2017 Musical Lineup:
Arm of the Sea Theater
Arm of the Sea is an arts ensemble that fuses visual storytelling with live music in contemporary works of mask and puppet theater. Their large-scale multi-layered productions delight and inform audiences of all ages. We are thrilled to welcome them to their first Hoot, performing DIRT: THE SECRET LIFE OF SOIL. Check out their video here.
Billy Wylder, like their peers, the David Wax Museum and Rubblebucket, meld sounds from around the globe with their American roots, taking the listener on a journey from bayou to borough, desert to dreamland. The quartet features Avi Salloway who has toured and performed with Bombino (acclaimed Tuareg guitarist) and made his own journeys to Standing Rock, Jerusalem and Palestine extending and re-weaving the threads of music and positive dialogue. We are proud to welcome Billy Wilder to their first Hoot. Check out their video here.
Dan Bern is back for another Summer Hoot! This guy almost missed his Winter Hoot Pewter Session because he was painting a wooden lizard with his daughter at the Fiber Flame room. This says a lot about what we love about this brilliant artist/parent. He is always in the moment, always truthful, and we're stoked that this summer he'll be doing two sets: one for kids and one for us overgrown ones. Thanks for coming back, Dan!
Bunkhouse Boys are a Hudson Valley trio playing Louisiana Cajun/Creole roots music. As the name suggests, Mark Sagar, Roger Weiss and Laren Droll discovered each other in an Ashokan bunkhouse while spending a week immersed in the music they love. Together, their fiddle, accordion and guitar forge a tight bayou groove that tugs at your heart and makes you want to dance.
Megan Downes grew up dancing in New York City's traditional Irish music community before moving south to work with one of the best bluegrass bands in the country as a principal dancer with Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble. Megan is now the Artistic Director of New York's City Stompers. We're so excited that she's calling the Saturday night Hoot Square Dance and teaching a flat-footing workshop!
The Down Hill Strugglers & John Cohen
The Down Hill Strugglers and John Cohen play traditional fiddle-n-banjo music that befits any "hoot" and we're excited to have these three whippersnappers (and one old-timer) back for another Hoot. They'll be kicking up a ruckus on the main stage and playing for the Saturday night squares. Here's their 2015 Winter Hoot Pewter Session.
Sarah Lee Guthrie
Carrying on her immense folk legacy with unique grace, Sarah Lee Guthrie brings an open heart and true purpose to her recently-launched solo career. Mondays at her Dad Arlo's church in western Massachusetts, she has started The Hoping Machine, a gathering of local activists and singers who workshop songs specifically for marches and rallies. Whether she's marching along side you and me or finding her place in the spotlight on stages across the world, this woman charms and inspires. Check out this video of her song "Overcome."
Hamell on Trial
Hamell on Trial is a one-man punk band—and by punk we mean (mostly) loud, fast music informed by politics, passion, energy and intelligence, played by a guy with a sharp tongue and a wicked sense of humor. We first saw him on a sunny side-stage at Vancouver Folk Festival a decade ago performing material from his album Songs for Parents Who Enjoy Drugs to a somewhat startled and mostly enthralled mid-day audience. He'll be rocking late-night in the Performance Hall. If you or your little ones are sensitive to explicit lyrics you may wanna steer clear of this performance.
Ruthy met Joan Henry at a concert for peace at the Old Dutch Church in Kingston and was instantly drawn to the beauty and authenticity of her pure voice and spirit. Joan is a "song-carrier" preserving and sharing songs of the Arawak, Tsalagi, Dakota people. She also makes her home in the Catskills and feels a deep connection to Ashokan and the Esopus Creek. Joan's songs and stories speak of the sacred relationship between humans and the earth and provide an opportunity for us to appreciate and envision clean waters. Hear Sunrise Song from her recording "Kanogisgi."
Mikhail Horowitz & Gilles Malkine
Poor, obscure, and pushing 64, Mikhail Horowitz and Gilles Malkine will desperately attempt to prolong their adolescence by gracing the Hoot stage for a second time. The preposterous pair will perform profligate poetry, perverse parody, and provocative political pastiches, with a liberal dose of musical mishegas. Experience one of their parodies here.
Phoebe Hunt & The Gatherers
Phoebe Hunt has a brand new album, Shanti's Shadow and Rolling Stone says: "The album title hints at the otherworldly music within, with Hunt merging her Appalachian-style fiddle chops with Texas twang, Indian ragas, gypsy jazz, unfamiliar time signatures and the free-spirited fun of a jam band leader." They make their home in Brooklyn but somehow we've just met. We're thrilled to welcome these mesmerizing musicians to their first Hoot! Check out this great video for "Lint Head Gal."
