Urbana Sweetcorn Festival

It’s the return of the C-U Folk and Roots Stage at the Urbana Sweetcorn Festival!

Come out for the music, and be sure to drop by our booth to check out our 2018 festival swag and hang with us.

Friday, August 24 —
6:00 – 6:45 – Vinny Santanelli A singer and songwriter, Vinny is a folk and blues artist who combines harmonica, acoustic guitar and vocals in a soulful way.

7:15 – 8:00 – Community Center for the Arts (C4A), Country Music Ensemble This class is taught by Dyke Corson and the band performs a diverse array of traditional country music.

8:30 – 9:30 – Painkillers Blues Band Featuring Dawn Clark on vocals, the Painkillers Blues Band plays a hefty mix of traditional Chicago and Southern Blues along with a variety of original tunes.

10:00 – 11:15 – Bones, Jugs Based right here in Urbana, Bones Jugs is a favorite of the summer festival circuit.  With quirky songwriting and blazing xylophone, this band is sure to bring a smile to your face.

Sweet Corn Festival

Saturday, August 25 –
6:00 – 6:45 – George Faber & Friends A veteran singer/songwriter with a colorful thirty-year music career, George Faber has deep ties to the CU area.  Matt Stewart, Gary Gardner and Bruce “Bruiser” Rummenie will be joining George for this set.

7:15 – 8:00 – Jean Rene Balakita & Bomoyi  Congolese musicians Jean Rene Balekita and Bomoyi sing in English, French, Lingala, Kikongo and Tshiluba. Their music is tinged with Gospel and Jazz, all played with solid African rhythms.

8:30 – 9:30 – Hot Club of Urbana This group of local musicians has a modern take on Gypsy Jazz music and pays tribute to the musical legacies of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli.

10:00 – 11:15 – Surreal Deal One of the best bands in the CU area, The Surreal Deal combines power with improvisational wizardry and brings a crackling freshness to audience favorites. Expect Allman Brothers, Grateful Dead, the Beatles and more!

Pokey LaFarge at IMC

Bloomington-born LaFarge has a repertiore that’s a mix of Americana, early jazz, country blues, early 20th century string-band, and Appalachian folk. Now based in St. Louis, he tours internationally both with and without his band.

His solo show at the Independent Media Center is part of his extensive summer tour. You can get a feel for Pokey in this 2015 session of World Cafe. His latest album was released on Rounder Records in 2017, so his stop in Urbana will be fresh and interesting.

Friday, October 5, 2018
Independent Media Center, 202 S. Broadway, Urbana IL
Tickets are $20 at Ticketfly

This show is hosted by the Pygmalion Festival and Co-Sponsored by the C-U Folk and Roots Festival.

The April Verch Band Comes to the Iron Post

Canadian fiddler April Verch may be best known for playing traditional fiddle styles from her native Ottawa Valley, Canada. But her performances extend into old-time American and Appalachian styles and far beyond for a well-rounded tour de force of North Americana sounds. Verch and her fellow trio members pare down their arrangements highlighting the simple pleasures of upright bass, guitar, clawhammer banjo, voices, fiddle, and stepping in intimate conversation. At the heart lie Verch’s delicate voice, energetic footwork, and stunning playing. Sometimes she sings, steps and fiddles all at once, with apparent ease and precision. Verch is – as they say – a triple threat in performance, her live show a beautiful companion to her music: versatile, robust, and masterfully executed.

The April Verch Band features world-class musicians Cody Walters on upright-electric bass and banjo, and Alex Rubin on guitar and mandolin. Together, these three passionate musicians tour tirelessly across Canada, the United States, the U.K., Europe, Australia & China. They have established a reputation as consummate performers, winning over audiences not only with sheer virtuosity on their respective instruments, but also with charm, humor and boundless energy on stage.

August 3, 2018, 8:00pm
Iron Post, 120 S. Race St., Urbana
The tickets are $15 at the door.

The Iron Post will also be featuring Jordan Kaye and his band from 5-7pm. Come out and make a night of it.

5th Annual Roots Walk

Listen to live blues, roots, folk, and Americana music while strolling past the mature trees of Urbana’s oldest park on Friday, May 18th, 6:00pm-8:00pm. This sunset event brought to you by the Urbana Park District and the C-U Folk and Roots Festival will have a selection of soloists and small combos scattered along the walks of Crystal Lake Park. The lineup includes:

  • The Firetones
  • Bones Jugs
  • Young and the Fretless
  • Strings Attached
  • Grass Roots Revival
  • Rebekah Songer
  • Doug Schroer and Matt Stewart

Parking is available at the Family Aquatic Center; the musicians will be along the park road, close to the North Woods Pavilion.

 

Musicians will move to the Anita Purves Nature Center at 1505 N. Broadway in case of severe weather. Call the Park District Rainout line for relocation information: 217- 367-9575.

Folk and Roots Fridays at the Lake House

Folk and Roots FridaysJoin the Urbana Park District and the C-U Folk and Roots Festival for noontime live music at the Lake House in Crystal Lake Park, Urbana!

FREE from noon-1:00 pm on the first and third Fridays of each month.

Bring your lunch and enjoy a break by the lake. In case of inclement weather, the concert will be held inside the air conditioned room at the Lake House.

June 1 – Nancy Livingston & Rick Kubetz (Americana/Folk)
June 15 – Backdoor Cajun Band (Cajun)
July 6 – Nick Ailes Duo (Country/Bluegrass/Americana)
July 20 – Jay Sand & All Around this World (World Music)
August 3 – Vinnie Santanelli (Folk/Blues)
August 17 – Inland Calypso (Calypso/Steel Drum)

Tribute to Hank Williams and Honky-Tonk Heroes

NASHVILLE - CIRCA 1948: Country singer Hank Williams poses for a portrait circa 1948 in Nashville Tennessee. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)Join us on May 11 for a tribute to Hank Williams and other Honky-tonk Heroes including Ray Price, Patsy Cline, Webb Pierce, Bob Wills and more. You won’t want to miss this evening of traditional country, honky-tonk, and western swing music. This event is a fundraising effort for the C-U Folk & Roots Festival.

