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Joe Crookston

Joe Crookston actually credits Folk Alley's Jim Blum with turning him towards folk music when he was a student at Kent State University. Now, he's on the road writing songs about people real and imagined. As a singer/songwriter, Crookston cares about the story and creates moments that connect with an audience on multiple and powerful levels. From Ohio, he traveled the country, meeting people and absorbing experiences that he shares in his music. Now based in Ithaca, New York, when he's not out on the road, Joe Crookston was recorded live in concert in 2013 at BluSeed Studios in Saranac Lake, New York.

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Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys

High-energy newgrass band Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys stopped by BluSeed Studios in Upstate New York while on tour. The band hails from all corners of Michigan and mixes creative arrangements and instrumental expertise with songs that include unexpected tales of bank-robbing aunties and moonshinin' grandpas.

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The Stray Birds

An acoustic folk trio on the rise, The Stray Birds are already drawing notice even at the beginnings of what is sure to be a long career. Their eponymous 2012 CD landed on Folk Alley's Top 10 CDs for the year. The Stray Birds were recorded live in concert in 2012 at BluSeed Studios in Saranac Lake, New York.



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Nora Jane Struthers


Bluegrass singer/songwriter Nora Jane Struthers is joined by PJ George for a 2012 performance at BluSeed Studios in Saranac Lake, New York. The pair is now part of Bearfoot, but Nora Jane is a talent all her own who released her debuted solo album in 2010.




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Girlyman

Newly quartetted folk-pop group Girlyman brought their mix of harmonies and insightful songwriting to the Kent Stage mainstage for the 46th Kent State Folk Festival. The band opened the evening, setting a tone that had the audience moving to a folk beat. Now based in Atlanta, the group has added a different flavor to its Brooklyn edge.



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Over the Rhine

Fan favorites Over the Rhine headlined Friday night at the 46th Kent State Folk Festival. The pair, who are partners on- and off-stage, use the very real circumstances of their lives (together and apart) to create songs that build a personal bond with listeners - making them one of the most-popular bands you may never have heard of. This concert was recorded live in performance at the Kent Stage in Kent, Ohio.



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Good Lovelies

With tight vocal harmonies, The Good Lovelies have a sound that may take listeners back to the girl groups of the Big Band Era. However, Caroline Brooks, Kerri Ough and Sue Passmore bring a breezy, fresh, folkie feeling to their Canadian trio - offering well-crafted songwriting on top of the harmony mix. What started off as a one-off singing Christmas music has turned into a delightful long-term collaboration, which has produced two Juno Award nominations and one win for Roots and Traditional Album of the Year: Group.

The Good Lovelies performed on the stage of Evans Amphitheater at Cain Park in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, as part of a Folk Alley-hosted summer concert.



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David Wax Museum

David Wax Museum has risen from near obscurity to be a regular on the Folk/Americana circuit thanks to the band's unique mix of Mexican and American roots music, infused with an excitement and enthusiasm all its own. This concert was recorded in April of 2012 at the Kent Stage in Kent, Ohio.

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Friend of Mine: The Bill Morrissey Tribute Concert

Beginning with his first eponymous album in 1984, Morrissey established himself as a musical voice of the people -- garnering Grammy Award nominations and 4-star reviews in Rolling Stone in the course of his 12-album career. Morrissey died in Dalton, GA, on July 23, 2011 while on his way home after a successful tour. On Nov. 17, 2011 a group of fellow artists came together for a tribute concert at the Somerville Theatre in Somerville, MA with proceeds to go to MusiCares. Hosted by World Cafe's David Dye and singer/songwriter Cliff Eberhardt, the event featured appearances by John Gorka, Shawn Colvin, Mark Erelli, Patty Larkin, Cormac McCarthy and others.

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The Decemberists

Colin Meloy and company stole the show as the first day headliners at the 2011 Newport Folk Festival. Listen to The Decemberists live, recorded by NPR Music.

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Karan Casey & John Doyle

Irish vocalist Karan Casey and guitar virtuoso John Doyle were founding members of traditional supergroup Solas, a band known for rousing, furious tunes and striking renditions of traditional songs. After successful solo careers the pair joined forces again for a CD and tour showcasing the power and strength of well-performed Celtic music. This concert was recorded live at Evans Amphitheatre in Cain Park in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.



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David Wax Museum


David Wax Museum isn't so much a band as a Mexo-Americana, roots music movement with David Wax and Suz Slezak at its core. This concert was recorded in January of 2011 at BluSeed Studios in Saranac Lake, New York.




