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Living the Festival Dream: One GrassRoots Festival Per Season
To every season, there is a GrassRoots Festival…

2013 GrassRoots Festival Dates:
Feb 21-24 –Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance – Miami, FL
April 18-21 – Shakori Hills Spring GrassRoots Fest– Pittsboro, NC
July 18-21 – Finger Lakes GrassRoots Fest – Trumansburg, NY
October 10-13 – Shakori Hills Fall GrassRoots Fest – Pittsboro, NC

It begins…

FingerLakesheader-grfAbout 22 years ago, Ithaca-based band Donna the Buffalo and some of their friends saw a void in their community.  AIDS was a new and deadly disease and people were uneducated about it and how to prevent it.  As artists do, they decided to use their art to spread the word and make a difference – they created a festival. In the summer of 1991, The Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival was held on the fairgrounds on the edge of the small town of Trumansburg, NY.  Folks danced, listened to great music, created and witnessed art, met up with old friends, found new ones, and shared ideas.  The festival was a hit, and the profits went to AIDSwork of Tompkins County to help spread the word about the terrible, yet preventable, disease.

Since then, the not-for-profit festival in NY has grown continuously and has given funding to socially and environmentally responsible organizations including: Doctors Without Borders,  Musicians For World Harmony, Ithaca Free Clinic, Ithaca Ballet, Hospicare of Tompkins County, Boy Scouts Of America, LACS Katrina Relief Group and more.  Not just another music festival, GrassRoots became synonymous with not only being the region’s premiere music event but a community that cares about each other and the world around them and are passionate about music and culture in a very human way.

The acts on the bill have not always been pop-darlings or the coolest “hit” of the year, they are artists with a conscience, who have something to give the audience that lasts longer than the moment in which songs are heard.  Featured genres include: World, Roots Rock, Americana, Bluegrass, Latin, Old-time, Zydeco, Cajun, Blues, Folk, Country, Hip Hop and Jazz.  World music heroes like Africa’s Hugh Massekela, Oliver Mtukudzi, Seun Kuti (accompanied by his father Fela’s band Egypt 80), and Tinariwen; Reggae pioneers like Burning Spear and Toots & The Maytals; Hip Hop social activists Arrested Development; Folk and Country greats Merle Haggard, Lucinda Williams, and Old Crow Medicine Show; Latin artists Maraca Y Otra Vision and Sierra Maestra, Native Americans Keith Secola and Deer Clan Singers; and others The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Ani DiFranco and Rickie Lee Jones all have graced the GrassRoots Festival stages. Artists that make a difference, that educate and feed the soul.

The journey continues…

shakorihdrlogo1In 2003 a group of organizers from the New York festival, including GrassRoots Festival Organization founder Jordan Puryear, decided that they had such a great thing going, they should share it with as many people as possible.  With a vision for a GrassRoots for every season the organization moved south to central North Carolina.  The region is well known for its music, from its history of Old-time, Bluegrass, and Folk music to a thriving indie college scene; here was a perfect atmosphere in which to create another GrassRoots Festival.  They discovered a 75-acre old farmstead outside of Chapel Hill and on Earth Day weekend of April 2003, the Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance was born.  Four days of music, dance and art in a green, idyllic setting.

The Spring and Fall Shakori Hills GrassRoots festivals, from their inception, reached out and included local non-profit and advocacy groups and helped present their missions to audiences.  Shakori Hills also presents a safe and friendly place that is very welcoming to families.  Sara Waters, festival co-coordinator shares, “The kids’ area is outstanding, with activities from crafts to learning how to play instruments, kid-focused bands, and storytelling, to making masks and painting umbrellas for peace, there’s even a festival-wide game of capture the flag and a parade consisting of giant, ornate puppets and any number of percussion instruments.”

There are four stages, including two in large outdoor fields, a more intimate cabaret tent and a large, 10,000 square foot dance tent.  Some of the artists who have performed at Shakori Hills include: Carolina Chocolate Drops, The Avett Brothers, Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, Oliver Mtukudzi, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Sam Bush, Rusted Root, Nickel Creek, Richie Havens, Ralph Stanley, Squirrel Nut Zippers and Nnenna Freelon.

