Named by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the Top 20 Guitarists of All Time, Richard Thompson is also one of the world’s most critically acclaimed and prolific songwriters. He has received Lifetime Achievement Awards for Songwriting on both sides of the Atlantic - from the Americana Music Association in Nashville to Britain’s BBC Awards as well as the prestigious Ivor Novello. In 2011, Thompson received an OBE (Order of the British Empire) personally bestowed upon him by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. In the USA Thompson has been nominated at the Americana Music Awards for both Artist of the Year and Song of the Year.
Eric Taylor is a sage musician, a lyrical genius and a master of the guitar. If you're familiar with the intricate Texas singer/ songwriter jigsaw puzzle, you probably already know a lot about Taylor. If you're not familiar with Taylor by name, you've probably heard his songs performed by people such as Nanci Griffith and Lyle Lovett. He has created a multitude of fans and devotees that are legends themselves in the singer/songwriter realm, artists who have long considered Taylor to be a teacher and a lantern bearer whose time is long overdue.
Harry Manx has spent years fusing eastern musical traditions with the blues, switching effortlessly between conventional guitars, harmonica, and banjo and the decidedly different Mohan veena, a 20-stringed instrument invented by Manx’ Indian mentor Vishwa Mohan Bhatt. Manx is often referred to as the “Mysticssippi” Blues Man, because of his expertise in melding both East and West music together and therefore, “creating musical short stories that wed the Blues with the depth of classical Indian ragas”.
For more than 25 years, Cowboy Junkies have remained true to their unique artistic vision and to the introspective, quiet intensity that is their musical signature, creating a critically acclaimed body of original work that has endeared them to an audience unwavering in its loyalty.
You can always identify the Cowboy Junkies by the unmistakable vocals of Margo Timmins. Her dusky, haunting voice is a focal point in the band's hypnotic blues-tinged balladry. Cowboy Junkies' music blends alt-country and folk with the languid haze of the Velvet Underground. So it was fitting that one of their first hits would be a cover of the Velvet Underground classic "Sweet Jane."
In 2004 Jim hooked up with Steve Dawson, one of North America’s most critically acclaimed roots music producers. Together they created five outstanding albums: 2004’s Fresh Horses, 2006’s Juno Award winning House Of Refuge, 2009’s My Walking Stick, 2010’s Everywhere West, a salute to Jim’s origins and influences, and 2012’s I Hear The Wind In The Wires, an album of songs from the golden age of country music. Jim and Steve were back at it again in 2014 with St. Louis Times Byrnes’ most personal record to date.
Charlie Parr’s blistering picking - he switches between acoustic guitar, dobro and banjo - and keen, cut-through-the-crowd-vocals resonate with a conviction that runs deep and true. It's the music of a self-taught guitarist and banjo player who grew up listening to his dad's recordings of America's musical founding fathers, including Charley Patton and Lightnin' Hopkins, Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly. His heartfelt and plaintive original folk blues and traditional spirituals don't strive for authenticity, they are authentic.
with special guests Gurf Morlix and Jeff Plankenhorn
Ray Wylie Hubbard describes him as a "scrapper poet with the devil-may-care wherewithal" whose "ragged-but-right vocals and lyrical wits continue to get better and better with age." Ray has been performing and writing songs since the '60s. Well known for penning the words to "Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother," made famous by Jerry Jeff Walker, Ray has come from "the wild and wooly cosmic/outlaw Texas country scene of the '70s" to being "one of the most respected artists on the modern Americana scene."
It's a special treat when Danny Schmidt and Carrie Elkin, who normally tour separately and solo, get to share the stage together. If the chemistry seems especially sparkful, they come by it honestly, as they are a rare breed - a romantic partnership in real life and in their music life. And the two together on stage makes for a classic case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.
Danny Schmidt is best known for his riveting poetic lyrics, which have drawn favorable comparisons to Leonard Cohen and Townes Van Zandt for their depth and complexity. And gypsy spirit Carrie Elkin is best known for her incredibly soulful and dynamic vocals, which have drawn favorable comparisons to Patty Griffin at her most powerful, and Nanci Griffith at her most intimate.
