2010 FESTIVAL ARCHIVE - Return to main > site.

August 27, 28, 29 2010

2010 Artists

BUCKWHEAT ZYDECO - Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural, Junior, along with his band "Buckwheat Zydeco," preeminent ambassadors of Louisiana zydeco music, have gigged with everyone from Eric Clapton and U2 to The Boston Pops. The band performed at the closing ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympics to a worldwide audience of three billion people. Buckwheat even performed for President Clinton twice, celebrating both of his inaugurations. The band has also appeared on several TV network shows and played just about every major music festival in the world, including the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Newport Folk Festival, Summerfest, San Diego Street Scene, Bumbershoot, Montreaux Jazz Festival and countless others. Buckwheat Zydeco won the Grammy in 2010 for their latest album, Lay Your Burden Down.

That 1 Guy - That 1 Guy—real name Mike Silverman—amazes audiences with performances that are equal parts innovative sonic spectacle and entertaining visual showcase. The classically-trained-jazz-bassist-turned-musical-mad-scientist performs with his Magic Pipe, a homemade instrument concocted out of steel plumbing tube that allows Silverman to deliver a mind-bending amalgamation of percussive rhythm and sound. With an audience that ranges from psychedelic warriors to families and folks of all ages, he has played the Magic Pipe in locales as exotic as Noumea, Istanbul, Scotland and Australia, where That 1 Guy is celebrated as a modern folk hero. At the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe Festival, he was presented with the Tapwater Award for Best Musical Act.

Po’ Girl - The interplay between Allison Russell, Awna Teixeira, Benny Sidelinger, and Mikey "Lightning" August is truly something to behold. They are distinct voices with incredible harmonies; multiple instrumentalists who bring the perfect sound to each song and songwriters who pen poetic tunes you’ll find yourself humming. Po’ Girl showcases a wide array of instruments-from gutbucket bass, accordion, clarinet, banjo, dobro, guitar, to electric bass, glockenspiel, piano, harmonica, bicycle bells, drums -- and they all frequently trade off instruments with each song. Their fluid and joyous musicality is one of the group’s most endearing and irresistible features. Impossible to put this band in a tidy little box—they’re equally at home in Douala, Cameroon playing the Massao World Music Festival, as they are at the International Jazz Festival in Montreal, the Winnipeg Folk Festival, the Woodford Music Festival in Australia or just playing for fun for the people in Vondel Park, Amsterdam.

Danny Barnes - Widely regarded as one of the most innovative and genre-bending artists of his craft, Barnes' musical interests are both varied and adventurous, and he incorporates that versatility into a progressive approach to an instrument that is musically polarizing and steeped in tradition. Although he demonstrates an appreciation for the history of the bluegrass, country, and folk music from which the banjo's reputation was born, his inventive take is what truly separates him from his contemporaries...using the banjo as his 'weapon of choice' to play non-traditional music like rock, fusion, and jazz with electronic percussion and loop elements. He has come to redefine the banjo's perceived image in an eclectic career for which genre definitions have merely been a polite suggestion. From his early days as the driving force behind the impressive Austin-based Bad Livers, a band of pioneering Americana missionaries, through a prolific solo career and the development of his trademark 'folkTronics' project, a startling approach that incorporates digital technology and various effect pedals to stretch the tonal range of the instrument, Barnes has always listened to his proudly offbeat inner voice.

