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Meet the NAFF17 Lineup!
The Northern Appalachian Folk Festival continues a tradition of bringing great live performances to Downtown Indiana —free!
Guided by a folk-roots aesthetic, the NAFF lineup celebrates blues, country, Americana, and other influences on contemporary music
Acts on the NAFF bill range from rising local and regional talent to national recording artists. NAFF headliners have included Dar Williams (2016), Southern Culture on the Skids (2016), Rusted Root (2015), Joe Grushecky along with his Houserockers (2014), and prominent folk figure Si Kahn (2013).
Meet the NAFF 2017 lineup:
• Slim Jim Phantom Saturday, Sept. 9 | Official Site
With his trademark stand-up style, Slim Jim Phantom helped launch the early 1980s neo-rockabilly movement as The Stray Cats’ drummer. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame includes their 1981 hit “Rock This Town” as one of the songs that shaped rock. In the years since, Phantom has played and collaborated with legendary artists from Jerry Lee Lewis to Lemmy Kilmister, climbed Mt. Everest and penned a well-received autobiography “A Stray Cat Struts: My Life as a Rockabilly Rebel.”
• Commander Cody/The Commander Cody Band Sunday, Sept. 10 | Official Site
These country-rock pioneers that were among the first to trade folk-rock and bluegrass influences for a rowdier barroom flavor. Known for marathon live shows and the 1971 Top 10 hit “Hot Rod Lincoln,” Commander Cody also claims a spot on Rolling Stone Magazine’s top 100 albums of all time with Deep In The Heart Of Texas.
• Patty Larkin Saturday, Sept. 9 | Official Site
A singer-songwriter and guitarist, Patty Larkin has enthralled listeners for more than 25 years with performances described as “hypnotic” (Entertainment Weekly) and “riveting” (Chicago Tribune). A winner of 11 Boston Music Awards, Larkin’s work has been covered by Cher and appears on television and motion picture soundtracks. For her 2010 retrospective, “25”, Larkin collaborated with Rosanne Cash, Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin, Janis Ian, Bruce Cockburn, Martin Sexton, Dar Williams, Greg Brown, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and others — including The Nields, who will also be appearing at NAFF17.
• The Nields
Sing Out! magazine asks you to “imagine if Natalie Merchant had a sister with an equally good voice singing perfect harmony with her…intimate and electric.” Those sisters would be Nerissa and Katryna of folk-rock quintet The Nields. Drawing rave reviews from SPIN to Billboard, they count 17 albums, several books, and a DVD — some of which was created for the youngest of rockers — among the accomplishments of their 25-year career.
Of note to those of you who enjoyed Dar Williams at NAFF16, the Nields sisters have also sung harmony on Williams’ albums The Honesty Room and Mortal City.
• James Hunnicutt
Singer-songwriter-musician James Hunnicutt is honest, fearless and “complimented by the most powerful voice in all of independent country roots” (Saving Country Music). Based in the Pacific Northwest, his work has been described as a dynamic blend of American roots music and Beatles-esque pop. James will also perform an official after-hours show with WhiskeyDick and Franky Johnson.
A Fort Worth duo promising hard-edged honky tonk, WhiskeyDick has performed with the likes of Shooter Jennings, Foghat, The Supersuckers, Reverend Horton Heat — not to mention Jayke Orvis who wowed #NAFF16 audiences last year. Their 2015 studio album “The Bastard Sons of Texas” was a featured iTunes Country New Release for seven weeks, debuting at #1 on the iTunes Alt Country Charts where it spent six weeks. WhiskeyDick will also perform an official after-hours show with James Hunnicutt and Franky Johnson.
• The Bones of J.R. Jones
New York-based Jonathon Linaberry performs as The Bones of J.R. Jones. The singer and multi-instrumentalist draws from classic and contemporary influences, creating the feeling of a raucous blues band in a magnetic live show.
• Love Canon
Bluegrass-flavored Love Canon “refreshes and extends [80s] originals with affectionate humor and effortless virtuosity.” They have shared the stage and studio with David Grisman, Ricky Skaggs, and Bruce Hornsby and have toured with Josh Ritter and The Infamous Stringdusters. Love Canon’s festival appearances include Lockn’ and they have also played live on the BBC and RTE radio.
• Mama Corn
Central Pennsylvania-based bluegrass band whose charisma and live performances don’t just fill seats, they get audiences up and out of them. Altoona’s Mama Corn plays venues ranging from “wineries to lumberjack competitions, breweries to biker parties, bluegrass festivals to carnivals, and countless other events in between” — including “some of the biggest and best festivals in the country such as the historic Wheeling Jamboree, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, and Delfest.”
• Miss Melanie and the Valley Rats
The State College-based purveyors of smoldering blues, rhythm and soul have have appeared with B.B. King, Jay Leno, Johnny Winter, James Cotton, The Nighthawks, J.J. Grey, Billy Price, Robert Randolph and a host of others.