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Red Horse

Red Horse is a collaboration of three of today's top singer/songwriters. Eliza Gilkyson, John Gorka and Lucy Kaplansky form a musical collective that brings together great songwriting and vocal harmonies, backed by a spare instrumentation that highlights the beauty of melody and lyrics. This concert was recorded live exclusively for Folk Alley at the Kent Stage in Kent, Ohio in March 2011.

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Outside Track

Celtic music comes in many shapes and sizes. The Outside Track well represents the Celtic diaspora with members from Scotland, Ireland, Cape Breton and Vancouver, Canada. The rising quintet use traditional instrumentation and rhythms to create a contemporary sound that responds to the next generation of trad music fans. The Outside Track was recorded live for Folk Alley at Happy Days Lodge in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

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Annabelle Chvostek

Annabelle Chvostek began her career as a solo artist, took a side trip as a Wailin' Jenny, and is now back on her own, creating great music. A talented singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Annabelle wrote many of the stand-out songs on the Jennys' JUNO-nominated Firecracker. Annabelle stopped by BluSeed Studios in Update New York to record this special concert for Folk Alley.

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Punch Brothers, Newport 2010

What started off as a side project for Nickel Creek's Chris Thile and some of his friends has developed into one of the most intriguing groups working in roots music today. Punch Brothers joins Thile's undisputed virtuosic mandolin playing with the talents of Noam Pikelny (banjo), Gabe Witcher (violin), Chris Eldridge (guitar) and Paul Kowert (bass) to push the limits of what the world thinks of as bluegrass. Punch Brothers were recorded live by Folk Alley at the 2010 Newport Folk Festival.

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John Prine

John Prine is the definition of Americana, bringing together all the roots-based genre music that makes this country great. On the main stage at Ft. Adams, Prine was joined by other musicians who sang with joy to the large crowd stretching across the lawn to the bay. This concert was the closing performance of the first official day of the 51st Newport Folk Festival in Newport, Rhode Island and was recorded for NPR Music.

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The Belleville Outfit

A contemporary Americana band based in Austin, Texas, the six-piece Belleville Outfit combines influences from bluegrass and swing to honky-tonk and hot jazz to create a sound that is passionate, engaging and unforgettable. They stopped by the Cuyahoga Valley National Park while touring in support of their latest CD, "Time to Stand."

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The Honey Dewdrops

The lovely husband and wife team of Kagey Parrish and Laura Wortman first came to national attention when their duo, The Honey Dewdrops, won the coveted silver water tower during A Prairie Home Companion's "People in Their Twenties Talent Show." The Virginia pair won over the audience with their charming harmonies. They were recorded on a chilly spring night in upstate New York at Saranac Lake's BluSeed Studios.

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Beoga

Beoga (Irish word for ‘lively’) are based in County Antrim, in the north of Ireland. The bedrock of their sound lies firmly within the Irish tradition. However, they are not afraid to incorporate other genres’ nuances into their music. From bluesy riffs to Astor Piazzola-style jazz, to a raunchy New Orleans jamboree vibe, their music always returns to a wonderfully bouncy traditional sound. The result is traditional, with a huge sense of fun and adventure and it all works - wonderfully well.

This concert was recorded in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park at the Happy Days Lodge in Boston Heights, OH - by producer Craig Adams.

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Guy Clark - Live from Newport 2009

Guy Clark is a songwriter's songwriter. His songs have been recorded by a who's who of Country and Americana musicians. At George Wein's Folk Festival 50 in Newport, RI, Guy Clark brought his songs to the Harbor Stage.

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Mavis Staples - Live from Newport 2009

 The former lead singer of The Staple Singers and a major voice of the civil rights movement, Mavis Staples has spent her career navigating the worlds of blues, gospel, pop, soul and political folk. When Staples and her band took the stage at the 50th anniversary Newport Folk Festival, they brought the house down. The veteran soul singer knows how to make an audience happy and she had this crowd in the palm of her hand - as she started to sing and the band kicked it up, people began to stream into the Harbor Stage area from all over the event site until the masses overflowed beyond the Folk Alley recording van.



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Dave Rawlings Machine

David Rawlings and Gillian Welch have a very special relationship. Both talented artists, he plays behind her on her solo work and she returns the favor, making up the other half of Dave Rawlings Machine - which focuses on Rawlings' music and is a little more racous than Welch. The pair performed in both configurations at George Wein's Folk Festival 50 in Newport, Rhode Island in Aug. '09. Folk Alley recorded Rawlings as frontman and his very able back-up singer Welch from the Folk Alley mobile recording studio as the "band" played the Harbor Stage.