As with the New York festival, there is a Healing Arts area with Yoga, Tai-chi, massage and  movement workshops.  At Shakori Hills there is also a “Sustainability Fair” where area pioneers in Earth friendly technologies and practices come to share and present their ideas. “Attendees can camp out and stay for all four days or just come in for an afternoon.  Everyone finds something here that they are interested in. They may come for a favorite band and find they have a new love of  Zydeco dancing or an interest in gardening or biodiesel,” Waters recounts.

A new adventure…

miami-logo-final-4With their newest motto (taken from a fortune cookie) at heart– “If at first you succeed, try something harder.” –the organizers packed up and moved south yet again.  Historic Virginia Key Beach Park in Miami, Florida is now the home to the third, and winter season, Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance.  When asked about what was behind the creation of the southern-most GrassRoots Festival, Puryear says, “Well, it is a dream come true!  Creating four seasons of GrassRoots Festivals was an idea inspired by the turn of the century mark in 2000 and us wanting to do something really great.”

Like it’s big sisters, the Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival has adapted to the local culture, celebrating it and learning from it.  The festival organization has spent time not only planning a festival, but becoming familiar with the local community, finding out what the festival can bring to the table that might be missing or underestimated locally.  The GrassRoots festivals not only add to their surroundings, but they strive to make it so the event becomes a place for the local community to celebrate itself, unite in understanding as well as in fun.

The first Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival featured among others: Chaka Khan, Del McCoury, Arrested Development, Suenalo, Locos Por Juana, Keith Frank & His Soileau Zydeco Band, Jahfe and Donna The Buffalo.

Why this dream and what it means…

The GrassRoots festivals uphold their belief in education as much as fun, in sharing as much as taking a break from the everyday world.  Waters comments on the overall dream: “The idea is to have a wonderful experience and then take that out into the world, continue what you have learned and help others to learn it as well.”   Puryear speaks about what happens in the Dance Tent of all four festivals–how there, “the artists and the audience are on the same level, sharing in something very simple yet quite profound, the movement of the body and the communication music portrays without words.  The people, both artist and audience, sharing the music, breathing the same air, dancing on the same floor, kicking up some dust, become one.”

Written by Sara Waters.

2013 GrassRoots Festival Dates:
Feb 21-24 –Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival of Music & D ance – Miami, FL
April 18-21 – Shakori Hills Spring GrassRoots Fest Pittsboro, NC
July 18-21 – Finger Lakes GrassRoots Fest – Trumansburg, NY
October 10-13 – Shakori Hills Fall GrassRoots Fest – Pittsboro, NC

GrassRoots festival websites:
http://www.grassrootsfest.org
http://www.shakorihillsgrassroots.org
http://www.virginiakeygrassroots.org

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The Second Annual, Virginia Key Grassroots Festival of Music & Dance will return to Miami, Florida February 21 thru 24, 2013 at the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park.  The four day GrassRoots Festival event will feature: music on four stages, on-site camping, Sustainability Fair & Expo, Kids’ Area, Dance Tent, World Foods Cafe, and Zen Village Area with Healing Arts, Yoga, movement workshops, massage, meditation and crafts.

Virginia_Key_Grassroots_PosterMusical highlights include: Inner Circle, Rusted Root, MC Yogi, Suenalo,
Donna the Buffalo, Keith Frank & His Soileau Zydeco Band, Spam Allstars,
Locos Por Juana, Elastic Bond, ArtOfficial, Driftwood, Johnny Dread, Revelation Mizik, Jose Conde, Keith Secola, Equanimous Minds, Osceola Brothers.

Local partners include: Virginia Key Beach Park Trust, Zen Village, Moksha Family Art Collective, and Community Arts & Culture.  These organizations are working in cooperation with the GrassRoots Festival Organization to produce the 2nd annual Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival.

GrassRoots Festival Organization Inc. is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation from Trumansburg, NY that has produced the yearly Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance. From its inception in 1991, the organization has raised over $1,000,000 for arts, education and the fight against AIDS at its summer festival events in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.  In 2003 the GrassRoots Festival Organization expanded its operation to North Carolina with the twice yearly, Spring and Fall, Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance.  The Virginia Key Grassroots Festival of Music & Dance is the winter season festival of the year-round not-for-profit music, dance and arts festival series.

