Friday Night: Bagpipers Welcome, Singalongs, and Other Free Stuff!

Did you know that some of the festival events are free? There is no cost to experience the thrill of the Highland Bagpipe, for example, as the Mugdock Pipers offer a traditional welcome to all, 6:00 pm Friday night at Sipyard. (But let’s face it…bagpipe…you’ll probably just need to be in the general vicinity!)Paul Hinson on bagpipes

Stay on at the Sipyard for Chanty Sing with Chris Maden at 7:00, then Folk Singalong Favorites with Hilary Valentine and Rebecca Grosser at 8:30.

Sam Payne and Cody Jenson will be performing at a free Family Event at the Urbana Free Library. That’s from 6:30-7:15.

Check out the full schedule for more! All Friday night Sipyard events and all events before 5 pm on Saturday are FREE.

Guitar raffle winner 2015

The Upper Bout

The Upper Bout, an authorized Martin dealer

Congratulations to Mark Richardson, the 2015 winner of the guitar raffle! And many thanks to the Upper Bout for donating a beautiful Takamine guitar for our raffle fundraiser, their second year of supporting the festival in this way.

Mark, of Bloomington, Indiana, is a contra dance caller and longtime pal to the Urbana Country Dancers. The Upper Bout offers a human connection and a personalized guitar-buying-and-fitting experience.

Many thanks to everyone who participated in the raffle this year, and to Jose Agusti and Lisa Burgoon for organizing it!

Bucky Halker presents Rebel Voices: The Songs of Joe Hill and Woody Guthrie

Bucky HalkerFusing elements of folk, blues, honky-tonk country, straight ahead rock, and jazz, Bucky Halker has recorded a dozen albums since the 1980s, including his recent double-CD,The Ghost of Woody Guthrie (2012), an original music tribute to Guthrie, and Welcome to Labor Land (2007), Halker’s renditions of labor protest songs from Illinois. Bucky, a Ph.D. in labor history, is the author of For Democracy, Workers, and God: Labor Song-Poems and Labor Protest, 1865-1895 (University of Illinois Press) and the producer-scholar for the Folksongs of Illinois CD series.

Paul Kotheimer

Paul KotheimerPaul Kotheimer has been writing, recording, and releasing DIY acoustic music since the days of the cassette tape. He is quite possibly one of the finest songwriters you’ve never heard of, period. He got his start as an Urbana local music legend at the Red Herring Coffee House in the early 1990s, had a near-miss brush with major label attention later that decade, and has kept plugging away since then, in his home recording studio and at cozy little venues, putting out a total of twelve (yes, TWELVE – could be more, but we’ve lost count!) solo albums on his own label, which is actually literally called “The Hand-Made Record Label.” This fall, Paul celebrates 22 years of living and making music in Urbana, Illinois.

Festival kickoff at Krannert!

As is tradition, the festival will begin with a FREE Krannert Uncorked performance at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday (5 November) from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. in the Krannert lobby. That event will feature Cedric Watson & Les Amis Creole along with the Cornstalker Cajun Band.

Allos Musica

Allos Musica

*In addition*, we are very pleased to be collaborating with Krannert this year for an Afterglow performance (at around 9:30 on Thursday evening) featuring James Falzone’s Allos Musica Ensemble!

Allos Musica will also be performing as part of the Friday night contra dance in the Urbana Landmark Hotel Ballroom (along with the Mean Lids).

*And* on Saturday morning, Tim Mulvenna from the group will be offering a bodhran/frame drum workshop while Ronnie Malley from the group will be offering an oud workshop.

Whoa! That’s a lot to keep track of… Check out the full schedule here: (Click on the cat!)

Fiddle from Scratch with Robin Kearton

Have you always harbored a secret desire to play the fiddle? Now’s your chance! C4A Director, master teacher, and fiddler extraordinaire Robin Kearton guarantees that by the end of this session you’ll be able to at least play an open string figure with her that harmonizes on a nice little Irish polka. Some fiddles will be available if you don’t have one in your closet.

Swing It! With the New Orleans Jazz Machine

New Orleans Jazz MachineThe New Orleans Jazz machine is a Traditional/Dixieland jazz band that began over 20 years go. At the 2015 festival the band will feature the following musicians: Carl Johnson, clarinet/soprano sax; Brighten Godfrey, trumpet; Barry Wagner, trombone; Ernie Hoffman, piano; Josh Houchin, bass; Gary Peyton, drums. Occasionally other outstanding instrumentalists and vocalists are featured.

The NOJM plays many Dixieland and swing favorites. The band has played in the Champaign-Urbana area at locations such as the Blind Pig, High Dive, Cowboy Monkey, the Embassy, University of Illinois events, church services, wedding receptions, picnics, parties, and at many other private and community events.