Festival Lineup | Performer Bios | Past Festival Performers

Performer Bios

The lineup for the 2016 Spring Festival is listed below. The lineup can also be viewed as a Schedule Grid if you prefer. Lastly, the lineups for previous festivals can be found in the Performer Archive.

Spring 2016

ThursdayMay 26

5:00 PMMerryGold

We’re pleased that MerryGold will be opening the Festival on Thursday afternoon. This group of Placerville based wild-west pioneers are taking listeners back to a simpler time with their whiskey-soaked folk/bluegrass sound. MerryGold is making music that embodies a raw sense of local history and melodies that are richly laced with California gold. It’s easy to see why this band of six won the Race to TRI Studios contest last year! Watch them perform their original murder ballad “Sweet Lily” recorded live at Bob Weir’s TRI Studios.

6:30 PMTim Chaisson

Tim Chaisson just might be the hardest working artist at the Spring Festival, performing both solo and with The East Pointers on Main Stage, as well as being featured at the Singer Songwriter Showcase, etc. And with a broad spectrum of talents, he shines in any setting. An accomplished song crafter in his own right, Chaisson’s youthful drive and enthusiasm for the past, present, and future of music make him and entertainer for all times. Enjoy his original release and official video “Beat This Heat featuring Serena Ryder”.

7:45 PMSarah Potenza

When the Fall 2013 Festival was cancelled, Sarah Potenza was driving cross country headed for the Strawberry stage. With more than enough talent to match her incredible heart, we are so happy to finally welcome Sarah Potenza back! Since we last saw her in 2012 with the Tall Boys, Sarah has wooed audiences nationwide with her monster vocals; making it to the top twenty on NBC’s popular TV show, “The Voice” in 2015. If you missed her last powerhouse performances on Main Stage and at Amy’s, then see what all the buzz is about and watch “The Mess You Made Of Me”.

9:00 PMThe James Hunter Six

We’re in for a treat, on Thursday night with The James Hunter Six. It’s been over 10 years since Englishman James Hunter burst onto the soul scene, and he’s been busy touring, recording, and gaining praise ever since. Heralded for his lively performances, Hunter’s real specialty is crafting original Rhythm and Blues that feel familiar. With the debut of his latest album Hold On!, James Hunter has realized an artistic vision that is timeless. Be prepared to travel back and forward to present time on a R&B, doo-wap, rock n’ roll odyssey when you watch The James Hunter Six perform (Baby) Hold On! on Balcony TV in London.

FridayMay 27

11:00 AMHead for the Hills

Find your place on the Music Meadow and enjoy festival newcomers Head For The Hills. While defying traditional labels, Colorado’s Head For The Hills have been gaining notoriety for being cutting edge, forward thinking, and genre fusing maestros of multifarious music. Attempts to define them have resulted in tags such as indie bluegrass, modern acoustic noir, and progressive string music. We’d like to know what depiction you think best fits. Watch the official video “Never Does” as a great example of their cache of original material that widely varies in style.

12:30 PMThe East Pointers

The East Pointers are infusing youth and originality into old world, traditional Celtic music with their beautiful instrumentation and wistful vocals. All accomplished musicians in their own right, singer-songwriter Tim Chaisson and his cousin Koady Chaisson hail from a long line of folk musicians on Prince Edward Island, and Jake Charron is from Ontario, Canada. Together the trio is a charismatic representation of home and history delivered with high energy stamina. Kick up your heels or raise your glass to the sound of the East Pointers performing their original song “Woodfordia”.

1:45 PMPaul Cebar and the Milwaukeeans

Paul Cebar and the Milwaukeeans are back by popular demand! Cebar discovered long ago that people who dance are happier and to that end he is fusing genre, culture, and obscure musical tastes to produce something totally original. Stripping down to this 5 piece incarnation has made space for a rhythmic transformation of saxaphonic proportions. As usual, Paul Cebar proves that you got to get down, to get up! Shake it out with Strawberrians near and far when you watch this live performance of “Please Don’t Tell Me More” at Rhythm & Roots.

5:45 PMMary Gauthier

We are so pleased that Mary Gauthier is returning from the Fall 2013 Rim Fire lineup and since that time we have some catching up to do. With the release of “Trouble & Love” in 2014, singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier has continued to dig deep into her musical well of experience that spans a lifetime of love, loss, and transformation. The songs she has harvested from her journey of extremes are deeply and dangerously expressive, while laced with tenderness and hope. Watch her video and listen to what it sounds like “When a Woman Goes Cold”.

7:15 PMPokey LaFarge

We’re very pleased to welcome Pokey LaFarge to the Strawberry stage on Friday night. Led by St. Louis based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Pokey LaFarge creates distinctively personal music that’s timeless rather than retro. Incorporating influences of early jazz, ragtime, country blues, Western swing, and beyond, LaFarge effortlessly transcends the confines of genre. Backed by his band of talented and merry thieves, these guys are sure to be a big hit! Get a taste of their classic charisma with “La La Blues”, and we’ll bet you won’t want to stop at just one, so please also enjoy “Something in the Water”.

8:45 PMDavid Grisman Sextet

Playing his own style of bluegrass-jazz fusion, affectionately dubbed as “Dawg” music, mandolin maestro David Grisman has created a unique niche for himself in the world of contemporary music. In doing so, he has inspired a whole new genre of acoustic string instrumentation. Joined here by an all-star cast, the David Grisman Sextet includes George Cole on guitar, George Marsh on percussion, Matt Eakle on flute, Jim Kerwin on bass, and Chad Manning on fiddle. From the sound of this video featuring the David Grisman Sextet and friends playing “Minor Swing” at FreshGrass, we are in for a real treat!