 

miami-logo-final-4

For more information see the Virginia Key GrassRoots website: www.virginiakeygrassroots.org
or call: (786) 409-5261.
or visit our office: 107 NE 22nd Street, Miami FL, 33137
other GrassRoots websites:
www.grassrootsfest.org  www.shakorihillsgrassroots.org

Virginia Key Grassroots Festival of Music & Dance
February 21st-24th 2013
Historic Virginia Key Beach Park
4020 Virginia Beach Dr.
Virginia Key, Miami, Florida 33149

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Like their namesake heirloom apple variety, Red June has strong roots in the Appalachian tradition while constantly forging new ground in Americana music.

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Red June is an acoustic trio based in Asheville, NC who creates and performs beautifully distilled Americana music. They are making waves with their dynamic, yet refined sound that features striking 3-part harmonies, tasteful instrumental work and honest, soulful songwriting that seamlessly blends old-time, bluegrass, roots rock and traditional country music. Poised to release their second full-length album, Beauty Will Come, on June 5th, 2012, listeners can expect an album to fall in love with. “The record is a brilliant integration of old-time, bluegrass, and beyond, and feels like a holding of hands… the blend is beautiful,” says singer/songwriter Kari Sickenberger of Polecat Creek.

Red June is made up of Will Straughan on resonator guitar, vocals and guitar, John Cloyd Miller on mandolin, vocals and guitar, and Natalya Weinstein on fiddle and vocals. The three have been longtime friends and first jammed together at a pickin’ party in Asheville in 2005. In late 2008 they formed Red June and went on to release their debut album Remember Me Well in 2010. Remember Me Well was voted the #1 regional release of 2010 by the listeners of the southeast’s premier independent radio station WNCW. “For those who seek well-crafted songwriting and impeccable musicianship, you just can’t go wrong with the acoustic instrumentation and powerful harmonies of Red June’s Remember Me Well. It’s an exciting debut from a collective of outstanding performers,” writes Chris Mateer in No Depression.

Beauty Will Come was recorded and mixed in late 2011 at Hollow Reed Arts Studio in Asheville by musician/engineer extraordinaire Chris Rosser, who co-produced the record along with Red June. The innovative young graphic artist, Peter Gaillard, designed the album art using an old lithograph of a Mourning Cloak butterfly. The image resonates with the album’s themes of transition, hope, loss and renewal.

More personal than their debut album, Beauty Will Come begins with an uplifting song by Straughan titled “These Old Chains.” “Every Hard Mile”, by Miller, is an expansive song featuring the band’s signature 3-part harmonies. Track three is an exciting old-time inspired fiddle tune written by Weinstein & Miller titled “Piney Branch Breakdown.” Straughan then brings us “All that the Fall Leaves,” a playful waltz about the search for true love.

“Bittersweet” is a pensive song from Weinstein, and is the song from which the album title was drawn. Next is the only cover song on the record, a gospel a capella originally recorded by Ralph Stanley called “I’m Willing to Try.” Following, is John’s nod to his bluegrass heritage with “Cloud of Dust.” Straughan’s beautiful and powerful “Soul’s Repair” follows and Miller then brings us the light-hearted “Foolish Me.” Next is a set of Irish reels, “Scott’s/Connors” penned by Straughan and named after his young guitar student and student’s brother. The final track on the album “Red Sky of Morn” is a collaborative song written by all three band members along with Laurelyn Dossett.

Red June is already well underway to becoming a longtime southern favorite, akin to the Appalachian heirloom apple variety from which they gleaned their name. Ripening early with a full balance of flavors, Red June is touring across the country and has performed at the renowned Music City Roots live radio show in Nashville as well as the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival and Suwannee Springfest. They will also be performing three days at the 25th anniversary MerleFest in April of 2012. As acclaimed songwriter & musician Joe Newberry says, “Red June is one of our truly great bands. They never fail to talk the talk and walk the walk.” Red June is sure to capture eyes and ears with their new release, Beauty Will Come.

