Performers 2017

Lowest Pair
Lowest Pair

Caleb Cook Band (Country) – Dedicated to providing a good time though the preservation of Classic Country, Roots, and Old Time music while composing music in the same timeless style.
Saturday, 11:15pm-12:15am, Rose Bowl

Chicago Farmer (Singer-Songwriter, Americana) – Delving into the social and political issues of today’s world, taking it all in and putting it back out through music as a commentary on modern times in the Midwest.
Friday, 8:15-9:15pm, Rose Bowl

The Chickadee Sermon (Folk) – Featuring original & traditional acoustic folk music, various folk renditions of songs by Jerry Garcia, and folk excerpts from Coen Brothers movies like “Oh Brother Where Art Thou.”
Friday, 6:30-7:30pm, Iron Post

Classy Combinations Belly Dance – Bringing a centuries-old middle eastern dance tradition together with a modern flair.
Saturday, 1:00-2:00pm, Independent Media Center (IMC)

DãVizion (Modern Gospel) – Champaign-based six-piece contemporary gospel group fronted by three sisters on vocals.
Saturday, 9:15-10:15pm, Iron Post

Dennis Stroughmatt Honky Tonk Circus (Country) – Dennis Stroughmatt’s ode to Western Swing and old traditional Country. Expect a great tribute to favorites like Ray Price and the Cherokee Cowboys, Bob Wills, Tony Booth, Wade Ray, Buddy Spicher and Tommy Jackson.
Friday, 11:15pm-12:15am, Rose Bowl

Dennis Stroughmatt et L’Esprit Creole (French Creole) – A medley of music, language, stories, and culture secreted away in the Missouri Ozarks now has a voice in the tapestry of this world. With a vibrant blend of Celtic, Canadian and Old Time sounds, this music bridges the gap between contemporary Canadian and Louisiana Cajun styles.
Friday, 5:00-6:00pm, Iron Post

Dewclaw (Blues, Swing, Improv) – Blues, rags, and swing with vocals, washboard and piano. Expect improvisation and laughs along the way.
Friday, 11:15pm-12:15am, Iron Post

Doktu Rhute Muuzic (Blues) – Formerly known as Roy Hytower, Doktu Rhute Muuzic came to Chicago from Mobile, Alabama, to play guitar with Otis Rush. He has been playing blues and R&B for over 50 years, producing such hits as “I’m in Your Corner” and “Root Doctor.”
Friday, 8:00-9:30pm, Iron Post

Dusty James & Abalone Pearl (Folk) – This acoustic duo honed their skills in the iconic folk venues of the famed Gaslight Square and perform a deep repertoire of folk, roots, singer-songwriter, classic country, blues and Americana.
Saturday, 3:30-4:45pm, Urbana Free Library Upstairs

Emma Dilemma (Singer-Songwriter, Folk) – Her songs reach dark corners, but are uplifting and heart-melting all the same with influences of country, blues, folk-punk, and indie-folk.
Friday, 7:45-8:45pm, Community Center for the Arts (C4A)

Far Too Close (Irish) – Concocted on Chicago’s south side, Far Too Close is an acoustic elixir stirring traditional Irish session tunes with American old-time and bluegrass.
Saturday, 10:30-11:30pm, Pizza M Back Room

Fox Crossing String Band (Bluegrass) – Have you been missing that truly high lonesome sound? The ladies of Fox Crossing Stringband bring all those high harmonies plus driving rhythm of dobro, fiddle, mandolin, banjo, guitar and bass. Six instruments across four vocalists will leave you chasing these foxes for their new bluegrass sound.
Saturday (Jam hosts), 12:30-2:30pm, Iron Post
Saturday (Performance), 8:15-9:15pm, Community Center for the Arts (C4A)

Henhouse Prowlers (Bluegrass) – From lightning fast picking to sentimental ballads, playing music inspired by the roots of bluegrass while branching out into a sound uniquely their own.
Friday, 10:30-11:30pm, Independent Media Center (IMC)

Hooten Hallers (Blues, Americana) – Known for hard-traveling and wild, energetic live shows, this threesome’s not-quite-Americana and not-quite-punk sound is drawn from the looming foothills of the Ozark Mountains.
Saturday, 9:45-10:45pm, Rose Bowl

Jean-Rene Balekita (Congolese) – Jean-Rene brings music traditions from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and performs his original compositions based on a blend of Congolese rumba and gospel styles.
Saturday, 12:45-1:45pm, Urbana Free Library Upstairs

