Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Six Must-See Acts at the 2011 Richmond Folk Festival

The Richmond Folk Festival is Friday, October 14 to Sunday, October 16 in the vicinity of Brown’s Island in downtown Richmond, VA.  This free, three-day festival has an estimated annual attendance of 150,000.  A wide-assortment of traditional artists are scheduled to be there, including the following six performers.
Chatham County Line (North Carolina bluegrass)
Besides the Del McCoury Band, there is no better bluegrass band working today than Chatham County Line.  What makes CCL so good?  They are an exceptionally talented group that transcends this Southern genre:  brilliant songwriting, note-perfect vocals, a natural stage presence, and advanced-level musicianship that hints at modern indie-Americana influences.  Do not miss these guys.
Saturday, 1pm, Altria Stage
Saturday, 4:30pm, Community Foundation Stage
Sunday, 4:30pm, Community Foundation Stage

The Mighty Diamonds (Reggae)
Roots-reggae has proven to be one of the more popular styles in the Richmond Folk Festival’s short history, and that tradition continues this year with legendary Jamaican harmony-trio The Mighty Diamonds.  Hailing from, where else, Trenchtown, these first generation Rastas are still in fine voice.  Their 1976 debut Right Time is a roots reggae classic. 
Friday, 7:30pm, Community Foundation Stage
Saturday, 4:15pm, Dominion Dance Pavilion
Saturday, 9:45pm, Altria Stage

Redd Volkaert Band with Cindy Cashdollar (Telecaster and steel guitar)
Redd Volkaert plays a 1950’s Telecaster with a distinctive twang.  The former lead guitarist for Merle Haggard will be joined by steel guitar wiz Cindy Cashdollar for a double dose of country guitar.  Honky-tonk, jazz, western swing…it’s all on the table.  Get ready for some blazing licks and musical chops.
Friday, 8pm, Altria Stage
Saturday, 2:45pm, Dominion Dance Pavilion
Sunday, 12:15pm, Altria Stage
Sunday, 3:45pm, Dominion Dance Pavilion

Original P featuring members of Parliament-Funkadelic (Funk)
Original P puts the fun back into funk!  Formed by Clarence “Fuzzy” Haskins and “Shady” Grady Thomas – Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famers and founding members of Parliament-Funkadelic – Original P’s live shows preserve the legacy and frenetic psychedelia of Parliament-Funkadelic.  The band is filled out by their kids and family, plus members of Funkadelics past and the P-Funk entourage.  Expect there to be twelve+ people gettin’ down on stage and cranking out hits like “Flashlight”, “Tear the Roof off the Sucker” and “Up for the Down Stroke”.  A serious party, no doubt.
Saturday, 5:30pm, Altria Stage
Saturday, 9:45pm, Dominion Dance Pavilion

Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys (Cajun)
Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys play Cajun music:  a melodic, highly danceable music from Southwestern Louisiana, driven by the accordion and fiddle.  The style can be traced back to its French-Canadian origins in the 1760’s.  The Mamou Playboys date back to the 1980’s.  They sing almost entirely in Cajun French.  Steve Riley is considered one of the world’s best Cajun button-accordion players.
Friday, 9:30pm, Dominion Dance Pavilion
Saturday, 1:30pm, Dominion Dance Pavilion
Saturday, 8:45pm, Altria Stage

Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba (Afro-beat)
Bassekou Kouyate comes from a long line of West African oral historians and musicians called “griots”.  For generations, his griot family has played the ngoni – a traditional African lute that is the musical forebear of the banjo.  Kouyate leads an energetic seven-member ensemble from Mali that features four different sized ngoni instruments, two percussionists, and his wife, Amy Sacko, on vocals.  Together, they produce an entirely new sound with a power and groove to rival the best rock bands.
Saturday, 8:15pm, Dominion Dance Pavilion
Sunday, 2:15pm, Altria Stage
Sunday, 5pm, Dominion Dance Pavilion

It goes without saying that there’s lots more to experience than just these artists, including numerous workshops, competitions, dance performances, a folk-arts marketplace, children’s activities, short films, regional and ethnic foods, beer, wine and more.  The Richmond Folk Festival has become the most anticipated annual event in central Virginia!

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