Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers: www.nickibluhm.com
Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers' much-anticipated sophomore album, Loved Wild Lost, arrives Tuesday, April 21st. “Loved Wild Lost is a sincere and sophisticated collection of songs steeped in tradition, but of its own time,” says Nicki Bluhm. “After three solid years of playing as a band across the country, we have had time to learn, reflect and grow. This album displays a departure into the deeper and more contemplative themes of people in transition and the struggle to retain the energy and optimism of youth as life becomes more complex.” “The longer something moves away from its inception point, the more it takes on a life and a narrative of its own,” adds Nicki’s husband and the band’s musical director, Tim Bluhm. “In these songs, I think you can clearly hear that happening; idealism and optimism losing control to the forces of inertia and a life of constant traveling. Happiness becomes an intention and love becomes a long-term study of oneself and of one another.”
The Infamous Stringdusters: www.thestringdusters.com
The Infamous Stringdusters consist of Andy Falco (guitar), Travis Book (bass), Jeremy Garrett (fiddle), Andy Hall (dobro), and Chris Pandolfi (banjo). They sound like no one else, combining virtuosic chops on five traditional bluegrass instruments, with an ethos of pushing the genre forward. The Stringdusters' live shows take improvised string band music to new places, combining musicianship and songwriting with experimental performance and a contagious energy flowing between the band and crowd. Their groundbreaking musical proficiency is earning them critical acclaim, awards, and nominations aplenty; and has even attracted the attention of musical legends Phil Lesh and John Scofield, who have joined The ‘Dusters on stage to offer up unforgettable, raucously crowd-pleasing sit-ins.
“The Infamous Stringdusters don’t leave bluegrass behind; they’re stretching it from within.” ~ Jon Pareles, The New York Times
Nora Jane Struthers
& The Party Line: www.norajanestruthers.com
Wake. The evocative one-word title speaks volumes about what’s happening on Nora Jane Struthers’ latest album. For the thirty-year old singer-songwriter, it’s “wake” in several senses of the word. There’s the trail of a life and career behind her, the slipstream of lessons learned. There’s the quiet observance and letting go of who she has been up until now as both an artist and a person. And most of all, there’s the stirring of something new, an opening of a door and wide-eyed rush forward into a place of discovery and dizzying possibilities. And it’s all set to a soundtrack that resonates with the warm uplift of the first day of spring.
“Nora Jane Struthers is guided by fire. Struthers has [come] up with some of the most quietly powerful narratives within the new wave of Americana artists. … The sound of the Party Line has progressed to include propulsive electric guitar and drums, and Struthers’ sweet voice is showing an edge, the better to meet the challenge.” Ann Powers, NPR Music.
"Dangermuffin make endlessly listenable music, with ambitious chording and instrumentation and few boundaries in their musical exploration. They bring to mind the more disciplined moments of bands like Phish and the Grateful Dead, with tight arrangements, interesting rhythms, hooks for days and compelling themes. They just make me feel good." Ray Waddell - Billboard Magazine - Reporting on live music for 28 years
Shook Twins: www.shooktwins.com
Hailing from coniferous forested Portland Oregon, Katelyn and Laurie Shook are identical twins. Beautiful twin harmonies, layered upon acoustic and electric instrumentation coupled with Laurie’s inventive use of percussive and ambient vocal loops, and Katelyn’s repurposed telephone microphone, set their sound apart, creating a unique and eccentric blend of folk, roots, groove and soul.
“a unique, personal music that lights up the stage with its joy and enthusiasm.” -Mason Jennings
David Luning: www.davidluning.com
Northern California based singer/songwriter David Luning is part of a new generation of indie musicians whose genre blurs the lines of Americana, Alternative Country, Folk, Rock, and Blues. With insights well beyond his years, David’s poignant songwriting and warm, rich timbre voice captivates audiences and draws them into a musical world that is familiar yet completely fresh and new.
