2017 37th Annual Blissfest Performers Coming Soon…
36th Annual Blissfest Performers
Nashville duo 10 String Symphony began as a partnership of mutual admiration, a much needed creative release valve for Rachel Baiman and Christian Sedelmyer, two 5string fiddle players and veteran sidemen of Nashville’s music scene. Rachel, a former Illinois state fiddle champion in the old time tradition, needed an outlet for the new sort of songs she was writing, while Christian, originally a classically trained violinist, now a current touring member of the Jerry Douglas Band, was looking to get in touch the impetuous spirit of the rock bands he played in before his arrival in Nashville. With the love of the 5string fiddle and its musical possibilities as its focal point, the band’s mission statement was as clear as it was expansive: Two fiddles. Two Voices. Epic music.
Described as,”one of the most ground-breaking musical experiences one might just have in a lifetime” by Jonathan Frahm at Yahoo Voices, The Accidentals are just getting started. From 2012-2014, The Accidentals recorded three original albums, were guest artists on fifteen others, scored two films, and landed song placements in commercials, documentaries, and music compilations while playing over seven hundred live shows. THEN they graduated high school. In 2015 alone, they have played over 200 shows at some of the most prestigious venues and largest festivals in the US, including The Fillmore, The Vogue Theater, Frederik Meijer Garden, Summerfest, Electric Forest, Summer Camp Festival, Blissfest, Wheatland, Earthworks Harvest Gathering etc. They are currently recording with Grammy Award Winning Producer, Stewart Lerman (Sufjan Stevens, St. Vincent, Regina Spektor), and Pop Icon, Marshall Crenshaw. Look for a brand new release in the coming months and hang on tight…its proving to be quite the ride.
No matter where they go in the world, people tell the Swedish sisters that they’ve never heard or seen anything like it, that they have a completely unique set-up and perform with what seems to be an inexhaustible energy. This high voltage trio, now based in Los Angeles, has been compared to anything from Fleetwood Mac, First Aid Kit, Black Keys to Led Zeppelin. Baskery’s sound is built on, however not limited to, what three people can do together. It is all about turning the music on its head, blending the straightforwardness of punk with the subtlety of singer/songwriting. Expect the sounds of “banjopunk”, “new folk”, “nordicana”, an energetic live show and killer sibling harmonies.
Breathe Owl Breathe is made up of lyricist and guitarist Micah Middaugh, cellist and vocalist Andrea Moreno-Beals, and percussionist/multi-instrumentalist Trevor Hobbs. The music of Breathe Owl Breathe has always been steeped in magic. Their songs seem to occupy that hazy space between wakefulness and dreaming—where the tangible, earthly world meets the transcendental. It’s been nearly a decade since this trio of friends began making music in a remote cabin tucked away in a Northern Michigan river valley, but despite the growth and experiences that have happened along the way—including recording five albums, releasing a children’s book, and logging several cross-country tours—the band’s sound is still deeply rooted in the mysticism, warmth and wide-eyed wonder that imbued their earliest songs. The band’s visual art plays as equally a prominent role as their music. Micah is a visual artist and printmaker, and is largely responsible for Breathe Owl Breathes aesthetic; often described as child-like, timeless and whimsical.
The Boxcar Boys create their distinct and energetic sound by weaving together a captivating bevy of folk traditions, Dixieland jazz and Klezmer, all performed with a good time New Orleans spirit. Their shows are joyous acoustic celebrations featuring 6 inimitable musicians on clarinet, tuba, fiddle, trombone, accordion and washboard. Their debut album “Don’t Be Blue” placed them on the EJazzNews list of Best Canadian Jazz Bands and their sophomore release “Rye Whiskey” earned them a nomination for Instrumental Group of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards (2013).Their diverse and innovative sound has brought the band to a wide variety of venues and festivals including The WayHome Festival, The Toronto Jazz Festival, The Deep Roots Festival, Blissfest, The Blue Skies Folk Festival and The Ashkenaz Klezmer Festival.
