Bronchtein's career includes recording several full-length solo albums and developing a strong regional following under the moniker Hip Hatchet, gaining traction in the UK, leading to extensive international and US touring. In between writing & performing his own songs, Bronchtein joined the band Quiet Life as their keyboard player and spent several years crossing and re-crossing the United States performing at festivals, theaters, and clubs. With Quiet Life, Bronchtein toured in support of indie rockers The Head and the Heart, Portugal the Man and Dr. Dog, recorded piano and Hammond organ on the band's acclaimed EP "Housebroken Man," and played all of the keys, synth, and wind parts on their psychedelic, full-length follow up ‚"Foggy."
Shortly after arriving in Nashville, Bronchtein began playing pedal steel & organ with the gospel-infused americana duo The War & Treaty. The band quickly grew in stature, signing with Rounder Records and embarking on a series of increasingly high-profile national tours. With Bronchtein, the band supported shows for the likes of Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile, Al Green, Bob Seeger, and performed at legendary venues and festivals - The New Orleans Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, and the Montreal Jazz Festival among many others. He joined the band in the studio for their debut full length album, "Hearts Town."
11:16-11:26 pm -
☆ Steve Poltz co-wrote Jewel's multiplatinum Hot 100-topping megahit "You Were Meant For Me," but he also went on a whale watch with her and a few federales that turned into a drug bust. The two still share the story at every festival they play together. Through his three decades+ in music, he did it all and more‚ often shared by way of his rockin' countrified folk slices of sardonic Americana (hatched in Halifax). He made his bones as the frontman for underground legends The Rugburns, who burned rubber crisscrossing the continent on marathon tours and still pop-up once in a while for the rare and quickly sold-out reunion gig.
In 20 years since his full-length solo debut "One Left Shoe," he blessed the world's ears with twelve solo records, spanning the acclaimed 2010 "Dreamhouse" and most recently "Folk Singer" in 2015. NPR summed it up best, "Critics and fans alike now regard Poltz as a talented and prolific songwriter," saying, "By 2016, he survived a stroke, endured anything the music industry could throw at him, and still performed like, 280 days a year.'"
11:17-11:37 pm -
☆ Shaela Miller is a longtime fixture of the Alberta country music underground. The Lethbridge singer-songwriter has remained steadfast in her dedication to country's traditions, ensuring that the high and lonesome sound of the old saloons and dancehalls remains alive and in good hands here in the west. Her voice is cut from the same cloth as legends, emotionally bare on the heartbreaker and tough as a broken bottle on the two-step shakers.
Backed by her ace band of honky-tonkers from The Windy City, Shaela Miller is a vital player in the current movement toward more traditional sounds in country music, and ensuring the style's lasting vitality.
11:30 pm-midnight -
☆ Eric Ramsey brings soaring vocals and organic arrangements, writing from experience about the human condition. At times sensitive, at times humorous, always thought-provoking. His arrangements and delivery encompass a spectrum of styles from delicate fingerpicking to raucous, bluesy bottleneck slide.
Among other things, Eric Ramsey is two time champion of the Phoenix Blues Society's Blues Showdown. He has been a semi-finalist at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN and a Finalist in the Telluride Blues Challenge. He‚Äôs a past winner of the Stefan George Memorial (Tucson Folk Festival) Songwriting Competition, has been tapped for the prestigious Songwriter's Showcase produced by Tempe Center for the Arts, filmed for PBS distribution, and has been a featured performer multiple years running at the Dripping Springs (TX) Songwriters Festival.
Eric's live performances are captivating, entertaining and accessible, and he's a favorite on the Blues and Folk Festival circuits not only for his dynamic performances but for his workshops on slide guitar techniques and tricks.
He lives in the Phoenix area with his long-suffering and patient wife, three kids, four (yes, four, to date) dogs of indeterminate pedigree, and can often be found in the garage, where his family prefer he practice...
11:30-11:59 pm -
☆ Pia Nesvara is a small but powerful Chilean/Australian songstress.
11:30-11:45 pm -
☆ Vanessa Peters brings original music "Weaving thoughtful, introspective lyrics with irresistible melodies."
11:37-11:58 pm -
☆ Tim Isberg, originally from southern Alberta, is an accomplished singer, songwriter and veteran soldier. From Rwanda to Afghanistan, Tim experienced the best and worst humanity had to offer. Tim is a story-teller and a multiple award nominee who brings well-crafted Americana songs to the stage and an array of life experiences he shares with his audience.
