Ohio River Valley Folk Festival

High energy, varied styles
to shape Folk Fest lineup

Sunday schedule to include
jam session atmosphere

By Konnie McCollum
Staff Writer

(May 2010) – Mix together pure musical talent, raw energy, genre diversity and a touch of humor and that just begins to describe the entertainment in store for guests at the fifth annual Ohio River Valley Folk Festival in Madison, Ind.
On May 21-23, crowds will gather along the banks of the Ohio River in Madison to enjoy a variety of local, regional and national folk musicians, traditional folk art and storytelling with plenty of food and beverages. The musicians will perform on the stage at Madison Bicentennial Park.

The Tillers

Photo provided

The Tillers will perform
at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

In the past, festival organizers have included a diverse mix of folk musicians that would appeal to a wide variety of fans. This year is no different. “We have sounds from the traditional or rootsy folk music to the modern, eclectic style,” said festival coordinator John Walburn. “From the laid back to the lively, we think we have something for everyone.”
Friday night’s headliner, Asylum Street Spankers, is a seven-member string band that features high energy music with a bit of humor thrown in. They take the stage at 10 p.m. “Their fun and excellent musicianship is infectious,” said Walburn. “They will leave everyone wanting more.”
The Asylum Street Spankers were formed in 1994 during a raucous party at the Dabbs Hotel in Llano, Texas. Within a year, the group, founded by Wammo and Christina Marrs, had gained a massive following in Austin, Texas, and eventually transitioned their ever-evolving sound from country blues revivalism to original works, new ideas for the stage and even a bit of sociopolitical commentary.
In 1999, Marrs and Wammo founded Spanks-a-Lot Records to release their own music. Not only did that allow the group to have complete creative control, but it helped them with the timing of their releases and gave them a larger share of the profits.
Prior to Asylum Street Spankers, opening the festival at 6 p.m. Friday will be Uncle Monk. Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Tommy Ramone is part of this duo. “They have a nice blend of Americana, roots and mountain music,” said Walburn. “Ramone has always been a fantastic musician and shows a wonderful side of his talent in Uncle Monk.”

Folk Festival Music Schedule

Friday, May 21
5 p.m.: Gates & Folk Art Village Open
6 p.m.: Uncle Monk
8 p.m.: Eilen Jewell
10 p.m.: The Asylum Street Spankers

Saturday, May 22
Noon: Workshop & Jam Session
2 p.m.: The Tillers
4 p.m.: Krista Detor
6 p.m.: The Carolina Chocolate Drops
8 p.m.: Loudon Wainwright III
10 p.m.: Subdudes

Sunday, May 23
11 a.m.: Gates & Folk Art Village Open
Noon: Bomar and Ritter
12:30 p.m.: Lyrics Alive
1 p.m.: Dave Dwyer
1:30 p.m.: Jimmy Mundane
2 p.m.: Matt and Katie
2:30 p.m.: Emily Ann Thompson
3 p.m.: Jill Knight
4 p.m.: Rusty Bladen
5 p.m.: Mickey Clark

At 8 p.m., Eilen Jewell will take the stage. Boise, Idaho-born and Boston-based Jewell has distinguished herself as one of the rising stars of a new generation of roots music. “She has one of the best CDs I’ve heard in years,” said Walburn.
Saturday’s headliner is the Subdudes, a group that will take center stage at 10 p.m. The group, with its Louisiana bluesy sound, has been around for more than 20 years. “Their high energy, swamp boogie-woogie sound is going to be a fan favorite,” said Walburn. “I’ve been a fan of theirs since the early ‘90s, and their acoustic set is going to be something to hear.”
In 1987, four musicians, got together for what they thought would be a one-time performance in New Orleans; however, for the next 10 years and five albums, the group charmed crowds with their blend of blues, gospel, funk, and harmonic vocals. Then they called it quits.
In February 2002, three of the four originals got back together, added two more musicians and have been pleasing the crowds since. Current members of the Subdudes include, Tommy Malone, John Magnie, Steve Amedee, Tim Cook and Jimmy Messa.
“They are always crowd pleasers and sustained their popularity even when they broke up,” said Walburn. “ Their sound is distinctive from other groups because of its substitution of a tambourine player for a drummer.
Prior to the Subdudes will be Loudon Wainwright III, who takes the stage at 8 p.m. Wainwright is a contemporary folk musician who writes much of his own music. “He brings the audience a great sense of humor and makes people think,” said Walburn.
The Caroline Chocolate Drops, with its traditional Piedmont string band music sound, takes the stage at 6 p.m. “This is a hot sounding group from North Carolina and is a fan favorite on several national radio stations,” said Walburn.
At 2 p.m., the Tillers open the music schedule on Saturday, while Krista Detor entertains at 4 p.m. At noon a workshop and jam session will be offered.
Sunday’s lineup will feature many local and regional acts in a “jam session” type of atmosphere. “The musicians have plans to work together, so we are expecting lots of changes, surprises and spontaneity,” said Walburn.
Closing the festival on Sunday at 5 p.m. will be legendary singer-songwriter Mickey Clark. “He has played with everybody in the business, and he is a treasure to have,” said Walburn.
Friday evening story telling will feature Bob Sander, while Saturday will feature Sharon Clifton.

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