Stay tuned for future lineup announcements!
12:00-12:45 Crys Matthews
1:00-1:45 The High and Wides
2:00-2:45 The Gina Clowes Project
3:00-4:00 Dori Freeman
4:15-5:15 Artist TBA 5/12
5:30-6:50 American Songster Review,
featuring Dom Flemons,
Amythyst Kiah, Guy Davis
6:50-7:15 Jonny Grave (featured artist)
12:00-12:50 Bearcat Wildcat
1:05-1:55 Elena & Los Fulanos
1:55-2:10 Odetta Hartman (featured
2:15-3:05 Letitia VanSant
3:20-4:20 Wild Common
4:20-4:35 Odetta Hartman (featured
4:50-6:00 Cris Jacobs
12:15-12:50 Babeo Baggins
1:00-1:50 Moose Jaw
2:00-2:50 The Fly Birds
3:00-3:50 The Dirty Grass Players
4:00-4:50 The Gin Rickys
5:00-6:00 Boaty Otis
12:00-12:50 Under the Oak
1:00-1:50 Rock Creek Revivial
2:00-2:50 Dave James
3:00-3:50 The Wildmans
4:00-4:50 Jahnel Daliya
5:00-5:50 The Iris Bell
12:00-12:50 Yasmin Williams
2:00-2:50 Reed Appleseed
4:00-4:50 The Sunrise Review
Kingman Stage | 7:15pm - 8:30pm
The genre-breaking, Emmy nominated, Billboard charting pioneers of bluegrass hip-hop.Gangstagrass has toured internationally, blowing minds on main stages from SXSW to Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, with a live stage act taking full advantage of the improvisational aspects of both hip-hop and bluegrass. With two emcees R-Son and Dolio The Sleuth trading verses, Dan Whitener on Banjo, Landry McMeans on dobro, and Rench on guitar, and frequent 3 part harmonies, the Gangstagrass live show has garnered a reputation among fans for its dynamism and spontanaety. Currently touring across the US, Gangstagrass is using live performances to organically develop new material for an album that will further explode the boundaries between genres generally thought to be incompatible.
Dom Flemons' American Songster Revue(featuring Guy Davis, Amythyst Kiah, and more TBA)
Kingman Stage | 5:30pm - 6:50pm
Dom Flemons is originally from Phoenix, Arizona and currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area. He is known as “The American Songster” since his repertoire of music covers nearly 100 years of American folklore, ballads, and tunes. Flemons is a music scholar, music historian, record collector and a multi-instrumentalist.
Dom Flemons will serve as the curator and host of The American Songster Revue at the Kingman Island Bluegrass and Folk Festival in Washington, D.C. Dom will present artists who have strong repertories in traditional roots music and redefine “Songster” in the modern era. These multi-generational musicians will perform a selection of songs and styles that were influenced by early American Songsters. This showcase will include folk, blues, old time, and popular roots music!
Guy Davis(Performing with Dom Flemons' American Songster Revue)
Guy Davis once said, "I like antiques and old things, old places, that still have the dust of those who’ve gone before us lying upon them." Blowing that dust off just enough to see its beauty is something Guy has excelled at for over twenty years of songwriting and performing. It's no wonder his reverence for the music of the Blues Masters who’ve gone before him has been evident in every album he’s ever recorded or concert he’s given.
Amythyst Kiah(Performing with Dom Flemons' American Songster Revue)
A professed Southern Gothic songster based in Johnson City, TN, Amythyst Kiah’s commanding stage presence is only matched by her raw and powerful vocals—a deeply moving, hypnotic sound that stirs echoes of a distant and restless past. A graduate of East Tennessee State University, she studied old time music and music performance, and it proved to be a pivotal moment in her life as she transformed from a long-time closet musician into a well-rounded, captivating performer. Accoutered interchangeably with banjo, acoustic guitar, or a full band (Her Chest of Glass), Amythyst’s toolbox is augmented by her scholarship of African-American roots music. Her eclectic influences span decades, drawing heavily on old time music (Mississippi Sheiks, Son House, Jimmie Rodgers, Olla Belle Reed, Carter Family), inspired by strong R&B and country music vocalists from the '50s-'70s (Big Mama Thornton, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Mahalia Jackson, Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn) and influenced by contemporary artists with powerful vocal integrity (Adele, Florence and the Machine, Megan Jean and the KFB, Janelle Monae).