WATCH “Soul’s Repair” live from Music City Roots
WATCH “Cloud Of Dust” from the Rooster’s Wife in Aberdeen, NC
WATCH “Bittersweet” from the Rooster’s Wife in Aberdeen, NC

Spring/Summer Tour Dates

4/27 – 4/29 MerleFest, N. Wilkesboro NC
5/5 French Broad River Fest, Hot Springs NC
5/12 Pinecone Concert Series, Cary NC
5/19 Opening for the Steep Canyon Rangers
at Pisgah Brewing in Black Mountain NC
6/7 Reynolda House, Winston-Salem NC
6/8 Hickory Unitarian Church, Hickory NC
6/9 Mountain Home Music, Blowing Rock NC
6/14 Whitewater Center, Charlotte NC
6/15 Altamont Theatre, Asheville NC
6/21 Marsh Woodwinds Upstairs, Raleigh NC
6/22 Ashland Coffee & Tea, Ashland VA
6/23 The Mainstay, Rock Hall MD
6/26 The Living Room, NYC
6/27 Johnny D’s, Boston MA
6/30 Wesley United Methodist Church, Amherst MA
7/1 Firebox TrueGrass Bluegrass Series, Hartford CT
7/21 Gallivan Center Folk & Bluegrass Festival,
Salt Lake City UT
7/22 Mountain Town Music, Park City UT
7/24 Cardiff Schoolhouse, Glenwood Springs CO
7/28 Cooper Creek Square Concerts, Winter Park CO
7/29 Fiddles, Vittles & Vino Festival, Colorado Springs CO
8/1 Poudre River Library, Fort Collins CO
8/4 Beartrap Summer Festival, Casper WY
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World-Renown GrassRoots Music Festival Poised to Take Centerstage at the Historic Miami Virginia Key Beach

Scheduled to perform: Chaka Khan, Del McCoury, Arrested Development, Immortal Technique, Beausoleil, Keith Secola & His Wild Band of Indians, Locos Por Juana, The Lee Boys, Donna The Buffalo, Jahfe, & more…

In the spirit of family, cultural celebration and fun, The Historic Virginia Key Beach Park will serve as home to the world-renown Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance, February 9 – 12, 2012.

The Festival organizers are planning to fill a bio diesel bus in North Carolina to travel down to the festival. Here’s what they say about it:

Hey folks! We’re planning on renting out a 55 passenger bio diesel bus for an epic road trip from the Shakori Hills Festival location in triangle area NC down to the Florida Keys for the first annual Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival. http://virginiakeygrassroots.org/

The bus leaves Wednesday, Feb 8th and returns Sunday, Feb 12th after the music.

The Tour Bus is super comfortable with DVD and bathroom, and runs on locally made bio fuels.  We’ll drive 1600 miles round trip (14 hours each way), starting out in the night so we’ll wake up at the beach! $120 per person covers fuel and drivers, and saves you festival overnight parking costs of $50.00. Plus, you can bring your camping gear with you!

NOTE: We need 55 people to sign up in order to fill the bio bus. Email grassrootsbiobus@gmail.com or Call Iris @ (919) 542 0244 for more info or to sign up.  For more info click here.

The four-day event will showcase some of the world’s most amazing and respected talents from over 50 performing groups whose genres include: roots rock, reggae, hip-hop, Latin, funk, Cajun, bluegrass, African, Kompa, world beat and zydeco. Grammy® Award winning performers Chaka Khan, The Del McCoury Band and Arrested Development will headline the inaugural festival along with the legendary ska/reggae band Fishbone, Donna the Buffalo, BeauSoleil avec Micheal Doucet and several South Florida local favorites Locos Por Juana, Suenalo and ArtOfficial.

To learn more about The Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival, performers, or to purchase tickets please contact Emma Hewitt at (786) 332-4630 or visit us at http://www.virginiakeygrassroots.org.

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DtB will play 3 days at Skippers in Tampa for NYE 12/30/11-1/1/2012

Fri-Sun, Dec 30- Jan 1, 2012 – Tampa, FL – Skipper’s Smokehouse
Wed-Thu, Jan 4-5, 2012 – Key West, FL – Green Parrot
Fri, Jan 6, 2011 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Revolution Live
Sat, Jan 7, 2012 – Orlando, FL – The Plaza “Live”

Announcing Virginia Key Grassroots Festival in Miami Feb 10-12th

I am thrilled to announce that Americana roots rockers Donna the Buffalo return to Florida for a 3 Day New Year’s Eve run at Skippers in Tampa! They will also stop in at The Green Parrot in Key West on Jan 4-5th, Revolution Live in Ft. Lauderdale on Jan 6th and the Plaza “Live” on January 7th in Orlando.