Joel Paterson and Oscar Wilson (Delta Blues) – Chicago guitar ace Joel Paterson and Chicago Blues legend Oscar Wilson take you on a musical journey and give you a history of all things blues and blues guitar.
Friday, 9:15-10:30pm, Community Center for the Arts (C4A)

John Coppess and Marten Stromberg (Old-Time Country Songs) – Two guys, two guitars, local favorites.
Saturday, 2:00-3:00pm, Urbana Free Library Upstairs

Joybird (Americana, Old-Time) – Joybird is the musical project of Chicago multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and composer Jess Mcintosh.
Saturday, 6:45-7:45pm, Community Center for the Arts (C4A)

Judy Lachman (Storyteller) – Local storyteller Judy Lachman makes her C-U Folk and Roots Festival debut. Judy has always told stories and has been telling professionally for 15 years.
Saturday, 12:30-1:30pm, Urbana Free Library Downstairs (Lewis Auditorium)

Linda Dust (Storyteller) – Linda says that the stories she enjoys the most are the ones that also include music and ballads. She finds that each new story brings new understanding of the traditions of the cultures that have produced these marvelous tales.
Saturday, 12:30-1:30pm, Urbana Free Library Downstairs (Lewis Auditorium)

Little Folkers Puppet Party with Miss Hanna Rae Mathey (Family) – Entertaining the whole family through singing, movement, playing instruments, and puppets!
Saturday, 12:45-1:30pm, Community Center for the Arts (C4A)

Little Miss Ann (Family, Singer-Songwriter) – Music that brings happiness to kids as well as sending positive messages to young souls. Grown-ups may find themselves drawn in more than they expect, as well!
Saturday, 11:45am-12:30pm, Community Center for the Arts (C4A)
Saturday, 1:45-2:30pm, Community Center for the Arts (C4A)

Loot Rock Gang (Blues) – Named after Jesse James’ cavern hideout in Missouri’s Meramec Caverns, this quartet plays post-war jump-blues and sings about post-war concerns alongside more evergreen topics like love, money and the intersection of the two.
Saturday, 8:15-9:15pm, Rose Bowl

Lowest Pair (Americana, Old-Time) – Duel banjo picking of Kendl Winter and Palmer T. Lee, draped in Kendl’s high lonesome harmonies and Palmer’s Midwest croon.
Saturday, 9:45-10:45pm, Community Center for the Arts (C4A)

Mareva Lindo (Ballads, Blues, Rags) – Chicago native Mareva Lindo is a troubadour and a lifelong collector of folk music, known for her fingerstyle blues and unusual voice.
Friday, 6:15-7:15pm, Community Center for the Arts (C4A)
Saturday, 11:30am-12:15pm, Urbana Free Library Upstairs

Meadowhawk (Old-Time) – Meadowhawk (Amanda Ramey on fiddle, Claire Johnson on fiddle, Matt Turino on guitar) composes original music and likes to play traditional tunes in untraditional ways. Drawing from a wide range of styles, their twin fiddle harmonies and driving rhythm guitar are sure to bring something new to your ears.
Friday, 6:30-7:30pm, Pizza M Back Room

Mean Mary (Americana, Old-Time) – Known internationally for lightning-fast fingers, haunting vocals, & intricate story songs, Mary travels the genres of folk-rock, bluegrass, and blues.
Saturday, 7:15-8:15pm, Pizza M Back Room

Megan Wells (Storyteller) -This year’s featured storyteller is Megan Wells, an award-winning “story artist and a theater artist” who tells traditional tales, multi-cultural myths, historical events, as well as personal and true stories. Want to learn something about the craft? She’ll be doing a workshop too!
Saturday (performance), 1:30-2:30pm, Urbana Free Library Downstairs (Lewis Auditorium)
Saturday (workshop), 4:00-5:00pm, Urbana Free Library Downstairs (Lewis Auditorium)

Miss Tess and the Talkbacks (Rockabilly, Americana) –  Infused with classic country and honky-tonk, southern rhythm & blues, New Orleans jazz and swing, and sounds of swamp pop and early rock n’ roll, Miss Tess is an embodiment of everything that it still home-grown in America.
Thursday, 5:00-7:00pm, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts Lobby, with Relevator
Friday, 9:45-10:45pm, Rose Bowl

Morgan Orion and the Afterburners (Singer-Songwriter) – Urbana native, Morgan Orion and The Afterburners perform Antifolk, Americana, and Rock and Roll as heard in Morgan’s current home of New Orleans and as far afield as the UK, Europe and Canada. The band will also be performing a song composed with help from you earlier in the day at Morgan’s Songwriting Workshop!
Saturday (performance), 6:00-7:00pm, Independent Media Center (IMC)
Saturday (workshop), 11:00am-12:00pm, Urbana Free Library Satterthwaite Conference Room

