RiverSong Music Festival offers the best in regional grassroots music
Fifteen bands, two stages, a fiddle workshop, musicians’ jam tent, children’s activities, food and beverages, specialty vendors, free parking, and more will come together for RiverSong Music Festival, Friday and Saturday, July 19-20, at Masonic West River Park in Hutchinson, Minn.
Celebrating its fifth year, the two-day all-volunteer-run outdoor festival features the best in regional Americana music with a focus on original songwriting in the genres of blues, folk, indie rock, bluegrass, country, jazz and more.
Headlining Friday night’s schedule will be Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons from 9-11 p.m. on the Front Porch Stage.
Will Kyle, KDHX Radio, had this to say about the performer: “‘Old Believer,’ Chisel’s most recent full-length album … showcases Chisel at the height of his rootsy power, commanding a sound steeped in the history of American music, yes, masters like Redding and Dylan, but also Chisel’s own spiritual, rural Wisconsin upbringing. In this respect, Chisel certainly is an ‘Old Believer,’ deconstructing decades of American folk rock – the songs and artists he grew up with – and re-amalgamating it in deeply affecting ways.”
Saturday night features the hard-driving Americana blues music of Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band from 9:30-11 p.m. on the Front Porch Stage.
“With his wife Breezy serving as a one-woman amen corner, and distant cousin Aaron Persinger laying down the floppy-boot-stomp drums behind Peyton’s spiky, waspish National steel slide guitar on tracks like ‘Something for Nothing,’ the result is a peculiarly infectious blues crusade, touching on themes of money, morality and social responsibility,” reported The Independent (UK).
The Grammy Award-winning duo, the Okee Dokee Brothers, will play two sessions at 1-1:45 p.m. and 3:30-4:45 p.m. Saturday in the Children’s Tent. Also performing for the kids will be Magic Mama.
This year’s Living Legend performer is Peter Yarrow of the iconic 1960s folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary. Yarrow will play from 5-6:15 p.m. Saturday on the River View Stage.
Also scheduled to perform Friday is Molly Maher and Her Disbelievers, Matt Ray & Those Damn Horses, and Javier & The Innocent Sons.
Saturday’s line up includes: Jack Klatt and the Cat Swingers, the Sophia Shorai Trio, Peter Mayle, Bethany & Bee’s Knees, Caroline Smith, Hymn for Her, and the April Verch Band.
In what is best described as a rare opportunity, Verch, who performed at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and was named the 1997 Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Champion and the 1998 Canadian Open Fiddle Champion, will teach a fiddle workshop at 4 p.m. Saturday. Musicians are welcome to bring their instruments and join in the fun of making music.
Musicians are invited to play in the new Jam Tent, too. Chicago songwriter Pete Norman, a blues and folk artist who performed at the first RiverSong Music Festival in 2009 will lead the music.
Food, beer and wine and specialty vendors will be available on-site. Parking is free and a limited number of camping sites also are available.
For more information, visit the festival’s website at www.riversongfestival.org.
RiverSong Music Festival is made possible in part by grants provided from the Southwest Minnesota Arts & Humanities Council through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature from the State’s arts and cultural heritage fund, as well generous support from foundations, sponsors and individual donors.
About RiverSong Music Festival
When: 6-11 p.m. Friday, July 19, and noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, July 20
Where: Masonic West River Park in Hutchinson
Gates open: 5 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday
New this year: Jam Tent for musicians and free fiddle workshop by two-time Canadian grand champion fiddler April Verch at 4 p.m. Saturday, July 20
Admission: Friday: $10 in advance, $15 at the gate; Saturday, $16 in advance, $20 at the gate. Tickets are available online at www.riversongfestival.org, or at Clay Coyote Gallery, Hutchinson Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism, Hutchinson Center for the Arts, and Cash Wise
Plus: Food, beer, wine, and specialty vendors on-site