Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Folk Festival strikes a chord

Event attracts 4,500 music lovers to Hop Porter Park

Express Staff Writer

Jimmy Smith, who fronts for the band The Gourds along with “Shiny Ribs” Russell, strums his bass during the Folk Festival headliner performance Saturday night. Photo by Willy Cook

Hop Porter Park was hopping last weekend as some 4,500 locals and out-of-towners attended the 34th annual Northern Rockies Folk Festival in Hailey.

Out-of-towners included nationally renowned honky-tonk folk players The Gourds, from Austin, Texas, the headline performers for Saturday night's music. Friday's headliner was the well-known James McMurtry, a folk singer-songwriter who grew up in Texas and Virginia.

The Gourds and McMurtry were joined by local and regional folk-style bands to give the crowd two days of solid down-to-earth music.

"We had great crowds both Friday and Saturday evenings, along with wonderful entertainment, coupled with super burgeoning young artists like Stephanie Sloan, Izzy Taylor and Carley Gibson," said Peter Kramer, folk festival director. "We are going to continue showcasing the wealth of young talent in the Wood River Valley for years to come."

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