The Infamous Stringdusters

The Infamous Stringdusters dig deep into their bluegrass roots for their eleventh full-length record A Tribute to Bill Monroe, made available on Americana Vibes. For this album –  

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which pays homage to the Father of Bluegrass includes songs that shaped them individually, and as a band, and recorded them each remotely from their home studios.
“Bill Monroe was, as far as I can remember, the first bluegrass music I owned,” shared Andy Hall. I asked my uncle for a Bill Monroe CD box set and got it as a birthday present when I turned 18. The sound coming out of my speakers blew my mind, almost like ancient acoustic heavy metal. But then a song like ‘A Voice From On High’ would come on, and even though it was slow, it had this captivating power. The ancient tones.”
The GRAMMY® Award-winning quintet—Andy Falco [guitar], Chris Pandolfi [banjo], Andy Hall [dobro], Jeremy Garrett [fiddle], and Travis Book [double bass]—have musical influences that truly run the gamut, but their common denominator is certainly bluegrass — the sound that has in essence defined the course of their career.

 Bela Fleck

 My Bluegrass Heart

My Bluegrass Heart is the third chapter of a trilogy which began with the 1988 album, Drive, and continued in 1991 with The Bluegrass Sessions.

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“I was kind of surprised, frankly, when I sent out the invite for the first touring ensemble, because everyone I asked said yes!” he said.
Fleck’s first road band will spotlight some of the best of the new generation of bluegrass players:
Five-time International Bluegrass Association award winner & mandolin virtuoso Sierra Hull,10-time IBMA Fiddle Player of the Year Michael Cleveland, two-time IBMA Bass Player of the Year, Mark Schatz, 2018 & 2020 IBMA Dobro Player of the Year, Justin Moses, and Grammy Award winner and a nine-time IBMA Guitar Player of the Year, Bryan Sutton.
One of the most awarded bluegrass ensembles in recent history – Winners of 16 Grammys and 28 International Bluegrass Music Association awards – Live at The Kent Stage! As always we thank you for your continued support and look forward to seeing you at the show!

“So now I can present an incredible first offering, with some of the brightest lights on the scene,” said Fleck. “I can’t wait!”

My Bluegrass Heart will release this fall on BMG; stay tuned for more about the album!

Charley Crockett

A native of South Texas, he was raised in an isolated, rural part of the Rio Grande Valley by a single mother in a trailer surrounded by sugar cane and grapefruit fields.  

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As a teenager, he was into free-styling and rapping. He spent formative years living with his uncle in New Orleans where he first became a street performer who discovered a love for folk music. In New York City he played hip hop and blues on street corners and in subway cars. What’s also important to his identity as an artist, he says, is that he has lived the songs he writes and sings. “I’ve always had to work so damn hard to get any little bit of anything,” he says. 

 Keller and the Keels

“Award winning flat picker Larry Keel and his rock solid, in the pocket bass playing wife, Jenny Keel, make up two thirds of this super fun trio I started in 2004. 

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With three albums recorded together the handful of gigs we play a year turn into acoustic picking parties. We vowed from the beginning that we wouldn’t do it often so that when we did, it would be special and it is.” –Kw

No BS! Brass

Based in Richmond, Virginia, No BS! Brass Band has quickly earned a reputation as a premiere band to see for heart-pounding energy and uncontrollable dancing.  

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They take their music into uncharted territory, embracing the spirit of New Orleans into its original East Coast modern funk and fearlessly combining elements of James Brown, John Coltrane, Michael Jackson, and Led Zeppelin into their fiercely original sound.
Founders Reggie Pace and Lance Koehler have cast this 11-piece band in which nearly every member has had conservatory training, holding various degrees in music. In putting together the compositions and arrangements, the “b.s.” has been stripped to give the audience something solid, unique, organic, real, and powerful. They have the look of New Orleans with the raw sound all their own — music is a true definition of the “Richmond sound.” 

 Town Mountain

 Raw, soulful, and with plenty of swagger, Town Mountain has earned raves for their hard-driving sound, their in-house songwriting and the honky-tonk edge that permeates their exhilarating live performances, whether in a packed club or at a sold-out festival.

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The hearty base of Town Mountain’s music is the first and second generation of bluegrass spiced with country, old school rock ‘n’ roll, and boogie-woogie. It’s what else goes into the mix that brings it all to life both on stage and on record and reflects the group’s wide-ranging influences – from the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia and the ethereal lyrics of Robert Hunter, to the honest, vintage country of Willie, Waylon, and Merle. The Bend Bulletin’s Brian McElhiney says Town Mountain, “has serious country and rock ’n’ roll DNA.” Town Mountain features guitarist and vocalist Robert Greer, banjoist Jesse Langlais, mandolinist Phil Barker, fiddler Bobby Britt, and Zach Smith on bass.

