River City Roots Fest - Activities - Music
Activities - Music 2011
all day music stage
Entertainment will be the main draw for this event, especially as it grows and matures. With the Main Stage on West Main Street, music will begin on Saturday at 12:30pm and feature local artists with a headline performance from 8:30-10:30PM. Sunday's music runs from 11:15am-7:30pm.
6th Annual River City Roots Festival
August 27-28, 2011
Main Street – Downtown Missoula
River City Roots Festival
2011 Band Capsules
FEATURED ARTIST: Leftover Salmon
Saturday 8:30-10 pm
One of Missoula’s favorite touring bands, Leftover Salmon is the self-proclaimed originator of the “Polyethnic Cajun Slamgrass” genre, a style of music that blends bluegrass, rock, country, blues, jazz and Cajun/Zydeco. The group, coming back together after a long time apart, has a reputation for exciting and engaging performances.
This group got its name from the merger between Vince Herman and his Cajun/Calypso/Jug band The Salmonheads and the progressive bluegrass band called Left Hand String Band, created by Drew Emmitt and Mark Vann.
They self-released their first two albums Bridges to Bert in 1992 and Ask the Fish in 1995 before signing with Hollywood Records and releasing Euphoria in 1997. The “widely heralded” Nashville Sessions was released in 1999 with help from popular Nashville artists Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Bela Fleck, Reese Wynans, John Cowan and more. Other performers on that release include John Popper of Blues Traveler and Widespread Panic’s John Bell.
In 2002, Leftover Salmon released Live (pronounced “liv”), a live album designed in tribute to the late Mark Vann. Vann urged the band to continue after being diagnosed with melanoma. Since his untimely passing that spring, the band continued to tour relentlessly, playing countless clubs, theatres and appearing at every festival known to mankind, wowing their audiences with their crazy antics and powerful musical mélange.
In 2003 Leftover Salmon toured with the Del McCoury Band and released an album with the rock band Cracker entitled O' Cracker, Where Art Thou? The band grew into an entity that could fit in with both folk and rock festivals and could play in both elegant theaters and grungy rock clubs. Leftover Salmon is the rare band with a broad enough sound and a large enough repertoire to shape its set list to fit any crowd and any venue.
Following the 2004 release of Whispering Waters that focused on their own personal ensemble, Leftover Salmon decided to call it quits. Despite their efforts to move on following Vann’s death, the band members needed time to mourn, to be with their families, and to pursue solo projects. In the early morning hours of January 1, 2005 the band closed a chapter at the Fox Theatre in their hometown of Boulder.
A little over two years later, the band reunited in 2007 and played six performances that year commencing with the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Members of the band continued their individual endeavors over the next couple of years, but 2008 and 2009 each saw seven performances from the group known as Leftover Salmon.
This year has seen a renewed energy for playing music and touring the country, and the group had made multiple appearances on both sides of the country. Drew Emmitt (vocals, mandolin, fiddle, guitar) and Vince Herman (vocals, guitar, washboard) continue to front Leftover Salmon. Both individuals have made previous appearance on the Roots Fest Main Stage. The other band mates include Andy Thorn (banjo), Greg Garrison (bass, vocals), Bill McKay (vocals, keyboard), and both Jose Martinez and Wally Ingram on percussion.
It seems fitting the River City Roots Festival is on the calendar for this popular, multi-dimensional jam band. Returning to their roots as a group performing together for the last 20 years has delighted many fans across the country. Welcome back Leftover Salmon!
Sunday 11:15am-12:30 pm
Salsa Loca is Missoula’s own Latin-jazz band. Featuring a sizzling hot horn section and virtuoso Latin percussionists, the band specializes in the full range of danceable Latin and Afro-Cuban styles: mambo, cha-cha, danzon, guaracha, guaguanco, merengue, bolero, and everything in between. Watch Out is the group's first CD release, and presents 13 songs including several originals. The recording captures the spirit and groove of Salsa Loca’s legendary live shows. This group will make you jump up and sway your hips with its rump-busting appeal.
This local band is comprised of musicians that run the gamut of age and experience, blending seasoned veterans David Horgan (guitar, piano, guarto), Beth Lo and/or Maureen Powell (bass), and Chuck Florence (saxophone, clarinet) and Bob Ledbetter (percussion) with youthful talent Leon Slater (trumpet), Tom Wogsland (trombone) and Cody Hollow (Congas).
This is ideal dance music for experienced salsa dancers and novices alike. Don’t miss their unique, dance-inspiring show.
Two Bit Franks
Sunday 1-2:30 pm
Featuring some of the finest Bluegrass musicians in Montana, Two Bit Franks are an Americana/Bluegrass band based in Bozeman. This four-piece band includes men from all over the country. John Lowell (guitar) has received critical acclaim for singing/songwriting. Tom Murphy (mandolin) earned regular work with bands such as Stormy Creek, Thermal Grass, Flat Gap and the Hooligans. Jeff Shouse is well-known in the Northwest for his five-sting banjo playing and has also played with Stormy Creek and Flat Gap. Russ Smith, after a time of doing lead vocals for Salty Dogs and Stormy Creek, found a home with “dog house bass violin” and is still a regular with Little Jane and the Pistol Whips. With vocals reminiscent of James Taylor, Two Bit Franks have a mellow, comfortable style that keeps you wanting more.
