A child of Albuquerque, New Mexico and one time park ranger of the Joshua Tree National Park, J Wagner weaves stories filled with red rocks, creosotes, and sagebrush of the American Southwest into tangible and intimate songs.
"Call him folkie, call him Americana, this top shelf singer/songwriter would be right at home in any generation standing toe to toe with the best and brightest of the time. The kind of progressive folk that can't keep fans away, this session will hit you right in the gut, in a very good way. Killer stuff from a voice just ripe to be heard wider."
Thriving on live performance, John Wort Hannam is truly happy when he is on the road playing and connecting personally with an audience. He is a born story- teller with a keen eye for the quirky, and lyrics that create stories behind the songs. Known for his unique take on the simple day-to-day dramas of common folk through songs that map the landscapes of both the human heart and this vast continent of ours.
Nominations and Awards
Calgary Folk Festival Songwriting Competition 2009
Best Song (WINNER!)
North American Folk Alliance 2008
Best Traditional Artist of the Year
What the Press Says about Jack Hardy
"Jack Hardy's so at home in the role of the Celtic bard that it's hard to believe that he's home-grown." -- Rolling Stone
"Jack Hardy must be getting a little tired of being 'discovered,' but here he goes again... He is no mere imitator... He has a strength of personality on stage that is very striking." -- The New York Times
"...dedicated to the power and beauty of language in song." Los Angeles Times
Kevin Welch is centered, relaxed, and simply a master songwriter. His music combines the best traditions of folk music and story-telling, while drawing from musical styles of country, blues, and rock. His songs have an almost film-like quality in their vision and beauty.
He awakens in each of us our own dreams, our own rememberings of life's best adventures and most importantly, he reminds us that we all have our own stories to tell and like him, many more dreams to ride after.
Eliza Gilkyson is a politically minded, poetically gifted singer-songwriter, who has become one of the most respected musicians in roots, folk and Americana circles.
“Few folksingers, even those from the original folk revival, have been able to combine social consciousness with musicality as well as Eliza Gilkyson. She merges strong songwriting talent with commanding vocals to create music that has immediate appeal as well as lasting intellectual impact.” - Vintage Guitar
Although just 21 years old, Okemah, Oklahoma native John Fullbright sings like he has been around for years. Firmly rooted in many American musical styles including folk, country, blues, bluegrass and jazz. John is sure to delight listeners from coast to coast. and has become the most talked about “Folk” musician in Oklahoma, playing solo and bringing the house down wherever he goes.
“LaFave is nothing if not a red–dirt romantic. Viewing the world from an open road and an open heart, with one eye on the girl and the other on the mythological lure of the highway. First it was Woody Guthrie and then Jack Kerouac, now it’s LaFave and his brand of dirty–boots folk–rock... Jimmy has the most expressive voice this side of Belfast... it’s the music of Jimmy LaFave that really defines this part of the land.” –– Oklahoma City Gazette
Honkytonks, roadhouses, empty whiskey glasses, unrequited love are the brick and mortar of country music and there isn't a better mason than Bill Hearne...
Bill Hearne calls it 'The Road:' that metaphorical ribbon of honky-tonks, roadhouses, empty whiskey glasses, prison cells and unrequited love line with signposts and mile markers tattooed with names like Haggard, as in Merle, Williams, as in Hank, Owens, as in Buck and Lovett, as in Lyle.
Bill doesn't write his own songs. His greatness lies in his interpretive skills. His husky Texas baritone finds its way into a song's interior with the mellowness of fine bourbon and the warmth of a Sunday picnic.
“In Hollywood, they say it takes smart actors to play stupid characters, and nice guys to play nasty villains. Cox is the poster-boy for the latter point. As a singer-songwriter, he is a study in easygoing amiability and unforced charisma. He charms crowds with self-teasing humor, tart progressive insight, and a lulling Southwestern folk sound. His repertoire is a smart mix of witty ditties, bluesy swing tunes, heart-on-sleeve romances, and real-life anthems ("It's a cry in the night/ It's a whispered prayer/ That gets you from here to there").” Scott Alarik, The Boston Globe
Jack Williams' uniquely Southern-American music resonates with a steady pulse of tradition. His carefully crafted songwriting, sublime acoustic guitar, and weathered tenor gracefully encompass a host of musical idioms - folk, country, rock, jazz, blues - but none resonate more strongly than Williams' own deep sense of soul.
