Madison Style Musicana

Bromberg, The Greencards
head talented Folk Festival lineup

Festival committee regroups,
perseveres after death
of chairman John Walburn

By Laura Hodges
Contributing Writer

May 2011 Edition Cover

May 2011
Edition Cover

(May 2011) – Although she is a lifelong Hoosier, Carrie Newcomer will make her first appearance in Madison, Ind., at this year’s Ohio River Valley Folk Festival.
The Bloomington, Ind., singer-songwriter is a contemporary Americana folksinger who writes her own material. She describes herself as a musical storyteller who finds something extraordinary in ordinary events.
“It’s so easy not to be present in our own lives. We don’t live in days, we live in moments,” she said.
Although she’s toured internationally, she revels in her Indiana roots. “Something really good happened when I gave myself permission to write in my Midwestern voice.” For example, her song “Geodes” explores the metaphor of the plain, lumpy-looking rock whose interior is a miracle of crystal complexity.
The Indiana Department of Agriculture is currently using one of her songs, “I Wish I May, I Wish I Might,” to promote its “Food for Thought” initiative to promote farmers markets and eating locally produced food. The song is a whimsical look at Indiana’s county fairs and local festivals.
Newcomer’s 12th album, “Before and After,” was released recently. She will be the closing act of the Folk Festival, which runs Friday through Sunday, May 20-22. Newcomer will take the stage at 6 p.m. Sunday, May 22.

Folk Festival
Music Schedule

Friday, May 20
5 p.m.: Gates & Folk Art Village Open
6 p.m.: Mickey Clark and
Blue Norther
8 p.m.: Adrienne Young
10 p.m.: The Greencards

Saturday, May 21
11 a.m.:
Gates & Folk
Art Village Open
Noon: Music Workshop
& Jam Session
1 p.m.: The Tillers
3 p.m.: The Wiyos
5 p.m.: Paul Thorn
7 p.m.: David Bromberg
9 p.m.: Uncle Earl

Sunday, May 22
12:30 p.m.:
Music Presentation
1 p.m.: BlueGrazz Junction
2:30 p.m.: Greg Ziesemer
and Kris Luckett
4 p.m.: Hogeye Navvy
6 p.m.: Carrie Newcomer
Tickets: $25 for a three-day pass. Friday only $15; Saturday only $20; Sunday only $10. Call 1-800-559-2956 or (812) 265-2956 or visit: www.OhioRiver

Other headline musicians for the festival are the Greencards at 10 p.m. Friday and the David Bromberg Quartet at 7 p.m. Saturday.
The sixth annual Ohio River Valley Folk Festival will entertain festival-goers with outstanding music, enthralling storytelling, interesting handicrafts and a diverse variety of craft-brewed beer.
The music begins at 6 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in Madison Bicentennial Park on the riverfront. Admission wristbands are $25 for the weekend.
Continuous folk music is the festival’s big draw, but other American art forms are also featured.
Nine crafts people will demonstrate their skills in the Folk Craft Village. Crafts to be presented are blacksmithing, natural dyeing, gunsmithing, shoemaking, making hand-carved wooden bowls, boring wood water pipes, pottery making, weaving and carving wood dippers, spoons and ladles. In addition, there will be three folk craft vendors selling lamp worked glass jewelry, wire worked and beaded jewelry and sepia tone photographs.
One tent will be dedicated to storytelling. On Saturday, Southern humorist Stephen Hollen will appear all day spinning tales as Mark Twain. Twain’s appearance is apropos because 2011 is the 200th anniversary of the invention of the steamboat, which the 19th century author once piloted.
The Rivers Institute at Hanover College will display a traveling exhibit of river plants and animals, interactive river adventures and a photo booth. The purpose is to inform the public about the importance of river systems. ORSANCO, the Ohio River Valley Sanitation Commission, will bring a 2,200-gallon freshwater aquarium displaying the diversity of life in the Ohio River.
Everyone who comes to the Ohio River Valley Folk Festival will have the opportunity to make music themselves.
The Tillers will lead a workshop at noon Saturday in the storytelling tent. Musicians of all levels are welcome to bring their instruments and attend the workshop. The Tillers got their start playing for coins and burritos in the Clifton area of Cincinnati. They were awarded CityBeat Magazine’s Cincinnati Entertainment Award for best folk and Americana act in 2009.
After the workshop, a group that includes Don Pennington, Gordon Moore and John Sheckler will lead a music participation event called “Folk Jammers.” Festival-goers who didn’t bring along their own instruments can take advantage of a few extra guitars, mandolins, dulcimers, banjos and percussion instruments that travel with the Folk Jammers. A “toy bag” includes a cowbell, a tambourine, a washboard and instruments made from gourds.
“We offer musicians of all levels an opportunity to join other musicians in a multi-style jam,” said Sheckler.