Meadow Stage | 4:50pm - 6:00pm
Cris Jacobs enchants listeners with his poignant songwriting, virtuous guitar playing, and soulfully transcendent voice. After a decade as principal songwriter and frontman for beloved Baltimore-based band The Bridge, Jacobs released his debut solo album, the critically acclaimed "Songs for Cats and Dogs", in 2012, and followed it up in 2016 with “Dust to Gold”, which garnered attention from Rolling Stone magazine, who listed him as one of the "10 Artist You Need to Know Now". They describe his sound as "blue-eyed soul meets outlaw swagger", and it is indeed a delightful, spicy gumbo of soul, country, funk, rock, and blues. His show is a truly dynamic experience driven by his captivating voice and guitar, and band of truly phenomenal players. Artists across the board have noticed and admired his work, resulting in invites to open tours by such heavyweights as Steve Winwood and Sturgill Simpson.
Kingman Stage | 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Dori Freeman is a singer and songwriter from Galax, Virginia. her music blurs the finer lines of americana and Shines new light on the legacy of traditional music. She brings a modern and honest perspective - both lyrically and vocally - to the genre. Her sophomore album "Letters Never read" was released in OCtober, 2017.
Kingman Stage | 12:00pm - 12:45pm
Crys Matthews is nothing if not ambitious. In August, she simultaneously released both a new full-length album, The Imagineers and an EP, Battle Hymn For An Army Of Lovers. These collections showcase two sides of Matthews’ dynamic songwriting; The Imagineers is a selection of thoughtful songs about love and life while Battle Hymn For An Army Of Lovers tackles social justice themes. Songs from both projects have already won her recognition and awards. She was one of ten finalists (from a pool of 5,000) in this year's NewSong Music Competition and, after performing at Lincoln Center on November 30th she was named grand-prize winner. Matthews also won the People Music Network's Social Justice Songs contest at the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance.
The Gina Clowes Project
Kingman Stage | 2:00pm - 2:45pm
Gina Clowes' innovative and unique musicianship and songwriting, although based in traditional music modalities, breaks free from the assumed constructs and makes a new musical statement that's influenced by emotion, is played with the highest skill, and expresses an enormous verve and vitality. With a stamp from Bluegrass Today as "absurdly talented", her new album, True Colors, touts two chart toppers.
Fraser Stage | 12:15pm - 12:50pm
EVIL B.B. Country boy with a mean streak. I'm B.B. and I make music. I wrote that gay slow dance adventure time song.
Meadow Stage | 3:20pm - 4:20pm
Wild Common is a genre-defying "New Appalachian" band out of Charlottesville, Virginia. Frontwoman Davina Jackson is a soul and gospel singer with a killer voice at the center of the band's music. She used to sing back-up with the Wailers. Fiddle player Nate Leath won the famous Galax Fiddler's Convention when he was 11 and has since grown into one of the most talented fiddlers of this generation. Drummer Rob Hubbard grew up in rural Virginia and went on to become an accomplished reggae drummer. Bassist Dhara Goradia has a long jazz pedigree. And songwriter and guitarist Brennan Gilmore has roots in old-time and bluegrass but has played fusion music across the globe.
The Dirty Grass Players
Fraser Stage | 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Turning heads while show-casing original bluegrass and newgrass tunes such as “MoheganSun”. The Dirty Grass Players bring a solid performance from a group of musicians that come from diverse backgrounds, bu thave one similar interest in playing for the love of music.
The High and Wides
Kingman Stage | 1:00pm - 1:45pm
The High & Wides draw on their members' extensive backgrounds in bluegrass to take the music to a place all their own with inspiration from the days when old-time, rockabilly, western swing, and proto-rock'n'roll coexisted in a murky soup of hillbilly string band music. Their debut album, "Lifted", came out in April 2018.
Meadow Stage | 2:15pm - 3:05pm
Letitia VanSant's lyrics are at once personally and politically relevant. Hailed as one of Baltimore's strongest songwriters, her distinctly intimate voice is fortified by sparse indie folk and Americana arrangements. Songs from her recent album Gut It to the Studs have already won critical acclaim from across the map, including Kerrville New Folk, the Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Contest, Falcon Ridge, Rocky Mountain Folks Fest, and Culture Trip's Top 8 DC-Area Musicians to Follow.
