Performances 2016

Cactus Blossoms

The Cactus Blossoms

Please see our schedule to find out when all these great things are happening!

  • Aaron A+ Wilson’s Soul and Gospel Show -   Long-time area drummer, singer, song writer, side man, arranger, show host, poet, and a whole lot more — Aaron A+ Wilson brings his Soul and Gospel Show to the C-U Folk and Roots Festival. Check out this great interview he … Continue reading
  • Amythyst Kiah - Amythyst Kiah is a Southern Gothic, alt-country blues singer/songwriter based out of Johnson City, TN. She draws heavily on old time music and is inspired by vocal stylings of R&B and Country music from the ’50s-’70s. She also draws heavily from contemporary … Continue reading
  • Andrew Heathwaite - Andrew Heathwaite specializes in interactive performances for children, playing guitar and singing songs with small percussion accompaniment. His repertoire includes the best songs he can find that speak toward a world of peace, forgiveness, respect and wisdom.  
  • Bashful Youngens - The Bashful Youngens are an Americana singer-songwriter duo out of Champaign, Illinois featuring the acoustic stylings of Carrie Chandler-Harrison (mandolin, guitar, vocals) and Aaron Short (harmonica, guitar, vocals).  Their style blends traditional folk, alternative country, and roots while incorporating their … Continue reading
  • Black Ridge Road - Black Ridge Road is a Champaign, Illinois-based bluegrass band, with Roger Bowen, on mandolin and harmony vocals, Roy Britton on guitar and lead and harmony vocals, Doug Buchanan on resonator guitar and harmony vocals, Jim Hand on upright bass and … Continue reading
  • Blues Showcase - Come see some of Central Illinois’ great local blues artists! This session will be hosted by Susan Williams, blues guitarist and singer extraordinaire.
  • Cactus Blossoms - The Cactus Blossoms weren’t born in the wrong era. They just got into some music from a different era and found a way to make it their own.  Their new album, You’re Dreaming, is the culmination of several years of songwriting and the … Continue reading
  • Cielito Lindo - Cielito Lindo performs in the styles of mariachi and Latin/American folk. A bilingual fourth generation family music group that performs a variety of Mexican and American folk music, the four young brothers and their father each sing and play multiple instruments including guitar, vihuela, … Continue reading
  • Coneflowers - The Coneflowers are a group of fierce women who love to make music on their day off. Members of the group include accomplished local bluegrass, folk, choral, and classical musicians who sing and play everything from Iris Dement to Bob Marley to … Continue reading
  • Dan Gellert - Dan Gellert is one of the finest old-time musicians working today. His performances bring to life the spirit and atmosphere of old-time music as heard on old 78 rpm records. Dan is a master the banjo, guitar, and fiddle, and song. While he is playing, one … Continue reading
  • Dewclaw - Dewclaw is a new musical project featuring Liz Faermark on vocals and washboard, and Cody Jensen on piano. They play blues, rags, and swings.  Expect jokes and improvised songs inspired by audience-suggested topics. (Bring your weird ones, folks!)
  • Ed Clem and the Backsliders - Check out this group’s performance at the 2015 festival!  
  • Faye Ballard - Faye Ballard has been interested in ragtime music since the age of 10 when Les Cripe, former piano player for the Harry James band, taught her how to play “Maple Leaf Rag.” She has been a 5-time finalist in the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing … Continue reading
  • Gaye Adegbolola - Gaye Adegobolola has toured nationally and internationally, and has won numerous awards including the prestigious Blues Music Award (formerly the W.C. Handy Award – the Grammy of the blues industry). Also of importance, in 2011 Gaye was named an OUTstanding Virginian … Continue reading
  • Ginny O’Brien - Ginny O’Brien has been singing with kids most of her life, as a camp counselor, songleader and teacher. You will find her these days playing her guitar and singing with children at storytime at the Champaign Public Library. Come join … Continue reading
  • Hobnob String Band - The Hobnob String Band is an acoustic musical group steeped in the traditions of American music from old time to bluegrass to blues, while traveling down the unpaved uncharted road of the ever evolving world of music in the 21st … Continue reading
  • Honey Dewdrops - In the summer of 2014, after a long stretch of living on the road, performing and writing across the U.S., Americana songwriters and Virginia natives Laura Wortman and Kagey Parrish, collectively known as the Honey Dewdrops, decided to settle down … Continue reading
  • Howlin’ Brothers - The Howlin’ Brothers are a Nashville-based string band. Anchored in a bed of old-time blues and bluegrass, their upbeat shows are heavy with original and traditional music, featuring the sounds of slide banjo, harmonica and old-time fiddle.
  • Hoyle Brothers - The Hoyle Brothers approach their music the way a preacher might prepare for a sermon: Reference the good Book, find a theme that resonates and deliver it with fire and passion. That’s what makes The Hoyle Brothers so special. Their … Continue reading
  • Hubby Jenkins - Hubby Jenkins is a talented multi-instrumentalist who endeavors to share his love and knowledge of old-time American music. Born and raised in Brooklyn he delved into his Southern roots, following the thread of African American history that wove itself through … Continue reading
  • Janice Del Negro - Janice M. Del Negro, PhD, is a storyteller, author, educator, and coach.  Her newest storytelling book, Folktales Aloud: Practical Tips for Playful Storytelling, was published by the American Library Association in 2014; her latest recording is Fortune’s Daughters: Ghost Tales and Folktales.  Del … Continue reading