DtB will return to Florida for the 1st annual Virginia Key Grassroots Festival in Miami from February 10-12th and will be back in Northern Florida at Live Oak for Suwanee Springfest in March of 2012!

Donna the Buffalo‘s feel-good, groove-oriented, danceable and often socially conscious music all began over twenty years ago with roots in old time fiddle music that evolved into a soulful electric Americana mix infused with elements of cajun/ zydeco, rock, folk, reggae, and country. Donna the Buffalo is known for touring the country remaining fiercely independent as one of the industry’s most diverse roots-music bands and has “earned a reputation as one of the most respected, eclectic and hardest-working acts today,” praises Encore.

“Donna the Buffalo is in the enviable position of being a homegrown entity, a group that finds itself outside the coloring lines of the accepted formula, a formula that is now in the past tense…People doing what they love, and better, sharing that passion to the benefit of the public, is the strongest business formula ever written. Donna the Buffalo is living proof of that.” states Beat Magazine. Edd Hurt with the Nashville Scene writes, “Folkies with a superior sense of rhythm are rare enough, but folkies with a good beat and a healthy disrespect for eclectic clichés are a national treasure..they’ve never sounded better…”

The dynamic songwriting tandem of vocalists Jeb Puryear and Tara Nevins have penned over 180 songs in their collaboration with DTB and have many more in the making. Although never writing a set list for live show, the Erie Times notes, “they stick to a pattern…usually alternating between Puryear’s rhythmic, Dylan-influenced, guitar-centered songs and Nevins’ breezy, melodic, accordion-driven gems like the folksy Tides of Time and infectious Locket and Key.” As of late, Nevins and Puryear have also been known to perform as a duo on air and at live shows, which is always enjoyable to the fans to hear their favorite DtB songs in stripped down arrangements.

Donna the Buffalo has been working on a 10th album with Puryear on guitar, Nevins on fiddle, guitar, accordion, and scrubboard, keyboardist Dave McCracken, bassist Kyle Spark, and new Atlanta-based drummer Mark Raudabaugh. Donna the Buffalo has released nine albums and are affiliated with several others, including a Puryear’s 2007 solo album Hopes and Dreams and a 2003 release, Wait Til Spring, with Jim Lauderdale. The band’s 2008 release Silverlined, on Sugar Hill, rose to #8 on the Americana Music Chart.

Co-DtB bandleader and American roots traditionalist, Tara Nevins, released Wood and Stone, her first solo album since Mule to Ride in 1999 on Sugar Hill Records on May 3rd, 2011. Wood and Stone showcases her ever-evolving repertoire as she journeys both back to her own “roots” and head-long into new territory. The album was produced by Larry Campbell with guests including Levon Helm, Jim Lauderdale, Allison Moorer, Teresa Williams and more.

“… her music takes on the spirit of the [Levon Helm] Barn like a well-worn and cozy Gypsy jacket that was tailored to her shoulders,” says Brian Robbins with Jambands.com.  In a another recent review of the album, Wildman Steve wrote, “If heroes and heroines of rock ‘n’ roll are defined by their uniqueness, they definitely broke the mold when they made Tara Nevins.”  You can find out more at www.TaraNevins.com.

As an extension of this community and the band’s own dedication to live roots music, Donna started, and are still the driving force behind, the 20+ year old Finger Lakes Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance in Trumansburg, NY, the bi-annual Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival in Silk Hope, NC and February 2012 marks the first year for the Virginia Key Grassroots Festival in Florida.  DtB are regulars at MerleFest (NC), Suwanee Springfest & Magnolia Fest (FL), All Good (WV), Floyd Fest (VA), and The Great Blue Heron Festival (PA) amongst others. You can also see them in 2011 at Nateva (ME), Del Fest (MD), DuneGrass (MI), Head Jamz (TN), Targhee Bluegrass Fest (WV), Smilefest (NC) and a variety of other venues across the nation.

Over the years and through their travels, Donna the Buffalo as a band and its individual members have had the opportunity to play music with and/or record with musicians such as Jim Lauderdale, Preston and Keith Frank, Railroad Earth, Bela Fleck, John Paul Jones, Bill Kreutzmann, The Avett Brothers, Del McCoury, Tim O’Brien, Pete Wernick, Abigail Washburn, Mamadou Diabate, Los Lobo, Rusted Root, Claire Lynch, David Hidalgo, The Duhks and Amy Helm, just to name a few.