The Ragbirds - Ask the Ragbirds how to describe their hard-to-define Folk Rock and World fusion and theyll tell you its infectious global groove. Led by fiery front-woman Erin Zindle (called “Highly Impressive” by USA TODAY), they put on a show that is designed to engage the audience on many levels - to get people thinking, listening and dancing. The musical roots of The Ragbirds sound are complex - with Gypsy, Middle-Eastern, Americana, Rock, and Latin influences, all stirred with a Celtic fiddlers bow. In live performances the band incorporates variations on traditional African drum pieces, each member trading their instrument for a hand drum. The songs carry a positive message that appeals to listeners of all ages. For all the intensity of their live show, this is a band that is not afraid to show their softer side with acoustic tunes that are anything but typical folk. Described as Astounding International Eclecticism! by Reveal Arts Magazine, The Ragbirds have become one of the most popular touring bands in their home state of Michigan, and can also be seen performing all over the Mid-West and beyond, growing a loyal fan base in regions throughout the country. The Ragbirds have played between 120-150 shows per year for the past few years, and have no intention of slowing down. In 2009 they went abroad to tour Japan and perform on the main stage at the Green Room Festival in Yokohama. The Ragbirds have been featured at some of the Mid-Wests largest music festivals, including Rothbury, 10,000 Lakes, Summercamp, Hookahville, and more.

John Doe - John Doe is a founding member of the seminal LA punk rock outfit X and the country spin-off band The Knitters. Doe's solo career began with 1990 album Meet John Doe, and he has since garnered worldwide acclaim. Entertainment Weekly calls his work, "rip-roarin' and warm-hearted," Q deems it "the tightest, finest and most morally acute music of the last 20 years," and The Boston Globe praises its "striking emotional territory..." In 2009 Yep Roc Records released Doe's much anticipated A Year in the Wilderness, the follow-up to 2005's acclaimed Forever Hasn't Happened Yet, of which Rolling Stone said, "John Doe proves again that this punk legend/journeyman actor can still make great music." Last year Doe collaborated with the Canadian band, the Sadies, culminating in the CD ‘Country Club’. If Doe looks familiar, chances are you have seen him in film or television. A well respected character actor, Doe has taken on numerous roles...the most widely known being the ‘baddie bartender’ in the movie ‘Roadhouse’. He also took the lead role in the 1992 cult film Roadside Prophets alongside Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys.

Frontier Ruckus - At a young age, the courses of Matthew Milia and David Jones somehow converged within the large and vaguely defined world of Metropolitan Detroit. And from that point on, with merely a banjo and a guitar, they moved forward towards one common creation -something that reflected the very world from which they came with a zeal and vividness afforded only to the young. The singular vision of Frontier Ruckus that modernly exists, growing fuller each day, is eternally rattling with a youthfulness impossible to shed. Unblinking and ferocious in its expression, it spits out with every gasp dusky images of a landscape to which it is inextricably bound. And now, infinitely bolstered by the horns and singing-saw of Zachary Nichols, the harmony vocals and bass of Anna Burch, and the percussion of Ryan Etzcorn, Frontier Ruckus is perched in waiting, prepared to bring to the greater world a new, hollering, unyielding poetry - the voice of memory, desperate and beautiful; the very face of a confused and dissolving locality that one can remember as home.

Dangermuffin - Sometimes a band sticks in your mind like good batter sticks to your ribs. A memorable name helps, and Dangermuffin is no pushover of a moniker. But it's the round-the-fire looseness, yet still polished groove, that leaves the Charleston-based trio's catchy hooks lingering in our ears. Together just two years, they've toured their raspy Southern style as far as Colorado's Jazz Aspen festival and become Carolina public radio favorites. Dangermuffin is delicious from the first bite, but be certain to give a closer listen to the depth of songwriter Dan Lotti's lyrics.

Krista Detor - With her highly acclaimed album, Mudshow ("A Small Miracle..." — Rolling Stone) Krista Detor was established as a gifted player on the world stage. Together with partner and producer, David Weber, she’s since released the follow-up album, Cover Their Eyes ("One of the best albums of the year..." — Revolver) continuing to push the edges of genre while remaining close throughout to the lyrical thread that defines her work.

Hymn For Her - The Ramones of bluegrass meet John Wayne and travel across the U.S in a 16 foot 1961 Bambi airstream playing shows, recording an album in their trailer and filming a movie about the adventure. Throw in a 2-year-old rugrat and a 10-year-old hound dog, a cigar box guitar, a banjo and kick drum and you got yerself some stompgrass.

