Madeline MacNeil’s audiences hold their collective breath as the last notes of her songs drift into the tableau of stages large and small. Since 1972, when she began performing in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park, Madeline’s goal has always been to bring listeners into the song. Her interest in stories first brought the mountain and hammered dulcimers to her attention, for they are part of this country’s musical history. This is part of Madeline’s treasure as a performer: she sings and tells the stories with her beautiful voice and exceptional dulcimer skills.
Jimerson began his career singing with the Washington Opera and gave his debut recital at Carnegie Hall in January 1996. He was well received in New York and obtained his first major accolade with a positive review of his Carnegie Hall recital by The New York Times. He has performed various times at the Kennedy Center and is a regular performer for the National Park Service for historical events and national and state holidays.
Jimerson is a Lincoln scholar. He has recorded several CDs of the music enjoyed by Abraham Lincoln, has been interviewed by National Public Radio about Lincoln and music, and is publishing a biography about Abraham Lincoln. He sings in the tenor range and rarely has been known to sing in falsetto.
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An “absurdly talented banjoist” –Bluegrass Today
Main Stage (Schooley Mill Field) | 1pm – 3pm Saturday, October 6
Gina Clowes’ innovative and unique musicianship and songwriting, although based in traditional music modalities, breaks free from the assumed constructs and makes a new musical statement that’s influenced by emotion, is played with the highest skill, and expresses an enormous verve and vitality.
With an intent to use the banjo as a medium of personal expression, Clowes moves through varied modes of musical treatments. Although she’s known mainly known for her work as the banjo player for Chris Jones and the Night Drivers, she has a long history with her banjo. Born and raised in Front Royal, Virginia, Gina began touring up and down the east coast in her tween years with her siblings, earning countless ribbons from fiddlers conventions, a strong reputation in the regional bluegrass scene, and a stamp from Bluegrass Today as “absurdly talented”. She later played in a number of regional acts (Blue Light Special, New Girls Nite Out, On the Run, Bud’s Collective) and has made her international touring exposure with Chris Jones and the Night Drivers soon after joining the group. She is sought after as a teacher privately and at camps across the country. Her new album, True Colors, was released in September 2017 and debuted at #13 on Bluegrass Billboard Charts. Gina was featured on the cover of Banjo Newsletter in the December 2017 issue, along with her original tune “Saylor’s Creek”.
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Maggie’s Music celebrates over 30 years in the music industry. It features contemporary, acoustic and early music instruments in new and innovative settings from ancient to modern times with special focus on Celtic and Holiday music.
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Too Hot! Acoustic music as you’ve never heard it –redefining American roots music on the accordion.
Main Stage | 3pm Sunday, October 7
Jazz pianist turned roots musician, Sam Reider is redefining American music on the accordion. He has been featured at Lincoln Center and on NPR, and performed alongside pop stars, virtuosos, and folk musicians around the world, including Jon Batiste and Stay Human, viral YouTube sensation CDZA and T-Pain, Americana singer Jim Lauderdale, and Grammy Award-winning Venezuelan musician Jorge Glem. Reider’s debut record, Too Hot To Sleep, presents his distinct compositional voice alongside an ensemble of top-drawer musical collaborators and compadres called The Human Hands.
Sam Reider and The Human Hands are a collective of virtuoso jazz and bluegrass musicians from Brooklyn, NY. Along with Sam, they include violinist Alex Hargreaves (Turtle Island Quartet, Sarah Jarosz, Béla Fleck), mandolinist Dominick Leslie (Michael Daves, Tony Trischka, The Deadly Gentlemen), guitarist Roy Williams (Stephane Wrembel), and bassist Dave Speranza (Jim Campilongo).
Reider grew up in San Francisco, the son of a musical theatre composer and klezmer musician. He began performing at a young age, and was interviewed on Marian McPartland’s “Piano Jazz” on NPR when he graduated high school. At Columbia University, he fell in love with American folk music. While writing his senior thesis comparing the songwriting of Woody Guthrie and Ira Gershwin, Sam began studying bluegrass and old-time music, transcribing the fiddle melodies for the accordion and learning to sing the songs.
This set him off on a journey that has taken him from back porches and dive bars to concert halls and major festivals in practically every state in the country. Representing the U.S. Department of State as a musical ambassador, Sam has travelled to China, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Turkey and Azerbaijan, carrying his accordion on his back everywhere he goes and collaborating at every opportunity with international artists.
Now he’s surrounded himself with a crew of some of the most in-demand young acoustic musicians on the scene in Brooklyn. The Human Hands have developed a dedicated following and a reputation for mind-bending sets of high-energy, improvised music.
“Dashes of folk influences from around the world are sprinkled into its string band aesthetic. Reider’s accordion is the unyielding anchor, giving a dose of soulful, raw timelessness, but with a modern crispness and confidence.” – The Bluegrass Situation
Not to worry! If you didn’t catch Sam at the Fair — or if you just need more! — see Sam and the Human Hands at a special concert at the Old School in Waterford on November 1!
Click here for more info and tickets.