With over twenty years of playing to celebrate, hundreds of gigs ahead of them, and an ever-evolving grassroots sound; it looks like Donna the Buffalo is riding a cloud that is truly Silverlined.

DtB Upcoming Shows
Fri- Sat, Dec 2-3, 2011 – Floyd, VA- Sun Music Hall
Sun, Dec 4, 2011 – Annapolis, MD – Rams Head Tavern
Thu, Dec 8, 2011 – Ann Arbor, MI – The Intersection
Fri, Dec 9, 2011 – Grand Rapids, MI – The Intersection
Sat, Dec 10, 2011 – Kent, OH – Kent Stage
Fri, Dec 16, 2011 – Woodstock, NY – Bearsville Theater
Sat-Sun, Dec 17-18, 2011 – Ithaca, NY – Castaways
Fri-Sun, Dec 30- Jan 1, 2012 – Tampa, FL – Skipper’s Smokehouse
Wed-Thu, Jan 4-5, 2012 – Key West, FL – Green Parrot
Fri, Jan 6, 2011 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Revolution
Sat, Jan 7, 2012 – Orlando, FL – The Plaza “Live”
Thu, Jan 19, 2012 – Greensboro, NC – The Blind Tiger
Fri, Jan 20, 2012- Knoxville, TN – The Bijou Theatre
Sat, Jan 21, 2012 – Asheville, NC – The Orange Peel
Sun, Jan 22, 2012 – Huntsville, AL – Crossroads Café
Tue, Jan 24, 2012 – Birmingham, AL – WorkPlay Theatre
Wed, Jan 25, 2012 – Nashville, TN – 3rd & Lindsley
Thu, Jan 26, 2012 – Carborro, NC – The Cat’s Cradle
Fri, Jan 27, 2012 – Falls Church, VA – The State Theatre
Sat, Jan 28, 2012 – Morgantown, WV – 123 Pleasant Street
Thu, Feb 2, 2012 – West Chester, PA – The Note
Fri, Feb 3, 2012 – Buffalo, NY – The Tralf
Sat, Feb 4, 2012 – Unitca, NY – Uptown Theatre
Sat-Sun, Feb 10-12, 2012 – Miami, FL– Virginia Key Grassroots Festival
Fri, March 23, 2012 – Charleston, SC – The Pour House
Sat-Sun, March 24-25,2012 – Live Oak, FL – Suwanee Springfest
Thu-Sat, April 26-28, 2012 – Wilkesboro, NC – Merlefest

More shows tbd…


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The Duhks On Tour this October!

Thur, Oct 6th, 2011   Newton-Conover Auditorium  Newton, NC
Fri, Oct 7th      Pisgah Brewing Company     Black Mountain, NC
Sat-Sun, Oct 8-9th      Shakori Hills Festival    Silk Hope, NC
Wed, Oct 12th     Jammin’ Java     Vienna, VA
Thurs, Oct 13th      Kent Stage     Kent, OH
Fri, Oct 14th      The Newton Theatre    Newton, NJ
Sat, Oct 15th      Infinity Hall    Norfolk, CT

www.duhks.com

The most vital acoustic music being made today acknowledges its predecessors and lives in the here and now. The Duhks, a band of five skilled, high-energy, tattooed musicians from Winnipeg, Manitoba, has been riveting audiences and winning staunch fans around the world with just that kind of music. The Boston Globe says about them, “Canada’s premier neo-tradsters romp from world-beat to blues, urban-pop to old-timey, with wild-eyed invention, haunting traditionalism, and spine-rattling groove. Who says the Frozen North can’t sizzle, eh?”

Since the release of their self-titled album in 2005, the consequent re-release of its Canadian debut (Your Daughters and Your Sons) to their most recent release (Fast Paced World), the band has won admirers as diverse as David Crosby, Dolly Parton and Doc Watson. This isn’t surprising, given the band’s blend of soul, gospel, North American folk, Brazilian samba, old-time country string-band music, zydeco and Irish dance music, folk rock and the attraction to these interwoven acoustic styles. The Duhks’ unique sound has also earned the band a Grammy nomination, one Juno Award, two additional Juno nominations, two Folk Alliance awards and an Americana Music Association nomination for Best Emerging Artists.