Seth Bernard and May Erlewine (singer-songwriter duo) - Two Michigan favorites, Seth Bernard and May Erlewine, are well-known to audiences as single acts. Seth grew up surrounded by gardens, goats and stringed instruments just outside Lake City. He traveled around as a storyteller, point guard, sax player or singer/guitar player in bands with names like "Freesoil", "King Lear and the Gothic Monks" or "the Pagoda Trees". Seth recorded his first album at his guitar teacher's home studio. Born into a family of musicians, May Erlewine has been playing music all her life. She paid her singer-songwriter dues in her late teens with several years of hitchhiking back and forth across the U.S., always writing and playing her music. Now with four CDs to her name, May works a variety of venues, focusing on the Midwest and her home state of Michigan. Her inspired lyrics and powerful voice have a sweetness that delights audiences. In 2006 Seth and May released their first duo album, recorded in the historic Calumet Theater. April of 2007, the duo placed third in A Prairie Home Companion People In (their) Twenties Talent Show, out of 740 entries.

Sam Corbin - With heart, soul, and determination, Sam Corbin has traveled and performed for the last decade, with no signs of slowing down. Touring across the northeast and within his home state of Michigan, he plays music with hints of Americana, Blues, and Folk. His songwriting is strong and honest drawing inspiration from personal experiences of love, loss, traveling, and Michigan, from its beautiful countryside to it's struggling economy. In the summer of 2009 Sam released his second album "Michigan's Waltz". Although Sam has played in several configurations over the years, he is usually found sharing the stage with Jen Sygit, an incredibly gifted singer/songwriter from Lansing, MI. With rich harmonies and tasteful arrangements, they're a strong combo that is quickly becoming a favorite in the Michigan music scene.

Jen Sygit - As a child, Jen Sygit gravitated toward musical instruments and within minutes was able to play melodies on them. As early as Elementary school Jen could be found writing love songs on her parents beat-up organ in their basement and by middle school she was composing songs on her acoustic guitar (a gift bought on a whim by her parents - upon which she has never had a lesson). This affinity for music led her parents to encourage Jen to audition for the Interlochen Fine Arts Camp which she attended for several years studying voice, trombone, piano and visual art. Born in Port Huron, MI, Jen spent her childhood years in the nearby town of Marysville, where she lived until 1999 when she moved to Lansing to attend Michigan State University. Jen quickly infiltrated the capital city’s music scene via the area open mics and blues jams. It was at one of these jams that she picked up her first gig as front woman for a blues-rock band called Murdawg and the Lowdown, Dirty Strays. Jen now has three albums under her belt with her latest So Long Pollyanna released on Earthwork Music in May ‘09. Her last release, Leaving Marshall St., was nominated for a Detroit Music Award for Best Acoustic/Folk Album in 2007 and made it to no. 9 on the independent roots music charts that year. The album also landed on a number of ‘Best of’ lists as well. Now, besides regionally touring and playing shows, Jen can also be found hosting the popular weekly open mic at Dagwood Tavern in Lansing. She has been host of the thriving scene for almost five years. Jen is also one fourth of a band called Stella! with Jo Serrapere (former member of Uncle Earl and award-winning songwriter), Tahmineh Gueramy and Katie Grace.

Everett Smithson Band - The Everett Smithson Band plays an interesting variety of music as well as standards that have a unique spin on them and many delightful originals. Come to any Everett Smithson Band performance and you can count on the band to create a party atmosphere. New Orleans / French Quarter Music is what you will see and hear. Zydeco, Blues, Rockin Roots, Hillbilly Hoedowns, gospel and more....... With the music being very infectious and the playful stage presence, the audience gets connected fast.

