Check out the performers line up at the Thunder Bay Folk Festival! Incredible, and more to come.
Equal parts fast-paced and soulful, 5-piece modern-folk Americana act, The Way Down Wanderers, draw listeners in with energy, originality and soulful generosity. Youthful and professionally trained, these young men captivate audiences with soaring instrumentals, foot stomping sing-alongs and a lively stage show and have created a buzz for themselves with their unplugged, off-stage encores and propensity for performing self-titled, “restSTOMPS” - free acoustic sets at rest & truck stops along their tour routes. The band’s debut album, produced by Mike Marsh of the Avett Brothers and recorded at Sonic Ranch in El Paso TX, is available now, wherever music is sold.
West Michigan's prestige Country music group "Stolen Horses" delivers pure electric passion. "Outlaw country" best describes Stolen Horses. It's like Texas music in Yankee country.
Stolen Horses "live" consist of 4 top shelf Michigan musicians: David Lyle – lead vocals/rythm guitar, Sean Kittredge – drums/vocals, Joe Afton – lead guitar/vocals, and Kevin Sheppard – bass guitar/vocals. This band has opened for National acts like Zac Brown Band, Justin Moore, Mel McDaniels, Joe Nicholes, and many others. They have performed twice at Comerica Park for the Detroit Tigers Country night and opened the Billy Currington Concert at Fifth Third Ball Park in 2012. Stolen Horses also joined Rodney Adkins, Randy Houser, Greg Bates, Jessie James, Matt Stillwell, & Jon Pardi in Muskegon, MI. for 107 MUS Moose Fest 2012.
Red Herring is a young rock band established in 2013. The oldest member is 16 (as of January 2017). In their short time together, they've played their brand of classic rock and blues on main stages throughout Michigan, at some top festivals such as Nor-East’r Fest, Old Towne Blues Fest, East Ports Blues Fest, OC Riverfest to name a few. They play Zepplin to Zappa with depth and feeling well beyond their ages, and have amazed thousands of music lovers.
Catch them Saturday on the Barn Stage at 5:00 PM and again on The Porch at 9:00 PM.
If you enjoy songs about prisons, graveyards, flea markets, beauty queens and tempestuous love, then you'll enjoy The Hackwells. Brian McCarty (previously with the Salt Miner) along with Jeff Schott on bass and John Dobat on guitar and mandolin bring these songs to life. A guaranteed good time - Simple, organic and honest. Their motto is "The Hackwells would never try to sell you a hot dog they wouldn't eat themselves” They were a huge hit at last year’s festival. Catch them at Friday 7:00-9:00 PM on The Barn Stage and Saturday 5:00-6:00 PM on The Barn Stage.
The Whistle Stop Revue is an eclectic Bluegrass/Americana band which fuses elements bluegrass, blues, rock, country, and jazz into its unique, energetic live performances.
Since it's inception in 2012, the band has toured throughout the midwest, playing over 500 shows throughout the midwest, sharing stages and sit-ins with Greensky Bluegrass, Joshua Davis, among many others, and appearing on notable festival and club stages including: John Hartford Memorial Festival, Hoxeyville Music Festival, Porcupine Mountain Music Festival, Niles Bluegrass Festival, Bell's Eccentric Cafe, Short's Brewery and the historic Ark in Ann Arbor, as well as multiple live radio performance across the region.
Since their formation in early 2013, Nina & the Buffalo Riders have performed continuously at venues such as PJ's Lager House in Detroit's historic Corktown neighborhood, the famous Blind Pig Ann Arbor, the New Dodge Lounge in Hamtramck as well as headlining spots at both the Ferndale City Pride Fest and the Allen Park Street Fair.
Nina & The Buffalo Riders' sound has been fashioned by a decade of live performance experience, songwriting and commercial session work for companies like ALP Music, as well as a myriad of influences ranging from bluegrass to soul. The group is valued for their high intensity live performances and cross-genre instrumentation.