“.... his artistry... is nothing short of amazing. Dazzling picking, expressive voice, unique and interesting songs. He is a showman in the best sense of the word and just wowed our audience. I think they would have followed him anywhere.” Rich Warren, WFMT "Midnight Special", Chicago IL
“There's freedom in knowing that you don't have to know it all,” she says, “which is why to me, a song should end with a question, not an answer.” It might seem that after six groundbreaking albums of original songs, more than a dozen years of recording and touring around the world, a harvest of music industry awards, and covers of her songs by a roster of great artists – that Mary Gauthier (say it: go-shay) should have a handle on some of the big answers. Yet with each new album, with each new cycle of songs that illuminate her soul, with each old and new set of characters and life changes she introduces, Mary is always ending up with more questions. Where do her people come from and where do they go? How can they find shelter from the storm? What is the truth?
Boulder Acoustic Society. As their name implies, this young quartet specializes in all things acoustic: fiddles, ukuleles, accordions, upright basses.
B.A.S.'s music is intense and exciting for listeners, with something new and interesting at every turn. The unique lineup of violin, accordion, bass and percussion support sharp vocal hooks and powerful grooves. The energy that B.A.S. brings to a stage can tip a festival into overdrive or mesmerize a club audience as they dance into the wee hours. All of this comes from four guys who wear vintage clothes, savor small batch bourbon and rock the ukulele.
Simply stated, B.A.S. is unforgettable.
Jim and Kim’s performances feature an abundance of primal and powerful early country duet singing along with elegant, often understated instrumental accompaniment. The Lansfords have also long been devoted to the continual pursuit of expanding their unique repertoire of little-known songs and fiddle tunes gathered both from published and unpublished collections and recordings of traditional music from the Ozarks, Midwest and South.
Jim and Kim Lansford view the American rural musical tradition not merely as a collection of antique voices who have had their say, but rather as living voices that continue to speak--with an abiding and often peculiar kind of power.
Terri is a skilled multi-instrumentalist (guitar, mandolin, harmonica) with a fun, friendly stage presence that appeals to fans of all ages.
“The quality of Hendrix's writing is high from start to finish ... Hendrix is a folk singer first, but there's a tinge of country thanks to her Texas twang and stellar instrumental accompaniment provided by co-producer Lloyd Maines. The versatile Hendrix borrows from pop, bluegrass, gospel, and R&B, with one cut-- the clever "It's About Time" -- finding a groove reminiscent of the Pointer Sisters. All that's missing is opera.” - Associated Press
Mollie O’Brien sings. Does she ever. Jazz, R&B, blues, gospel, southern mountain traditional — you name it. And she approaches each with an ease that makes you think she was steeped in the style since the first time a note left her throat.
She has been called one of roots music’s best interpreters and singers, and her voice described as “smooth,” “smoky,” “powerful,” and “bright and bold as sheet lightning.” Once you’ve heard it, you’re hooked.
Mollie’s recordings are a tribute to the variety of her taste and the versatility of her performance.
Eight CDs and half a million miles of touring later, they enjoy loyal followings in both the guitar camp and the singer-songwriter set. Ultimately it's their tight harmonies, their chemistry, and their unashamedly idealistic outlook that has carved them their own niche in the studio and onstage.
Whatever the scenario, The Kennedys use their full palette of vocal and instrumental colors to bring their songs to glowing life.
“Unafraid to mix philosophy, spirituality, love and artistry with a folk-rock back beat is what makes this duo a positive force on all things human.” – Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
Sheridan has been called “one of the era’s finest and most thoughtful singer/songwriters.” Winner of both the Telluride Bluegrass Troubadour Contest and the Kerrville Folk Festival’s NewFolk Songwriting Contest, she has played everywhere from Carnegie Hall to the Philadelphia Folk Festival. Her songs have appeared on the Jerry Lewis Telethon, The Dr Demento Show, in best-selling author Robert Fulghum’s new book “Third Wish”, on NPR’s Car Talk, and in the documentary “Wrenched.”
Together with her partner TR Ritchie, an award-winning songwriter himself, this is one of the most entertaining and intelligent touring acts on the folk concert circuit.
Bonneville is a distinctive artist, a man who cooks up a deep groove, blending a unique percussive electric guitar style, a weathered voice, and soulful rack harmonica into image provoking songs that can be believed. His thumb pulses and thumps, his index finger hooks and brushes out a melody, and his hand slaps the guitar for a snare-like effect. He sometimes uses a slide, always plays through a Fender tube amp, and brings his foot down on an amplified piece of plywood on the floor for added percussion.
A one-man band, he backs up weathered, storytelling vocals with a highly percussive guitar style, dramatic harmonica lines and a foot that keeps the rock steady beat. The result is a big sound with an almost primitive quality. It's visceral, raw music.