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Cherish The Ladies Christmas Concert

When the group was formed nearly 25 years ago, Cherish the Ladies was the first all-female Celtic group that gained national recognition. The women involved more than proved their chops as virtuosos on their instruments and they quickly gathered a following that has only grown over the years. This concert was a specially-themed holiday show captured the week before Christmas in the rustic elegance of Happy Days Lodge nestled in the wilderness of Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

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Ruthie Foster

If Ruthie Foster had stayed the course and followed her military career, the world might have missed out on one of the strongest blues voices working today. Foster joined the Navy as an escape from the music that obsessed her - but, after an impromtu performance at a holiday party, the Navy recognized her power and added her to Pride, their touring band that works with recruitment. We first met Ruthie when she played the Kent State Folk Festival a few years back. She had the audience in the palm of her hand and sold every CD she had with her. Now, she's touring with a powerful and talented blues band, which is suitable for a woman who can blow the rafters off of the joint.

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Acoustic Hot Tuna

Not many bands have the musical - and life - history of Hot Tuna. Formed by Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady as a side project for their "day job" playing guitar and bass (respectively) in Rock Hall inductee band Jefferson Airplane, the two built on a long-standing friendship and love of roots-based music to turn Hot Tuna into five-decade-long proposition. Acoustic Hot Tuna presents two masters of their instruments playing music in its most elemental form.



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Gillian Welch & David Rawlings - Newport 2009

Gillian Welch has a voice that reaches into the heart and soul of a true roots-based Americana sound that represents the next wave of folk music. She appeared at the Newport folk fest twice, once supported by long-time collaborator David Rawlings and the next day as the second member of The David Rawlings Machine. Her turn on the mainstage followed a mad, policecar-assisted dash from the airport. She literally stepped out of her car onto the stage, without a pause (or her glasses) - leading the duo to play, as part of their set, an unexpected cover of "White Rabbit," along with other songs that demonstrate why Welch has developed a powerful following for her old-fashioned sound.

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Iron & Wine - Newport 2009

Iron & Wine is part of a new folk movement - bands that include only one person. Although singer/songwriter Sam Beam has been touring with an ensemble of late, he arrived in Newport solo. His singularity did not disappoint the crowd, which teamed into the Harbor Stage (the only show that weekend to fill the space so effectively). Fans enjoyed Beam's lo-fi introspective songs that have made Iron & Wine one of the hottest acts around since Beam burst onto the scene in 2002, earning space on the blockbuster Garden State soundtrack.

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Pete Seeger - Live From Newport 2009

In 2009, folk music legend Pete Seeger turned 90. Having appeared onstage at the original Newport Folk Festival, along with playing a vital role (with his wife, Toshi) in the organization and production of subsequent festivals, his performances with other musicians (including his grandson, Tao Rodriguez Seeger) and the crowd of fans at George Wein's Folk Festival 50 in Newport were linchpins of a successful festival weekend.



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Justin Townes Earle

It's not always easy going into the family business. At an early age, Justin Townes Earle echoed his father Steve's career path, becoming a hard-living Americana singer/songwriter. Along with creating songs that built him a fast following, he also developed a drug habit that nearly killed him. Like his dad (who was a distant character in his childhood), Justin cleaned up and is now on the road solidifying his reputation as "the next big thing" - a title he owes truly to his own talent and hard work.

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Pete Morton

What is it like when a former busker from Nottingham, England, now a 20+ year veteran of the English and European folks scene, drives across the Midwest of the U.S.A. and lands for a Sunday afternoon gig in the intimate town of Salem, Ohio? The small crowd gets treated to some of the tunes they already love by him, get introduced to Geoffrey Chaucer’s version of a rock and roll standard, and a couple new tunes just penned on the road. Folk Alley producer Joe Gunderman recorded the show. This is Pete Morton: A Small Gig In A Big Country. Enjoy! Also, check out the interview with Pete in the FolkAlley Extras section.

To check out more about Pete, including his 2009 release, “Casa Abierta” featuring 10 songs in 10 different languages and benefiting the Gambian Schools Trust, see Pete's official website below.

Thanks to Mike Dugan for the photos.


