elizaBeth Simpson

elizaBeth SimpsonFrom New England to Berkeley and back, elizaBeth Simpson has a history of singing on the street. Her sets feature jazz-spiked, indie-folk originals and are sprinkled with a cappella treats ranging from irish street ballads to contemporary protest songs (she has made police cry at blockades). elizaBeth makes music to celebrate what it’s like to be alive, and invites you to join her.


Saturday, November 1st, 11:45am-12:45pm
Landmark Hotel Ballroom

Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards

Laura CorteseWelding the propulsive grace of fiddle styles to disarmingly open-hearted original pop songs, Laura Cortese has emerged among the most intriguing and versatile, musicians in the bountiful New England post-folk scene. At home in any number of traditional styles, her highly-visible work as a supporting musician (on fiddle, vocals, and bass) includes appearances with Jocie Adams (Low Anthem), Uncle Earl, Tao Seeger, Band of Horses, and – as part of Pete Seeger’s 90th birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden – Patterson Hood and Michael Franti. The past two years have found Cortese in creative overdrive, balancing sideman duties, solo tours, and recording sessions with an increased devotion to her own music: a kaleidoscopic hybrid that is enriched by roots music undertones and yet remains defiantly contemporary. In 2010 Cortese released an EP trilogy including her all female Acoustic Project. Tireless and always looking to the future, Laura Cortese is gearing up to put the finishing touches on a second Acoustic Project record, what she feels is her most vivid statement yet.

Friday, November 1st, 10:15pm-11:30pm
Heartland Gallery
Wristband or cover

Fingerpicking in Open D, with David Berchtold

David BerchtoldJoin David Berchtold for a workshop on basic to intermediate techniques for playing folk and blues in open D tuning. David will cover finger picking, basic chord shapes, and moveable chord shapes. He’ll cover one or two of songs based on participant consensus.  Alternating thumb, free-style, and Piedmont style picking will also be covered.



Saturday, November 2nd, 12:45pm-1:45pm

Ballads Workshop, with Dan Keding

Dan Keding singing

Ballads are the big songs of the folk music world – their history is big, their size is big and their impact on an audience and on the artist is big. Ballads are story songs. In this workshop we’ll listen to some major ballads done in various settings from acapella to a full rock band. We’ll explore their stories and talk about presentation, instrumentation and vocal style. Are they still relevant to a modern audience? Let’s talk.


Saturday, November 2nd, 10:00am-11:00am
Urbana Free Library, Lewis Auditorium

Sea Shanty Singalong, with Chris Maden

Chris MadenChris Maden has been singing and playing a variety of instruments since early childhood. A native New Englander, he was lured to the Barbary Coast of San Francisco seeking dot-com plunder, but was instead shanghaied into the seedy world of sea music by a bunch of pirates from Providence, and became a regular at the chantey sings at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. He moved to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in 2008 and began pursuing maritime and traditional music more seriously.  The winds have blown hard, and he now finds himself far from shore and living in Urbana, but there’s no doubt that he’ll bring some salty spray with him to the the Folk and Roots Festival!

Friday, November 1st, 7:00pm-8:00pm
Iron Post Patio

Stephen Wade and Friends

Stephen WadeMusician, recording artist, and writer Stephen Wade is best known for his long-running stage performances of Banjo Dancing and On the Way Home. He also produced and annotated the Rounder CD collection that gave rise to the book, A Treasury of Library of Congress Field Recordings. Since 1996 his  commentaries on folksongs and traditional tunes have appeared on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. Wade’ s most recent endeavor, The Beautiful Music All Around Us, published in 2012, weaves together loving and expert profiles of performers with the histories of their songs and tunes, and brings to life largely unheralded individuals-farm laborers, state prisoners, school children, cowboys, housewives and mothers, loggers and miners-whose music has become part of the wider American musical soundscape.

Stephen Wade’s appearances are co-sponsored by the University of Illinois Press.

Friday, November 1st, 9:45pm-11:00pm
Iron Post
Wristband or cover

Ben Bedford

Ben BedfordSpringfield artist Ben Bedford refers to his style as “American portrait songwriting,” drawing upon history for inspiration and presenting songs with a strong sense of time and place. With three albums to his credit, Bedford’s music has received extensive airplay on folk and roots radio in the U.S. and Europe. Fellow singer-songwriter Diana Jones has described his work as “beautiful and unusual songs that take the listener to the heart of the matter.”

Saturday, November 2nd, 3:30pm-4:30pm
Urbana Free Library, Busey-Mills Reading Room

Saturday, November 2nd, 7:15pm-8:30pm
Heartland Gallery
Wristband or cover

David Berchtold

David BerchtoldWhen done well, fingerpicking a guitar looks so easy anybody could do it. But the task of convincing several digits to make music while moving simultaneously in different, yet coordinated directions, when it appears effortless, takes a good deal of concentration and practice. David Berchtold, an acoustic guitarist for more than 40 years, makes the process seem like spreading butter on hot bread as he picks the six-string with melody and rhythm while singing. (Tom Irwin, Illinois Times)

Saturday, November 2nd, 6:15pm-7:30pm
Iron Post
Wristband or cover