(The following is a press release from Colorscape Chenango Arts Festival)

NORWICH, NY -- Colorscape is pleased to announce the music and performance lineup for the FREE, 22nd Annual Colorscape Chenango Arts Festival held in downtown Norwich on September 10 and 11. Performances all day will feature national recording artists on the NBT Main Stage in Norwich’s East Park, family-centered performances on the the Art Zone Stage  in the Guernsey Library Park, and varied genres on the newly named Peggy’s Stage in Norwich’s West Park.

“The Colorscape Board of Directors wanted to honor our longtime, outgoing Executive Director,” said Board President Melissa DeCordova about the recently retired Peggy Finnegan. “Throughout the festival’s 22 years, she has pretty much had her hand in all aspects of Colorscape Chenango. From fundraising, public relations, publicity, and graphic design, to contracting with music and culinary vendors and managing the artists, Peggy has kept the festival growing strong, and for many, many years did so as a volunteer.

We added a second performance stage in West Park three years ago. The idea was to promote professional dance and music genres that aren’t featured on our NBT Main Stage, such as drumming, opera, and jazz.  Some of us thought we might commemorate Peggy best by naming the stage after her. We came up with ‘Peggy’s Stage.’ It had a 1960s, Dylanesque ring to it, like ‘Maggie’s Farm.’ She liked it.”

As always, the NBT Main Stage performers are presented by Night Eagle Productions, and this year include a mix of Celtic, roots, folk, gypsy swing, blues, pop, and rock and roll, capped on both days by the return of The Slambovian Circus of Dreams’s “avant-folk” from “the cool side of Americana.”

Each weekend after Labor Day, the Colorscape Chenango Arts Festival occupies two adjacent downtown parks in Norwich, NY, for a rain-or-shine, exhibition- and activity-rich festival that celebrates the arts.  Colorscape is a festival of many layers: visitors of all ages experience juried art and fine crafts by 125 artists, literary arts including a competitive Poetry Slam, arts programming designed for kids and families, student and elder art exhibition opportunities, dance, puppetry, free art-making stations for both youth and adults, artist demonstrations, creative food vending, and a rich variety of music, including national recording artists, on three stages. Admission is always FREE.

NBT MAIN STAGE, EAST PARK

SATURDAY, SEPT. 10
SUNDAY, SEPT. 11
10 am – Kevin McKrell
11 am – Answer the Muse
11 am – Opening Ceremonies
12 pm – Brother Sun
11:15 am – The McKrells with Doug Lord & Brian Melick
1:30 pm – Upstate Rubdown
12:30 pm – Jeremy Wallace Trio
2:30 pm—Professor Louie & the Crowmatix with the Rock of Ages Horns
2 pm – Vance Gilbert
4 pm—The Slambovian Circus of Dreams
4 pm – Caravan of Thieves
5:30 pm – The Slambovian Circus of Dreams

PEGGY’S STAGE, WEST PARK

SATURDAY, SEPT. 10
SUNDAY, SEPT. 11
10 am – Meena Conant Singers
11 am – Hilby, the Skinny German Juggle Boy
11 am – Phoenix Project Dance
12 pm – Rob Norris
12 pm – Taz Yanink, jazz
1 pm – Tango/Ballroom dancers
1 pm – Tango/Ballroom dancers
2 pm – Meena Conant Singers
2 pm – Phoenix Project Dance
3 pm – Drumzzone
3 pm – L.J. Gates
4 pm – L.J. Gates
4 pm -- Drumzzone

ART ZONE STAGE, GUERNSEY LIBRARY PARK

SATURDAY, SEPT. 10
SUNDAY, SEPT. 11
11 am – Magic by Michael
11 am – Magic by Michael
12 pm – Drumzzone
12 pm – Robert Rogers Puppet Theater
2 pm – Drumzzone
1 pm – Hilby, the Skinny German Juggle Boy
3 pm – Magic by Michael
2 pm – Hilby Juggling Workshop
4 pm – Children’s book author readings
3 pm – Magic by Michael
4 pm – Robert Rogers Puppet Theater