NPR says, “The inventive Canadians in The Duhks are widely beloved for their smooth blend of traditional roots music and soul, which they inject with well-placed Afro-Cuban and Celtic influences.” Ultimately though, according to band founder and claw-hammer banjoist Leonard Podolak, the Duhks “just want to play music that speaks to everybody.” Mission accomplished.

2008’s Fast-Paced World was the first Duhks record to feature prodigies Sarah and Christian Dugas. The siblings have been immersed in music their whole lives, thanks in part to their musician parents. “We had a family band that toured across Canada when I was 7 and Christian was 9,” remembers Sarah. “My father had a recording studio in the house, so I grew up hearing a variety of musicians playing everything from rap to rock to world beat. I grew up in a fun and creative environment.”

Joining the band in 2011, violinist Duncan Wickel‘s (formerly of Asheville, NC and now in Boston, MA) studies also began early with classical violin training at age 4. He was soon after introduced to Irish fiddling and has evolved into a wildly diverse and highly accomplished improviser, composer and technician on the violin; which fits amazingly with the Duhks diverse sound.

Guitarist Jordan McConnell also started digging into music at an early age and he started making guitars right out of highschool. He built both the guitar he plays on stage and one of Leonard’s favorite banjos as well. Currently, Jordan’s luthier business is taking off through the roof- a guitar he built was recently played by Seth Avett of The Avett Brothers alongside Bob Dylan on the Grammys!

Sarah and Christian have started playing as a duo and signed with Southern Ground Records (Zac Brown, Wood Brothers, Sonia Leigh). Since then they have played on Zac Brown’s Cruise “Sailing the Southern Seas” as well as the renowned folk and roots cruise “Cayamo”. They released an EP titled “Another Day” in February of 2011.

When not performing with the Duhks, Leonard has been invited into the Cecil Sharp Project based in the UK, as well as a new project, he’s started with some great Canadian songwriters called Dry Bones who performed earlier this year at the Vancouver Folk Fest.

With all of the side projects taking off, this tour is a special and rare opportunity to see the band. According to one blogger‘s live review, “The Duhks have soul in spades and a heart beat that pulses more true than an Ibiza night club. A night spent with The Duhks is summed up best by their own encore, ‘HALLELUJAH!’ Hallelujah indeed.”

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Donna the Buffalo is on for a great weekend heading through Nashville, Greensboro, and Asheville. There are lots of great interviews for the shows which are posted below. Co-band leader, Tara Nevins, kicked of the day yesterday with a solo studio session on the Lightning  100 with Lt Dan. Then the band went over to the Loveless Barn for a Music City Roots performance with other amazing artist including  Catie Curtis, The Cleverlys, The Black Lillies, and Rayland Baxter. Check out some wonderful pics from the night here.

DtB will be playing on Cannery Street tonight in Nashville at the Mercy Lounge with the Roy Jay Band, who is on the road with DtB for several shows this winter. Here’s a nice writeup in the Nashville Scene by Edd Hurt about the show:

Photo by Jim Gavenus

Folkies with a superior sense of rhythm are rare enough, but folkies with a good beat and a healthy disrespect for eclectic clichés are a national treasure. Hailing from the metropolis of Trumansburg, N.Y., Donna the Buffalo began playing their mixture of country, soul, zydeco and folk 20 years ago, and they’ve never sounded better. On their 2008 full-length Silverlined, songwriters Tara Nevins and Jeb Puryear came up with such great songs as “Biggie K,” which may be the finest tune ever written about childbirth: “Though her stomach’s stretched and pulled / She’s never been more beautiful.” The quintet’s easy way with American roots music suggests a fusion of Brinsley Schwarz and The Holy Modal Rounders, and they make music that’s beautiful but never prettified. They say they have a couple of projects in the works, including a full-band effort and a solo record by Nevins.  Read the original post at nashvillescene.com.

On Friday, January 28th, they head on over to Greensboro, NC to play at the new Blind Tiger. David McCracken, DtB’s B3 Hammond player, grew up in Greensboro and did this great interview with Eddie Huffman from GoTriad.com:

photo by Jim Gavenus

From the moment Greensboro native Dave McCracken first saw Donna the Buffalo play live, at MerleFest in 1997, he knew he belonged in the band.

