Watch for more 2016 Performers!
Crooked Willow is a Folk/Americana/Roots string band formed in friendship and connected through music, performing everything from a re-imagined cover of a Lady Gaga song through works composed by guitarist Tim Waller. Crooked Willow is made up of Elisi Smith doing lead vocals and performing on the tenor banjo; Dan Driesen on lead guitar; Tim Waller on vocals and guitar; Erik Hanson on bass; Kari Gallagher on fiddle; and Sylva Hanson on washboard.
Raised on Bible Hymns by her preacher father, Dead Horses front woman Sarah Vos’s backstory sounds more like that of an old bluesman from the Mississippi Delta than a young folk singer from Wisconsin. But despite their youth, the Milwaukee-based Americana trio has crafted a timeless sound, informed as much by modern folk as it is by the classics.
Since 1987, John Gorka has been one of the preeminent voices among America’s performing songwriters. Minnesota-based, he has toured widely across North America. His songs have been recorded by, among others, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Nanci Griffith, and Mary Black, and for good reason. John’s songs offer poignant commentary on the world we live in, bridging the gap between the personal and the political.
Kelley McRae & guitarist Matt Castelein have toured coast to coast in the US, played to packed rooms across Europe, sold-out the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, and continue to build a passionate following.
The duo’s repertoire includes haunting ballads, tender love songs, and energetic guitar-driven songs full of hope.
Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys (LLFB), earned their name on a late night at a Michigan Bluegrass festival. A fellow musician there proclaimed, “It’s good to see you Flatbellys out here pickin’ with us Greybeards.” An eclectic Americana band, LLFB developed their sound jamming
at open mics and music festivals around Michigan.
Paul Cebar is a songwriter, singer, guitarist and bandleader, whose music has its roots in African, Caribbean, and Latin American forms, as well as American jazz.
Cebar honed his sound in the mid-1970’s coffee house folk scene in Milwaukee. He was a member of the R & B Cadets, and then further developed his unique style fronting for the Milwaukeeans.
Patchouli is a not-to-be-missed musical duo, featuring the dazzling guitar work of Bruce Hecksel, and the lovely voice and radiant presence of Julie Patchouli. Bruce is simply a master on the guitar; watching his fingers moving on the guitar fretboard itself would make a Patchouli performance memorable.
The sound of the Sawtooth Brothers is rooted in traditional bluegrass instrumental and harmony work and is influenced by modern acoustic sounds, blending pop and indie rock sensibilities with heartfelt Americana. They perform in a range of genres and forms, including creative original songs,
hard driving bluegrass, classic country, gospel, and classic rock.