Mixing their own self-penned songs with vintage country/honky tonk hits, rockabilly favorites, and surf gems by such artists as Hank Williams Sr., Johnny Cash, Wanda Jackson, Buck Owens, Gene Vincent, and Dick Dale, Delilah DeWylde comes out on stage looking and sounding like a step back in time. Dressed to the nines in the tradition of pre-color television, the band thrills audiences across the Midwest with its spirited performances.
Delilah is veteran of the West Michigan music scene and an alumna of rockabilly institution DangerVille. Her out-sized stage presence is the centerpiece of the show — one minute singing sweetly, the next slapping her bass into submission.
Next to the sound and fury of Miss Delilah stands cool character Lee Harvey on electric guitar. His serious demeanor on-stage reveals his reverence for the precision and technique of the “original” guitar gods—the likes of Paul Burlison, Billy Byrd, Cliff Gallup, Grady Martin, Dick Dale, Luther Perkins, Scotty Moore and Don Rich.
DONNY HARTMAN is one of the original Michigan Madmen and truly one of the greatest guitar players of our time. During the states Rock & Roll heyday (in the 60s and 70s), Michigan was generating legends like Bob Seger, Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop, and more. Donny was blazing the guitar hero trail with Dick Wagner and the Frost.
The Frost was one of the most popular and visible groups in the Midwest, playing every major festival and venue – including the famous Fillmore West and East, Masonic Temple, Grande Ballroom, Madison Square Garden, Cobo Hall and a whole bunch more! They set attendance records across the state. Donny played in shows with Pink Floyd, Joe Walsh, Allman Bros., Golden Earring, Three Dog Night, The Supremes, Moody Blues, Fleetwood Mac, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, B.B. King, Joe Cocker, and many more.
He will show you the reason he was inducted into the Detroit Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. With his powerful vocals and butt-kicking guitar playing - featuring all types of music from country, rock, R&B blues mixed in with many originals he has penned. Don't miss Donny Hartman and his band, Pete and Bob Madsen.
Chris is an acoustic finger style blues artist who blends many music styles from folk, rock and jazz while always rooted in traditional blues. “Blues music has always been my favorite genre and my first guitar lessons include 12-bar blues jams with my dad.” Crown began teaching blues history classes, infusing them with live finger style guitar talents to promote this art form and preserve it for future generations. His latest album titled “The Sun’s gonna shine” received 3 Jammie award nominations from Grand Rapids’ radio station, WYCE. Chris will be on The Barn Stage 2:00-4:00 PM on Saturday.
Josh leads an astonishing Northeast Michigan band consisting of Holden Brisson on drums with his rock-solid rhythm, Sydney Dodson with her soulful, passionate vocals and Josh with his quick hands and surf rock vibe. Their favorite genres include Alternative, Classic and Indie Rock. You’ll see this trio shares a love for playing music. They’ll be on The Barn stage at 4:00 PM on Saturday.
Joe has been writing, recording and performing music most of his life. He has worked with a variety of local artists and currently is playing in the band Easy Street. His genres include rock, folk, bluegrass, country and gospel. Joe plays rhythm and finger style guitar as well as bass and harmonica.
Jim Schultz has been performing music for 25 years. Jim has joined several groups in supporting roles playing rhythm guitar, bass guitar, drums/percussion and also singing backup.
Holden Brisson has been playing drums and percussion for the better part of 10 years. His easy style supplements any musical genre. Holden has worked as a percussionist in school as well as in theatre and also sits in with local groups as needed.
Dean Johnston has been performing music for over 50 years. In his early days, he played banjo and guitar, but the last 15 years he primarily plays bass. Dean currently performs both in the Douglas Family Band and Easy Street. Dean has also laid down tracks on many recordings for multiple artists.
Joe and Friends will be on The Porch Stage at 6:00 PM on Saturday.
The Bandura Gypsies rocks a unique blend of style and sound. The lyrics and melodies are totally emotion-driven, and the foundation is totally power-driven. The Gypsies write about what's goin' down now, what's bringing the joy, and what's bringing the pain. From acoustic folk songs to rock-the-house-down, from ballads to punk jams, The Bandura Gypsies have a song for you, and are loved by music fans from 8 to 80.
