Friday, August 6, 2004

Hoppin? tunes at Hop Porter

Valley bands contribute to Folk Fest?s lineup

Express Staff Writer

The 27th Annual Northern Rockies Folk Festival brings with it a sense of time and place unique to small towns with big ideas. Hailey just simply swells over the weekend with music lovers. The town of Hailey?be it ever so humble?shines.

Beginning tonight. Friday, Aug. 6, the Hop Porter Park brims with activ-ity. There are several non-profit or-ganization food booths and the huge playground for kids to stay enter-tained while the old folks listen to great tunes. Musically, this year is really a treat since it features some excellent nationally known bands as well as six valley-based bands and two with roots nearby.

The music starts at 5 p.m. with In Search of a Red Headed Fiddler, whose bandmates are Bill Sprong, Scott Seaward, Jeff London, Marcus Bolenger, Mary Ellen Mahar and Craig Sakimoto.

The show continues at 6:30 p.m. with Micky & the Motorcars, featur-ing Gary and Micky Braun, and con-cludes with Willy and Cody Braun?s band Reckless Kelly at 8:30 p.m. The Braun brothers were all raised near Stanley, though are now based in Austin, Texas.

On Saturday, the party reunites with a string of valley bands at 1 p.m. with the Ketchum World Beat Street Band. At 2 p.m. Red Headed Fiddler returns for an encore.

A popular Folk Fesitval returnee The Doc Tater plays their brand of bluegrass at 3 p.m. with a lineup in-cluding Richard "Doc" Romansky, Gerard Kelly, Eric Larson, Chris McDonald and Michael Wendling.

At 4 p.m., the Kim Stocking Band takes the stage with their cast of char-acters, Kim and her sister Ember Jensen, Mike Saul, Chip Booth, Jim Paisley and Josh Kelly. This band has played around the valley for years and has appeared at the Folk Festival on four other occasions.

Swinging, singing and generally inciting the crowd, the Sacramento-based Mumbo Gumbo boogies onto the stage at 5 p.m. They are a peren-nial favorite for longtime festival-goers. The name of the band sums it up. Their sound is an infectious gumbo of Latin and Caribbean rhythms with a good dollop of New Orleans style rhythm and blues.

Yum, serve it up.

Next up at 7 p.m. is the interna-tionally acclaimed Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul, who together trans-form the Irish fiddling tradition into a unique and lively mix of folk, African rhythms and American vocals.

Ivers is a nine-time All-Ireland Fiddle Champion who has played with the London Symphony Orches-tra, National Symphony at The Ken-nedy Center, Boston Pops, ?River-dance, ? and the Chieftains.

Following Ivers and Immigrant Soul at 9 p.m. is another band with valley roots, Bruce Willis and the Accelerators.

This recent addition to the line up shook up the organizers only a little since making room for Willis was something all involved had wanted for some time.

?Ivers? people were incredibly gracious. She didn?t have a level of comfort of following Bruce, but they were very gracious about moving to an earlier time so he could play,? Pete Kramer, one of the Northern Rockies organizers said.

?He considers Hailey to be one of his towns. He always kind of wanted to play but it?s been a scheduling issue. He saw a window in the last week and had some dialogue with one of our board members.?

There are many factors in working in a band at zero hour, Kramer ad-mitted, but ?short of the times, every-one?s going to get to play. It?s going to still be fine, we just kind of got a little extra desert. But with 4,000 it?s a big opportunity for valley to give him his due. He went out to Iraq and played for the troops, so why wouldn?t we want that. It?s a win-win situation.?

Booster buttons for the two-day festival are $18 and are available at Big Bad Bill?s, Copy & Print and Read All About it in Hailey and in Ketchum at Chapter One.

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