If your guitar playing causes tender hearts to swoon and your lyrics inspire friends to create a drinking game (where they take a sip each time you utter "blues") you might just be a country singer. You also might be Chas Justus, Mississippi-born guitarist/singer of Louisiana band The Revelers, with extra songs spilling out the sides of an already full creative path. Pull up a patch of Hoot Hill and get comfy. Here's his new record Straight Ahead.
Lily & Duncan
Lily & Duncan are products of the fiddle camp who met in rural California, already 36 sleepless hours into playing music. Upon meeting, they immediately attempted to jam, but only made it midway through the first tune before falling asleep over their fiddles. They awoke to begin bonding over their homeschooled fiddle nerd childhoods and writing, playing and singing about life, love, and community. Attendees at the 2017 Winter Hoot, they performed a rockin' last-minute Pewter Session with their friend Aaron Lipp. We're excited to have them in the official lineup this time around!
First thing each day you will hear the meditative and healing sounds of two gongs ring out across Hoot Hill to bless the entire festival site. Love Waves is comprised of Neslihan Sukh Inder Lord and Theresa Widmann, Kundalini Yoga teachers from Anahata in Kingston. Love Waves is so very grateful to be a part of the magic of the Hoot and for the opportunity to bathe all Hootsters with the healing sounds of the gongs.
Heather Maloney is a Massachusetts-based songwriter and singer. Huffington Post has praised her "lyrics that cut to the chase" and the NY Times called her music "utterly gorgeous - visceral." We've seen Heather growing on the scene for several years and are really happy to present her at the Summer Hoot. She has a beautiful vocal range from angelic highs to warm undertones and her music lies somewhere in the beautiful netherworld between indie and folk. Here she is singing Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock."
(featuring Mike + Ruthy)
Mike + Ruthy (your Hoot co-producers) are once again The Mammals blending beauty, politics, and a foot-stomping good time. As described by the Washington Post, "The Mammals don’t suffer from multiple genre syndrome, they celebrate it as if gleefully aware that the sound barriers separating old-timey music, vintage pop and contemporary folk are as permeable as cotton." No Depression wrote "The Mammals' newest tune, 'Culture War' gets right to the heart of the fight for the American soul." Check out this live video for "On My Way Home."
Rhett Miller is the Texas-born songwriter and lead singer for Old '97s. It's a pleasure to run into him now and again (he lives in the Hudson Valley now) and an even greater pleasure to present him for a solo set at his first Hoot. If you're not familiar with Rhett, here's what he's like at a live show and here's a music video for his song "Most in the Summertime."
A true musician's musician, Geoff Muldaur is one of the great voices to emerge from the 1960s and ’70s folk scene. Geoff made highly influential recordings as a founding member of the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, on Paul Butterfield’s "Better Days," and in collaboration with then-wife Maria Muldaur and other notables (Bonnie Raitt, Eric Von Schmidt, Jerry Garcia, etc.) and his definitive recording of “Brazil” was featured in Terry Gilliam’s film of the same title. We are honored to welcome Geoff to his first Summer Hoot, though it's certainly not his first "hoot!"
Last year, Ashokan Southern Week regulars, The Revelers (Lafayette, LA) were nominated for the Best Regional Roots category for the 58th GRAMMY® awards for their record Get Ready. This Southwest Louisiana "swamp pop" band packs a whole night of heart, soul, and dance-energy into every song. Unfamiliar with the genre of "swamp pop" you say? Here's Wikipedia's take on it. You might want your dancing shoes nearby as you listen to The Revelers singing "Toi, Tu Veux Pus M'Voir."
The Sweetback Sisters
NBC New York praised "gorgeous girl-on-girl harmonies over swell honky-tonk melodies . . . trust us: these guys are brilliant!" Well, we couldn't agree more. We love The Sweetback Sisters' modern take on the golden age of country music, and the fun they have singing and playing together. We're glad they can come back for their second Hoot - this time a Summer one! And when you hear this number you'll know why they're leading a vocal workshop as well.
Jay Ungar & Molly Mason
Decades-long co-organizers of Ashokan's Music & Dance programs (and now board President and VP of The Ashokan Center), Jay Ungar & Molly Mason, have contributed immense vision and work to preserving this place and its programs. From organizing big-picture endeavors to playing "Home Grown Tomatoes" and "Ashokan Farewell" for visiting 5th graders nearly every week, their leadership and love of Ashokan has helped to preserve the land and "spirit of home" for thousands of adults and children to experience each year.
This acoustic septet from Upstate New York is a sonic whirlwind of foot-stomping Americana, complete with mandolin, alto/baritone saxophone, cajon, and upright bass, all led by a soaring harmonic trio of powerhouse female vocalists. We're sure hope Upstate Rubdown will enjoy their first Hoot and you'll be dancing along on Hoot Hill. Check out this sweet video - it makes us wanna hear them sing in the Pewter Shop!