  • JD Wilkes - JD Wilkes is an American musician, visual artist, author, filmmaker and self-proclaimed “southern surrealist.” He is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist (notably on harmonica and banjo), having recorded with such artists as Merle Haggard, John Carter Cash, Mike Patton, and Hank Williams … Continue reading
  • Jimmy Keane - Irish music’s accordion virtuoso Jimmy Keane was recently awarded “Male Musician of the Year” from the Irish American News and co-wrote the soundtrack for the PBS documentary “Irish Chicago.”In addition to his solo work, Jimmy currently performs with bohola, Dennis Cahill, Liz … Continue reading
  • John Lindell and Matt Stewart - John Lindell is a singer songwriter from Champaign, Illinois whose material ranges from folk songs about central Illinois to blues songs about his beloved New Orleans. His songs tell stories about such diverse subjects as loss of manufacturing jobs, the Great … Continue reading
  • Jordan Kaye - Jordan Kaye and his Prairie Dogs have been a fixture of the Champaign-Urbana music scene for 15+ years. Don’t miss this chance to see Jordan all on his lonesome. He surely knows at least a thousand songs and a hundred jokes, … Continue reading
  • Knights of Cabiria Open Rehearsal - Here’s your chance to see the indescribable Knights harness its members’ creative forces during one of their weekly rehearsals. Magic in action! Knights of Cabiria is a new 11-piece “super-group” from central Illinois. The band plays high powered music from all over … Continue reading
  • Local Storyteller Showcase 2016 - The Local Teller Showcase features some of our area’s favorite tellers: Linda Dust, Mary McCormack Deka, and Erica Eis.   Linda Dust says that the stories she enjoys the most are the ones that also include music and ballads. She finds that each … Continue reading
  • Martha Scanlan - With the Reeltime Travelers, Martha Scanlan was featured on the soundtrack for the film Cold Mountain, produced by Grammy Award winner T-Bone Burnett. Since then she has collaborated and shared the stage with a variety of roots musicians including Alison … Continue reading
  • Mike and Olivia - Mike and Olivia are a contemporary and traditional folk duo based in Champaign, IL. They perform Americana music with soulful singing and rich harmonies. Their repertoire includes original songs, traditional folk classics and unique renditions of music by great songwriters … Continue reading
  • Morris Dancers - Morris dance is a traditional dance from England that has been done for hundreds of years. There are several references to Morris dance in Shakespeare. Each village or region has its own set of dances. Come check out this unique form … Continue reading
  • New Orleans Jazz Machine - Together for over 20 years, the New Orleans Jazz Machine is a traditional jazz band that plays Dixieland and swing favorites. The lineup generally features the following musicians: Carl Johnson, clarinet/soprano sax; Brighten Godfrey, trumpet; Barry Wagner, trombone; Ernie Hoffman, piano; Josh Houchin, … Continue reading
  • Paul Hinson, Piper’s Welcome - Paul Hinson taught himself bagpipe basics shortly after college and has been playing in pipe bands since 1982, often for competitions. He has studied with internationally known master pipers and participated in numerous solo piping competitions. Since 1996, he has … Continue reading
  • Reverend Robert - Reverend Robert is a master of prewar blues. He has delved deep into the styles of Charley Patton, Robert Johnson and other delta blues giants. In the past two decades he has become accomplished at many other early twentieth century … Continue reading
  • Singer-Songwriter showcase, Hosted by Kevin Elliott - Kevin Elliott is an Urbana musician, DJ, counselor, business owner, bicyclist, & stay-at-home grandpa. He has been hosting his radio show, From the Joshua Tree Inn, on Tuesday evenings from 6 to 8 PM on WEFT, 90.1 FM, for 21 … Continue reading
  • Still Shine - Formed in the summer of 2014, Still Shine is a group of like-minded, seasoned musicians blending acoustic roots and progressive bluegrass. Mixing mandolin, harmonica, banjo, acoustic guitar, upright bass, and tight harmonies, they quickly gained a following around Central Illinois area … Continue reading
  • The Deep Hollow - The Deep Hollow are a trio from Springfield Illinois with a contemporary Folk/Nashville-Austin, Texas sound. They are recent winners of the American Songwriter Magazine 30th Anniversary Song Contest for the song, Devil.
  • Thunder Medicine - As part of Native American Heritage Month, the Native American House at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is sponsoring a very special performance at this year’s C-U Folk and Roots Festival. Regina Tsosie (Navajo) and Larry Lockwood (Northern Cheyenne) are the … Continue reading
  • Todd Hazelrigg - Todd Hazelrigg is a one man acoustic act blending genres ranging from folk to funk and everything in between. A slow, heartfelt folk melody can turn into an a capella beatbox/scat solo instantly. Todd is also the singer/guitarist for The … Continue reading
  • Tommy Halloran’s Guerilla Swing - Tommy Halloran’s Guerrilla Swing was voted “Best Jazz Band” in the River Front Times Music Awards in 2014 and 2015, and was named St. Louis’ “Best Band” by that paper’s editorial staff in 2014. As a solo artist and as frontman … Continue reading
  • Vinny Santanelli - Vinny Santanelli is originally from the East coast, but now makes his home in the Midwest where he receives a lot of his musical inspiration living in an old, 1896 farmhouse out in the country. Vinny’s style is folk ‘n blues. … Continue reading
  • Wildwood String Band - The Wildwood String Band is an acoustic group that loves a good harmony. Whether it’s bluegrass, old time, country, or the blues, they always try to make the song our own. Wildwood hails from Mahomet and Champaign and currently features Kaitlin Lonergan on vocals/mandolin, Megan … Continue reading