THE LINE-UP: PROFILES AND SCHEDULE

THE LINE-UP: PROFILES, SCHEDULE

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FRIDAY: Title

FRIDAY, 
JANUARY 25

BLUEGRASS

FRIDAY: Brief

The weekend starts with a twang as up and coming North Country Band, followed by the amazing Chris Jones & The Night Drivers.  Jones is a quadruple threat as a singer, songwriter, guitarist and broadcaster thanks to his role hosting SiriusXM’s Bluegrass Junction.

7:00 PM - NORTH COUNTRY


7:00 PM - NORTH COUNTRY


Based out of Seattle, Washington, the North Country Bluegrass Band is one of the premier traditional bluegrass bands from the Northwest. North Country was founded in 2012 when the guys were jamming together at a local bluegrass event in Seattle. They quickly found a unique chemistry and demonstrated the same love for music, songwriting, and instrumental dynamics. In the band’s first year North Country played at Wintergrass and the historic Paramount Theatre, and continued to build their repertoire and have toured throughout the United States and Canada.

The band released their first album,“Won’t Be Over You,” which was promptly named a top ten bluegrass album of 2014 by KCBS radio. The album highlights the members' instrumental talent and songwriting ability, plus their skillful melding of classic country and folk music into a traditional bluegrass style.

In January 2015, the band placed 6th overall in the prestigious Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America Bluegrass (SPBGMA) competition which comprised bands from throughout North America.  While Seattle is not known as a hotbed of traditional bluegrass music, the band has attracted a loyal following in the Northwest.

In October of 2015, the band was showcased at the International Bluegrass Music Association's (IBMA) in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Their second album, “Lonely Tonight,” is available via their website.

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8:30 PM - CHRIS JONES & THE NIGHT DRIVERS


8:30 PM - CHRIS JONES & THE NIGHT DRIVERS


Chris Jones is a quadruple threat as a singer, a songwriter, a guitarist, and, thanks to his role hosting SiriusXM’s Bluegrass Junction, as one of the most widely heard broadcasting voices in bluegrass music. His immediately recognizable voice, warm sense of humor and abundance of talent have combined to make him one of the music’s most distinctive personalities, and one of its strongest artists.

Following apprenticeships with bluegrass legend Dave Evans and Chicago’s durable Special Consensus, Chris moved to Nashville in 1989 as a member of the band Weary Hearts, where his colleagues included Ron Block (Alison Krauss & Union Station), Mike Bub (Del McCoury Band, 18 South) and acclaimed mandolin master, the late Butch Baldassari. Forming Chris Jones & The Night Drivers in the mid 1990s, he’s led the band through a set of stellar recordings and tours while appearing and recording with some of the world’s most respected musicians including The Chieftains, Earl Scruggs, Vassar Clements and Tom T. Hall. He has performed on the The Grand Ole Opry with Laurie Lewis, Lynn Morris, and The Whitstein Brothers. And, while the Night Drivers have made extensive use of his original songs, Chris’ songs have also been recorded by other artists, including the Gibson Brothers, Lou Reid & Carolina and The Chapmans.

Chris’ range of talents took center stage at the IBMA’s Awards Show in 2007, where he earned both a Song Of The Year award as a co-writer of “Fork In The Road,” the title track of the year’s Album Of The Year by the Infamous Stringdusters, and the organization’s Broadcaster Of The Year trophy. The occasion marked the first time that both music and industry awards have gone to a single person. Chris had previously won an IBMA award for Recorded Event of the Year for his role in the album Larry Sparks 40.

Since then, Chris has continued to draw attention for all aspects of his multi-faceted career, including a 2014 IBMA award for Print/Media Person of the Year for his widely read humor column for the bluegrass web site Bluegrass Today, and a second award for Broadcaster of the Year in 2015.

He and the band are currently signed to one of bluegrass music’s top record labels, Mountain Home Music Company, for whom they’ve recorded two critically acclaimed albums and generated five #1 songs on the bluegrass music charts. All together, Chris has had nine chart- topping songs, and has won six IBMA awards.

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SATURDAY: Title, Button

SATURDAY,
JANUARY 26

AMERICANA

The foot-stomping, crowd-pleasing “AmeriCeltic” music of Katie Jane Lubiens and Castletown start the day with a flourish.

By popular demand, fan favorites Cabin Fever NW and True North return with their incredible harmonies and instrumental skills.  And for the first time on our stage we are proud to welcome the multi-instrumentalist and ultra-talented vocalist, Eli West.