"I love it…..He has a really, really beautiful tone." - Jennifer Lopez
Songs of the Fall: www.songsofthefall.com
Songs of the Fall, is a Colorado based Americana band featuring 5 time Grammy Nominee Cia Cherryholmes on banjo and vocals, and Stetson Adkisson on guitar and vocals. Songs of the Fall has been described as a meeting of celtic, delta blues, and bluegrass and took the world by storm with their 2014 debut self titled album.
“Life is about the fall and how we keep learning and growing, and those are the things worth singing about”. –Stetson Adkisson
David Myles: www.davidmyles.com
David Myles has truly forged his own path by embracing modern and vintage pop, folk and soul music. His accomplishments have not gone unnoticed. In 2013, Myles co-hosted the East Coast Music Awards show; an honour preceded by multiple wins, including Songwriter of the Year in 2012. Myles was also in good company at the 2012 SOCAN Awards, where he picked up the Folk/Roots Music prize. With extensive touring experience across Canada and internationally, Myles has earned a reputation as a great showman. His flawless musicianship and unforgettable stories have made David Myles a favourite with fans everywhere.
His vocals are smooth, beats infectious and with just a warm overall aura." - Ride the Tempo
David Myles’ music invites you to smile, breathe deeply and relax." - The Argosy
Spark and Whisper: www.sparkandwhisper.com
Hailing from the SF Bay area, Spark & Whisper is the musical collaboration of Anita Sandwina & Velvy Appleton, singer-songwriters-multi-instrumentalists with bassist extraordinaire Paul Eastburn, Their second album Ghost Towm found its way onto 8 different Folk DJ’s “Top 10 Albums of 2013”, and continues to get strong radio play across the US & Canada. In performance, Spark & Whisper are pursuing transcendence—guiding and transporting the audience out of the mundane, into moments of higher consciousness and connection, and to an acknowledgement of our common humanity, our connected spirit.
Dennis Johnson and the Mississippi Ramblers: www.dennisjohnsonslide.com
Slide guitarist Dennis Johnson is one of the elite slide guitar players performing today. Drawing comparisons to slide guitarists Robert Johnson and Roy Rogers, Dennis Johnson masterfully elevates the art of slide guitar across many genres of music including Blues, New Orleans, Rock, and Swing. Dennis Johnson and the Mississippi Ramblers, deliver stirring live performances that move audiences and get people dancing!
“When it comes to Master Guitarist, Dennis Johnson is the real deal.” Underground Network
Proxima Parada: www.proximaparadamusic.com
Infused with rhythmic variety, lyrical depth, and a strong sense of musical integrity, this four-piece band cites Ray Charles, The Wood Brothers, Bill Withers, and The Band as influences. With two lead singers and multiple songwriters, they have found their niche blending soul, blues, jazz and folk into a style all their own. They create anything from unadorned acoustic that captures the atmosphere of a summer morning to floor-stomping, dance numbers with enough passion to attract any open ears.
A Thousand Years at Sea: www.athousandyearsatsea.com
Rock & Roll collides with Celtic-Americana in an electrifying mash-up of worlds you haven’t heard anywhere else. At a show, you might witness a Springsteen song expertly blended with an original fiddle tune or a brand new original song crafted around a centuries-old traditional tune from the Scottish Highlands. It’s new, it’s different, and you don’t want to miss it.
Love Choir: www.thelovechoir.com
This all-inclusive group is "loving the world...one song at a time”. Under the direction of Brother Jimmy Lovejoy, the Choir has been singing together for over 15 years. Come to the sing and dance Saturday night, then wake Sunday morning with songs of inspiration, peace, love and joy. “Everyone is in the Love Choir; just show up and sing!”
Achilles Wheel Duo: www.achilleswheel.com
Paul Kamm and Jonny Mojo are singer/ songwriters and frontmen of the Northern California Roots and World music/Rock and Roll jam band, Achilles Wheel. As an acoustic duo they bring the same high energy and engaging stage presence to a quieter place, combining a bit of Country and Bluegrass to the band’s famously hard driving sound. But it’s the infectious quality of their songwriting that really shines in this setting, and the diverse nature of it as well. Paul and Jonny work off of each other like two sides of the same coin, actively looking for and pushing each other to find the most in whatever song they’re playing.