The Fly Birds
Fraser Stage | 2:00pm - 2:50pm
The Fly Birds are a trio made up of sisters Elizabeth Baker and Mary Dunlap (both of Banana Express) of Winchester VA on Banjo and Bass and Sarah Twigg of Barton MD on the guitar. Their unique vocals as well as original style of folk music is topped off with tasteful songwriting skills and a charming presence on stage and record. The band was formed in April 2016 and released their first self titled EP in October 2017. They plan to release their full length album by the summer of 2018.
Elena & Los Fulanos
Meadow Stage | 1:05pm - 1:55pm
Elena & Los Fulanos is a bilingual Latin folk band based in Washington, DC. Since 2011, they have been making music that ranges from twangy, heartbreak-themed folk Americana, to soothing, introspective, violin-infused Latin folk. Influenced by front-woman Elena Lacayo's experience growing up in two cultures (Nicaraguan and American), Elena & Los Fulanos creates a world where language and tradition meld with catchy melodies and inventive chords to enhance appreciation for diversity in an increasingly multi-cultural world. Their debut album, Miel Venenosa, earned a Washington Area Music Association (WAMMIE) nomination for Best Latin Recording in 2014 and their second album Volcán (2017) has been hailed as "a bilingual folk album for the resistance" by the Washington City Paper.
Meadow Stage | 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Bearcat Wildcat is a hybrid creature: A little bit country, a little bit blue, and a little bit rock and roll. The six-member Americana band from Washington DC is a collective of songwriters, vocalists, and multi-instrumentalists drawing on American roots music and modern sounds alike. They put on an energetic and intimate live show, featuring warm harmonies, nimble playing, and infectious rhythm.
Fraser Stage | 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Moose Jaw Bluegrass combines hard-hitting originals, eclectic covers, and driven bluegrass favorites to create a unique and energetic sound sure to entertain. Moose Jaw is Prince George’s County, Maryland’s premiere working-class bluegrass ensemble! They perform traditional, not-so-traditional, original, and not-so-original tunes for audiences throughout the mid-Atlantic region.
The Gin Rickys
Fraser Stage | 4:00pm - 4:50pm
A traveling swing, blues band from Frederick Md, The Gin Rickys are one act you don't want to miss. Pour a little Sam Cooke & Etta James in to a glass with the Alabama Shakes, and you've got yourself The Gin Rickys.
Fraser Stage | 5:00pm - 6:00pm
What is a Boaty Otis? It's the off-brand cereal that leaves a little scuzz in the bucket; it's the booty shorts that put the see in sea-legs. A swampy blend of Appalachian fiddle, southern R&B, and Eastern European brass, featuring members of Second String Band, Bearcat Wildcat, Handsome Hound, and the DC Bluegrass Pickup League. Get ready. Get sweaty. Get BOATY.
Heritage Island Songwriters Stage | 1:00pm - 1:50pm
A modern-day Renaissance woman, singer, songwriter and electric guitarist, CRAMER has headlined a variety of music and arts festivals such as SXSW, Billboard Hot 100 Festival and Lollapalooza; and is a regular name in DMV coffee shops and local events. While deeply involved in advocacy for performing arts in the DC-Metropolitan area, CRAMER's music delves into the the harmonious, interconnected nature of life and love.
Heritage Island Songwriters Stage | 3:00pm - 3:50pm
NEFFY, is a 21 year-old singer-songwriter from Washington, D.C, based in New York City. Her recently released EP, "I Don't Miss You, draws from personal experiences that accompany just an acoustic-electric guitar, while remaining true to her soulful musical roots. She frequently performs in both NYC and DC.
Under the Oak
Dock Stage | 12:00pm - 12:50pm
With a sound that draws from the Folk, Americana, and Indie-Rock worlds, Under the Oak's music is honest, approachable, and has been described as "...The Head and the Heart with less martial force and more mellow musing." - Odd Nugget
Under the Oak's debut album, Big Sky (April 2018) shares tunes that stay true to their live-performance style - rich in vocal harmonies and intimate lyrics - songs that play like life put to music.
"...to say that the music coming from Under the Oak is heartfelt would be an understatement... their songs are truly an inspiration."-Joe Nicolo, 9-time Grammy Award Winning Producer
The Sunrise Review
Heritage Island Songwriters Stage | 4:00pm - 4:50pm
The Sunrise Review is eco-music, inspired by natural spaces and recorded with solar power. The Sunrise Review blends musical styles from cultures around the world including, Americana, Arabian and Indian traditions. Expect improvisation, and innovation.
