Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Get dancing for the 34th Northern Rockies Folk Festival

Folk fest will feature local and national musicians


By SABINA DANA PLASSE
Express Staff Writer

The Gourds are the headlining band on Saturday, Aug. 6, for the 34th annual Northern Rockies Folk Festival at Hop Porter Park in Hailey. Courtesy photo

The 34th annual Northern Rockies Folk Festival will take place at Hop Porter Park in Hailey on Friday, Aug. 5, and Saturday, Aug. 6. Tickets are $32 for two days or $16 for Friday and $21 for Saturday. Shows start at 5 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. on Saturday. Headliners include James McMurtry and the Gourds. In addition, the festival will include Quailfish, Roses Pawn Shop, The Sloans, Justin Wells, Carly Gibson, Intersection, Slow Children Playing, Up A Creek and Bill Coffey. Other valley talent will include Ken Martin, Tim East, Fletcher Brock and Jim Paisley.

Enjoy seeing and listening to Friday night headliner James McMurtry, who is the son of author Larry McMurtry. He grew up in Texas and Virginia listening to his father's folk and country albums. In 1987, he was one of six winners of the prestigious Kerrville New Folk songwriter contest. His first album was produced by John Mellencamp and marked the beginning of a series of acclaimed projects for Columbia and Sugar Hill. McMurtry will perform with veteran band mates and rhythm section The Heartless Bastards, Darren Hess and Ronnie Johnson.

Headlining Saturday evening's show are The Gourds, who return to the festival again to bring everyone on their feet. The band hails from Austin, Texas, which has a rich alt-country music scene. The Gourds' albums include "Bolsa de Agua," "Cow Fish Fowl or Pig, Blood of the Ram," "Heavy Ornamentals," "Noble Creatures" and "Haymaker." The band consists of singer songwriters Kevin "Shinyribs" Russell, Jimmy Smith, Claude Bernard, Keith Langford and  HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Johnston" Max Johnston of  HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncle_Tupelo" Uncle Tupelo and  HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilco" Wilco.

This year the festival will offer overnight camping and RV parking across the street at Lion's Park on the Big Wood River. Reservations are available at the Hailey Chamber of Commerce. For details, call 788-2700.

The festival began in 1977 as a Sun Valley Center for the Arts and Humanities event. In 1995, it became its own entity and is now run by a nine-member volunteer board of directors. The festival has grown into a two-day show jam-packed with talent culled from the Wood River Valley as well as from regional and national music scenes.

The Northern Rockies Folk Festival also supports young musicians by always making room on the stage for up-and-coming bands with local ties, student musicians and "tweeners" who are local musicians given 15 minutes during stage set changes.

On Sunday, Aug. 7, a "Picking Party" will take place at Lion's Park for all string instrument pickers who want to come together and play informally. Chapter One Bookstore in Ketchum, Shelley's Deli in Hailey and the Hailey Chamber of Commerce will sell service-fee-free tickets. Tickets will also be available at the gate, while they last. For details, visit www.northernrockiesfolkfestival.com.

Festival line-up

Friday, Aug. 5

5:30 p.m. Quailfish

6:30 p.m. Roses Pawn Shop

8:30 p.m. James McMurtry

Saturday, Aug. 6

12 p.m. The Sloans

1 p.m. Justin Wells

1:45 p.m. Carly Gibson

2:45 p.m. Intersection

4 p.m. Slow Children Playing

5:30 p.m. Up A Creek

7 p.m. Bill Coffey

8:30 p.m. The Gourds

Sabina Dana Plasse: splasse@mtexpress.com




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