Charlie Parr - Charlie Parr of Duluth, Minnesota plays original and traditional folk and Piedmont-style blues, accompanying himself on National resonator guitars, 12-string guitar and banjo. Parr was raised in Austin, Minn, in a household that prized traditional American folk music and his style bears the influence of hours spent listening to country blues records and Smithsonian/Folkways field recordings. Charlie has performed publicly since 1988 and he has shared stages and opened concerts for Haley Bonar, The Black-Eyed Snakes, Baby Grant Johnson, Dan Rumsey, Paul Metsa, Dakota Dave Hull, Cam Waters, Bob Brozman, Catfish Keith and Greg Brown.

Lonesome Dan Kase - As a teenager growing up in rural southern Michigan, Lonesome Dan Kase happened upon a radio show called the "Blues Cruise," broadcast out on Ann Arbor and when he began hearing artists like Reverend Gary Davis and Robert Johnson, he quickly became hooked on the country blues. Like many of the blues musicians from the early 1900’s that Lonesome Dan was listening to, he acquired a wander-lust and began traveling around the country busking on street corners. After spending time in California and New Mexico, Lonesome Dan ended up in Denver, Colorado where he started playing in coffee houses and drinking establishments. In 2001, Lonesome Dan moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota and immediately began playing shows as a solo act. Lonesome Dan’s live performances showcase both his unique finger-picking style and dynamic vocals as well as his depth of knowledge of the history of the blues. Lonesome Dan’s trusted companions are his Guild 6 string and his 1935 National played bottleneck/slide style.

Dan has put out 4 solo cds as well as 2 with Crush Collision Trio and one with 32-20 Jug Band. His most recent cd, "So Glad I’m Livin’," was released in early 2009.

Doris & the Day Dreams - Doris & the Day Dreams is a musical trio from the Chicago area that was originally formed in 2008. The group is comprised of former members of Buster's Dream, a quartet that began playing together in the late 90s and released an independent album in 2005. Each member of Doris & the Day Dreams has been influenced by their own unique musical influences, and together they offer an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary folk music, blues, jazz, swing and original compositions. The band members include Kathleen Ehrlich, who provides the vocal talent, as well as playing the concertina and various rhythm instruments. Linda Garrett plays acoustic guitar, banjo and sings backup vocals. Brad Fagala plays electric bass and acoustic guitar.

Dave Boutette - That special intimacy that only comes from sharing firelight is where Dave Boutette shines. Songs of highway hijinks and wildcat oil drillers in the Michigan woods are as likely to be heard as old favorites that have been in your head and heart for years. For Boutette, it’s the sharing of songs that holds all the magic. Whether banging out a set of saloon songs at a Michigan watering hole, or settling back for an evening of singing at a fire ring afterward, Dave Boutette will hold his listeners as long as they keep the lights on or until the rain starts. Stories, advice, observations, or raffles are as apt to appear during a performance as are his songs. Blending many schools of American roots and popular music including folk, blues, swing, and old time country, his songs testify to the power of true love, rebirth, snow plows, and migrating fish. If you get the chance, stand next to Dave. Beside feeling taller than you actually are, you may start to see some things in an entirely new light.

Rory Miller & Dale C. Miller - Florida-based Rory Miller plays an original high energy acoustic guitar style. Her voice is powerful and emotive, her lyrics surreal and evocative. Her songs are guaranteed to yank you from your daydreams and find out who is making that beautiful exciting sound. Ontonagon-based Dale C. Miller is a prolific songwriter who plays the guitar as if it were part of him. His songs range from the wacky to the personal, populated by quirky characters and images from daily life. Don't miss this rare opportunity to see this far-flung musical family united on stage.

Yvonne Blake - Yvonne Blake of Ontonagon, Michigan, is a popular performer at various local events. She will sing soul gospel in a Sunday morning performance.

Bathtub Mothers - Bathtub Mothers are John Norland (guitar), Pat Wynes (mandolin), and Phil Redman (upright bass). Each member of the Madison, Wisconsin area band brings a love of blues, country, rock, and acoustic music to create a blend that is unique to the Mothers. They have just completed their self-titled debut CD.

