2018 Performers

Robbie Fulks We’re thrilled that Robbie Fulks, headliner at our very first festival in 2009, will return to headline the 10th anniversary festival. Robbie is a singer, recording artist, instrumentalist, composer, and songwriter. His most recent release, 2017’s Upland Stories, earned year’s-best recognition from NPR and Rolling Stone among many others, as well as two Grammy nominations for folk album and American roots song.

Robbie brings with him two venerable icons of roots music, Linda Gail Lewis and Redd Volkaert. Linda is the little sister to musical genius, Jerry Lee Lewis, and was raised on rock’n’roll-pumping piano and country. A professional musician since fifteen, she continues to tour, sharing her high octane live show with music fans around the world.

Redd is one of the top Telecaster guitar slingers in the country and the winner of the 2009 Grammy for best country instrumental. He played as part of Merle Haggard’s band in the late 1990s and early 2000s and has jammed with a who’s who list of country greats over the years.

Here are more of the acts confirmed for October 2018…keep checking back all summer as we add more.

Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton has earned a reputation for transporting audiences back to the 1920’s and making them wish they could stay there for good.  Often described as “one of the greatest multi-instrumentalists that you have not heard of,” he is well-known to CUFRF audiences from his two previous appearances at the festival.  Paxton sings and plays banjo, guitar, piano, fiddle, harmonica, Cajun accordion, and the bones (percussion), and he mesmerizes audiences with his humor and storytelling.  According to Will Friedwald in the Wall Street Journal, Paxton is “virtually the only music-maker of his generation … to fully assimilate the blues idiom of the 1920s and ‘30s.”

Mother Banjo features Ellen Stanley on banjo and vocals. She’s a New England-raised, Minneapolis-based songwriter.  Called “an outstanding poet” (Inside Bluegrass), she was a Midwest Finalist for the prestigious Mountain Stage NewSong Contest and has been featured nationally on SiriusXM Radio and CMT.com.   An engaging live performer, Mother Banjo weaves humorous stories with fun covers and her own original material, earning the praise of songwriters like Josh Ritter and John Gorka.

The 9th Street Stompers are an outfit of well-dressed no-counts artistically wielding their acoustic axes and singing about life, death, love, and liquor. Hailing from Chattanooga, Tennessee, they cull up the musical scenery of an era when the lines between swing, gypsy jazz, blues, and rockabilly weren’t nearly as hard and fast as the drinking and dancing. Steering clear of much of the novelty and kitsch associated with pre-war music, they choose to demonstrate the modern relevance of their chosen medium. If you like high-energy showmanship and top-notch musical prowess, The 9th Street Stompers will see you front row!

Devil in a Woodpile offer “raunchy, acoustic mayhem.” This Bloodshot Records trio “play blues. They also play country. Ragtime. Hot Jazz. Hillbilly. It’s all the same to them. It’s all taken from the same deep, muddy well called American Music that existed long before wise guy marketing goons and interweb algorithms decided to categorize and sub-categorize the whole mess.”

Deep Fried Pickle Project are a delectable musical treat. The Pickle Project has performed at Lollapalooza, TELLURIDE BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL, High Sierra, Wakarusa as well as picnics, bars, baptisms, theaters, bathtubs and festivals across North America. They also fought to victory at the 2012 and 2016 Chicago Jug Band Battles.

Son Monarcas  is a Chicago-based ensemble comprised of musicians who are well-versed in the Afro-Mestizo genres of Mexican folk music as well as other world music genres. They blend the traditional with the contemporary by creating original arrangements of  and while retaining the foundation of the traditional style. Some of their original compositions and interpretations also include the accordion which adds a gypsy flair to their authentic Mexican roots

Richie and Rosie play at a junction of Americana, old-time, and folk, bringing a new sound to traditional music. Before joining forces, both members were well-established within the old-time community. With their unique skill, varied musical influence, and honest storytelling the hope to achieve music that people can connect with, containing timeless, universal messages.

Ever-Lovin Jug Band writes and plays original music, influenced by the jug bands and string bands of the 1920s-30s. Plus they play a lot of that good old music, too: the Memphis Jug Band, Mississippi Sheiks, Hackberry Ramblers, East Texas Serenaders, and more.

Mackville Bluegrass plays a mix of bluegrass and gospel music and consists of alternating vocal leads with strong harmonies along with instrumentals. They love playing bluegrass and gospel music and have a great time!