Why we love them: Marty Stuart is a 5 time grammy winning member of the Grand Ole Opry. He's backed up the likes of Lester Flatt and Johnny Cash. He is also a musical omnivore. He features musicians in diverse styles on his TV program "The Marty Stuart Show". His band shares that omnivorousness, with their love of honkey tonk, vintage gospel and sweet old time country music. They'll butter us up with an acoustic set, and then rock the house with their electric pickin' all night long.
Why we love her: Her first record, released just after her high-school graduation, won a Grammy. So did her second. This spring she graduated from New England Conservatory, and is touring as a trio with Alex Hargreaves and Nathaniel Smith on strings. Whether its a gritty original that calls back to old time blues and country, or a delicately arranged cover tune, Sarah's music is always honest and deeply felt. We look forward to seeing her on Friday night!
Why we love her: Sara Watkins had a great start playing with Chris Thile (of current Punch Brother fame) and Sean Watkins in the bluegrass-folk hybrid band Nickel Creek. Now on her third year as a solo artist, Sara has proved herself to be a graceful composer and band leader, layering styles from celtic fiddle to plaintive roots harmony, drawing on influences from the Carter Family to Jackson Browne. She'll be lighting up the stage on Friday night!
Why we love them:These girls are so cool they were recently chosen to represent the US as cultural ambassadors on a 43 day trip teaching and performing in the Middle East. They come from different backgrounds, schooled in bluegrass, rock and blues, and modern folk, and together they create a feisty five piece band, respectful of tradition but not restricted by it. They'll get the crowd dancing under the pines on Saturday night!
Why we love them: These gentlemen are the real deal. They've had a 30 year career, and they're just getting started. With true gospel, blues, rock and roll, soul and country music, the Holmes Brothers easily blend Saturday Night's roadhouse rock with Sunday morning's church service. The three brothers (Sherman, Wendell, and brother-in-spirit Popsy Dixon) have found a delicious blend of timbres in their harmony singing, held down by a thick groove and blues-soaked guitar and piano. They are a real treat, and they'll be sending us off with high spirits on Sunday afternoon!
Why we love them: Thank goodness the Duhks have reunited! Grammy nominees and Juno (Canadian Grammy) Award Winners, the Duhks have been described by the Boston Globe as "Canada's premier neo-tradsters romp from world-beat to blues to urban-pop to old-timey, with wild-eyed invention, haunting traditionalism and spine-rattling groove. They are musically adventurous, seeking inspiration from all corners of the world/ They will thrill us with their grooves on Friday night!
Why we love them: If you watch this video, it's clearly not a bluegrass band. So, what's going on?? Longtime Ossipee friend John Jorgenson is one of the world's most respected gypsy jazz guitarists, in the style of Django Reinhardt. No worries though, he's also played with Earl Scruggs, earning a Grammy nomination for their live album, and backed up David Lee Roth on his bluegrass interpretations of Van Halen songs. Jorgenson is a multi-instrumentalist extrodinare and knows just about everyone in the music business. So, who'll he bring with him for his Ossipee gig? It's so good we're making you wait! Show up on Saturday night to find out!
Why we love him: When you see Frank play it's hard to believe that there isn't a time machine hidden backstage. His sound is the kind you might imagine echoing in the hollows of Appalachia. He is an archivist as well as musician, and released a compendium of material from his old 78s in 2010, titled Unheard Ofs & Forgotten Abouts. He brings the past alive with his guitar, fiddle and banjo, and old time singing, and bring the past to Ossipee on Friday and Saturday!
Why we love them:These two guitar virtuosos met attending a guitar camp taught by last year's headliner, Tommy Emmanuel. Some of you might remember them joining Tommy on stage for the grand finale at Ossipee last year! Their style is built upon the thumb-picking techniques of the likes of Merle Travis, Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed, with beautiful vocal harmonies floating above. They perform originals as well as intricate guitar arrangements of old songs, and with lots of improv thrown in. They'll be serving it up Friday and Saturday, with some performances and workshops!
Why we love them: At one of their gigs a few weeks ago, Yoko Ono was in the first row. If you don't know why that's a big deal, review your John Lennon trivia. This band, which only plays John Lennon's music, is way more than a tribute band. The 8 piece ensemble comes up with thoughtfully re-imagined treatments of Lennon's music, making his classic songs sound new again. Their energy is infectious, and they'll send us off on dancing on Sunday afternoon!