McNevin and the Spokes: www.michaelmcnevin.com
Michael McNevin's songs read like short stories, he has a keen eye for detail. Accomplished guitar work and seasoned vocals underscore the characters and towns that inhabit his lyrics. He is a winner of the Kerrville New-folk award in Texas, six-time winner of the "Song of the Year" from the West Coast Songwriters, and chosen as a "Top 12 DIY Artist Of The Year" by The Performing Songwriter magazine. This year at ARMF, Michael brings the "The Spokes" with him - a rotating cast of band mates, including Patrick McClellan on upright bass, Juliet Gobert on vocals and guitar, Homer Wills on harmonica, and a likely a picker or two he finds in the campgrounds.
Island of Black and White: www.islandofblackandwhite.com
Island of Black and White’s music is a sweet, humble yet raw blend of acoustic rock, funky reggae, and soulful blues. It is a mixture like no other. The quartet exerts high energy performances, and it is apparent for anyone watching, that the band shares an immense love for music. Not only does the band enjoy playing, but their incredible performances engage all who listen; and the energy is shared with the entire crowd.
The Painted Horses: www.thepaintedhorsesmusic.com
The Painted Horses are a folk band from the Santa Cruz Mountains in California. Denys Kozakis, a Santa Cruz local, and Natosha Wengreen, growing up back and forth between Logan, Utah and Placerville, Ca, discovered their mutual love for songwriting and singing harmonies and started the project along with their good friend and musical partner Jon Payne on bass. The band’s strong songwriting and gentle harmonies seem to connect them mostly with a folk genre that is all their own.
The Keller Sisters: www.thekellersisters.com
Sheryl and Kerry grew up in San Francisco and started singing together at an early age performing in glee clubs, choirs and musical theater. Daughters of film and theater performer Eileen Christy the summers were spent on the road learning from the best . They were also discovering guitars and folk music. They started performing in their teens as a duo playing country rock, folk and standards. After many years playing rock and blues with the "Blue Tuesday" band in the San Francisco Bay area they are now back hitting the stage as The Keller Sisters performing original music which combines storytelling, warmth and humor. Their music has been called American Folk Pop.
Up and coming New-Folk duo the Stringtown Ambassadors take traditional music from America and the British Isles, polish it with a contemporary twist, then salt the outcome with a dose of road tested grit. Rosalind Parducci and Arlo Blaisus open the door to a landscape of luminescent fiddle riffs, driving mandolin rhythms, crisp vocal harmonies, and insightful songwriting. With a repertoire as broad as the lands they have traveled across, the Stringtown Ambassadors offer a passionate and unabashed expression of the modern-day minstrel.
Moon Shiner: www.moon-shiner.squarespace.com
After meeting on the salty shores of southern Connecticut, Jenner Fox and Raph Shapiro have reconvened to once more bring their harmony and heartache to the great American west. Half New York Harbor, half San Francisco Bay, Moon Shiner plays a bicoastal blend of folk, bluegrass, and rock and roll, providing soulful acoustic sets of original tunes on mandolin and guitar.
Tamra Godey: www.tamragodey.com
Tamra Godey is a Northern California artist who writes and performs a soulful style of folk-Americana. In warm silky tones, strong vibrato and clarity she sings of life experiences and things that move the spirit. An award winning and prolific song writer, Tamra entertains an audience with an uplifting mix of soulful stories, memorable love ballads, and hip-swaying blues.
Lumadae is four guys, four different approaches to music, one sound. A blend of rock, folk, and jazz/jam influences, with rich vocal harmonies, creates the distinctive sound of Lumadae. Spanning the spectrum of rhythm and sound, their music ranges from soft introspective ballads to rocking anthems, and touches all points in between.