2019 Performers

Asher Danziger (Bohemian folk) was raised in Urbana, and then shot out into the world by a canon. Asher has been piecing together instruments, lyrics and homes. He’s arriving back in town via New Orleans. Armed with a guitar, a drum, a tambourine, a harmonica, and a mighty (never seen in Urbana before) whistle. Saturday, 6:00-7:00pm, Cohen Building

Ayodele Drum & Dance (West African Drum & Dance) Ayodele Drum and Dance exists to foster community from a feminine perspective through the study and performance of diasporic African drum and dance. Friday, 9:30-9:45pm, Blackbird

Bashful Youngens (Folk) are an Americana band out of Champaign, Illinois featuring Carrie Chandler and Aaron Short. Thursday, 10:00-11:30pm, Blackbird

The Black-Eyed Lillies (Blues) Sprouted straight from a Midwestern corn field, Black Eyed Lillies bring together a classic mix of Americana, blues and folk. Saturday, 11:00-12:00pm, UFL Busey-Mills Reading Room

The Black-Eyed Susans (Folk) is the culmination of three distinct songwriters from Murray, KY: Melanie Davis, Kayla Little, and Stephanie Ray. Friday, 6:30-7:30pm, Cohen Building

Bluegrastonauts is the world’s first outer-space bluegrass odyssey. Mixing elements of tall tales, theater, science fiction and bluegrass, the Bluegrastonauts show isn’t quite like anything you’ve ever seen. Dressed as space travelers from the year 2437, the band takes audiences through a musical “history of the future”, including a first-hand account of the Apocalypse of 2137, the subsequent colonization of the moon, and the dangers of playing hopscotch in deep space. Saturday, 8:30-9:45pm, Blackbird

The Bottlesnakes (blues/barrelhouse) specialize in 20s and 30s piano/guitar blues from St. Louis and beyond. Performing originals, low-down blues, raucous stomps and ragged hokum. Friday, 11:00pm-12:30am, Iron Post

Cajun Cornstalkers (Cajun) Sure to be a foot stompin’ good time, the Cornstalker Cajun Band aims to make you dance. The Cornstalkers are Matt Turino on fiddle, Tom Turino on accordion, Shannon Arnold on guitar, and JB Faires on bass. Some members of the band have been playing Cajun and zydeco music from southwest Louisiana together for some twenty years. Friday, 10:00-11:30pm, Rose Bowl

Candy Foster (R&B/soul) has been performing classic rhythm and blues throughout the Midwest for 40 years. Born in Danville, and based in Champaign‐Urbana since the 1960s, Candy is well‐known as one of the hardest working blues singers in the area. Friday, 10:30pm-12:00am, Blackbird

Carolyn Sills Combo (Swing/Jazz) The Carolyn Sills Combo’s flavor of gourmet country peels back the layers of western roots to tuck in genuine storytelling, solid musicianship, tight arrangements and good times. Thursday, 9:00-10:00pm, Blackbird

Cobalt Blues Band (Blues) are three guys who jam blues together and decided to take the audience suggestion to form a traditional blues group. Authentic, fun and dance-able. Saturday, 7:00-8:00pm, Blackbird

The Cody Sisters (New American roots, Bluegrass) remind you of a simpler slower time, With soft sister harmonies, they bring Old Time, Swing, Gypsy Jazz, Jazz, Folk, and Modern Bluegrass together in a completely unique sound. Friday, 9:00-10:15pm, Iron Post

The Coneflowers are a group of women from CU, Bloomington-Normal and beyond who love to make music together. Members include accomplished local bluegrass, folk, choral, and classical musicians. Saturday, 12:30-1:30pm, Urbana Free Library Busey-Mills Reading Room.

Dill Spears plays contemporary folk. Friday, 8:00-9:00pm, Cohen Building

Dom Flemons (Folk, Americana, Blues) is a GRAMMY Award Winner, Two-Time EMMY Nominee, and 2019 WAMMIE Award Winner. Known as “The American Songster,” his repertoire covers over 100 years of American folklore, ballads, and tunes. Friday, 8:00-9:15pm, Rose Bowl; Saturday, 6:00-7:15pm, Rose Bowl

Emily Anne Band (Country, Folk) is fronted by Emily McKown, the co-host of the weekly Hootenanny at the Rose Bowl. She sings with the voice of an angel but the grit of a country girl. Her wide variety of folk originals and country covers will rouse even the most ardent of critics for a boot-stompin’ drinkin’ song or a heart-breakin’ country waltz. Friday, 5:00-6:15pm, Iron Post

The Gaslight Squares are a traditional jazz/swing/ragtime band based in St. Louis, MO. Thursday, 6:00-7:00pm, Krannert; Friday, 6:00-7:15pm, Rose Bowl

Hobnob String Band (Americana) Hobnob String Band plays an eclectic mix of bluegrass, newgrass, blues, acoustic groovy stuff, mento, calypso, and more, instrumental and vocals, uptempo and down tempo. Thursday, 7:30-9:00pm, Red Herring

Hot Club of Urbana (Jazz) are a collection of local musicians that pay tribute to the musical legacy of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. Thursday, 5:00-5:45, Krannert

Humbird (Experimental folk) stretches between experimental folk and environmental Americana to embrace the unexpected. Friday, 6:00-7:15pm, Blackbird

Jean Rene Balekita (Congolese Rumba/Gospel) Jean-René specializes in music traditions from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He has toured extensively in Europe and the US with the band Bomoyi, performing his original compositions based on a blend of Congolese Rumba and Gospel styles. Saturday, 9:00-10:00pm, Cohen Building