Cornbread Harris - Twin Cities local music legend, James Samuel Harris, was born on April 23, 1927 in Chicago. In the 1940’s, Cornbread started his own band and established a reputation on the local music scene. In those days, he was known as Huckleberry, a nickname he had picked up at the age of ten, when he went to camp wearing a straw hat and carrying his belongings in a shirt on a stick. This nickname stuck until he wrote the song “Cornbread” which became a crowd favorite. One of his early career highlights was his collaboration with Augie Garcia in 1955 to record “Hi Ho Silver” the Twin Cities first rock and roll record. Since those early days, he has fronted many bands, and he has held the stage with many musicians, including Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis and Archie Bleyer. Cornbread has won a various awards, including the Minnesota Black Music Award in 1998 and many community service awards for playing at benefits and retirement homes. With Cornbread’s affluent musical background, one may ask what music has influenced him and the answer he will reply is country music. He listened to Hank Williams, Gene Autry, Minnie Perle, Roy Rogers, Tom Mix and music from the Grand Ole Opry. It was at the end of high school, when Cornbread started listening to rhythm and blues music. Cornbread, has always said that the only real difference in the types of music is “flavoring”. “All musicians play the same chords, but they have a way of playing them that makes it sound different". In time, Cornbread started to recognize blues incorporated in the elements of jazz, which launched his love for jazz. He cites Louis Jordan, Duke Ellington and Count Basie as some of his favorite jazz figures. While his playing became richer, he also started paying attention to vocalist like Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, and Nat King Cole. Cornbread’s favorite pianist is Oscar Peterson. But while he enjoys the music of all these people, Cornbread is quick to point out that he idolizes no one. He always says “that often the guy next door plays just as good or better than some of the people that have become famous. In spite of the many difficulties he has been through, Cornbread is full of life and always hopeful about the future.

Javier Matos and Hurricane Harold - In August 2009 Javier Matos and Hurricane Harold Tremblay joined forces to present a powerful Delta Country Blues duo. Javier, from California, moved to Minneapolis in 2006 and has been turning heads ever since. His strong, believable singing coupled with a sense of rhythm on his 1937 National Steel Resonator guitar belie his youth. He just plain sounds like an old Delta Bluesman. "Hurricane" Harold Tremblay is known throughout the Twin Cities as one of the premier harmonica players. He's graced the stage at the Porkies Festival twice before, with Cool Dispositon , a Chicago/West Coast Blues Band and more recently with the Summit Stunt Pilots, an acoustic trio playing Roots/americana. Together Javier and Harold play in HUD (Javier's Delta band soon to be renamed to reflect it's growth). Apart they are involved in many other projects.

Michael “Laughing Fox” Charette - When Michael “Laughing Fox” Charette wants to tell someone he loves them, he doesn't say a word. Instead, he picks up a Native American flute and fills the air with a reedy melody that evokes wind rushing across the marshes or the lilting cry of a bird in flight. In that sound, he says, is all the love and feeling he can find deep within.

Charette's dedication to the traditional flute recently paid off in a Native American Music Award nomination as the 2010 “Flutist of the Year” for his CD, “The Tales of Laughing Fox.” The Nammys, as they are known, were established in 1998 to offer Native American musicians a place to showcase their work and raise public awareness of native music.

For Charette, 32, seeing his name listed as a nominee alongside those of his own music hero, Carlos Nakai, is exciting and humbling. Nammy winners are determined by online voting from the general public through the awards website, with public voting set to begin Sept. 1.

The Children of the Porcupine Mountains Music Festival - Each year the children attending the festival cap their experience with a Sunday afternoon performance on the Peace Hill Stage. The children are the future of music...enjoy and encourage their exuberant festival celebration. The seeds we plant today, may come to fruition on festival stages years from now.