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Bearfoot

Bluegrass and Alaska do not, at first glance, seem to be two things that would come together in the same sentence. But Bearfoot is doing its best to change that perception. The young quintet is building a reputation for quality, high-energy bluegrass, despite its Anchorage address. The core of the group - Kate Hamre, Mike Mickelson, Jason Norris and Angela Oudean - met at summer bluegrass camp and has recently been joined by Californian Odessa Jorgensen, late of the Biscuit Burners, on vocals and fiddle. Bearfoot has already been recognized with a big prize from Telluride and its latest CD, "Doors and Windows," is poised to win them even more fans.

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Martin Sexton

It's difficult to pin Martin Sexton down. A clever singer/songwriter, his real talent lies in his live shows, which often incorporate sounds and vocal tricks honed from his years as a street performer. He raised money for his first CD by busking on street corners in Boston, a make-or-break kind of town for folk musicians and from these humble beginnings, he built a fanbase and found himself on a major label. Sexton's music ranges from straight folk and break-your-heart blues to pure pop with a little rock thrown in for good measure. For his performance at the 42nd Kent State Folk Festival, Sexton brought opener Ryan Montbleau on stage to build on his sound.


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Jake Shimabukuro

Folk Alley is obviously excited about the possibilities presented by new media, and Jake Shimabukuro owes much of his current success to the Internet. The young Hawaiian ukulele master was captured on video performing “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” on the uke and it took off on YouTube. It helps that Jake is a phenomenal performer who is equally adept playing folk, jazz and pop on his instrument. In his hands, a ukulele is certainly more than a child’s toy brought back by grandma after her trip to Honolulu.

This concert was recorded live in Akron, OH at EJ Thomas Hall’s 'Stage Door' series by contributing producer Craig Adams.





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Peter Rowan & Tony Rice

The 32nd Kent State Folk Festival revived Bluegrass Night with two giants of the genre. Peter Rowan and Tony Rice are not only on top of the list of Bluegrass performers, they are innovators as well, looking for ways to incorporate new sounds into the house that Bill Monroe built. Rowan played and sang alongside the master as a member of the Blue Grass Boys before heading in a different direction with David Grisman. Rice also spent time performing with Grisman, as well as stretching the boundaries with JD Crowe and the New South. Now, the pair comes together on stage with members of the next generation for outstanding musicianship with flair.

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Nanci Griffith

The 42nd Kent State Folk Festival concluded on a high note with a performance by singer/songwriter Nanci Griffith and her band. Griffith was "discovered" singing 'round a campfire at Kerrville by singer/songwriter Tom Russell soon after she made her professional debut at 14. Quickly, she was building a reputation as one of Nashville's most-respected songwriters, an artist who filled her songs with intimacy and heartache. An artist with a large and vehement fan following, Griffith has been embraced by both the Country and Folk worlds. The most-recent album from the Grammy Award-winning Griffith is Ruby's Torch (Rounder), a CD that pays homage to the torch songs that were her father's favorites.

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Darrell Scott

Darrell Scott is one of Nashville's virtuoso musicians - playing and writing for a long list of A-listers. Like most songwriters, the urge to tell his own stories pushed him to the front of the stage. Fortunately for all of us, front and center suits Scott well. His powerful Americana and country chops combine with songwriting skills (that produced "Long Time Gone" - a monster hit for the Dixie Chicks) to create a performance alchemy that causes audiences to race to the lobby at intermission to build their CD catalogs. Hear Scott launch the 42nd Kent State Folk Festival in fine style as the opening artist for the two-week fest.

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Cherish The Ladies

Listen to the Cherish the Ladies Special Holiday Concert in the Folk Alley stream Christmas Day at 4:00am; 8:00am; Noon; and 8:00pm (EST); or on-demand anytime right here!

This concert was recorded at the Happy Days Lodge near Cleveland, Ohio, on December 18, 2008, and recorded by contributing producer Jimmie Wilson.


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Richard Shindell

Richard Shindell is a seeker, a personality trait that often betrays itself in his music. Although he spent a large portion of his life in and around NYC, the side trips have made all the difference. He lived in a Zen Buddhist monastery, played for centimes in the Paris Metro, took classes at the Union Theological Seminary and packed up and moved to Buenos Aires (all because he fell in love with, and married, an Argentinean woman). His most-recent adventure is adding a South American flavor to his North American singer/songwriter style – further enhanced by his work with Argentinean musicians on his 2004 release Vuelta and the cover CD, South of Delia.