Why we love them: Harvey and Joyce are both outstanding musicians in their own right. From Joyce's sizzling interpretations of Jimmy Hendrix on electric fiddle and looping, to Harvey's virtuosity on several instruments including the autoharp, often using the partial capo he invented, to their gorgeous harmonies and arrangements when they play together, these two are a treat. They'll be workshopping and performing all weekend, with a special midnight performance by Joyce on Saturday night!
Why we love her: Edinburgh native Maeve Gilchrist is considered an innovator on her native Celtic Harp, composing new music which focuses on creating counterpoint for the harp, giving both hands an individual voice. In her trio she teams up with Aidan O'Donnell on bass, and Dunken Wickel on fiddle to create a warm string ensemble that fuses traditional celtic music with jazz and American roots music. They will soothe and delight us on Saturday and Sunday!
Why we love them:These gals put their own spin on old time country and swing music, with originals that fit right in with their respectful yet innovative treatment of old standards. Even though they're not blood related, they capture that old sweet sister harmony, and they'll be serenading us on Thursday night and all weekend long!
Why we love them:Caravan of Thieves builds their music on the electric energy of gypsy jazz fiddling, driving acoustic bass and incredibly high voltage harmony singing and theatrical and humorous performance style, with some fast as heck guitar thrown in their too. Basically, if Django Reinhardt, the cast of Stomp, and The Beatles all threw a party at Tim Burton's house, this would be the band they would hire. They'll keep you on your feet all night as Saturday night's dance band!
Why we love them: This trio beautifully blends the old and the new, with a mostly traditional instrumentation (mandolin, guitar, banjo, hand drum), and perfectly blended harmony singing, and a repertoire that spans several styles and centuries, from old time traditional music, to a cover of a Miss Tess & the Talkbacks song (shown here), written in the past decade (and performed by Miss Tess at Ossipee last year!). They began as a local band, but are clearly on the rise, and they'll be sharing their music with us all weekend!
Why we love them: These guys are Ossipee all-time favorites. They won our band contest a few years ago, and ever since, the crowd has clamored to have them back every year! They've also gained fame in Portland, and regionally in the Northeast, for their fun-loving spirit and fearless improvisation, as well as their old time singing. They are the quintessential barn dance band, and that's exactly the role they'll play this year at Ossipee, tearing it up on Friday night!
Why we love them:You might think Cabinet is a strange name for a band. But these boys fit that description -- the rough hewn structure that began as six musicians with divergent styles coming together has been whittled, sanded, polished through hard work and persistence. The result is a bluegrass and folk hybrid band which elegantly arranges its music in a way that showcases each member's unique approach to the tradition. They are fresh and ready to go, and they'll be starting off our barn dances with a Thursday night celebration!
Why we love them: These guys are the real deal when it comes to straight ahead traditional bluegrass, but they're not afraid to venture into progressive roots music. They have one foot in both worlds and have been entertaining audiences for a decade with their original sound. They'll be with us all weekend with a special performance on Thursday night!
Why we love them: Cribstone Bridge has a deep respect for tradition and gives that real old bluegrass sound with traditional instrumentation and beautiful harmony vocals on old favorite songs. They aren't afraid to venture into the blues and folk tradition though. Get your lawn chair set up early though, they'll be opening the festival for us on Thursday afternoon!
Erica Brown Bluegrass Connection
VIDEO COMING SOON!
Why we love them: Erica Brown is a great performer and a great teacher. She'll be in charge, along with Matt Shipman, of our Roots & Sprouts Kids Academy this year, and then will wow us with a performance of her own music. Her talent for combining the precision of classical music with the energy and fun loving improvisation of country and bluegrass fiddle makes for a great performance every time. Her band the Bluegrass Connection is full of Maine's favorite roots and bluegrass performers, many of whom will also be teaching at Roots and Sprouts! Check them out on Friday for a real bluegrass experience!
Why we love them:Well, they won our band contest last year, so they must be great! As the band contest winner they won a slot on the Main Stage as well as 8 hours of studio time at the prestigious The Studio in Portland Maine. She'll be kicking us off to a good start on Thursday!