 Daryl Davis

Chicago native Daryl Davis graduated from Howard University, with a degree in Jazz.  Outside of school, he was personally trained by legendary Blues, Boogie Woogie and Rock’n’Roll pianists Pinetop Perkins and Johnnie Johnson who both claimed him as their godson and praised his ability to master a piano style that was popular long before he was born.

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In addition to being a pianist and vocalist, Daryl is also a professional actor, author, and lecturer, now residing in Maryland.

Apart from leading The Daryl Davis Band, he has worked with Elvis Presley’s Jordanaires, Chuck Berry, The Legendary Blues Band, Percy Sledge, Sam Moore, Nappy Brown and many others.  Daryl’s CDs have received rave reviews from leading music magazines, and he has won several WAMA (Washington Area Music Association) Awards for Best Artist in the Roots and Blues categories.  Daryl has tours nationwide and internationally. His Greatest Hits CD is his latest release.

A man once told Daryl, he’d never seen a Black man play piano like Jerry Lee Lewis.  Daryl explained, they both learned from black Blues and Boogie Woogie pianists.  The man found it hard to believe in the black origin of the music but became a regular fan of Daryl’s.  Turns out, he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan.  This experience led to Daryl becoming the first black author to travel the country interviewing KKK leaders and members.  His experiences are detailed in his critically acclaimed book, Klan-Destine Relationships and the award-winning documentary Accidental Courtesy.   His upcoming new book, The Klan Whisperer will be released soon.

As an actor, Daryl has appeared on the stage, the big screen and television.  He also played a role in the critically acclaimed and awarded television show The Wire.

He is the recipient of numerous awards for his music and work in race relations and is often seen and heard on cable and network television, radio and print media as a race relations expert.

 

 Cedric Watson and Bijou Creole

One of the brightest young talents to emerge in Cajun, Creole and Zydeco (Louisiana French) music over the last decade, Cedric Watson is a four-time Grammy-nominated fiddler, singer, accordionist & songwriter with seemingly unlimited potential. 

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Originally from San Felipe, TX (population 868), Cedric made his first appearance at the age of 19 at the Zydeco Jam at The Big Easy in Houston, TX. Just two years later, he moved to south Louisiana, quickly immersing himself in French music and language. Over the next several years, Cedric performed French music in 17 countries and on 7 full-length albums with various groups, including the Pine Leaf Boys, Corey Ledet, Les Amis Creole with Ed Poullard and J.B. Adams, and with his own group, Bijou Creole.
Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole resurrect the ancient sounds of the French and Spanish contra dance and bourré alongside the spiritual rhythms of the Congo tribes of West Africa, who were sold as slaves in the Carribean and Louisiana by the French and Spanish.

 The Larry Keel Experience

Larry Keel is an award-winning innovative flat picking guitarist and singer/songwriter hailing from Appalachia.  Raised in a musical family steeped in the mountain culture of the region, Keel began from an early age to forge a distinctive sound, taking traditional music and infusing it with modern light.  

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With the acoustic guitar Keel has brought the flat picking form to its highest level of sophistication and sonic power with his muscular, yet refined style of playing. As a composer and singer, Keel integrates raw honesty and charming grit to form a unique brand of music he calls ‘experimental folk’, songwriting that is filled with reality, imagination, imagery and mood. He has appeared on over 20 albums, 12 of which he produced, and has written songs that have been recorded and performed by distinguished artists including Grammy-award winners Del McCoury and The Infamous Stringdusters.  Keel has collaborated and continues to merge creative forces with some of the greatest artists in modern roots music such as Tyler Childers, Billy Strings, Al DiMeola, Tony Rice, Keller Williams and Sam Bush, to name a few.

 The Bumper Jacksons

Bumper Jacksons are hot and sweet, painting America’s story from the streets of New Orleans to Appalachian hollers. Unafraid to scrap together new sounds from forgotten 78’s, the Bumper Jacksons elegantly balance paying homage to the traditions while fashioning their own unique, playful style.   

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The group began as a duo, a city-meets-country experiment between songstress Jess Eliot Myhre and banjo player Chris Ousley.  They hopped on bicycles, touring the country, instruments on their backs, seeking to reimagine roots music.  In five short years, Bumper Jacksons grew to a fiery five-piece, with horns and pedal steel.  They now tour internationally, and have been honored multiple times as the Mid-Atlantic’s “Artist of the Year,” “Best Country/Americana Band” & “Best Folk Band” at the Washington Area Music Awards.  Bursting at the seams with some of the richest threads of old America, Bumper Jacksons bring you into the center of a party where everyone’s invited and the dance floor never sleeps.

