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This rocking Cajun trio (Drew Simon, accordion and Vocals; Megan Brown,guitar and vocals; Kelli Jones, fiddle and vocals) offers waltzes,two-steps and soulful songs of the bayou to tantalize both the Heart and the feet. Drew's been here before as part of the spectacular Pine Leaf Boys, but that stint accounts for but a few of the combined ten Grammy nominations these players bring with them. Influences ranging from early country, ancient French and Creole ballads as well as modern Cajun give them a unique and enticing sound.
Hailing from Sardis, Ohio, The Price Sisters features the bluegrass mandolin, fiddle, and vocal talents of twin sisters Lauren and Leanna Price. Inspired and influenced by the sounds of Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys, The Price Sisters capture the traditional style of bluegrass with their original and fresh sound. Their recent album, A Heart Never Knows, has earned them the title of the torchbearers of bluegrass music, and would make Monroe proud. Their beautiful harmonies, Lauren's mandolin, and Leanna's fiddle certainly make the group a joy to listen to! Joining them are Scott Napier on guitar, Ruth McLain Smith on bass, and Daxson Lewis on banjo. All are long-standing members of the bluegrass community, having graced stages both near and far. We are thrilled for their Folk Festival debut!
The Fat Babies is an old-time seven piece jazz band. The band interprets classic styles of 1920s and 1930s vintage. Founded in 2010 by string bass player Beau Sample, members include Andy Schumm (cornet), John Otto (reeds), Dave Bock (trombone), Jake Sanders (banjo and guitar), Paul Asaro (piano), and Alex Hall (drums). The band prides itself on a careful balance of traditional idiosyncrasy and contemporary flare, adding a healthy dose of life to the already vivacious scores they bring to life on stage. Their name comes from the phrase "hotter than a fat baby," and it's one they live up to with howling phrases, thumping dance rhythms, and gliding melodies serving as hallmarks of their music.
Elmore James Jr. is the son of the late renowned post-war blues artist Elmore James, from whom he first learned to play the guitar (later he would also learn from guitarist Knugg Brooks). Born in 1939 in Mississippi, James Jr. moved to Chicago in 1965. Prior to this move, he lived in Jackson, and played drums with Johnny Temple (a popular pre-war bluesman who achieved popularity in Chicago in the 30's) and Willie Nix. Later he also played the drums in his father's band. James eventually met Willie Dixon, who advised him to change his stage name from Mr. Soul to Elmore James Jr.
James recorded a number of tracks, but later left the music scene and work a day job in the 70's as the Blues scene declined in favor of more popular music. However, he reentered the music scene after his music was re-discovered on a re-release of the album Genuine Mississippi Blues in 1999. James began touring again, in the U.S. and internationally.
Elmore James Jr. will be accompanied by guitarists Billy Flynn and Frank Krakowski, drummer Dean Haas, and bassist Illinois Slim.
Steam Machine is comprised of fiddler AJ Srubas, guitarist and vocalist Rina Rossi, bassist Nokosee Fields, and banjoist and vocalist Aaron Tacke. The band plays the full sounds of American old-time music with clean, sharp fiddling and rolling three finger banjo, bringing to their audiences the raw, unique sounds of Midwestern songs and tunes from Appalachia. The four band members enjoy sharing the roots and traditions of the music genre wherever they go, having travelled across the nation and world.
Described by The Irish Herald as Irish music's newest supergroup, bohola presents a driving, muscular, and yet very emotive style of Irish music, infused with the raw and gritty urbanized musical vernacular of the Irish and Irish-American experience. Bohola brings together the accordion talents of multi-time All Ireland champion Jimmy Keane and bouzar and vocalist extraordinaire Pat Broaders. Together, they bring to life the ancient melodies of Ireland, songs brought to North America by immigrants, and newly composed songs from here and abroad. Whether sticking to tradition or presenting something new, bohola is here to serve this great music, play from the heart, and bring to the audience the core and spirit of what the music we play and sing is about. We can't wait to have them at the Folk Festival this year!
The Chicago Klezmer Ensemble is known for its elegant and knowledgeable performance style that retains the earthy, human, and expressive qualities that give klezmer music a direct contact with its listeners. Klezmer music—Jewish instrumental music of Eastern Europe—possesses a unique language to be discovered, developed, and extended to create a balance between past and future. In their performances, the Chicago Klezmer Ensemble draws out and amplifies the unique characteristics of the core of the klezmer repertoire, performing the music in an authentic manner and extending the style through new ideas and compositions.