The 8th Annual Rush River Folk Festival will take place at Vino in the Valley, Maiden Rock, WI, on Saturday, September 4. Four regional musical acts will provide outdoor concerts during the event, which features tasty Italian food, wine, and other beverages, along with a spectacular outdoor experience in the scenic Rush River valley.

Schedule for the Festival:
• 12 pm (noon): Vino in the Valley Opens
• 1 – 2:30 pm: Barrell Flash
• 3 – 4:30 pm: Lucas Fischer
• 5 – 6:30 pm: Milk and Whiskey
• 7 – 8:30 pm: Davey J, Kari Tauring, and Lucas Fischer

Special planning has been dedicated to creating a safe and enjoyable experience for all who attend this family-friendly event. And, as always, there is no admission charge for the festival. Guests are invited to bring blankets and lawn chairs and enjoy the music, food, and drinks at comfortable distances.

Davey J, Kari Tauring, and Lucas Fischer will combine forces as headline artists this year. Davey J is a well-established blues, folk, and rock artist in the Chippewa Valley music scene and the founder of the Rush River Folk Festival. Expect a toe-tapping down-home set of originals and roots music favorites from Davey J, and he will also celebrate the release of a new CD at this event, 2020 Blue. A follow-up to his iconic 2015 CD, Chippewa Love, 2020 Blue is an ambitious solo project of 12 original songs, 10 written by Davey J and two by musical collaborators, including Kari Tauring of Minneapolis, who is also featured on the Rush River lineup.

Joining Davey J on stage are two longtime musical friends and collaborators. Kari Tauring is a Nordic folk performer with a pop sensibility too. Her powerfully expressive style on vocals, guitar, percussion, and songwriting can be heard all through her 20-year career as a Twin Cities artist. And, Lucas Fischer will bring his deep feeling for the blues to this year’s headline combo.

The Twin Cities bluegrass trio Barrell Flash gets the music started at 1 pm. Barrell Flash features Eau Claire’s own Julia Brown and Ross Johnson. Julia is a trained classical vocalist and theatre professional who writes songs with sensitivity and sings them with power. Ross is a blues, Britrock and roots musical devotee, pushing blue-eyed blues vocals and is a sucker for a good guitar hook. His songs evoke bygone times and lonely places. Barrel Flash also lovingly offers new twists to older and newer popular songs.

At 3 pm, the featured artist is Lucas (“Luke”) Fischer, a versatile and soulful guitarist and singer who has collaborated in combos such as Rhythm Posse and the Sue Orfield Band. He is also well known in the community for his production of Stage Fright, an annual event in Eau Claire where well-known local musicians perform the music set that is seen in the classic Martin Scorsese film, The Last Waltz. Lucas is known for his genial virtuosity on guitar and voice, and he will bring his solo set of rock, blues, and more to the Rush River stage.

Milk and Whiskey performs at 5 pm, featuring Jennifer Hazen on vocals and Jim Phillips on acoustic guitar. Jen and Jim are well-established musicians in the Chippewa Valley through various projects such as Jenny and the Jets (a live band karaoke experience), Girl Band, and Davey J & Friends. Together, they play acoustic blues, folk, and originals, with a wide range of sources coming together in their sound.

This year’s festival marks the 8th year of the collaboration between Davey J and Vino in the Valley to celebrate the thriving regional scene in Western Wisconsin and the Twin Cities. Please contact Davey J for more information about the festival (715-602-3039). We sincerely hope to see you at the festival, and together, we will have a joyful musical experience on Labor Day Saturday. Thank you and best wishes for a safe summer!