• The Pack A.D.
A garage rock duo known for explosive live shows and a sound seemingly too big to come from two people, Vancouver-based The Pack A.D. is one of Canada’s must-see bands and equally at home in arenas and dive bars. They recently performed at Folk On The Rocks, one of that country’s top summertime music and cultural festivals.
• The Bricks
Audiences in Western Pennsylvania know acoustic act The Bricks for classic rock and folk tunes along with an assured good time. The Bricks have opened for The Marshall Tucker Band, Dave Mason, and the Poverty Neck Hillbillies. They have also shared the stage with Pure Prairie League, and Hootie and the Blow Fish.
A deep bench of local talent has signed on to support our headliners.
Check out our after-shows here.
• Alyssa Hankey
You may’ve caught this blues and country-infused folk rocker opening for Raelyn Nelson (Willie’s granddaughter) at Club Café in Pittsburgh.
• Franky Johnson
Of classic rock ‘n blues act Jagstone, among other projects, will go solo and unplugged at NAFF17
• Caleb J. Murphy and The Bright Future
Folksoul outfit which includes Dom Versace, Ben Saylor and Felix Noy
• Melville Walbeck
Bother/sister folk duo played the inaugural Northern Appalachian Folk Festival in 2013 and will be helping us celebrate our fifth anniversary. The pair are regulars on stages around the region, from Pittsburgh’s Club Cafe and Ethnic Fest in Johnstown to more intimate venues at points in between.
• Homegrown Grass Band
Spring Church-based bluegrass quartet often includes a rotating cast of guest banjo players
• Dave Hipchen
Singer-songwriter Dave Hipchen is also singer, songwriter, and rhythm guitarist for alt-rockers Tilted Shadows.
Click on the links, explore their sounds and warm up for NAFF by catching their shows at Western PA venues.
Previous Festival Lineups
2016 Dar Williams • Southern Culture on the Skids • The Stickers (country) • Jimmie Ross and The Jaggerz (R&B and soul) • Ray Owen (Americana and humor) • Ken Waldman (Anchorage, AK/poet, storyteller and fiddler) • Mark Tamsula and Richard Withers (Pittsburgh/folk) • The Early Mays (Lewisburg, WV/folk) • Diablo Dimes (Shenandoah Valley/blues and roots) • Marv Ashby and High Octane (Hedgesville, WV/Bluegrass) • Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers (Stockdale, PA/string band) • Left Lane Cruiser (Fort Wayne, IN/blues-rock) • Jayke Orvis (Pittsburgh/roots and Americana) • Tom Breiding (Pittsburgh/labor troubador) • Rosie and the Jammers (Johnstown, PA/polka) • Simple Pleasures (Blairsville, PA/Civil War, gospel, traditional)
2015 Rusted Root • Bastard Bearded Irishmen (Pittsburgh/Celt rock) • Chris Higbee (Pittsburgh/country) • Poogie Bell Band (Pittsburgh/jazz) • Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing (Indiana, PA/progressive) • Coastal Remedy (Indiana, PA/alt-rock) • Unknown String Band (Pittsburgh/”folk-grass”) • Jukehouse Bombers (Indiana, PA/blues rock) • Melville Walbeck (Indiana, PA/folk and Americana) • Luckenbach, Penna Pickers (Indiana, PA/roots) • Grist for the Mill (Indiana, PA/classics)
2014 Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers • Grand Ole’ Ditch (Cumberland, MD/Bluegrass) • Honey Spine (Western New York/acoustic duo) • Kim and Reggie Harris (Upstate New York/folk and gospel) • Simple Gifts (Central PA/folk) • Cormorant’s Fancy (Central PA/Celtic) • Trains, Moonshine and Jesus (Central PA/Bluegrass) • Backstabbing Good People (Pittsburgh/rock and soul) • Shelf Life String Band (Pittsburgh/Bluegrass) • Well Strung Bluegrass (Slippery Rock) • Tree (Johnstown, PA/Celtic and Bluegrass) • Up in the Batten House (Pittsburgh/”old-time,” folk tunes of Southwestern PA) • NewLanders (Pittsburgh/Western Pennsylvanian folk) • Cornsilk (Indiana, PA/folk)
2013 Si Kahn • Sue Massek (folk) • Coastal Remedy • Wisaal (fusion) • Jazzam (jazz-funk) • Well Strung • Striped Maple Hollow • Julia Voris (fiddler) • Fiddlin Joe’s Legacy • Mountain Therapy • Melville Walbeck • Trains, Moonshine & Jesus • Endless Mike and the Beagle Club • Luckenbach, Penna Pickers • Voices of Joy • Unknown String Band • Rowan Cunningham Band