The 3-day Memorial Day weekend generally marks the unofficial start of summer. Once again this year we’ll be kicking off the season in a big way, with the 3rd Annual Rush River Folk Festival!
Thanks to music promoter, David Jones, of Davey J & the Jones Tones fame, and his many musical contacts, we were able to pull together six established music acts that will bring a tasty mix of original and vintage folk music to our valley.
On Saturday, May 28, 2016, starting at 1 pm in the afternoon and continuing until sunset, you can enjoy a full day of live performances by established musicians offering a grand mix of sounds and styles of folk music.
This year, a nationally touring contemporary folk duo joins the Rush River Folk Festival from Massachusetts: The Sea The Sea. Chuck e. Costa and Mira Stanley are the members of The Sea The Sea, and their songwriting, vocal performances, and guitar work is guaranteed to touch your heart. Their music has been described in the Huffington Post as “two of the loveliest voices you might ever hear this year or any year.” Their first album, Love We Are We Love, produced a single “Watertreader,” that was featured on National Public Radio on its segment “Heavy Rotation: 10 Songs Public Radio Can’t Stop Playing.” Currently they are touring the East Coast and will make a special appearance in Wisconsin to bring their beautiful, expressive music to the Rush River Folk Festival.
Adding to the musical experience, several established regional folk musicians will bring their distinctive sounds to the outdoor stage at Vino in the Valley. Leading off at the festival is Larry Past, a regional favorite bringing crowd-pleasing acoustic favorites to the Rush River stage. Blues, folk, and string band artist Yata will return to the festival as well, bringing four decades of musical experiences can be heard. Yata’s trio, YSO, features a collaboration with highly accomplished jazz saxophonist Sue Orfield and bassist Randy Sinz. Their trio will perform at the festival for the first time.
Also featured at the festival are Davey J (David Jones) and his current musical collaborator Jen Hazen. The founder and organizer of the Rush River Folk Festival, Davey J brings a unique, foot-tapping mix of original roots music, blues, folk, and Americana to the musical stage. Together with Jen Hazen on vocals and percussion, Davey J will perform several tunes from his 2015 CD Chippewa Love, a musical tribute to the cultural vibe and natural beauty of the Chippewa Valley. At any Davey J performance, one will hear passionate vocals, songwriting from the heart, and a unique rhythmic style of amplified acoustic guitar. Having performed for more than 25 years in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and beyond, Davey J is a prolific recording artist and a featured performer on stages large and small across the region. Joining Davey J in a duo performance is Jen Hazen, bandleader for Jenny and the Jets (a live band karoke combo) and Davey J’s partner in their rock and roots combos, Jenny and the Lost Boys and Davey J and Friends. Their mix of vocal styles bring a classic folk-rock vibe to the stage.
Yes, a full eight hours of live outdoor music will be the perfect way to start the long Memorial Day weekend. Bring your lawn chairs or blanket and settle in for an afternoon of music, wine and food. There’s no admission charge; just come and savor the amazing sounds and a glass of wine or a beer on the edge of the beautiful Rush River. If the mood strikes, stay for an Italian dinner under the Pavilion, or order a brick oven pizza to-go and enjoy it on the grounds. Heck, make a weekend of it; you’ll find we have some amazing lodging options in the area!
As always, the latest in event updates and announcements can be found on our Facebook page.