Brown Rice Family is today’s freshest world roots band jamming towards global solidarity and organic happiness. Guided by a strong belief in the natural flow of things, BRF provides the masses with a distinctively organic World Roots Music, which encompasses jazz stylings, afrobeat, reggae, rock, Latin rhythms, hip-hop, and funk. The band was formed while its members were attending the City College of New York. Initially, BRF started off with two members, Yuichi and former member Joe Jang, who both met while taking the same music class. Both shared many things in common, among them were music and healthy eating and living. Both shared the belief that one should live in a healthy environment and eat naturally grown food. While flirting with their organic approach to living and music, they came across brown rice—one of the healthiest foods for human consumption.
Described as “one of the best acoustic pickers on the scene today,” Cary Morin brings together the great musical traditions of America and beyond like no other. With deft fingerstyle guitar and vocals that alternately convey melodic elation and gritty world-weariness, Morin crafts an inimitable style often characterized as acoustic Native Americana with qualities of blues, bluegrass, jazz, jam, reggae, and dance. For two consecutive years (2013 and 2014), Cary won the Colorado Blues Challenge Solo Championship. He was also nominated for Aboriginal Entertainer of the Year and Best Blues CD in the Aboriginal People’s Choice Music Awards. In 2013, he received a lifetime achievement award from the Fort Collins Music Association (FoCoMA) and won the Colorado Fan Favorite Poll in the blues category for his second solo release, Streamline.
Born and raised around Holly Springs, Mississippi, Cedric Burnside, grandson of legendary R.L. Burnside and son of drummer Calvin Jackson, has been playing music all his life. He has developed a relentless, highly rhythmic charged style with strong hip-hop and funk influences. This four-time winner of the prestigious Blues Music Award’s Drummer of the Year (2010-2014) is widely regarded as one of the best drummers in the world. Growing up at his grandfather’s side, he began touring at age 13 playing drums for “Big Daddy” on stages around the globe. Cedric was “I write about my life, my kids, and everyday things. I try to stick to the truth,” Cedric says. He recalls growing up without a radio or a TV. “My granddad used to play out on the porch, and we’d have house parties every weekend. Johnny Woods would come over and blow harmonica, and he’d drink two or three gallons of corn liquor. We just stomped up dirt.”
One would not expect to find world class musicians in this small northern college town. Marquette, Michigan is not exactly Chicago, Nashville, nor even Memphis, but you couldn’t tell by listnening to Derrell Syria and the members of Conga Se Menne. Whilethe lyrics are geared for fun, the quality of their sound is no laughing matter. Syria’s original songs carry the flavor of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in lyrical silliness and the spirit of its hearty residence in musical excellence. Conga Se Menne live and work along the chilly invigorating banks of Lake Superior and their mastery of melodic syncopation is second to none.
Kevin loves to perform, write, draw, sing, make things, and wonder about possibilities. He is an award-winning artist, performer, and children’s author of many books and CDs who loves to collaborate with other artists. Each year, he visits schools, libraries, festivals, and conferences to inspire active imaginations through poetry, puppetry, music, and movement. He and his family live in Grand Rapids, MI. Visit kevinkammeraad.com for more.
A long time ago, at the dawn of the Atomic Age, a succession of no-good punks and ill-mannered teenagers took the best of American roots music — hard-partying honky tonk country, searing gutbucket blues and lonesome hillbilly twang — and distilled it into a potent moonshine known as rockabilly. This combustible formula, passed down through the generations, forms the heart of the revved-up stylings of Delilah DeWylde and the Lost Boys. Mixing their own self-penned songs with vintage country/honky tonk hits, rockabilly favorites, and surf gems by such artists as Hank Williams Sr., Johnny Cash, Wanda Jackson, Buck Owens, Gene Vincent, and Dick Dale, Delilah and the Lost Boys come out on stage looking and sounding like a step back in time. Dressed to the nines in the tradition of pre-color television, the band thrilled audiences across the Midwest with its spirited performances.