SaturdayMay 28

11:00 AMTom Ball and Kenny Sultan

We’re happy to welcome back longtime festival favorites Tom Ball and Kenny Sultan. After eight albums and over 35 years of sharing their unique blend of guitar and harmonica blues, rags, and good time music, they are at home wherever they go. They’ve been described as “America’s Good Time Blues Band”, and we couldn’t agree more. Whether it’s on the porch or it’s on the Main Stage, Tom Ball and Kenny Sultan are always a delight! Here they are at the Fall 2011 Strawberry Festival playing "My Last Meal" with Jody Eulitz.

12:30 PMDave Gunning

We’re very pleased to welcome Nova Scotia Singer Songwriter Dave Gunning for his debut performance at Strawberry. Though many of his songs remain rooted in the province Dave is proud to call home, he and his songs have proved they can travel well. He is a genuinely engaging performer and storyteller, and we’re so glad that his travels will lead him to the Strawberry stage! Enjoy a sample of Dave Gunning’s maritime style of song crafting and watch his video performance of original tune “I Robbed the Company Store”.

1:45 PMSolas

There’s none better to fill the Saturday afternoon dance slot than Solas, for their first Strawberry appearance. Formed in 1996, Solas burst onto to the Irish-American music scene in a manner befitting their name (Gaelic for “light”). Instantly becoming a beacon, this incandescent ensemble has found contemporary relevance in timeless traditions. Bringing edgy hipness to ancient reels, Solas continues to define Celtic music as a genre and as a universal language. For a classic example of Solas’s unparalleled musicianship, enjoy this video of their original “Tell God and the Devil”.
5:45 PMThe Kruger Brothers

The Kruger Brothers are returning to Strawberry after their popular debut in 2013. This North Carolina based bluegrass trio is known for their masterful instrumentation, earnest vocals, and world class showmanship. Hailing originally from Switzerland, brothers Jens and Uwe began playing North American folk music at an early age. Upon finding bassist, Joel Landsberg, the group became a “whole that is greater than the sum of its parts”, each of which is spectacularly talented! Watch the Kruger Brothers as they explore and expand traditional Americana in this live performance of “Orange Blossom Special”.

7:15 PMTim O'Brien

It’s possible that Tim O’Brien has played the Strawberry Stage more times than any other performer and with good reason. Successful as a songwriter, instrumentalist, and vocalist; Tim is a key figure in today’s thriving roots music scene. He’ll be joining us after the release of his latest album, which is a witty culmination of past experiences and is authentically Tim O’Brien. Watch him perform the title track “Pompadour” live on Music City Roots.

8:45 PMThe Wood Brothers

If you missed last year’s performance by The Wood Brothers you are in for a real treat! After pursuing separate careers, this ensemble is channeling shared musical heroes into original sound, while delving into their own classic songwriting style and forward thinking musicianship. We are thrilled that the Wood Brothers have found a showcase on the Strawberry Stage for their live chemistry and mean moves. Get a taste of the trio’s enigmatic style and watch them play “I Got Loaded”, as they ride through the streets of New Orleans on Blood Sunday Sessions.

SundayMay 29

12:15 PMJordan Tice and Horse County

Hot off the presses, Jordan Tice and Horse Country will be joining us at the Spring Festival. This newly formed, power packed trio consists of some of the best pickers on the bluegrass scene. With guitarist Jordan Tice, Michael Witcher on dobro, and mandolinist Dominick Leslie drawing on bluegrass, folk, and blues influenced by the likes of John Hartford, Bob Dylan, and Norman Blake, they are sure to delight our crowd of music lovers! We can’t wait to see them take to the Strawberry stage in just 54 days! For an example of their killer grooves and hot improvisational picking watch them perform Poor Me.

1:30 PMGood Medicine

We’re pleased to welcome Good Medicine for the Spring Festival. While Good Medicine is new to the Strawberry Stage, they have been songwriting, performing, and recording for 24 years. They describe their music as “folk-a-delic” –we describe them as delightfully eclectic. This quintet from North Fork, CA will cure what ails you with their Good Medicine
2:45 PMTBA

5:00 PMDarlingside

We’re pleased to welcome Strawberry newcomers Darlingside to the roster. This Massachusetts based quartet is known for their inventive and illustrative arrangements marked by an organic blending of vocal harmonies. When Dave Senft, Don Mitchell, Harris Paseltiner, and Auyon Mukharji gather around a single microphone, the results are an eclectic collection of songs that passionately defy categorization; but are rooted in shades of 60’s folk, chamber pop, Bluegrass, classical, and indie rock. If you’re not sure what that might sound like, watch their official video and title track of their latest release, “God of Loss”.

6:30 PMDella Mae

Since its formation in 2009, Boston-bred Nashville-based Della Mae has established a reputation as a charismatic, hard-touring live act. They’ve been busy ever since building a large fan base while racking up massive amounts of critical acclaim with their first two albums. With the release of their latest self titled album, the Della Mae foursome is embracing a fresh set of musical challenges and taking all they’ve learned into uncharted creative territory. Check them out performing their original hit “Boston Town” on A Prairie Home Companion!

8:00 PMMavis Staples

Legendary vocalist and civil rights activist, Mavis Staples has wowed audiences for well over 50 years, with her larger than life voice and expressive renditions of classic R&B and gospel anthems. Now she is returning to the Strawberry stage on the heels of her new release, “Livin’ On A High Note”. While Mavis Staples’ career spans five decades of change, her one of a kind sound is relevant in any day and age. When Mavis Staples sings “I’ll Take You There”, you know she’s not kidding around! Here she is performing at the White House in 2013.

The festival gates open in 2016-05-26 08:00:00 GMT-07:00