No Worries Ukulele Band (Folk) – From Bloomington, IL, this community band performs a range of music from current popular hits, songs from the ’50’s & 60’s, and ukulele classics from the ’30’s with vocal harmonies, just a touch of choreography and a “trick” strum or too.
Saturday, 10:30-11:15am, Urbana Free Library Upstairs

Paul Hinson (Bagpipes) – Master Piper of the British Isles tradition, Paul will perform our now traditional “festival piper’s welcome” outside the Community Center for the Arts on Friday at 6:00pm and at the Independent Media Center at 7:00pm.

Rebekah Songer (Folk) – Simple, yet robust, folk trio from Urbana.
Friday, 9:30-10:30pm, Pizza M Back Room

Relevator (Singer-Songwriter, Americana) – Kenna Reiss made a name for herself as a solo performer in CU and New Orleans. Now back in CU, she has a band behind her, making her powerful songs even more dynamic.
Thursday, 5:00-7:00pm, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts Lobby, with Miss Tess and the Talkbacks

Rhumba Bums (Blues) – Blues, reggae, early New Orleans jazz, swing, and more from this trio from Charleston, Illinois, with Reverend Robert on guitar, J.B. Faires on bass and Jay Ferguson on drums.
Saturday, 7:45-8:45pm, Iron Post

Sam Payne and Dustin Norder (Bluegrass) – Start off the festival in the Busey Bank lobby on Friday afternoon at 4:00 with our favorite Urbana Hootenanny hosts on guitar and mandolin.
Friday, 4:00-5:00pm, Busey Bank Lobby
Friday, 8:00-9:00pm, Pizza M Back Room
Saturday (Hootenanny hosts), Midnight-1:00am, Iron Post

Sarah and the Underground (Soul-Folk) – This trio from Peoria, IL is best described as a big sip of warm, dark whiskey for the ears.
Saturday, 7:30-8:30pm, Independent Media Center (IMC)

Songwriters in the Round – Five troubadours conversationally sharing original songs and stories in an intimate setting. Featuring John Stanislawski, elizaBeth Simpson, Paul Kotheimer, Eli Amariah, and Isaac Arms.
Saturday, 8:45-10:00pm, Pizza M Back Room

Southwest Watson Sweethearts (Country, Folk) – With a fondness for things forgotten in time, this St. Louis based duo’s strength lies in their timeless vocal harmonies, well-paired vocal timbres, and memorable melodies.
Saturday, 6:30-7:30pm, Rose Bowl

Steve Poltz (Singer-Songwriter) – Known world-wide for captivating audiences with his singing and storytelling, Steve’s wide variety of ballads, rockers, and melodic acoustic numbers reflect his incomparable style of alternate tunings, savage finger picking, and exceptional wordsmithing.
Friday, 7:00-8:00pm, Rose Bowl
Friday, 10:00-11:00pm, Iron Post

Swing Chevron (Gypsy Jazz) – Mixing their own compositions seamlessly with classic American and Gypsy styles, lyrical melodies, driving rhythms, and improvisational flights of the imagination, this group brings a vintage hot swing sound to the festival.
Saturday (Performance), 6:00-7:15pm, Iron Post
Saturday (Swing Dance), 9:45-11:15pm, Independent Media Center (IMC)

Tom Faux and Pals – (Weird-Inflected Old-Time) Featuring local luminaries Tom Faux (old-time and telecaster banjo), Mike Jones (bluegrass banjo), Robin Kearton (fiddles), Allen Wu (theremin), Doug Schroer (harmonicas), Stu Ruch (Fender electric bass), Linda Owens (percussion).
Saturday, 6:00-6:45pm, Pizza M Back Room

The Turinos (Old-Time) – Matt Turino grew up playing old-time and Cajun fiddle tunes with his father Tom, a clawhammer banjo player and button accordionist. Matt and Tom enjoy composing new tunes that they consider an extension of old-time music, but listeners often comment on the Cajun-influenced rhythms, and the chord progressions often do not fit the old-timey mold.
Friday, 5:00-6:00pm, Pizza M Back Room

Wandering Boys (Bluegrass) – With rapid picking, clever arrangements and crisp four-part harmony, these boys light a fire in casual listeners and die hard bluegrass aficionados alike.
Saturday, 10:45-11:45pm, Iron Post