Stacey and Mark, no doubt, each still remains an individual solo artist with solo releases (such as the new 2008 release of Mark Stuart “Left of Nashville” and Stacey Earle “The Ride” due later 2009), it is through the respect of each others work and years of playing together they have created their sound. And, that sound allows each individual to shine through. Their stage plot is as basic as it gets. No tricks, no gadgets, just two vocals (workhorse SM58s), two XLRs (guitar lines). Mix vocals even (think Everly Brothers), set the board “flat”, mix Mark’s guitar slightly hotter then Stacey’s (so the base notes can be felt while leaving the bite of the lead licks in Mark’s hands). With that, the dynamics are controlled by the artists.
2008 Blues Music Award Nominee Acoustic Artist of the Year
Yellow Dog Records recording artist Mary Flower is renowned for a uniquely personal vision of roots music that blends ragtime, acoustic blues, and folk - technically dazzling yet grounded in the down-to-earth simplicity of early 20th century American music.
Her fingerpicking forms the basis of a heavily syncopated, ragtime-based style wherein the thumb plucks a strong rhythmic base as the fingers etch out the melody. Mary also excels at lap slide guitar, allowing her to infuse songs with a supremely delicate, plaintive sound that's hers alone while recalling the blues giants of the past.
With her compassionate tone and sometimes-quirky approach, Kate Campbell has made a musical niche for herself telling stories exploring the complex topics of race, religion, history and human relationships.
People often ask Kate where she gets her song ideas. Kate explains, “I just find certain things interesting and pay attention to them. That’s the way I’ve always been.”
Kate's entire musical history -- running the gamut from R&B and pop rhythms to gospel, country and folk sounds.
Sisters SONiA and Cindy began a musical partnership they called disappear fear, an acoustic folk-pop duo that then grew into a band in 1988.
SONiA and disappear fear have gained a devoted fan base in countries around the world with songs ranging from Reggae to Folk Rock. They have sold over 500,000 albums and continue to gain new fans every year as they perform at Festivals, Venues, and Colleges around the World. Their powerful honesty touches the hearts and minds of people of all social and ethnic backgrounds, underpinned as they are by the simple belief that people are people and love is love.
Texas born singer-songwriter Rex Foster is a musicians’ musician, existing on the edges of the limelight but highly regarded by some of music’s best and brightest stars.
I have been in the performing arts and the songwriting world for all of my adult life. In about 1972, between tours, I began to create jewelry with bones I would pick up from the pastures around my home in Comfort, Texas.
“Armed with a few of the sassier members of the string family, and a voice as nuanced and strong as you could hope for, Grammer delivers ... with a supernatural force that funnels straight through your ear to the deep, deep center of your heart.” - The Missoula Independent
Tracy Grammer tours internationally with songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Jim Henry (Deb Talan, Mark Erelli, The Burns Sisters). With acoustic and electric guitars, beautifully matched voices, dobro, mandolin and violin, this duo shares original songs, instrumentals, and pays homage to Carter and other stellar writers.
Love songs are hard to write 'cause, shoot, with billions of them already out there how can you do it without relying on sappy moon/June lyrics? Let The Dreamsicles show you how. From the thoughtful ballad "Survivor" to lighter material like "Unless You Take Yes for an Answer," this pop-folk-funk duo has it all sewed up, baby, and damn is it fine. Cary Cooper and Tom Prasada-Rao wrote 11 of the songs, plus included a great cover of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" like it was meant to be sung - with conviction by two people who love each other.
They're like an acoustic Earth, Wind and Fire on some songs - "He's All That," for instance - just take out the horn section and add Gina Forsyth's wonderfully funky violin or Tom's on-the-money guitar.
Buddy Mondlock writes songs. He does it so well that some great songwriters have recorded his songs on their own albums. Guy Clark, Nanci Griffith and Janis Ian, to name just a few. But there’s nothing like hearing the guy who wrote ‘em sing ‘em. He’s not going to pin your ears back with those songs. He’s going to draw you into his world. Where a single snowflake follows the trajectory of a relationship, where you get your pocket picked by a Roman cat, where you might swim over the edge of the world if you’re not careful and where dreams that don’t come true still count. And it can all be happening in a little folk club or on a stage by a grassy hill or in someone’s living room or in the Royal Albert Hall.
"I want my music to reach people from the inside out," says Taylor "The music that gets me excited comes from a sensual place; it’s a physical experience that starts with a groove." A self taught guitarist Taylor has developed her own distinctive style steeped in a strong brew of worldly grooves.
Her voice comes calling. At times like a wind out of Canada, bearing icy truths, other times, a warm, languid breeze, carrying the promise of desire. A husky alto, with an edge. Down through years... ages... timeless... bearing tales from the deepest parts of the heart. Her entire body forms the sounds filtered though those vocal chords. Every fiber telling the same truths. All the fears, the longings, the hope and the regrets.
Songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Harvey Reid is most widely known for his peerless acoustic fingerstyle guitar work, but is also a former bluegrass picker, a versatile and engaging singer, a powerful lyricist, a solid mandolin and bouzouki player, and a seasoned performer and entertainer. And he is certainly among the best autoharp players ever.
He has released 20 highly-acclaimed independent albums on Woodpecker Records that showcase his mastery of many instruments and styles of acoustic music, from hip-folk to country, slashing slide guitar blues to bluegrass, old-time, Celtic, ragtime and even classical.
The most memorable American roots music -- be it western, country, folk, rock or the blues -- is always informed by a simple fact of life: you live and you learn. Just ask Katy Moffatt. Or better yet, listen to her sing, be it a song from her own prolific pen or a choice cut from a favorite songwriter. It’s clear that Katy sings and writes with the voice of hard-won authority. As BAM observes, “She doesn’t just hit the notes and get the words right, Moffatt evokes the emotions behind the tunes and meaning between the lines.”
Now, with Fewer Things, Katy continues her unique path, cutting through to a place where the honesty, power, and purity of her sound reside and flourish like a wild rose.
"Smart, funny, informative -- like Rachel Maddow and Jon Stewart with guitars." emma's revolution is the duo of award-winning, activist musicians, Pat Humphries & Sandy O. With hauntingly beautiful harmonies and powerful acoustic instrumentals that deliver the energy and strength of their convictions, emma's revolution writes songs that become traditions.
emma's revolution brings their uprising of truth, hope and a dash of healthy irreverence to concerts and peace, justice, labor, environmental, LGBTQ and women's rights events across the US and abroad.
“The epitome of great contemporary political music.” ~~ SING OUT! MAGAZINE
Spencer Bohren’s music resonates with the ambience of the rivers, roads, and bayous of the American South. He has a marvelous gift for sharing his great love for America’s wealth of traditional folk, blues, gospel and country music with audiences of all ages. His ability to animate the musicians and singers from the past with both respectful readings of their music and spellbinding stories is legendary. Spencer’s laid-back stage presence and comfortable delivery make each concert feel like a pleasant visit with an old friend.
From festival stages in America to concert halls all over Europe, listeners continue to be charmed by the openness and honesty of Spencer’s music and his gracious personality.
Rafael's lyrical directness and honest delivery reliably elevate his art with a stripped-down blend of wisdom, realism, empathy and hope. As prominent music writer Dave Marsh once said, "the stories Joel Rafael tells, and the emotional spells his music weaves, have depth and beauty because they come from so deep in his heart, and pierce so deep into ours�he says his music is a 'streak' in his soul, but while you're listening, it seems more like the whole damn thing."
Whether telling his own tales or wrapping his artistry around the songs of Woody Guthrie and others, Joel Rafael mixes traditional folk idioms with contemporary ideas and sensibilities in a way that both transcends the moment and is fully present in it. Just call it timeless.
“If Mark Twain were reincarnated as a musician, his name might be Chuck Brodsky... Fun, heart-warming, witty tales...there’s a lot more to this songwriter than an eye for criticism and disillusionment." –Florida Today
This down to earth musical storyteller, with his dry, barb-witted social commentary combined with a deep underlying compassion, knows that the best stories are the little things in the lives of everyday people trying to muddle through with some grace. His great gift as a writer is to infuse these stories with humanity and humor, making them resonate profoundly with his listeners.
Garnet is a man with a powerful physical presence - close to six and a half feet tall - with a voice to match. With his "smooth, dark baritone" (Washington Post) his incredible range, and thoughtful, dramatic phrasing, Garnet is widely considered by fans and critics alike to be one of the finest singers anywhere. His music, like the man himself, is literate, passionate, highly sensitive, and deeply purposeful. Cinematic in detail, his songs "give expression to the unspoken vocabulary of the heart" (Kitchener Waterloo Record). An optimist at heart, Garnet sings extraordinary songs about people who are not obvious heroes and of the small victories of the everyday. As memorable as his songs, his over-the-top humour and lightning-quick wit moves his audience from tears to laughter and back again.
Recognized in the international field as a musician who composes and performs a kaleidoscopic mixture of instrumental selections. His use of banjo style picking patterns, classical arpeggios, tapping and harmonics, as well as a rhythmic and percussive approach, bring a fresh impression to the listener.
"At turns mesmerizing, playful, humorous and wistful, Gilewitz is a master of moods when he speaks to audiences through his guitar. He's always at the service of his inner voice, which has a sneaky way of connecting directly to the listener's heart." –Creative Loafing Magazine, Tampa Bay FL