Birthed from a series of casual Southern Alabama songwriter-in-the-round jam sessions, Almost Willie Sugarcapps is an organic outgrowth of the chemistry between three distinct musicians, Will Kimbrough, Grayson Capps and Corkey Hughes (the “almost” is because Sugarcane Jane will not be joining the band on this leg of the tour). Individually, these musicians have written, recorded, and toured throughout the U.S., with the likes of Jimmy Buffett, Emmylou Harris, Neil Young, Kate Campbell, Dwight Yoakam, and Steve Winwood, to name a few. The collaboration of such songwriting expertise inspired a repertoire of material that became their 2013 self-titled debut album, which was awarded “Americana Album Of The Year” by the Independent Music Association. Willie Sugarcapps went on to build a solid following, and performed on such lauded programs as Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour, NPR’s Mountain Stage and Music City Roots.
Pre-show dinner not included in ticket price. Dinner sales begin at 5:30 pm.
Hailed as a "self-styled poetess, folk goddess and country waif" by the BBC, Pieta Brown first came to international attention with her 2002 self-titled debut. Pieta has since been recognized by NPR for her "moody, ethereal" songwriting, applauded by The Boston Globe for her "mercurial voice” and has continued to gain wide-spread critical attention for both her singing and songwriting with each release. Wall Street Journal, American Songwriter, and Amazon have all included her albums in year-end, ‘best-of’ picks. And along the way she has shared stages with everyone from Emmylou Harris and JJ Cale to Neko Case and Richard Thompson, in addition to performing at major festivals like Bonnaroo and Mountain Jam. But maybe even more importantly, to a fiercely independent artist like Pieta, she has received praise and support from many of her fellow artists and mentors - Justin Vernon, Iris Dement, Mark Knopfler, Amos Lee, producer Don Was, and film-maker Wim Wenders to name a few.
Birds of Chicago is a collective based around JT Nero and Allison Russell. For several years Russell and Nero's respective bands, Po' Girl (Vancouver, BC) and JT and the Clouds (Chicago, IL), have collaborated extensively, but on 2011's Mountains Forests, released under the JT Nero banner, they tapped into the true, bewitching power of their voices together on an entire record. Their sweet and sour vocal mix treads the dusty Americana roads of country, soul, folk, and rock.
There’s something about musical bloodlines that cannot be denied. Amy Helm is the daughter of The Band’s Levon Helm and singer/songwriter Libby Titus, and a lifetime of growing up around some of the finest American music ever recorded is evident. Her talent takes up where her father’s leaves off – her voice is an exquisite instrument and she is an accomplished drummer and mandolin player.
After years of touring with her band Sarah & The Tall Boys, Sarah Potenza was chosen over 50,000 candidates to appear on The Voice. Judge Pharrell Williams’ reaction to Potenza’s on-air audition gives you a pretty good idea of the level of talent of this incredible singer. Williams’ immediately exclaimed, “You’re giving this generation something they've never seen before". Potenza left the show as a top 20 finalist, then headed to Nashville where she quickly integrated into the local music scene, becoming a staple at the world renowned Bluebird Café and the globally broadcast Music City Roots program. She continues to earn raves for her big voice, which seamlessly blends roots, rock and soul.
Mike Farris is a musical renaissance man. He has toured as the lead singer for the southern rock band Screaming Cheetah Wheelies and, following the demise of blues and rock legend Stevie Ray Vaughn, as the lead singer for the incomparable blues band, Double Trouble. In his solo career he began to rediscover and reinterpret traditional black spiritual music by adding his own mix of vintage southern soul. For his efforts, Farris won the prestigious Americana Music Award for Best New & Emerging Artist, a Dove Award for Best Traditional Gospel Album of the Year and a 2015 GRAMMY® award for Best Roots Gospel Album.