The Dirty Bourbon River Show deftly melds sounds that range from hard-edged blues to Lisztian piano driven ballads to New Orleans brass into a result that is truly a blast of new energy into the musical landscape. Dirty Bourbon grabs hold of audiences, fascinated by their eccentricity and dexterity coupled with their ability to harken back to by-gone eras in music. Since forming in early 2009, the Dirty Bourbon River Show has released 9 studio albums and played over 750 live shows, fast earning them a stellar reputation for their tight, multi-faceted sound and high-energy performances. They can be found bringing their blend of “New Orleans Big Brass Circus Rock” all over the USA, performing at festivals and respected venues year-round.
The Dragon Wagon crew features Detroit-award nominated virtuoso Troy Radikin on Mandolin and Vocals, the classical and awe-inspiring Megan Sicheneder on Violin and Vocals, the endless instruments and mind-shattering versatility of Rich Delcamp on Banjo/Guitar and Vocals. The amazing style of Guitarist Tyler Aukerman, and of course, no stage party is complete without our amazingly talented rhythm section featuring Michael Tobias Designs and Bartolini endorsed artist Matthew Meyers on 6 string bass, and the University of Toledo Jazz Department’s own Travis Aukerman, a master percussionist. Together, Dragon Wagon has re-envisioned what American roots are, and they execute everything from 100% traditional bluegrass to jazz-inspired dance-worthy original masterpieces. All their music thrives on a live audience, and each performance grows into a unique and energetic experience.
Erik Koskinen’s America Theatre is a translucent eulogy to the genuine. Musically sprouted from the blend of American folk, country, rock-n-roll, and blues, Koskinen and his top-shelf band realize a sound that is distinctive and fresh while familiar and classic. From the tender opener, “First Time in Years” to the defiant “Six Pack of Beer” to “Boomtown,” a track that flays the history of the west’s settlement from bedrock to fracking with a locomotive’s force of barbwire guitars, marching bass and cracking drums, Koskinen moves the listener through a landscape of personal and social struggles, as well as small triumphs, of our nation and its people.
Uniting the forces of space and time, the Galactic Sherpas create a sonic experience that draws from all corners of the musical Universe. Diving into jams as deep as a black hole, their highly improvised style leaves space travelers on the brink of cosmic euphoria.
Goldie & The Screamers’ sound fall somewhere between their band roots in the seductive/dreamy avenues of Soul music, and more and more, the driving electro/rock/pop tinted veins of R&B. With gorgeously crafted originals that call on the ghosts of soul-music-past while always pushing into the future, and inspired renditions of Soul/R&B favorites , Goldie & The Screamers have something for just about everyone. Goldie & The Screamers are on a mission to create music that stirs your heart AND your body. With this mission, the Asheville based Soul/Neo Soul outfit have quickly been building a loyal following since their first performance in the Spring of 2014.
Kalamazoo’s favorite suns. High energy twang-rock and jelly-roll. The Go Rounds are a furious live act and progressive recording unit, fueled by the history of its diverse lineup and a collaborative spirit injected into everything from songwriting to arranging. Equally inspired by their record collections as the beauty of the Great Lakes State, the band explores soul music, baroque folk, art rock, country and classic rock n’ roll.
Harmony Glen is a Dutch feelgood-folk group founded in 2005. The music is based on Irish-Celtic folk but regularly sounds from all over the world get woven in. The goal of the band is to stand out not only through their music (which is a mix of traditional and original songs and tunes) but through their stage presence as well. Harmony Glen’s shows have been described as “Irish Folk Extravaganza” and people who attend can’t seem to stand still as the energy is always on a maximal level. Since 2013 the band has toured in Europe, amongst others: Denmark (Skagen Festival), Germany (Balver Höhle, Bremen Maritim, Wernigerode, Brüggen), Azores (Maia Folk Festival), United Kingdom, Belgium (Labadoux) and Ireland, where they have participated in the Fleadh Cheoil (worldchampionship for traditional Irish music) as the first band ever from Holland to make it into the world finals.