MAIN STAGE PERFORMER SHORT BIOS

KEVIN MCKRELL

If it’s the sweet and soaring Celtic sound you’re looking for, Kevin McKrell delivers.  This founding member of Donnybrook Fair has written songs performed and recorded by musicians worldwide, including The Fureys from Ireland, Scotland’s North Sea Gas, Australia’s Pat McKiernan, and Woods Tea Company and the Kingston Trio from the US.  We like it especially when he sings his tunes. Kevin’s performances in Celtic and bluegrass festivals across the country have honed his particular affinity for the audience:  his humor is the laugh-outloud kind, his heart for Ireland is true, and his guitar is like the solid rumble of a train car that tells you you are going somewhere. www.kmckrell.com

The McKrells with Doug Lord and Brian Melick

Some songs are so delicious they deserve the band treatment, and The McKrells bring it on.  Imagine Celtic-spirited,  bluegrass- sizzling, and folk-infused songs that speak to you by this Colorscape favorite. Kevin McKrell will be joined by Doug Lord and Brian Melick.  Melick and McKrell have been collaborating for over 20 years, with Melick putting down the heartbeat and punctuation of multi-instrument and multi-handed percussion. It’s a party! Melick has been featured on over 375 commercially recorded works, and has taught percussion to students of every age. Doug Lord rounds the sound for a set that’s sometimes tender, sometimes popping, and often preceded by humor that’s  more whooping than tittering. You’ll see. www.kmckrell.com

The Jeremy Wallace Trio

To learn that Jeremy Wallace was mentored by Dave Van Ronk might make you think that you  know what this trio will sound like, but we suspect you will still be surprised.  No one sings the gritty blues like Wallace does. He’s been touring constantly since we saw him last, and he’s now bringing tunes from new recordings that include both traditional songs and original material.  His humor has gotten a little darker, we’re told, and the sound a little looser.  “He never meant any trouble,” he sings, but we listen as if we can’t look away. His edge is smokey, his feeling his particular, his music is pulsing.  The Trio includes the full-bodied support of Matt Gruenberg on bass and Tom Costagliola on drums. www.jeremywallace.com

Vance Gilbert

At the 2016 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival where Vance Gilbert was a featured mainstage performer, the announcer opined to  thousands in the audience that Vance was probably one of the top 5 performers in that festival’s long history.  He wasn’t kidding. Vance was a multicultural arts teacher who exploded on the Boston-based acoustic music scene in the early 1990s after supporting Shawn Colvin on her Fat City tour.  He immediately got the attention of the press who had never seen an opener get an encore. Ever since, Vance has been  both recording and connecting with live audiences in ways that often leave listeners wondering what just happened.  They laugh, certainly, and they experience a voice whose soaring reach make songs about old men and moons and lights on the water get right inside. George Carlin, Arlo Guthrie, Anita Baker, and the Milk Carton Kids all know what’s what – they all asked Vance to tour with them. He’s here with a new recording, “BaD Dog Buffet.”  www.vancegilbert.com

Caravan of Thieves

Most people can remember the first time they heard Caravan of Thieves live, often to the point where they can tell you what the band was wearing and the exact point in the show when they realized that their open jaws were heading south with surprise.  That’s because nobody does gypsy swing folk like the band fronted by Fuzz and Carrie Sangiovanni, even if other bands happen to include an acoustic upright bass, fiddle, and kitchenware (but who does that?). You have to be there – seriously, you do.  Inspired by the big band swing era, the Quintette du Hot Club de France, and early American folk music, they are still doing their very own Thievish thing. In their overdue return to Colorscape, they will be bringing new tunes from their 4th band album “Kiss Kiss,” and from Fuzz and Carrie’s just released “Maple Hill Sessions, Vol. 1.” www.caravanofthieves.com