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Odetta

When Odetta passed away on December 2 at 77 years old, the world lost a beautiful, strong, and gracious pioneer of folk and blues. She influenced and inspired many of the 60’s folk revival and beyond, including Joan Baez, Janis Joplin and Bob Dylan, who has been quoted as saying, "the first thing that turned me on to folk singing was Odetta."

The word legend is often over-used, but not in the case. We have lost a true legend. Rest in Peace, Odetta.

Folk Alley and WKSU 89.7 FM were proud to present Odetta at the 40th Kent State Folk Festival in 2006 as part of our “Legends Night,” and we’re pleased to be able to share that memorable evening with you here.

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John Jorgenson

During his successful career as a session sideman, tour player and solo artist, guitar genius John Jorgenson has performed in a variety of styles. He formed the Desert Rose Band with Chris Hillman, put together the guitar "supergroup" Hellcasters and played behind artists that include Luciano Pavarotti, Bonnie Raitt, Benny Goodman and Elton John, who took Jorgenson around the world on a six-year tour. In his performance with his quintet at Happy Days Lodge, Jorgenson focuses on his true love, American Gypsy Jazz that rivals the master, Django Reinhardt.

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Eilen Jewell

The celebration of Folk Alley’s 5th Anniversary continued into September with a concert featuring Americana sweeter Eilen Jewell at Happy Days Lodge. After the candles were lit and the cake divvied up, Jewell and her band took the stage, entertaining the audience with a rootsy performance. Her old-time performance style conjures up a smoky speakeasy in the ‘20s, with songs that are evocative of a time gone by, and yet contemporary and engaging to today’s audiences.


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Folk Alley's 5th Anniversary Concert with David Francey & Harry Manx

Juno Award-winning singer/songwriter David Francey finds excitement in the lives of everyday working people. For his opening set with Craig Werth at Folk Alley's 5-year Anniversary Concert at Cain Park in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, Francey told stories and sang songs about traveling the Great Lakes on a freighter and about finding love in a relationship when you're well past the first blush of romance. Fellow Canadian Harry Manx closed the evening with his virtuosic mix of Eastern and Western musical styles. One man in a sea of stringed instruments, Manx brings Indian and Brazilian melodies to the Blues to create a sound that is impossible to let go.

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David Bromberg

David Bromberg had a thriving solo career and was a popular sideman for artists including Tom Paxton, Bob Dylan and Jerry Jeff Walker when he took a decades-long breather from life as a professional musician. Although he occasionally performed during his time away (when he made a living making and selling violins), he recorded a new collection of songs with a producer friend that turned into a new solo CD and a fresh take on his former career. On the closing night of the 41st Kent State Folk Festival, he took to the Ballroom stage with his Angel Band.

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Mountain Heart

It's members have appeared at the Grand Ole Opry more than 100 times. Musicians in the band have picked up Grammys, ACM, CMA and IBMA Awards. They've shared the stage with Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Yonder Mountain String Band. And, in November 2007, they took center stage as part of Bluegrass Night at the Kent State Folk Festival. The standing room only crowd was promised an "incomparably exciting" evening and Mountain Heart, performing one of their last concerts with Adam Steffey on mandolin, did not disappoint.

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The McDades

The Juno Award-winning band the McDades punches through the walls of tradition to fuse the spontaneity of jazz improvisation and infectious global rhythms. Made up of siblings Shannon Johnson, Solon McDade, Jeremiah McDade and their musical friends, the McDades’s cutting-edge sound is the perfect complement to their fiery performances, which had the Happy Days crowd tapping their toes long into the night.

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Punch Brothers

Former Nickel Creeker and mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile has reinvented himself and his sound with the help of some like-minded, instrument-toting pals. The boys of the Punch Brothers backed Thile on his most recent solo album, and have together released an album of their own, Punch. Thile and his Punch Brothers wowed folks with everything from Bach to Radiohead at the Kent Stage in April 2008.

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Bill Evans' Soulgrass

Grammy-nominated jazz saxophonist Bill Evans has gone out of his way to explore new musical connections in his 20 years as a solo artist. His latest experiment is Soulgrass, coming the improvisational rhythms of jazz and bluegrass. In January 2008, Evans was joined at the Kent Stage by Newgrass king Sam Bush and a band of virtuosic musicians to create an energy-rich sound that brought the audience to its feet.

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The Infamous Stringdusters

The future of bluegrass was on stage as The Infamous Stringdusters visited the Happy Days Lodge for a concert in January, 2008. A group of talented solo artists who have backed many of the best in the music business, the 2008 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Emerging Artist of the Year joins together top individuals to form one of the fastest-rising groups in roots music.