Shawn Elizabeth (songwriter/acoustic guitar/lead vocals, Tony Fox (drums/vocals), Bill Welsh (lead guitar), and Scott Mills (bass guitar) will appear on The Porch stage at 3:00 PM on Saturday.
This father/son duo (Joel and Joel Jr. Choate) is a powerful combination of talent and fun. You’ll want to catch their act in The Barn at 7:00 PM on Friday. Joel’s Guitar Shop is providing the sound setup on The Porch Stage and Joel Sr. is one of our emcees. Thank you Joel(s)!
Accomplished, multi-talented musician Wayne Kendziorski (guitar/sax/vocals) and his friends put on a show you won’t want to miss. They’ll be stirring things up on The Porch Stage, 7:00 PM on Saturday.
Joel Choate Jr. and Joey Henry make up the Dirty Sunshine Club. Joel is a well loved local artist and member of the Thunder Bay Folk Society Board of Directors. When Joey Henry isn’t raising hell with The Calamity Cubes, he can usually be found on a stage with a banjo on his lap and his heart on his sleeve. One of the best lyricists in Kansas, Joey can jerk a tear out of anybody. Hear them Saturday at 8:00 PM on the Porch Stage.
Bo, Pete and John began playing in bands together in their early teen's and continued throughout their twenties and thirties. Now they've reunited as Bubba and the Roadmaster's. Fiery lead's, throbbing bass and lewd drum rhythms create a depraved mix that's sure to make polite society blush. Serious fun!
J.E. (Jim Ewell) and The Legacy is a 3-piece Classic Rock band keeping Rock & Roll alive in Northern Michigan since 1990. They are our closing band on Friday night. Even the wallflowers will be dancing.
Singer songwriter Ian McConnell and drummer Kris Cooper came together in 2012. Guitarist Andy Corriveau and bassist James Gunderson joined the band in 2016 to form the group The BloodMoney Men. With tones of swamp, folk, funk and blues, The BloodMoney Men are sure to energize your vibe and set your soul on groove. All original music with unusual styles and instruments with traditional and modern sounds describes what we do.
They will be playing Friday at 9:00 PM on The Porch Stage.
Chester's Habit does what you need. We have fun! Chester Fletcher, lead guitar, banjo, mandolin, and Doc Bungard, bass, guitar, vocals, have been making music together for over 20 years. Bruno Wojcik plays drums and helps produce our shows. Phil Gorny sings covers, originals and plays keyboard and guitar. Oh, and we named the band after Chester.
Franzen is a simple acoustic storyteller. His love of folk music was nurtured in Chicago's folk clubs in the early 1970s and in an old country church in Southern Illinois in the mid-'70s. As part of his career in the news media, he researched and wrote about history. He won awards for some of those stories. It took him 30 years to combine his twin loves of folk music and Great Lakes history. Now, his stories are those of Great Lakes; lighthouses, lake boats and shipwrecks. He sings the stories of people long forgotten. He has published three books and recorded four cd's of his Great Lakes ballads. Russ will be on The Porch Stage at 7:00 PM on Saturday. He’s also hosting a Song Writing Workshop.
Kevin is a founding member of The Thunder Bay Folk Society and although he’s moved to Ludington, he remains active and influential in the society. He’s an accomplished, professional musician and performer - everything from rock to blues, Celtic to classical. In addition to his performance at 6:00 PM Friday on The Porch Stage, he’s hosting a “Guitar/Open Slide” workshop.
Lee is often playing around the streets of downtown Alpena. He’s a self-described "folkie" from his Detroit days and a founding member of the Thunder Bay Folk Society. Catch Lee's set at 12:00 PM Saturday on The Porch Stage.
Wild Rose is a homegrown Alpena group offering a unique mix of blues, folk, and original material. Lead vocalist Bonnie Bartz brings to the group a sweet, evocative voice and plenty of style. Veteran musician John McLellan plays lead guitar, banjo, harmonica, and sings. John’s wife Paula McLellan plays bass and provides back up vocals. On keyboards and accordion is Diane Bartz, well known locally for her exuberant musical style. On rhythm and slide guitar is Jim Bartz, who brings along a few tunes of his own. When they get together on stage, they are full of energy and fun!