The Slambovian Circus of Dreams

We could start with the music: the “hillbilly-Pink Floyd” and “surreal Americana”  and “songs imbued with mystical stirrings and idealism,” as critics have described it.  We could continue with more about band members Sharkey McEwen who has Magic Fingers on the guitar and mandolin, Tink Lloyd whose instrument range is as interesting as her stage presence, Felipe Torres who  ignites the drum kit, and leader/songwriter Joziah Longo who inspires writers to incantations:  “soothing and bewitching as a snake oil tonic, the entire root system of Rock Family Trees is embedded in Longo’s voice” (The Big Issue, Scotland). But to understand Slambovia we also have to tell you about their audiences:  they come from everywhere (including Chenango County), they number from kids to octogenarians, and they are the only ones we know who sometimes bring their own props to shows.  (If you see an umbrella or illuminated parasol that looks much like a jellyfish against a night sky, the Slambovians are here.) www.slambovia.com

Answer the Muse

The first Colorscape music set on Sunday morning has historically been inspirational.  Singer-songwriters have always eased us into the second day of our favorite festival with music to sweeten and uplift us as the first audience members enjoy the morning sun. It’s no surprise, then, that Answer the Muse was asked to return so we might experience their unique fusion of spirit, transformation, chant, and performance art, along with gentle audience participation. Jai Hari Meyerhoff, Ceili Murphy, Jonathan Meyerhoff, Curtis Kretz, and Joseph Rayle bring vocals, percussion, keys, whistle, guitar, drums, and bass to audiences whom they treat with deep respect and appreciation.  It’s fair to say that there is no imagined gap between musicians and listeners when Answer the Muse is singing with you and to you. www.answerthemuse.com

Brother Sun

Greg Greenway, Pat Wictor, and Joe Jencks made their mark as independent recording artists, but together they are much more than three. The trio’s harmonies and lyrics are often as warm as a campfire, stirring as a gospel church, and as hope-inspiring as finding something precious you thought you’d lost. Fusing folk, Americana, pop, jazz, rock, and sometimes a cappella singing, Brother Sun provides musical diversity in the finest of male singing traditions. They just released their third CD as a trio, “Weights & Wings,” to critical acclaim.  “Folk on steroids! Brother Sun melds heart-lifting anthems with the art of harmonic massage. Nimble, strong, and soothing all at once!” (Mary Sue Twohy, The Village Folk Show, Sirius XM). www.brothersun.com

Upstate Rubdown

Something magical has been happening to this big ensemble surrounding a three-piece vocal section by Melanie Glenn, Kate Scarlett, and Mary Bacorn.  All SUNY graduates from all over upstate New York (are you surprised?), this “acoustic, post-indie, kitchen-sink folk style” group was discovered by agent Jim Kramer and then producer Jason Miles (Sting, Miles Davis, Chaka Khan) who produced their independent debut recording, “A Remedy.”  “It was one of those seemingly random moments that turned into a profound life experience,” said Miles about hearing them on stage for the first time. “I didn’t know anything at all about these kids before that [they are all 21-30 years old], but right away I could tell there was something there. They had these amazing harmonies and this great, totally organic sound.  I loved the songs—they had lots of great melodies.” This is also a band that knows how to have fun on stage. Get ready! www.upstaterubdown.com

Professor Louie & the Crowmatix with the Rock of Ages Horns

After 12 recordings, 5 Grammy nominations, induction into assorted Blues Halls of Fame, and qualification as official road warriors thanks to 150 shows played worldwide every year, Professor Louie, Miss Marie, Gary Burke, John Platania, and Frank Campbell have bridged this band’s auspicious past and now very present audiences. The group began as studio backing for The Band when producer and recording engineer Aaron “Professor Louie” Hurwitz worked with that iconic group on their final group recordings, as well as solo projects and live performances with Danko, Hudson, and Helm.  But the Professor and the Crowmatix have become so much more. It’s telling when at a festival other musicians backstage stop individual conversations and move near to the stage so they can fully listen. At Colorscape, the Crowmatix will be performing with the Rock of Ages Horns, a robust brass section that deepens and shines the rich Crowmatix repertoire. You know these songs. www.professorlouie.com