A talented house band (Dyke Corson on pedal steel, Josh Houchin on bass, Jordan Kaye on guitar, Larry Lister on drums, Dennis Stroughtmatt on fiddle) will back a terrific line-up of singers:

  • Ed Clem is a well-known stalwart of the local country music scene and one of the chief organizers of the Philo Opry country shows. He was also a member of Appaloosa, a terrific country-rock band that played for many years in the CU area.
  • With a deep bass voice, John Coppess, known as the “Limping Cowboy” is from Mahomet and performs regularly (as a solo artist and with a full band) in the CU area.
  • Vocalist Suzanne Warner performs with John on a regular basis.
  • Now living in the Nashville, TN area, Jordan Kaye was the long-time leader of the Prairie Dogs, a popular group in the CU area for many years. Known as the “Tune Wrangler,” Jordan knows hundreds of songs from many musical genres and is a talented guitarist as well.
  • The Hillbilly Valentines are Hilary Valentine and Rebeccca Grosser, and they currently teach the “Old Time and Country Repertoire” at Parkland College. Both perform with The Young and the Fretless. Rebecca is also a member of Big Bluestem.
  • Logan Kirby is based in Fairmont, IL and sings with the Stone Creek Band and the Marvin Lee Band, and he performs at the Philo Opry country shows. Logan played the role of Johnny Cash in a production for the Million Dollar Quartet at the Covington Beef House.
  • Dennis Stroughmatt (from Albion, IL) has released three traditional country CDs, with the most recent being “Wrong Side of the World.” Besides playing Cajun and Creole music, Dennis has been performing a lot of traditional country music in recent years with a band that pays tribute to the music of Ray Price and his Cherokee Cowboys. Dennis was a featured performer at the 2017 Folk & Roots Festival and the 2017 Prairie Sky Music Festival.

The band should have a terrific, traditional sound and feel. This is a chance for people to celebrate the rich musical landscape of the CU area as the line-up of vocalists features some of the best singers in the area. All of the singers share one thing – a love of traditional country music, so this should be a very spirited and entertaining show.

The Country Music Ensemble from the Community Center for the Arts will also be part of the show. The Country Music Ensemble is a group of students that have been taking classes with Dyke Corson, and they will be starting the show with some classic country music.

Please come out for a fun evening of music, and help support the C-U Folk & Roots Festival. Last year’s Hank Tribute show drew a large crowd, so please come early if you want a seat.

May 11, 2018
Rose Bowl Tavern
106 North Race Street, Urbana IL

Hank Williams crowd shot

Admission: $10 at the door
Proceeds will support the 2018 C-U Folk and Roots Festival
Must be 21 to enter

Beth Lee & The Breakups at Iron Post

Based out of Austin, TX, Beth Lee grew up on the grit and soul of the Houston music scene, her dad a long time musician of the Bayou City.  Since 2008, Beth has been playing live and recording her original music with Austin musicians that have an ear for her songwriting ability.  Her influences span generations of blues, country, and rock ‘n’ roll greats that lead her to a unique soulful, country-tinged brand of roots rock ‘n’ roll.
–from KUTX’s Laurie Gallardo, who coined the sound as “country-fried rock ‘n’ soul”.

Beth Lee & The Breakups

Monday, April 23, 7pm., cover charged

Iron Post
120 South Race St.
Urbana, IL 61801
217-337-7678

2017 Festival Volunteer & Sponsor Appreciation Party

pizza m logo

Pizza M

Did you volunteer for the 2017 festival or support the festival with your contributions? Please join us for an appreciation party to celebrate everyone’s collective efforts in making the festival a great event.

In appreciation of your efforts to support the Festival, we invite you to join us for free pizza, salad, and a drink. As with last year’s event, we want to thank you for your ongoing support of the C-U Folk and Roots Festival. We’ll also use the opportunity to honor selected Gold Star Sponsors and Volunteers.

Thursday, March 1 at 6 PM – 8 PM
@Pizza-M, 208 W Main St, Urbana.

At this year’s event we want to focus solely on celebration and community. No sign up sheets or “Asks” involved–seriously. Come join us, let us thank you for your help with last year’s festival, and have a good time.

The 2018 Festival– number 10!–is already off to a good start with many new folks joining our effort and settling into productive, important roles.

C-U Folk and Roots Festival Winter Weekend

Picture of Filisko and Noden

Filisko and Noden. Photo Credit: Paul Natkin

The official C-U Folk & Roots Festival is not until October…But don’t worry! Friday and Saturday, February 23rd and 24th we’ll be having a six act mini-fest at The Iron Post.

Friday, February 23rd
Happy Hour
5pm – Backyard BBQ Band. Blues and…
Main Event
8pm – Sharp Dirt. The debut performance from a locally grown Urbana group. Skiffle, Bluesey.
9:30 – Joe Filisko and Eric Noden. Acoustic Blues duo from Chicago.

Saturday, February 24th
Happy Hour
6pm – Community Center for the Arts band and ensemble performances from members of Olde Music Baroque & Renaissance Ensemble, and the Bow-Dacious String Band
Main Event
9pm – Hobnob String Band Bluegrass, newgrass, groovegrass…
10:30 – Kilborn Alley Blues Band Chicago Blues from Urbana!

Admission
$5 each for the Happy Hour shows
$10 each for the Main Event shows
$20 for ALL shows, the whole weekend