Kevin Elliott is a fingerstyle guitar playing singer-songwriter whose songs tend to be populated with a variety of (sometimes) endearing, left-of-center characters who tell their quirky stories in moving and amusing ways. Friday, 7:00-8:00pm, C4A

Knights of Cabiria is an 11-piece “super-group” from central Illinois. The band plays high powered music from all over the world: Bechet, sambas, cumbias, boleros, son montunos, waltzes, polkas, rocked out central European dance numbers, and Fellini film scores by the great Nino Rota. Saturday, 1:30-3:30pm, C4A upstairs

Kyshona Armstrong is a music therapist gone rogue. She has a natural gift for using music to tap into emotion and audiences will often find a common thread of overcoming, hope, and empowerment in her songwriting and storytelling. Check out her TEDx Nashville video. Friday, 8:30-9:45pm, C4A

Lilli Lewis (Revivalist soul, Folk) is a genre/identity bending artist with a singular voice. She has two releases on Louisiana Red Hot Records, her 2016 single “O, Let Your Light Shine Bright” and the 2018 critically acclaimed solo piano album “The Henderson Sessions.” Saturday, 10:30pm-12:00am, Blackbird

Maria Carrelli (Country, Folk) hails from Ludlow, Kentucky. She draws strongly from Appalachian bluegrass and traditional country music, transitioning between upbeat tempos and melody-driven ballads. Saturday, 10:00-11:30pm, Iron Post

The Matchsellers (Bluegrass, Old-time) are Warsaw, Indiana native Andrew Morris and Julie Bates of Kansas City, Missouri. Their exciting, gritty, and often hilarious stage show has been developed over 6 years of touring across the US and Europe. They have collected influences from various regional styles of American folk music including Bluegrass, Old-Time Fiddle, Hambone, Fiddlesticks, Cajun, Gospel and others. Saturday, 3:30-4:30pm, UFL, Busey-Mills Reading Room

Matt, Bob, and Doug (Acoustic Blues) Veteran players Matt Stewart (guitar), Bob Watson (guitar), and Doug Schroer (harmonica) reunite at CU Folk & Roots to make musical mischief playing acoustic folk/blues/rock. Saturday, 930-10:30pm, C4A

Melvin Knight and the Amber Sky (Neo Soul R&B) Friday, 7:45-9:00pm, Blackbird

Michael Meadows (Contemporary folk) Philosophical fish, confused cows and lovesick cicadas are some of the creatures that populate Michael Meadows’s hysterical, disturbing, and often thought-provoking songs. He offers skewed satirical commentary on evolution, income inequality, climate change and other plagues of civilization. 2:00-3:00pm, UFL, Busey-Mills Reading Room

Miss Hannah Rae (Kids, Family) Entertaining the whole family through singing, movement, playing instruments, and puppets! Saturday, 12:45-1:30pm, C4A

Mr. Stephens (Kids, Family) has been entertaining the twelve-and-under set around C-U for years with his blend of serious and silly, fun and folksy guitar and vocals. This year he brings his “Magic and Music” set to the festival, with a live magician! Saturday, 12:00-12:30pm, C4A

Nick Dittmeier and the Sawdusters (Country) are a four piece Country, blue collar Americana band from Indiana. Saturday, 8:00-9:15pm, Rose Bowl

Orpheus Mandolin Orchestra The Orpheus Mandolin Orchestra, a classical mandolin ensemble, performs a variety of musical styles, including music from the early 1900s. Saturday, 8:00-9:00pm, C4A

Songwriters in the Round: Christy Hays, Fate McAfee, and Cole Bridges Friday, 5:00-6:30pm, C4A

Songwriters in the Round: Paul Kotheimer, Gloria Roubal, and Kenna Mae Reiss Saturday, 6:00-7:30pm, C4A

The Steel City Jug Slammers (Jug band, Blues) are an old-fashioned jug band who delight audiences with original music from an era mostly forgotten. Saturday, 11:00pm-12:30am, Iron Post

Storytelling: Dean Dempsey (12:15-12:45), Elaine Bearden (12:45-1:15), Linda Dust (1:15-1:45), and featured storyteller, Kath Brinkmann (1:45-2:45), Saturday, 12:15-2:45pm, UFL Lewis Auditorium

Tex Wynn (Country/Folk) Saturday, 7:30-8:30pm, Cohen Building

Veretski Pass (klezmer) is one of the most highly regarded bands playing in today’s klezmer scene, offering a unique and exciting combination of virtuosic musicianship and raw energy that has excited concertgoers across the world. The trio plays Old Country Music that is a true collage of Carpathian, Jewish, Rumanian, and Ottoman styles seamlessly integrated with original compositions. The full itinerary for their residency in C-U through October 28 can be found at https://tinyurl.com/veretskipass. Friday, 7:00-8:15pm, Iron Post

Whiskey Bent Valley Boys (Old-time) will take you through the hills of ol’ Kentucky, bearing the stores, traditions and liquor that date back a century. This old-time band delivers with an intensity that would knock the sock’s right off of their forefathers feet. Saturday, 7:00-8:15pm, Iron Post

The Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers (Country, Folk) perform original songs that are a refreshing brand-new take on old-time country. Their music recalls classic hillbilly music, while bringing a distinctly modern and lively touch to the Americana genre. Saturday, 9:00-10:15pm, Iron Post

The Young and the Fretless (Old-time) plays old-time mountain music on the prairie–a mix of Appalachian Mountain and Midwestern tunes and songs. Friday, 5:00-6:00pm, Cohen Building