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Malinky

Most of the Folk Alley staff followed a day-long planning retreat with a trip to Happy Days Lodge (formerly visitors center) for a rollicking concert by Scottish trad-band Malinky. The talented quintet offered up a variety of reels, jigs, murder ballads - along with some unexpected choices for the Celtic-centered ensemble - recorded live on Jan. 18, 2008.

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Elana James

Even though they were nearly late for their own concert and the upright bass went missing, fiddler Elana James presented a stellar evening of jazzy western swing at Happy Days Visitor Center in Cuyahoga Valley National Park near Peninsula, Ohio on October 19, 2007. Joined by her Hot Club of Cowtown co-founder, Whit Smith, on guitar and bass-master Beau Sample, James brought the audience to its feet with an energetic collection of tunes that could have stepped right out of a '30s Paris jazz club.

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Arlo Guthrie

Arlo Guthrie has been a staple on the touring circle since he first hit the road in the late '60s behind his debut release Alice's Restaurant, an album so unusual (with one side taken up with the title song/monologue) that it's extremely unlikely it would find a distributor today. Although it could be said that Guthrie followed in the footsteps of his father, folk revival legend Woody Guthrie, his career and his original music have been undeniably his own. After recent tours accompanied by his musical children (including daughter Sarah Lee and her husband Johnny Irion), Guthrie came alone to Cain Park's Evans Amphitheatre in near-by Cleveland Heights, Ohio on July 21, 2007, as part of his "Summer Solo Reunion Tour."

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Nickel Creek

Mandolinist Chris Thile, fiddler Sara Watkins and her brother, guitar player Sean Watkins formed the California-based bluegrass band Nickel Creek while they were still pre-teens. As they toured and recorded hit CDs, their fanbase increased even as the band's sound grew more experimental and diverse. When they announced the imminent break-up of the band, it did not come as a total surprise - each of the group's members had been working on other projects as solo artists and with other ensembles for some time. Nickel Creek's stop at Cain Park's Evans Amphitheatre on July 18, 2007 as part of their extended "Farewell For Now" tour was a high-energy performance for a sold-out, enthusiastic audience. Frequent collaborator Glen Phillips (formerly of Toad the Wet Sprocket) joined them onstage.

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The Duhks

Even though they only have recorded a handful of albums, the Duhks are one of the most notable young groups on the North American roots music scene. With a mix of influences - including bluegrass, French language Quebecoise, Celtic, Brazilian and folk - banjo-playing bandleader Leonard Podolak and his fellow Canadians have already caught the attention of U.S. audiences, earning a Grammy nomination in 2006. Podolak is joined by Jordan McConnell on guitar, Tania Elizabeth on fiddle, Scott Senior on a variety of percussion, and newcomer Sarah Dugas on vocals. The Duhks stopped by the Kent Stage in Kent, Ohio on Sept. 7, 2007 early in a U.S. tour.

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John Cowan Band

John Cowan is a musician who thrives on innovation. As one quarter - along with Sam Bush, Bela Fleck, and Pat Flynn - of the groundbreaking New Grass Revival, Cowan reinterpreted and reinvigorated traditional American music. Not only did New Grass give bluegrass a new spin for another generation, they turned attention back to the originals, guaranteeing that the grass would keep on growing. Cowan came to Northeast Ohio's Kent Stage on July 6 with his new bandmates (Jeff Autry-guitar, Shad Cobb-fiddle and Tony Wray-banjo) in support of their recent release, New Tattoo.

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Carrie Rodriguez

Singer/Songwriter/Fiddler Carrie Rodriguez lived the country music version of the Hollywood story - she was "discovered" while backing up a local band in a record store in her home town. Of course, it didn't hurt that her home town was Austin, Texas and that she is extremely talented. After her break-out collaboration with veteran songwriter Chip Taylor, Rodriguez is touring with her own trio. Her concert at the Kent Stage with opener Tim Easton was recorded live on June 22, 2007.

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The Greencards

Although it sounds like the start of a joke, when two Aussies and a Brit went into an Austin recording studio, what emerged was a first-class bluegrass trio. Eamon McLoughlin, Kym Warner and Carol Young had been raised on country sounds in far away lands and it took a chance meeting in of one of America's musical capitols for alchemy to happen. In four short years, the band has gone from playing in bars and on street corners to opening for legends like Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson. Listen to The Greencards perform live at Cleveland's Beachland Ballroom in a concert recorded May 4, 2007.