SATURDAY: Headliners

*SATURDAY HEADLINERS

John McEuen, American folk music icon and a founding member of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, headlines Saturday night with his “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” tour with The String Wizards. John and the Wizards cover bluegrass, country, gospel, and the roots of America’s acoustic music:  songs such as “Wildwood Flower,” “Keep on the Sunnyside,” “I Am a Pilgrim,” and “Wreck on the Highway.”  This memorable evening ends with Carter Family classic “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”

You won’t want to miss this rare Oregon concert for Wisconsinites Chris Kokesh of Misty River fame and her husband, singer-songwriter LJ Booth when they open for McEuen and his band.

CASTLETOWN


11:30 AM - 12:15 PM 
CASTLETOWN


Castletown kicks off the Winter Music Festival Saturday festivities.  The fiery copper hair and red hot fiddle playing of Katie Jane Lubiens start the party--paired with exuberant guitar and vocals from Robert Richter.  This Portland duo has performed all over the Pacific Northwest, and are returning to Florence by popular demand.

The eclectic group blends jazz, rock, blues and even classical along with celtic into a unique sound that they have dubbed “AmeriCeltic.”   Both Lubiens and Richter are accomplished singer/songwriters, and both have a deep love of developing new music as well as hidden gems of hard-to-find folk tunes.  

But Castletown isn’t just about energetic concerts.  The players also believe in giving back to the community, and have partnered with Kennedy Violins of Vancouver, Washington to create a hands-on “string instrument petting zoo” at their festival events.  This allows elementary and middle school students to get their fingers on the strings of a violin or mini-cello. Also by popular demand, Castletown will again provide the two invitation only performances for students on January 24 at the Kiwanis Kids Concerts.

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TRUE NORTH


12:45 PM - 1:30 PM
TRUE NORTH


Americana quartet True North has been compared to top tier artists from modern bluegrass pop group Alison Krauss & Union Station to the deeply traditional American icon Hank Williams.   

This Pacific Northwest quartet combines lush instrumentals, superb vocal harmonies, the musical chops needed to bring out the best in modern and traditional folk and bluegrass.

Singer-songwriters Kristen Grainger and Dan Wetzel lead the band, which is rounded out with two Pacific Northwest bluegrass superstars: Martin Stevens and Josh Adkins.

Kristen Grainger is making a name for herself in songcraft, collecting accolades including the Songwriter Competition at the 2018 Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival, not to mention awards at IMEA, Telluride, Merlefest, and Kerrville songwriting competitions.

Dan Wetzel (guitar, mandolin, octave mandolin, ukulele, mountain banjo, vocals) is the guiding force behind the band, and his picking skills are the driving force in its energetic sound.  Dan is much requested as a recording artist and live performance guest.

Martin Stevens  mandolin, fiddle, octave mandolin, vocals, grew up in the Old Time Fiddlers contest community, and was an International Bluegrass Music Association showcase artist in 2011, and teaches third grade when he’s not on stage.

Josh Adkins (upright bass, vocals) learned his craft with the Northwest-based group The Bluegrass Regulators. With a solid groove and an attentive approach, he rounds out the complex sound of

The band’s 2017 album, Open Road, Broken Heart, debuted at number 1 on the Folk DJ Charts for national radio airplay and has continued to stay in the top fifteen for the past six months on the Roots Music Report.  Their 2014 release, Elsebound, received very favorable reviews, spent 25 weeks  on the Roots Music Report’s (national folk charts) and was the Number 7 folk album of the year.

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ELI WEST


2:00 PM - 2:45 PM 
ELI WEST 


Eli has played with Cahalen Morrison, Tim O’Brien, Jayme Stone, and so many more.  This singer and player oozes understated talent.  Once you have heard his voice, you will want to hear more, and you will never forget the experience.   Do not miss this live performance  at the Florence Winter Music Festival, as each of his events is unique and wonderful.  

‘West is an artist overflowing with ideas and music’ – Green Man Review 

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CABIN FEVER NW


3:15 PM - 4:15 PM
CABIN FEVER NW




“Imagine Simon and Garfunkel singing with the Carter Family’s devotion.”  So says Alternative Roots magazine, and who are we to disagree?

Fans of bluegrass, Americana, traditional folk, pop, gospel and country will all find much to love in the this group’s wide appeal and eclectic musical range.