“I watched them for the first time, and I remember I saw them move the organ across the stage,” McCracken says, speaking by phone from his mother’s house in Liberty. “I said out loud, ‘Man, that should be me.’ Ten years later — 10 years later! — it’s me. I swear, I don’t even know how that happened. I just knew it should be me for some reason.”

. . .    . . .    . . .

Donna the Buffalo formed in 1989 in upstate New York but has made many N.C. connections in the years since — McCracken and North Wilkesboro’s MerleFest among them. The group signed with Sugar Hill Records, a fixture in Durham for more than two decades before the label moved its offices to Nashville, and the members of Donna the Buffalo founded the twice-yearly Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance in rural Chatham County, now entering its eighth year.

. . .    . . .    . . .

Jam band fans already knew McCracken via Folkswaggin’, which started in Greensboro in 1994 and played at the Blind Tiger regularly.

“I really cut my teeth in that place,” he says. “That’s where I learned how to play keyboards. I’ve been playing there since ’97. I’ve gone through a lot of things in that place, and it means a lot to me. I’m looking forward to playing there again. It’s been a long time since I’ve been there.”

In recent years, McCracken has played at the Blind Tiger with Q-Bex, a version of the band Hobex which includes acclaimed drummer Jeff Sipe.

McCracken did a stint in Hobex about 10 years ago, and he played in a metal band called Perpetual Iniquity in Greensboro as a teenager in the late 1980s. But his musical ambitions go all the way back to his early childhood in the 1970s.

“Playing music for a living was seriously a dream I had when I was, like, 3,” McCracken says. “You know how Facebook reunites people so much? I reunited with somebody who was my friend until I was 5. He was like, ‘Wow, you’re playing music for a living.’ He said it wasn’t surprising at all because all I talked about back then was how I wanted to do it.”

. . .    . . .    . . .

Read the full article at gotriad.news-record.com

Tara Nevins also interviewed for the Blind Tiger show. She spoke with Laura Graff from the Winston-Salem Journal. Here is a bit of the article:

Photo by Lewis Tezak Jr

Donna the Buffalo’s music belongs on the festival circuit — it’s an engaging mix of roots, bluegrass, reggae, country and New Orleans-inspired zydeco. . .

. . .     . . .    . . .

“We just come from a base of traditional music,” said Tara Nevins, one of the band’s original members. Nevins formed the band with Jeb Puryear, and both play old-time fiddle.

“Over the years of playing fiddle music, we discovered other traditional music,” Nevins said. “We don’t do it on purpose, it’s just that we have a lot of music that we’ve been involved in over the years and that we love.”

Nevins, who started out playing the fiddle, bought an accordion about 20 years ago.

“That gave us a Louisiana flavor to our songs,” she said. “We just have a lot of musical influences, because of some of the different instruments we play, those flavors come out in our music.”

. . .    . . .    . . .

Nevins just finished work on a solo album, “Wood and Stone,” which will be released on Sugar Hill in April.”Wood and Stone” is her second solo album. The last, “Mule to Ride,” showcased the fiddle and was, Nevins said, more “old-time bluegrass.” This new album, she said, showcases her songwriting.

“I’ve written pretty much everything on the record,” Nevins said. “It’s not all about the fiddle the way the first one was.”

She said the band is planning to return to the studio in late February to work on a new album.

“It’s going to be a collaboration,” Nevins said. “We’re inviting other artists that we’ve played at with festivals over the years — artists we admire.”

Read the full article at www2.journalnow.com

On Saturday, the band jumps on the bus over to Asheville to play the Orange Peel. The Mountain Xpress wrote a nice little blurb about the show and some of DtB’s Asheville connections:

Kyle Spark. Photo by Lewis Tezak Jr.

For years, upstate N.Y.-based, self-desribed “Cajun/ zydeco, rock, folk, reggae and country” band Donna the Buffalo has long had an Asheville connection through it’s bassist. First it was Bill Reynolds (Band of Horses) then Jay Sanders (Acoustic Syndicate). Now DTB has Massachusetts bassist Kyle Spark but the group (who has toured for 21 years) still makes its semi-annual trek South (DTB is likely to pop up at regional warm-weather festivals). . .

Read the original post at: mountainx.com

Great weekend in store. We hope to see lots of the Herd around for these SouthEast shows!



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