Stand out performances from four folk groups with Texas connections from the 2006 Wildflower! festival. Christine Albert and Chris Gage had established careers as Americana artists before they joined forces in the late ‘90s to form Albert & Gage. Christine followed in her brother’s shoes, leaving home to become a musician while still in high school. She was co-founder of the Austin Songwriters Group and won Outstanding Female Vocalist at Kerrville in 1996. Chris, a member of South Dakota’s Red Willow Band, is a respected multi-instrumentalist sideman.
Sara Hickman is a singer/songwriter who has managed to be very successful and just famous enough to do some good. After a deal with Elektra Records and a stint as a VH-1 countdown hostess threatened to make her a celebrity, the music business fired back by shelving her album Necessary Angels. It was her fans who raised the money to buy it back. Sara has been doing good ever since, writing more songs, creating children’s CDs (and children!) and helping out worthy causes.
Slaid Cleaves won the Kerrville New Folk contest in 1992 and has been rising up the Americana charts ever since with strong musicianship and a talent for engaging storytelling. Wishbones, Slaid’s CD from 2004, made the top of the charts its home – winning over fans and critics. He’s back with Unsung, performing a collection of songs by a few of his friends and favorite songwriters.
Ruthie Foster has a voice that grabs on and won’t let go – rich and full of tradition and history. Her songs are a mix of gospel, blues, folk and roots music, bringing together notes of the past in a sound that is completely contemporary and joyous. When you listen to a Ruthie Foster performance, I dare you to not smile. And, as good as her Runaway Soul CD is, a live Ruthie performance can’t be beat.
Initiated in 1993 as a springtime community festival in Richardson, Texas (in the Northeast part of the state, near Dallas), Wildflower! now brings in nationally recognized acts for a celebration that combines four+ days of performances on five stages.