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Antje Duvekot

Antje Duvekot is a soulful singer/songwriter who found a way to express her emotions through songs that are powerful and engaging. Already drawing attention from the generation of artists that inspired her (including John Gorka, Ellis Paul and Solas' Seamus Egan), Duvekot continues to capture new fans with her depth of talent and personal observations. Listen to Duvekot perform her work in a concert recorded live on March 28, 2007 at Cleveland's Beachland Ballroom.

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Robin & Linda Williams

Long before the word “Americana” was dubbed, Robin & Linda William were creating and performing their own “robust blend of bluegrass, folk, old-time and acoustic country that combines wryly observant lyrics with a wide-ranging melodicism." After hearing the duo perform live, it’s no mystery to why they’ve become a favorite guest on Garrison Keillor’s weekly radio show, "A Prairie Home Companion." Listen to Red House Record’s recording artists, Robin & Linda Williams and Their Fine Group from their concert performed at the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland, Ohio.


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Eric Bibb

Eric Bibb is the product of a musician and an educator so it's only natural that his life's work has taken both roads, building a name for himself as a talented blues singer/songwriter/guitarist and as an artist who understands the role social history plays in the music. While on tour in support of his critically praised CD Diamond Days, Bibb performed as part of the Heritage Series at Happy Days Visitor Center in Cuyahoga Valley National Park near Peninsula, Ohio.

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Iris Dement

Experiencing Singer/songwriter Iris DeMent live on stage is something like seeing a shooting star - it's rare and delightful. DeMent's Arkansas-born voice is distinctive and has spurred fanatical devotion among her many fans - folk lovers drawn both to artist and her songs, which are not at all afraid to take a political or social stand. In January 2007, she visited Northeast Ohio, touring with members of John Prine's band as able back-up (DeMent, who didn't start writing songs until she was 25, collaborated with Prine on 1999's "In Spite of Ourselves") for a performance at Cleveland's Beachland Ballroom.

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Abigail Washburn's Sparrow Quartet

The Sparrow Quartet is a band formed more around an ideal than a style of music. Uncle Earl member Abigail Washburn gathered three gifted performers and took them to Asia for a cultural get-together. The four met and played with Chinese musicians – offering banjo licks for traditional tunes from literally halfway 'round the world. Washburn and her trad music posse – Bela Fleck on banjo, Casey Driessen on fiddle and Ben Sollee on cello – had only just returned from their voyage of discovery when they took the stage at the Kent State University Ballroom as part of the 40th Kent State Folk Festival.

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Vienna Teng

Vienna Teng is an unusual folk performer, mostly because she rarely plays an instrument she's familiar with. On the road, pianist Teng takes a seat behind the best a venue can manage. Not that it matters – the beauty of her songs (performed with back-up violin and cello, how many folk artists can say that?), with soaring lyrics and soulful melodies, made her debut album, Waking Hour an instant hit. She's an artist you may not have heard of, but once you take a chance, you'll just want more. Listen to her performance at Cleveland's Beachland Ballroom and judge for yourself.

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Wildflower! Festival

In performances recorded live at the 2006 Wildflower! arts & music festival in Richardson, Texas, Albert & Gage, Sara Hickman, Slaid Cleaves and Ruthie Foster prove that everything really is bigger in Texas, including the musical talent.

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Ditty Bops

When Abby and Amanda formed the Ditty Bops, they merged together a theatrical sensibility with a love for music from the '20s and '30s – and new, quirky music that only sounds like it was born on the Vaudeville stage. In summer 2006, the ladies grew bored of California, grabbed some power bars and spandex shorts and made off for the East Coast by bicycle. Listen to their performance at the Beachland Ballroom, the Ditty Bops' Bicycle Tour stop in Cleveland. The standing-room-only crowd was treated to dancing skeletons, one confused young man and a number performed entirely on helium.

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The Wailin' Jennys

When The Wailin' Jennys brought together three solo singer/songwriters, their limited series of performances turned into a JUNO Award-winning career change. Now Canadians Ruth Moody, Nicky Mehta and recently added Annabelle Chvostek are touring America, where their rich vocal harmonies have made them favorites with audiences, critics and Garrison Keillor, who has featured them on A Prairie Home Companion numerous times. Listen to their performance live from the Evans Amphitheatre in Cain Park, deep in the heart of Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

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Kasey Chambers

When Kasey Chambers was still an infant, her parents bundled her and her bother Nash up and headed out to the Australian wilderness. The close-knit clan often harmonized together by singing campsongs around the fire and as Kasey reached into her teens, she began testing the boundaries of being one of the most recognizable female country singers. Since the release of The Captain in 1999, Chambers has risen to the top of the Australian country music charts and made serious inroads into the North American market. Listen to Kasey Chambers live, recorded at Cleveland's Beachland Ballroom.