 Charm City Junction

From dance inducing Old Time rhythms and foot stomping Irish melodies to hard-driving Bluegrass, Baltimore-based acoustic roots quartet Charm City Junction creates a fresh soundscape that keeps listeners on the edge of their seats wondering where they’ll go next. 

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Featuring fiddle, clawhammer banjo, button accordion and upright bass, this quartet isn’t afraid to take roots music to new places — but always with an eye on tradition.
Formed in 2014, Charm City Junction has taken the acoustic music scene by storm performing around the country gaining high praise along the way for their high-energy, captivating and dynamic performances. Patrick McAvinue, 2017 IBMA Fiddle Player of the Year, takes charge with his virtuosic, powerful and musical approach to the fiddle. Clawhammer banjo wizard Brad Kolodner adds his playful, driving, melodic and groovy Old-Time touch. Sean McComiskey, soars through the tunes and fills the gaps with his soulful button accordion playing. The versatile bassist Alex Lacquement drives the train, locking everything together with his commanding and tasteful choices. Drawing from separate musical backgrounds, the four members have found a common ground on which to develop their unique approach. Since releasing their highly anticipated debut album Charm City Junction on Patuxent Music in the fall of 2015, they have performed prestigious festivals including Grey Fox, Old Songs, Bristol Rhythm & Roots, Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival and an appearance at the Kennedy Center. They released their second full-length album, Duckpin, in the summer of 2018. The record debuted at #6 on the Billboard Bluegrass charts. 

 The Gina Furtado Project

Twice nominated for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Banjo Player of the Year, Gina began touring up and down the east coast in
her tween years with her siblings, earning countless ribbons from fiddlers conventions, a
strong reputation in the regional bluegrass scene, and a stamp from Bluegrass Today as
“absurdly talented”.   

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She developed national recognition with her four years playing for Chris Jones and the Night Drivers. Her latest album, True Colors, was released in September 2017 and
debuted at #13 on Bluegrass Billboard Charts, and boasts two #1 songs on Bluegrass Today
Charts. Gina was featured on the cover of Banjo Newsletter in the December 2017 issue,
along with her original tune “Saylor’s Creek”. She is highly sought after as an instructor at music camps across the United States.About The gina furtado projectFronted by banjoist, singer and songwriter Gina Furtado, the Gina Furtado Project lays heavy emphasis on catchy, relatable, original material that spans the gamut from bluegrass to swing to gypsy jazz and beyond.With two IBMA nominations for Banjo Player of the Year to show for it, Gina has been quickly earning recognition as one of the most innovative banjoists on the scene today. The Bluegrass Situation says, ‘It is no surprise that her songs would showcase her swift and graceful picking” but that her album also “reveals her to be a graceful singer and insightful songwriter.”Joining Gina is a cast of equally compelling and creative musicians: Max Johnson on bass (Molly Tuttle Band, Jacob Joliff Band, Jeff Austin Band); Drew Matulich on guitar (Billy Strings); Malia Furtado on fiddle (Director of Education at the Front Porch Music School)

 Serene Green

Serene Green is the collective musical vision of Pennsylvania natives Quentin Fisher, Michael Johnson, Steve Leonard and Shane McGeehan. Serene Green’s desire is to create music highlighting its original compositions and individual style, while honoring the traditions set forth by the pioneers of bluegrass music. 

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Since early 2017, Serene Green has recorded and released two studio albums–To Whom It Pertains (2017) and Have at It (2019, Patuxent Music)—and has performed at hundreds of music venues and festivals across the United States. 

 Megan Downes and the City Stompers

Megan Downes has been involved with percussive dance all her life. As a child she studied Irish step dancing with National Heritage Fellow Donny Golden in New York City, and went on to teach Irish social dancing in New York and at regional festivals.  

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She taught for fourteen years at Midsummer Night Swing held every summer at Lincoln Center, was a principal dancer with Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble for 16 years, and has taught flatfooting and clogging at the Augusta Heritage Center in West Virginia. Columbia Pictures hired Megan to teach Brad Pitt authentic Irish dance moves in preparation for his performance in the 1997 film The Devil’s Own. The City Stompers benefit from Megan’s broad experience in percussive dance traditions, her passion for dance, dedication to teaching, and her infectious enthusiasm.

 Shannoh Bielski and Moonlight Drive

Winners of the 2019 $1000 Band Contest. More info T.B.A

 The Dirty Grass Players

More info T.B.A

 More Artists T.B.A (line-up and schedule subject to change)

 We are excited to share our 17th year of festival magic with you. Sign up for the newsletter for updates. See you at the Clarke County Fairgrounds in 2021