All photos by Larry Neuzel
Tommy Emmanuel is one of the true master guitar players in the world and returns to the WoodSongs stage with The Australian All-Star Band featuring his brother, Phil Emmanuel. Tommy left Australia nearly fifteen years ago to tour the world relentlessly as a solo guitarist. This two-time Grammy nominee has a professional career that spans almost five decades and continues to intersect with some of the finest musicians throughout the world.
The Blind Boys of Alabama are recognized worldwide as living legends of gospel music. Celebrated by The Grammys and The National Endowment for the Arts with Lifetime Achievement Awards and winners of five Grammy® Awards, they have attained the highest levels of achievement in a career that spans over 60 years and shows no signs of diminishing. They will be performing material from their new CD Take The High Road.
Hot Tuna is founding members of the legacy rock band Jefferson Airplane, Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady. They have just released their first studio record in 20 years "Steady As She Goes" on Red House Records and will be performing on WoodSongs in a special acoustic performance to celebrate the album. Mountain Heart is bluegrass super group that has been fearlessly revolutionizing the way acoustic music can be presented and played. The band's name has been synonymous with cutting-edge excellence in acoustic music circles since the group's creation in 1999. Widely known throughout the music industry for continually redefining the boundaries of acoustic music, the band is one of the most highly awarded ensembles ever assembled.
Gary Morris is most noted for the smash hit 'Wind Beneath My Wings.” Gary has traveled a colorful path from Fort Worth, TX to the White House, Nashville to Opera Houses and beyond. Morris has long been regarded as one of the greatest tenors of our time, having performed for every President since Jimmy Carter, and also the Queen of England. His Country career produced an astounding twenty-five charted singles on the Billboard country charts, with five consecutive No. 1 hits. The Roys are a brother/sister duo who hail from Fitchburg, MA, and their music is a surprisingly fresh, Bluegrass sound that includes hints of Roots and traditional Country, and its uniquely identifiable tone has brought them honors – and fans – from around the globe.
Sierra Hull first performed on WoodSongs when she only 10 years old and played with her idol Sam Bush. A lot has changed for Sierra since and she has become an artist in her own right. Sierra will be performing songs from hew new CD Daybreak with her band Highway 111. Pokey LaFarge & The South City Three are a ragtime blues band and originators of the Riverboat Soul sound. This St. Louis musician and singer creative mix of early jazz, string ragtime, country blues and western swing rings true and fine, making him one of the most innovative of all the purists performing American roots music today.
Carolyn Wonderland is a musical force equipped with the soulful vocals of Janis Joplin and the guitar slinging skills of Stevie Ray Vaughn. She is a multi-award winning artist from Austin, Texas. The David Mayfield Parade are led by this Grammy-nominated musician and producer whose irrepressible energy and abundant love for the music are evident at every performance.
Janiva Magness is now a bona fide blues star, her rise to the top was far from easy. She has been performing for almost three decades, logging thousands of miles on the road and appearing 150 nights a year at clubs, theaters and festivals all over the world. Janiva and her full band will be supporting her latest CD The Devil Is An Angel Too. The Honey Dewdrops make their home in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Charlottesville, Virginia. Laura Wortman and Kagey Parrish have been playing music in some capacity for over 15 years, but honed in on their natural duet abilities 7 years ago when they met for the first time in college. It was their love of folk music that brought them together and has since taken them out on the road to tour full-time as the award-winning duet they are today.
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver are one of Bluegrass' most honored and revered masters. He got his start in bluegrass music in 1963 when he played banjo for Jimmy Martin. In 1971, Doyle formed his own band, Quicksilver. This award winning ensemble has picked up the IBMA Award for best vocal group an unprecedented seven years in a row. He and his band are introducing songs from their new album called Drive Time on Crossroads Music. Kids of Bluegrass are three young musicians that are rising stars in the bluegrass community. Daniel Patrick is a 16 year old banjo player. Samantha Patrick is his 13 year old sister who plays mandolin and Kyle Ramey is 9 and is a hot shot mandolin player. Daniel, Samantha & Kyle will be performing together to show the incredible talent of the next generation of bluegrass of musicians.
It’s our celebration of unusual instruments from the all over the world with performances by Peter Hedlund, Maeve Gilchrist, Dick Boak & Andy Cohen.Michael Johnathon starts the celebration off with his performance which features Jo Nardolillo playing the strobe fiddle. Peter “Puma” Hedlund is considered Sweden's leading traditional player of the modern chromatic nyckelharpa, having won the title World Champion twice, in 1992 and 2000. Maeve Gilchrist is a master of the Celtic harp. She was born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland and her music fuses her Scottish roots with the colors and freedoms of jazz. Dick Boak will be performing the traditional autoharp. Dick is bit of a Renaissance man. This Pennsylvania-based artist, writer, woodworker and musicians built and designed geodesic domes in the late 60s and for the past 32 years he has worked at Martin Guitar. Andy Cohen is based out of Memphis, TBN and will be playing the Dolceola, a small piano-like instrument that was made in 1905.
Rhonda Vincent & Gene Watson have two of the greatest voices in both country and bluegrass music. Each possess an impressive list of credentials and awards. The "Queen of Bluegrass" and the "King of Country Soul" will be performing songs from their duet project call Your Money and My Good Looks.
Guitar Shorty is a giant in the blues world. Credited with influencing both Jimi Hendrix and Buddy Guy, Guitar Shorty has been electrifying audiences for five decades with his supercharged live shows and his incendiary recordings. Tracy Nelson has one of the signature voices of her generation. She is one of the few female singers who has had hit records in both blues and country genres, performing with everyone from Muddy Waters to Willie Nelson to Marcia Ball and Irma Thomas, with Grammy® nominations for both her country and blues efforts.
People have been singing about the mountains for generations. In recent years, the voices singing them have taken on a special urgency with the landscape of Appalachia changing with the times and so are the songs. In the spirit of this music, WoodSongs taped two broadcasts at the historic Lexington Opera House featuring an array of artists singing the music of coal country and Appalachia including the legendary Emmylou Harris, Darrell Scott, and more. John Adams, co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington DC and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and his wife Patricia join Michael Johnathon for a spirited conversation about Appalachia in Part 1 of this special WoodSongs broadcast.
Part 2 of this special WoodSongs broadcast from the Lexington Opera House continues the music of Appalachia and Coal Country with more performances by the legendary Emmylou Harris, Darrell Scott, and others. John and Patricia Adams expands on their conversation on Appalachia. This show features the “Appalachian Road” music video and song by Michael Johnathon.