Chris Smither - Celebrating 50 years of songwriting and performing, Chris Smither was originally Inspired by the ‘60s blues revival and influenced by Lightnin’ Hopkins and Mississippi John Hurt, He developed a unique style of fingerpicking that continues to add a distinctive flavor to his music. Smither’s recordings date back to the early ‘70s -- and include 1972's Honeysuckle Dog, a never-released LP that featured friends Bonnie Raitt (who later dubbed Smither “my Eric Clapton”) and Dr. John. Raitt has covered a number of Smither’s tunes including “Love Me Like A Man” and “I Feel The Same.” Called “an unheralded master of modern acoustic blues,” Smither has, at long last, been getting his due. His song “Origin of Species,” from the CD “Leave the Lights On,” was listed as one of “Rolling Stone” magazine’s Top 100 songs of 2006, and in 2007, he won awards at both the Boston Music Awards (“Outstanding Folk Act”) and Folk Alliance (“Song of the Year” and “Contemporary Artist of the Year”). Smither’s latest, “Still on the Levee,” is his sixteenth release and is filled with humility, humor, a knowledge of what inevitably lies ahead, yet refusing to succumb to darkness. Guests include Allen Toussaint, Loudon Wainwright III, Kris Delmhorst, New England’s Rusty Belle, and members of renowned rock band Morphine. A tribute to Smither, “Link of Chain,” features interpretations of his songs by artists including Josh Ritter, Bonnie Raitt, and Tim O’Brien.
David’s Wax Museum - Named “Americana Artist of the Year” at the the 2010 Boston Music Awards, David Wax Museum’s creates a vibrant hybrid of traditional Mexican folk and American music. NPR described the group as “pure, irresistible joy” while Time.com praised the group for its “virtuosic musical skill and virtuous harmonies.” While attending college in Missouri, David Wax spent summers working in rural Mexico with the American Friends Service Committee. He finished his degree at Harvard before heading back to the Mexican countryside to study its rich folk music tradition on a year-long fellowship. Utilizing Latin rhythms, call-and-response shouts, accordion and donkey jawbones, the band was featured on an NPR segment about Mexico-centric indie rock. Its performance at the 2010 Newport Folk Festival was hailed by “All Songs Considered” as one of the weekend’s highlights. The band’s current release, “Knock Knock Get Up,” has been called a “fiercely original, rhythmically undeniable love letter to the Museum’s growing global audience.” The disc features field recordings and natural sounds from the city of Santiago, Tuxtla in the Mexican state of Veracruz.
Dan Wilson - Singer, songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and occasional cartoonist, Dan Wilson is best known as the lead singer of the band Semisonic, for which he wrote the Grammy-nominated smash “Closing Time” as well as the hits “Secret Smile” and “Chemistry.” Prior to that, he was a member of the psychedelia-influenced Trip Shakespeare. Since Semisonic, Wilson has released two solo albums and has become a sought-after collaborator, thanks to his unique blend of artistic seriousness, dry Midwestern humor (evident in his online sketchbook) and songwriting, performing and production skills. As a songwriter and producer, he has worked with a diverse group of artists including Adele, Dixie Chicks, John Legend, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Taylor Swift, Jim James, Pink, Dierks Bentley, Nas, Josh Groban, Weezer, and Carole King. Wilson contributed three songs to Adele’s album “21” (including the hit “Someone Like You”) which he also produced, which earned him a Grammy for “Album of the Year.” A few years earlier, Wilson won a “Song of the Year” Grammy for “Not Ready to Make Nice,” one of six songs he co-wrote for the Dixie Chicks’ award-winning album “Taking the Long Way.” Wilson’s third solo album, “Love Without Fear,” was released in Apri, 2014.
Tony Trischka - A consummate player and one of the most influential banjo players in roots music, Tony Trischka has been playing, teaching and expanding the role of the instrument for more than 45 years. Playing in groups including Psychograss (with Mike Marshall and Darol Anger) and scoring productions like “Driving Miss Daisy,” Trischka has inspired a generation of bluegrass and acoustic musicians. A native of Syracuse, NY, Trischka made his recording debut on “15 Bluegrass Instrumentals” in 1971. He has toured and collaborated with Peter Rowan and Richard Greene, and performed in the film “Foxfire” (with Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy and John Denver). In 2007, he appeared on “Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular,” which featured cameos by Steve Martin, Earl Scruggs, Bela Fleck, and Tony Rice. The disc received IBMA awards for “Recorded Event of the Year” and “Instrumental Album of the Year” as well as a Grammy Nomination. That same year, the IBMA named him “Banjo Player of the Year.â€_ Trischka has issued 15 instructional books and a series of DVDs, and, in 2009, launched the “Tony Trischka School of Banjo,” an online instructional site. In 2012, he was awarded the “United States Artists Friends Fellow” in recognition of the excellence of his work. He has since produced Steve Martin’s Grammy nominated “Rare Bird Alert” which included performances by Paul McCartney, and the Dixie Chicks. His current release, “Great Big World,” features cameos by Martin, Michael Daves, Noam Pikelny, and Ramblin’ Jack Eliot.