David Bromberg

Photo provided

The David Bromberg Band includes
Mitch Corbin, Butch Amiot,
Bromberg and Nate Grower.

“The jam gives all participants an opportunity for musical growth as they jam with musicians from other styles of music.”
The teaching jam is an informal performance. The pace may slow when performers joining the jam are beginners who need to learn chords or rhythms. Non-musicians are also welcome at the jam and there is plenty of room for an audience.
Food and beverages will be available on the festival grounds. All beverages and food will be purchased with tickets.
“In keeping with the Ohio River Valley’s artisan tradition, we proudly offer handcrafted beer and wine from the people who make it,” said Greg Ziesemer, the festival’s executive director. “Like the folks who select their wood for a fine musical instrument, these small-production, high-quality vintners and brewers are engaged in the entire process, from the selection of the grain and fruit to pouring your glass.”

Uncle Earl

Photo provided

The all female group Uncle Earl consists
of singers Rachel Eddy, KC Groves,
Kristin Andreassen, Stephanie
Coleman and Paula Bradley.

The festival will focus this year on craft breweries such as New Albanian Brewing Co. of New Albany, Upland Brewing Co. of Bloomington and Great Crescent Brewery of Aurora. They will offer 3-ounce samples for $1 each and 12-ounce pours for $4.
Madison’s Thomas Family Winery will provide wine. North Vernon Beverage will offer domestic beer.
The Folk Festival Committee had hoped to hold a craft beer or home brew competition this year but is substituting the tasting instead. Craft beer chairman Don Clapham hopes the competition will occur next year in such categories as pilsner, amber lager, dark lager, pale ale, India pale ale, English pale ale, porter, stout, Belgian and specialty ales, such as those flavored with herbs, fruits, smoking or wood-aging.

Carrie Newcomer

Photo provided

Bloomington, Ind.,
Carrie Newcomer tours internationally but
celebrates her
southern Indiana
roots in her music.

“I’m a craft beer fan myself and home brewer,” said Clapham, who notes that the third week of May is celebrated as American Craft Beer Week. “What a great time to celebrate the art of craft beer.”
He explained that craft beer is made by small independent or home brewers. Craft beer has more diversity and flavor than a standard lager. The craft beer movement began in 1978 when the U.S. Congress passed a bill repealing federal restrictions on home brewing small amounts of beer. “People’s taste buds started changing,” as a result, said Clapham. “No two beers have to be alike.”
A gathering of craft brewers is being planned for Sunday afternoon to help promote a possible competition to be held at next year’s festival.
This year’s Ohio River Valley Folk Festival is the first to be led by Ziesemer, who took the reins after the death of former director John Walburn. Walburn died Nov. 12, 2010.
“John’s legacy is one of passion and conviction where the Folk Festival is concerned,” said Ziesemer, “It is also compassion. There is nothing else in life that mattered more than his family. But beyond that, it was the Folk Festival.”
Ziesemer and his wife, Kris Luckett, are musicians themselves, and will perform at the Folk Festival at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 22. Both served with Walburn on the music selection committee for this year’s festival. As a consequence, Ziesemer thinks he understands Walburn’s vision for the festival well.

John Walburn

Photo courtesy of Scott Bate

The late John Walburn had a passion
for music that showed in his dedication
to making the Folk Festival a success.

“It never occurred to me, after John died, that I would take this on,” said Ziesemer. Friends suggested that he apply for the director position, and he said he is glad to bring his 35 years of music experience to the position. “This is a legacy I can leave to Jack (his son, who is nearly 2). He’s a true Madisonian. He’s going to grow up watching me and his Mom work on this.”
Much of the planning for this year’s festival was complete before Walburn’s death, Ziesemer said, although he was able to add the Greencards and Newcomer to the schedule. He added, “The success of the Folk Festival has little to do with my involvement but with the volunteers and committee chairs and the work they did before I came on board.”
He said Walburn will be honored from the music stage sometime during the festival. A Clint Bear guitar that is being given away will be dedicated to Walburn, with a rose motif in the inlay. Event staff shirts have a guitar with Walburn’s initials.
“The best tribute we can do for John is to put on a great festival,” said Ziesemer.

Back to May 2011 Articles.



Copyright 1999-2015, Kentuckiana Publishing, Inc.

Pick-Up Locations Subscribe Staff Advertise Contact Submit A Story Our Advertisers Columnists Archive Area Links Area Events Search our Site Home Monthly Articles Calendar of Events Kentucky Speedway Madison Chautauqua Madison Ribberfest Madison Regatta