Tim's 2019 album "Running on the Edge" was recorded with Grammy nominee and JUNO celebrated producer-engineer Miles Wilkinson and nominated as a Top 5 Best Album by the ACMA. His previous CD 'Tears Along the Road' was selected as a Top 25 album by Music Canada in 2015. Tim is also a published author. The Simon & Schuster book "Everyday Heroes" includes a chapter by Tim on one of his many experiences in the line of duty. It's a national best-seller.
11:45-11:59 pm -
☆ Beppe Gambetta is a guitarist, vocalist, researcher and composer born in Genova, Italy who developed a style that brings American and European Roots to speak together with one voice. In his unique approach, Beppe blends energetic grooves with passionate melodies, giving new life to sources from different times, periods and places. In addition, the original music he composes gives contemporary influences to traditional roots music.
He was fortunate to spend time with two greats before they died: Pete Seeger and the late European singer-songwriter icon Fabrizio De Andr√®. He also has been grateful to have performed with some of his heroes from the folk scene including David Grisman, Gene Parsons, Doc Watson, Norman Blake, Tony Rice, Darrell Scott, and others. And, in his spare time, Beppe has produced numerous books and DVDs in different languages.
Midnight-12:30 am -
☆ Chev Person (frontgurl for Mihra) makes "singer/songwriter bedroom pop."
Midnight-1 am -
☆ Jason Baker is a songwriter & performer from Burlington, Vermont. Jason started writing songs in 2017, and performing in 2018, releasing his debut, "America Dreams," followed by "Common Man Blues" in 2019. His latest release, "The Lighthouse" was written and recorded in pandemic lock-down, and features folk-roots music and contemporary lyrics.
In October 2020, Jason also released an album with his mentor, folk troubadour Rik Palieri, recorded over the course of the year, of traditional and public domain folk songs, called "Folk Talk: A Guide to Traditional Folk Music Volume One", available online at all major streaming services.
• 2019 New England Music Awards Nominee for "Best in Vermont"
• Nov/Dec American Songwriter Magazine Lyric Contest Honorable Mention for the song "Christmastime Blues."
• "Songs For Social Change 2019" Finalist and Runner-Up for the song "something that's never been done before"
• Composed and performs theme music for "Vermont Talks" podcast (vermonttalks.com)
12:30-1:30 am -
☆ STAV is listed as a "mesmerising bilingual folk-pop artist."
1:30-2:30 am -
☆ Kaurna Cronin has numerous songwriting and performance awards including "Folk Alliance Australia Young Artist Of The Year," ARBA "Roots Album Of The Year," "National Folk Festival Youth Award," FLMA "Best Acoustic Act," and the SAM "Live Music Award." Cronin's seven studio albums, relentless international touring schedule and artistic approach have him regarded as a truly unique artist well poised to keep folk moving into the future.
In the past years Cronin has toured Europe and Australia extensively, from intimate venues to some of the largest festivals in Australia, Germany, Canada, The Netherlands, Sweden, Estonia, Italy and even Russia mustering up over 700+ shows.
His artistry in combing emotive soundscapes with intelligent and heartfelt lyrics in the tradition of folk troubadours who are storytellers first and foremost demonstrates an ingenuity beyond his years.Cronin's knack for timeless sentiment and rich imagery in his songwriting is palpable as he combines the best, most intimate aspects of the acoustic genre with an inventive and experimental modern approach.
His most recent album "Aloft In Blue" explores some of the deepest existential concerns of our time coupled with lush and emotive soundscapes cementing Cronin as an artist for this moment and setting him at the cutting edge of contemporary folk.
1:30-2 am -
☆ Mel Taylor forged her sound in Victoria's High Country. Unfortunately, we did not receive the full info on her set tonight. We do know that she wraps-up the performances of the live streaming "Unlocked Showcase" on this first night on of the channels you can watch online.
One magical link to the festival works to get you your pass for EVERY remaining day -- all in return for your donation to the music charity that all the artists are playing to benefit.
Here's the link to catch the performances / virtually attend the FESTIVAL!
Get your login info with a donation here:
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YES, IT IS BLACK HISTORY MONTH.
We'll be back soon with coverage of the opening of the brand-new, years-in-the-making, MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSIC.
Plus, some special features on blues, banjos, rootsy New Orleans jazz, and other delights to the ears of all -- that owe their origins to the Black experience in America.
Meanwhile, don't be a maskhole, and stay the hell away from the maskless Branch Covidians. No free passes to get stupid!
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in this new world of the now somewhat lessened improbable unknown...