An amalgamation of blues, soul and world music, multi award winning Australian singer/ songwriter “Peter D. Harper” creates a heady mix of roots music through his creative use of the harmonica, and the haunting drone of the didgeridoo. By combining traditional and modern influences, borrowing from Western and World music, Harper has created a highly original take on the roots genre which many have labeled “World Blues”. Harper has received an amazing 14 x Music Awards in four different countries. His innovative use of electronic enhancement and feedback, breaks the traditional boundaries of the harmonica, giving his music its distinctive harmonics and effects. The powerful guitar sounds and the unique drone of the didgeridoo create raw yet eerie sonic textures, some how sounding primal and contemporary at the same time.
Maloney’s new music has a definite edge, but it also has a classically trained voice that delivers well-crafted lyrics over a technical arrangement—a combination we’ve recently seen getting mainstream appreciation once more. Suddenly, the term “singer- songwriter” carries serious weight again. Chalk it up to a revival of everything 90s and Maloney’s influence from “those bleeding hearts,” as she calls them, referring to artists’ like Fiona Apple, Tori Amos and Aimee Mann. “We wanted to make something more relevant, in a new zone.” Maloney wasn’t kidding – she teamed up with producer Bill Reynolds (who moonlights as the bassist for Band of Horses) and an all-star group of players with extraordinary talent, including engineer Jason Kingsland (Iron & Wine, Delta Spirit), guitarist Tyler Ramsey (Band of Horses), and guitarist and sax player Carl Broemel (My Morning Jacket).
“Ever since I was a young boy I played the silver ball” Maybe not your standard bluegrass lyric, but a line known by all the world from the biggest rock opera of all time, The Who’s Tommy. 45 years after its original release, this classic of classic rock has now been fully realized as a full length bluegrass tribute featuring Springfield, Missouri’s The HillBenders. Conceived and produced by SXSW co-founder and longtime musician/producer Louis Jay Meyers, this Bluegrass Opry brings a new perspective to Tommy while paying total respect to its creators.
The name Hot Tuna invokes as many different moods and reactions as there are Hot Tuna fans — millions of them. To some, Hot Tuna is a reminder of some wild and happy times. To others, that name will forever be linked to their own discovery of the power and depth of American blues and roots music. To newer fans, Hot Tuna is a tight, masterful duo that is on the cutting edge of great music. All of those things are correct, and more. For more than four decades, Hot Tuna has played, toured, and recorded some of the best and most memorable acoustic and electric music ever. And Hot Tuna is still going strong — some would say stronger than ever.
The music of HuDost, the Neo Folk World Rock Ensemble from Montreal and KY, weaves a seamless tapestry of sound that renders tears and laughter in listeners, cultivating that nameless longing that abides somewhere in all our hearts. HuDost’s core musicians are Moksha Sommer and Jemal Wade Hines. Having toured the US, Canada, and Europe constantly since April 2006, HuDost has grown and expanded, travelled rocky and glorious terrain and marveled at all they can learn and explore. Moksha and Jemal Wade, in this time have grown as artists, as seekers, as a couple and as a family. In 2013 their amazing son was brought into the world.
Bred in the mountains of Canada’s rural north-west, Jaron Freeman-Fox redefines what the violin is capable of, and gives you no choice but to take his mutant species of music on it’s own terms. Having produced or played on over 40 albums (Teresa Doyle, Jayme Stone, Autorickshaw) and toured the globe many times over as a solo artist, bandleader or collaborator with artists such as Delhi 2 Dublin, Ben Caplan, and Sam Lee, Freeman-Fox fuses his roots of fiddling and jazz with his musical studies in India, Sweden, and Indonesia, while playing the 5-string violins of his late mentor; fiddle pioneer Oliver Schroer. On a seemingly endless tour for the past 5 years, Jaron performs full-time with his award-winning band Jaron Freeman-Fox & The Opposite of Everything, as well as his his new experimental duo project, using an expanded-range electroacoustic violin set-up of his own design.
Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers will make a sprightly young groove doctor out of anyone. With spectacular energy pulsating from every member of the band, the Rainbow Seekers could illuminate the very chambers of Heaven. Lead singer Joe Hertler splashes through lyrical puddles of golden rain, leaving his audience wearing flowery crowns and bubbling smiles. A ride on the Rainbow will take you across the mountains of Motown, through the fjords of folk, over the archipelagos of Americana, and-at last-into a funky firth, where only the fiercest of friendships can be found.
Those who’ve followed Keller Williams’ recording career to date know that he has given each of his albums a single-syllable title: FREEK, BUZZ, SPUN, BREATHE, LOOP, LAUGH, HOME, DANCE, STAGE, GRASS, DREAM, TWELVE, REX, LIVE, ODD, THIEF, KIDS, BASS, PICK, KEYS and FUNK. Each title serves not only as a concise summation of the concept guiding the particular project but also as another piece of the jigsaw puzzle that is Keller Williams. GRASS, for example, is a bluegrass recording, cut with the husband-wife duo the Keels. STAGE is a live album and DREAM the end product of a wish list: Keller collaborating with some of his greatest musical heroes. THIEF is a set of unexpected cover songs. And KIDS offers up, you guessed it, Williams’ first and possibly only children’s record.
Kellerville is an Americana Duo that packs a punch. They juggle a double handful of instruments adding percussion through the use of a washboard, foot tambourine, rattles, shakers, and a floor tom. Lee even had his guitar costumized to compliment his unique style of fingerpicking/percussion. This allows him to use his guitar as a bass drum while playing. All this combined with their intricate harmonies and foot stomping tunes makes for a Full Band sound worth hiring. You won’t miss the bassist and drummer. In fact you might find yourself looking around to see where they are hiding.
Born near lake victoria in uganda, kinobe (chinobay) is a gifted ugandan multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and philanthropist known for his inspired synthesis of african roots and global fusion. he is dedicated to bringing love and joy to people through his music and contributing to building healthier lives and communities for children and families everywhere. Kinobe’s first international performance was in netherlands at the age of ten with his school ensemble and by 21, he had visited several countries in africa studying and playing with celebrated musicians including. over the years as a touring musician he has shared the stage with re-known african musicians including toumani diabate, youssou n’dour, salif keita, angelique kidjo, oliver mtukudzi and baaba maal and exposure to the bright palette of musical cultures makes kinobe a unique contributor to world music. he has given concerts and workshops all over the world, bringing a powerful world-roots-dance sound to festival main stages and theatres, and intimately captivating solo and acoustic shows that showcase the diversity of the traditional african instruments.
Able to change musical styles as quickly as the weather changes in their home state of Michigan, Kung Fu Rodeo presents a show based in high energy rock and roll and peppered with Americana, funk, soul, reggae, jazz, and more. Having already staked a reputation as a “must see” band at a number of festivals in their home region of Northern Michigan, the fall 2012 release of their debut CD, “Custom Superthrust,” is the first step in a push to play bigger stages and larger markets. KFR’s approach to music is simple and time-tested: write good songs, perform them well, put on a good show, make the people dance, and do it with a sense of humor. Own the covers you play or don’t bother playing them. Work hard to keep learning and improving. And always…ALWAYS…let them see you sweat.
Having earned their name late night at a Michigan Bluegrass festival from a fellow picker who proclaimed, “It’s good to see you Flatbellys out here pickin with us Greybeards,” today Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys keep one foot in The Great Lakes State and the soul of Motown, and one in Music City, USA: Nashville, TN. They still embody the soul of a good jam or late night pickin’ session, and also have honed in on a sound that’s entirely their own drawing from soul, blues, folk, jazz and maybe even a traces of that techno beat. When asked what he thought about LLFBs new record, lead singer and mandolinist of the highly acclaimed band Greensky Bluegrass said, “What do I love about ‘Ionia’? Let’s keep it simple. Everything.” Scroll down to read more of Paul Hoffman’s review as well as an extensive collection of press quotes.