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Rodney Crowell

Although for many Rodney Crowell may be known as just one of the many male singer/songwriters to define the "new country" genre, Crowell's desires have always leaned more towards his songwriting than his performing. Hear singer/songwriter Rodney Crowell sing real stories of hard living and getting by live at the Kent Stage.

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Darol Anger

Fiddler Darol Anger first burst onto the tradition-centered music scene when he joined the David Grisman Quintet in the mid-'70s. This Live from Folk Alley features Anger, pioneering folk guitarist Scott Nygaard and Tristan Clarridge on cello, who are joined by guest fiddler Sara Watkins from Nickel Creek for an hour that stretches the bounds of string music.


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Richard Shindell

An expatriate New Yorker now living in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Richard Shindell is a meticulous craftsman of song whose five studio albums and one live recording have been revered by critics and fans alike. Innovative, original and occasionally spiritual, Shindell's songs weave tales that interchangeably champion the downtrodden, exalt the disaffected or wax empathetic to those lost to society's fringes. From his first record, Sparrow's Point (1992) to the newest album Vuelta (2004), Shindell has demonstrated a penchant for songwriting at once passionate and profound. His songs are often slowly and painstakingly crafted until honed to perfection. Conversely, he is also capable of writing tunes that are simply clever and amusing.

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Tim O'Brien

Listen on-demand to Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and confessed song sponge, Tim O'Brien - Live From Folk Alley - recorded direct from the Kent Stage in Kent, Ohio on April 8th, 2006.

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Solas

Since the band's birth in 1996, Solas has been loudly proclaimed the most popular, influential and exciting Celtic band to ever emerge from the United States. Even before the release of their self-titled debut The Boston Herald trumpeted Solas as "the first truly great Irish band to arise from America." The Irish Echo ranked Solas among "the most exciting bands anywhere in the world." Since its inception the band has continually pushed the envelope and charted new territory for Celtic music and wholly established themselves as the most pioneering Celtic band of their time. And in the past ten years their infectious energy and sound has caught the attention of listeners and fans worldwide.

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Old School Freight Train

For everyone who thinks that young people aren't involved in the folk scene, Folk Alley presented Old School Freight Train, Live from Folk Alley, on Saturday, Feb. 18. Using bluegrass instrumentation, OSFT takes the best from folk, traditional, rock, pop and jazz to create an award-winning sound that is uniquely theirs. "Discovered" by David Grisman, OSFT's latest CD, Run, was recorded in Grisman's Dawg Studios for his Acoustic Disc label. Live from Folk Alley with Old School Freight Train was broadcast direct from Happy Days Visitor Center in Northeast Ohio's scenic Cuyahoga Valley National Park.



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A Nod to Bob

When Red House Records founder Bob Feldman died unexpectedly in January, the folk music community lost one of its most ardent supporters. In honor of Bob's legacy, a number of artists will gather in Austin during the Folk Alliance conference with A Nod to Bob, a tribute to his lasting efforts to promote folk. Participating artists include Eliza Gilkyson, Jimmy LaFave, Lynn Miles, Rosalie Sorrels, Eric Peltoniemi and others.


Folk Alley presented "A Nod to Bob" live on Sunday, Febuary 12th. Click here to listen.




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Guy Davis & Ann Rabson

Folk Alley presents a night of the blues with Guy Davis & Ann Rabson, recorded live from the Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s Happy Day’s Visitors Center in Peninsula, Ohio.

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John Gorka & David Francey

Listen to singer/songwriters David Francey and John Gorka direct from the Kent Stage in Kent, Ohio on the first night of the 39th Kent State Folk Festival. Opener Francey is a Scottish-born Canadian who writes songs that reach right down and grab the human experience. Headliner Gorka is one of America’s most-loved folk musicians who has made his reputation by honing the Philadelphia/Boston sound.

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Eliza Gilkyson

Hosted by our very own Jim Blum - Live from Folk Alley presents Red House Records recording artist Eliza Gilkyson, recorded Tuesday, September 20th at Cleveland's home for folk and roots music, the Beachland Ballroom.

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