What began as good idea by two best friends -- Dianne Bochsler (vocals, rhythm guitar) and Tara Caldwell (vocals, banjo) -- grew into a quintet with  two include Ed Johnson (vocals, lead guitar) Cary Black (bass fiddle, vocals) and Paul Elliott (fiddle). Each performer is a master of her or his own unique style, and together they create something greater than the sum of its parts: the Cabin Fever NW magic.  

Their original music and traditional covers guaranteed additions to their burgeoning fan base at each performance. The group was the hands down fan favorite of our Festival's 2018 Saturday afternoon, and will anchor the Americana segment on January 26. 

Cabin Fever NW performs at various venues and festivals throughout the United States. Their original songs have been recognized by national media including NPR's Car Talk and SING OUT! Magazine and are sung in and around churches, folk societies, living rooms, and campfires across the US and Canada.

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CHRIS KOKESH + LJ BOOTH


7:00 PM - CHRIS KOKESH + LJ BOOTH


Chris Kokesh... a veteran of Florence, Oregon's festival scene and a founding member of Misty River, met LJ Booth in 2010 at the Kerrville Folk Festival. They began touring together in 2011, taking great joy in fusing their distinctive poetic voices and the vibrant palette of guitar and fiddle. 

Mike Meyer, music expert of KRVM-FM, (Eugene, OR) states:  "Seasoned performers are priceless in the era of short-term 'discoveries,' and LJ Booth is among the most adept and accomplished songwriters and storytellers in the country."

Recently, LJ and Chris' performances have been upstaged by a move to Wisconsin (for both), a degree in Marriage and Family Therapy (for LJ), and in 2014—a new family member: their son, Sam, who is already showing musical inclinations.  These changes make their performance at the FFEC Winter Music Festival 2019 all the more worthy of a visit to Florence on January 26th, 2019. 

JOHN McEUEN + THE STRING WIZARDS


8:30 PM - 
JOHN McEUEN + THE STRING WIZARDS


American icon John McEuen, a founding member of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and his unique cast of touring musicians will share the memories and music of 50+ incredible years as part of his landmark “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” Tour.   John’s love of playing and his rapport with his band and his audiences create a magic circle of instant family at every performance.

With narrative and music of early NGDB favorites, John and The String Wizards will weave in hot bluegrass, Carter Family music, traditional folk, and some new classics from his Chesky Records album, “Made in Brooklyn,” named Stereophile Magazine’s Record of the Month in December 2016. This is an all-ages show that you will not want to miss! 

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SUNDAY: Title

SUNDAY,
JANUARY 27

GOSPEL GATHERING

SUNDAY: Brief

Prepare to sing your heart out beginning talented local singers and instrumentalists of Laura Merz and The Community Chorus and Marty Adams & Friends, followed by the University of Oregon’s Gospel Choirunder the direction of award winning Andiel Brown.

COMMUNITY GOSPEL CHOIR -- LAURA MERZ


12:45 PM - LAURA MERZ 
COMMUNITY GOSPEL CHOIR 


Born in Florence and with performing and teaching experience in many venues around the USA, Laura Merz has the directorial chops to create a full-on community gospel choir to our Winter Music Festival stage for a 30-minute soul-stirring heartfelt singalong.  Bring your best voice, your palmetto palm fans, and your handkerchiefs--you are going to need all these authentic props and more as the amazing Ms. Merz and her Choir kick off our Gospel Gathering on Sunday afternoon.

MARTY ADAMS & FRIENDS


1:15 PM
MARTY ADAMS & FRIENDS


Local worship leader Marty Adams returns to the Gospel Gathering with his band of singers and gospel inspirations.  Get your soul uplifted and your spirits soaring with a set of traditional and modern music directed by the one and only irrepressible Marty!

U OF O GOSPEL CHOIR -- ANDIEL BROWN


2:15 PM - ANDIEL BROWN

U OF O GOSPEL CHOIR


Andiel Brown will bring his impeccable skills as director of Gospel Choirs and Ensembles at the University of Oregon.  Under his direction, the University of Oregon has become a national gospel powerhouse through regional and national tours and through winning national gospel choir competitions.

Under Brown’s direction, the UO Top Gospel Singers made world history in March 2013 by becoming the first EVER gospel group to tour publically in The People's Republic of China. They  staged 15 performances, including a special joint concert with China’s top choral group, The Qingdao Teachers Choir.

For the FFEC Winter Music, Andiel will lead his U of O students and a group of professional musicians in a rousing, good-ol’-fashioned, bring-down-the-rafters gospel singalong.  If you love to sing and love gospel, this is a live performance not to be missed!