Despite the name, Matt the Electrician is no longer an electrician, focusing instead on a music career that has spanned the course of two decades, a dozen records, and literally thousands of shows. It’s folk music for a modern age, rooted in lyrics that focus on the realities and challenges of the 21st century as opposed to, say, the old-school thrill of hopping trains. “I don’t generally write mining disaster songs,”he explains. “I tend to write about things that have happened to me and my family. Songs about the small things in life, which, to me, are really the big things.”
May Erlewine comes from a family of artists and musicians. Early on she was exposed to music (and people) of all kinds. May was home-educated, came up singing and while still just a teenager hitchhiked all across North America playing in small and large towns, riding freight trains, and busking on the streets. In her travels May Erlewine came to know the land and the pulse of the people. Her songs show a very real connection and concern with everyday folk. May has played music not only all across America but also for people all over the world. What is perhaps most remarkable is May’s songwriting ability. Although she is a wonderful singer and her voice is instantly recognizable, it is the songs that she writes that are really turning heads. The sounds and influences you’ll hear in her music range from good old fashioned folk and country swing to soul singers, rock and music from all over the wide world. It’s all bundled together with stories and melodies to take you on a journey of the heart. May is thrilled to be releasing her new EP, Lean Into the Wind at Blissfest this year.
Oh Brother Big Sister is an eclectic sensation! This brother and sister duo from Northern Michigan covers the music spectrum with entrancing harmonies and ingenious musical arrangements. With a comfortable, comedic essence that makes you feel like you’re with old friends in the comfort of your happy place; the BIG-sister-little-brother duo deliver music that encompasses a wide variety of music genres with an original acoustic sound that makes each performance an experience. Penny and Radel Rosin hail from a small speck on the mitten where they were raised in a family with deep musical roots which will be obvious in their passion for music and ease in entertaining. If you are searching for a fresh, distinctive sound with an element of surprise- the search is over- Oh Brother Big Sister is pure pleasure.
Detroit, MI. Clever and witty, melodic and musically quirky as ever, Olivia Millerschin is feeling a bit “Over The Weather.” these days, infusing her latest EP with all the colorful elements (Indie, Folk, Soul) and wry turns of phrase that made her debut, self-produced album “Yes.No.Maybe So.” so popular and infectious, leading to its nominations for three 2014 Detroit Music Awards and radio play nationwide. Only now, the multi-talented singer/songwriter is penning her observational gems from a fresh starting point: 19 years old, one year of college completed and a full year of touring under her belt. The EP’s first single “We Know Not” was produced by Andrew Williams (Colbie Caillat, Five For Fighting). Her growing songwriting abilities helped in her recent signing with BMG Fieldhouse Licensing.
The Pistil Whips are a new duo based out of Boyne City MI. They combine the styles of funk, blues, and jazz to make a sound all their own. Eric Dane Jaqua on Farmer Foot Drums, guitar, and vocals. Will Love on sax, clarinet, and beatbox flute
Peter Yarrow’s talents as a creative artist—both with the legendary trio Peter, Paul & Mary and as a solo performer—are frequently directed at using music to convey a message of humanity and caring. His gift for songwriting has produced some of the most moving songs from Peter, Paul & Mary, including “Puff, the Magic Dragon,” “Day is Done”, “Light One Candle” and “The Great Mandala.” As a member of the renowned musical trio, Yarrow has earned multiple gold and platinum albums, as well as numerous GRAMMYs.