Taj Weekes and Adowa
St. Lucia, Caribbean Islands
Sunday 3-4:30 pm
Taj Weekes and his band Adowa unite a true social consciousness with an unforgettable reggae groove. Blending in elements of acoustic roots rock and afro-folk simplicity, the band’s vibrant sound defies genre and has garnered critical acclaim and a wide audience across the globe.
Weekes is the youngest of 10 children in a St. Lucian family that was immersed in music. He and his brothers formed a band when he was nine-years old and played around the island. A musician, humanitarian and poet who is a Goodwill Ambassador, Weekes created a non-profit charity to support the lives of underprivileged children in the Caribbean.
The band members include Taj Weekes (lead vocals, guitar); Adoni Xavier (guitar) from Trinidad; Radss Desiree (bass) from Dominica; John Hewitt (keyboards) from Brooklyn, New York; and Jamaican Cornel Marshall (drums).
Roots Fest isn’t their first trip to Montana; Weekes and Adowa performed at the Mount Helena Music Festival in late June of this year.
Bennie & the Swamp Gators
Long Beach, California
Sunday 5-7 pm
Another family band making its first appearance in Missoula, Bennie and the swamp Gators meld Cajun, Zydeco and blues together for a raucous, foot-tapping show. You would think a band of this genre would be coming from the deep South, but this raucous group of talented musicians hails from Southern California where they are regulars at the Alligator Lounge. They’ve been playing together since 1994 and have covered nearly every major Cajun festival in the country.
Band members are Bennie Gibbs (guitar, accordion, and vocals), Ashley Gibbs (drums, vocals), Brock Gibbs (bass), Monique Gibbs (washboard) and Gene Williams (guitar, vocals).
Pete Kartsounes Band
Saturday 4:30-6 pm
Pete Kartsounes (kart-sue-ness) is coming off a third place finish at this year’s Telluride Troubador Contest, a prestigious honor for singer/songwriters. Pete, who grew up in Flushing Mich., and moved to Pagosa Springs, Colo., at the age of 20, has written and recorded with artists like Dave Kruzin of Pearl Jam and members of Blues Traveler. Kartsounes’ music is innovative and unique, crossing genre lines and fulfilling a vision of “writing music with meaning.” His fourth studio album, The Only Way I Know (2011), features an eclectic fusion of folk and rock and features two guest artists performing at Roots this weekend: Jeremy Garrett of The Infamous Stringdusters (fiddle) and Bill McKay of Leftover Salmon (organ). The Pete Kartsounes Band also includes Kevin Malone (bass), Ryan Sapp (drums) and Greg Schochet (guitar, mandolin).
Western North Carolina
Saturday 6:30-8 pm
It’s a family affair with Acoustic Syndicate, as they make their rounds at festivals and venues all over the country. Steve “Big Daddy” McMurry (guitar, mandolin, vocals) is joined on stage by his cousins Bryon McMurry (banjo, vocals) and Fitz McMurry (percussion). The other band members are Jay Sanders (bass) and sometimes Billy Cardine (dobro, guitar). This group has been touring the country together since the early 1990s and has played at Bonnaroo, MerleFest Telluride and Farmaid 2001. They have released six different albums and are working on No. 8. The McMurry clan is a farming family from Shelby, N.C. and grew up singing in church and in the mountains. Their influences run the gamut from the Grateful Dead to Steely Dan and beyond.
Saturday 12:30-2 pm
The ‘Lil Smokies have come on strong in recent years and are delighted to be part of this year’s lineup for Roots Fest. This Missoula bluegrass band have grown enormously in popularity, and their genre of music is a fabulous fit for Roots Fest. With fun and risky titles like “Cooter Boogie” and “the Tooth Fairy Burglary” you will not soon forget the Lil Smokies’ rolling, toe-tapping bluegrass. This beloved local band includes members Matt Cornett, Red Bird waiter and exceptional banjo player who was a founding member of Missoula’s Broken Valley Road Show and has played with Leftover Salmon’s Vince Herman; Cameron Wilson on the mandolin and fiddle; Andy Dunnigan, son of famed John Dunnigan and staff member for the Missoula Downtown Association, on the dobro; Aaron Anderson, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and recent graduate of the UM Music Composition program; Pete Barrett, guitarist and vocalist who loves the stage; and new member Scott Parker.
Jason Spooner Trio
Saturday 2:30-4 pm
Hailing from the Portland of the East Coast, Jason Spooner started playing music in coffeehouses at the age of 17. Now with three CDs on the national market, his songwriting talents have earned him overwhelming recognition from prestigious outlets including Mountain Stage, Starbucks, The Food Network, National Public Radio and more. The Jason Spooner Trio has opened for major performers such as B.B. King, Ray LaMontagne, Blues Traveler, Sara Bareilles, Brandi Carlile and more. They performed last month at the Grand Targhee Festival in Wyoming, and have made appearances in Missoula and Whitefish before. Spooner is joined on stage by Adam Frederick, vocals and bass, and Reed Chamber on drums and percussion.