Rock Creek Revival
Dock Stage | 1:00pm - 1:50pm
What started as an informal jam at local Farmer's Markets morphed its way into a bluegrass band in late 2015. Fast forward a few years- and Rock Creek Revival is playing their brand of bluegrass across the area. From old time traditionals and Grateful Dead covers to original songs and hard-drivin string band music- this ensemble will be sure to get your feet moving.
Dock Stage | 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Dave James is a producer and artist known for his distinctive and soulful sound, bringing a different vibe to the alternative R&B and Pop scene. He is best known for being the lead singer/songwriter for the band Ndelible, which was active from 2006 to 2012. He has been working closely with Dreamville's singer, Ari Lennox, for over 6 years. During that time, he produced her EP Ariography, and the song "La, La, La, La" on her latest release Pho. He finished producing Leah Smith's first full length album in 2016 slated for release in the summer of 2017. Dave has also collaborated with Andy Mineo, Courtney Orlando, Danni Baylor, Trip Lee, Alex Faith, Dre Murray, Tragic Hero and Japhia life. Dave's first solo EP "Where the Sidewalk Ends" is dropping summer 2017. Dave's innate musical talent is continually evolving with new sounds and a fresh approach. He is also looking forward to sharing this craft with his followers.--
Heritage Island Songwriters Stage | 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Yasmin Williams is an acoustic fingerstyle guitarist with an unorthodox, modern style of playing. She utilizes various techniques including alternate tunings, percussive hits, and lap tapping techniques in her music to great effect. She is currently finishing her first album, due to be released in April 2018.
Dock Stage | 3:00pm - 3:50pm
The up and coming young acoustic string band, The Wildmans, come from the hills of Floyd, Virginia, in the heart of the Appalachian mountain music tradition. From campsite jamming at festivals and fiddler's conventions and classical music education comes the foundation for musical exploration that sets this group apart, taking the audience on a musical journey that reflects the growth and passion of these talented young musicians. The band features the precocious talents of siblings Eli on mandolin and Aila on fiddle and vocals, and family friend and award winning old time banjo player Victor Furtado, all backed up by mom Deb Wildman on bass. Highly skilled instrumentals and soulful vocals applied to traditional tunes with a smattering of old time, bluegrass, blues, and jazz combine to create a fresh new sound - old tunes fueled by young spirit.
Dock Stage | 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Based in Northern Virginia, singer songwriter JAHNEL DALIYA brings her unique blend of soul, folk, and rock complete with catchy melodies and lyrics you can relate to. In 2015 Jahnel formed a three piece band bringing a fuller sound and rounding out her original music with the percussion and bass.
Heritage Island Songwriters Stage | 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Reed Appleseed is a Washington DC based band writing and performing atmospheric Americana-style music. It is a project with humble roots, set in an 8x8 corrugated metal storage space, which is not the best place to set root, but apples have resilient seeds.
The Iris Bell
Dock Stage | 5:00pm - 5:50pm
The Iris Bell is an indie folk band from Washington, DC. Playing extensively in the region, the band blends lush harmonies with raucous stomps. A heart half in the city, half in the country...
Kingman Stage | 6:50pm - 7:15pm
Jonny Grave is a guitarist, songwriter, singer, bandleader, teacher, musical historian, journalist, and Blues-man from Washington, D.C. Growing up in a musical family, Jonny Grave was introduced to the sounds of American traditional folk music early on. At age fifteen, he found himself learning slide guitar techniques from old Blues records, and by seventeen he was performing them live. Grave has performed at hundreds of venues from the red dirt floor of Gip's Juke Joint to the red carpet of the Kennedy Center.
Meadow Stage | 1:55pm - 2:10pm & 4:20pm - 4:35pm
With a heart - stopping voice & wide - ranging instrumental talent, Odetta Hartman carries cowboy soul into an era where country can clash with computers, and bluegrass isn't afraid of bass. Her debut LP 222 -- an experimental, bedroom-produced hybrid of folk, musique concrète and psychedelia -- was released on Northern Spy Records in 2015 to critical acclaim. Odetta's forthcoming album, Old Rockhounds Never Die, continues to explore this sonic vernacular woven with badass banjos, detuned violins, field recordings, superstitious soundscapes, and vocal stylings ranging from sensual to spooky. Born & raised in downtown NYC, Odetta is currently based in NE DC, where she continues to pursue her passions in ethnomusicology, education & environmentalism.