Rebecca is a young singer-songwriter who grew up in Atlanta and has done time in DC, Boston and New York, now making her home in Austin, TX. She is known for her distinct voice, well-crafted songs and ability to bring an audience to her journeys, introducing them to the characters she meets and observations she makes as she travels. Rebecca has toured non-stop since 2009, averaging 150-200 shows per year as a headliner and as support for The Civil Wars, Ellis Paul, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers, Matt the Electrician and others. Rebecca’s live performances have created a passionate fan base around the world. In 2011 she was a featured contestant on the first season of NBC’s “The Voice,” winning a spot on Team Adam and an iTunes Top 10 single worldwide with her captivating re-imagination of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are.” Earlier this year she was ranked #9 on Alternate Root magazine’s annual listing of the 30 Best Female Singers in America.
Seth Bernard well-known to audiences as single acts, have been performing and recording together for over 10 years. Before they teamed up, they each paid their dues traveling across the land playing their music and sharing stories with everyone they met. Now, they are a fixture of the Michigan music scene and in constant demand playing festivals, theaters and venerable folk institutions all over the country. Seth and May’s common belief in music to strengthen communities and to be a part of positive change has lead to collaborations with numerous schools, farms and non-profit organizations. They partnered with best selling author and famed environmentalist Bill McKibben and contributed songs to the 350 movement for Climate Change Action. They have also fostered the creation of the Water Festival, a series of events in the Great Lakes region dedicated to music and education about preserving water quality and universal access.
To suggest that Steve Poltz isn’t normal is about as safe a statement as one could make. You would basically require the powers of the Hubble space telescope to locate Steve Poltz from any region of normalcy. For music fans on both sides of the equator, this is a very good thing. Born among the hearty seafaring folk of Canada’s Halifax, Nova Scotia, Poltz has lived most of his life in Southern California, where the sun treated his rocky Canadian DNA like clothes in a dryer. Naturally a spectrum of cultural and emotional tensions arose and he eventually sought refuge in the art of songwriting, where he tapped into an unforgettable and often horrifying depth of unhinged genius.
WHO IS TAJ WEEKES? One basic but incomplete answer is that Taj Weekes is a dreadlocked Rastafarian musician, bred in the Caribbean but shaped by intercontinental life experience. A more significant answer would be that he is a creative, poetic singer-songwriter who fronts a dynamic reggae band named Adowa. And there’s an additional, highly significant answer, just as true as the first two. Taj is an unwavering, energetic humanitarian whose dedication extends beyond his song lyrics into his social activism, an activism that has culminated in his official role with the United Nations as “UNICEF Champion for Children” and his children’s charity, They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO).
With an extensive and amazing track record of unique and imaginative performances featuringhis curious instrument and copious amounts of originality, Mike Silverman aka That1Guy has set himself apart as a true one-of-a-kind talent that rivals any other artist currently in the entertainment industry. Averaging 150-200 shows a year all over North America and Canada, he has been a consistent favorite at such festivals as: Wakarusa, Electric Forest, Big Day out, All Good, Bella, High Sierra, Summer Meltdown, Montreal Jazz Festival, and many more. He was also the ʻTap Water Awardʼ winner at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for best musical act. His legendary collaboration and multiple tours with Buckethead as The Frankenstein Brothers has further cemented his virtuoso story as a creative visionary as well.
Equal parts fast-paced and soulful, 5-piece modern-folk Americana act, The Way Down Wanderers, draw in listeners with energy, originality and soulful generosity. Playing, performing and writing together for just over 2 years, the Wanderers have built an enthusiastic and fast-growing following across the country, earning Deli Magazine’s Readers Choice title of “Chicago’s Best Emerging Artist, 2014.” Youthful and professionally trained, these young men captivate audiences with soaring instrumentals, foot stomping sing-alongs and a lively stage show and have created a buzz for themselves with their unplugged, off-stage encores and propensity for performing self-titled, “restSTOMPS” – free acoustic sets at rest & truck stops along their tour routes. The band’s debut EP, “Path to Follow” and their brand new live EP, “Wellspring” are available wherever music is sold. The Way Down Wanderers first full-length album is due to release in the Spring or Summer of 2016.