Organizers of the American Folk Festival on the Bangor Waterfront on Monday announced the names of the first five groups that are scheduled to appear at the event in August. They are Marquise Knox, Dale Ann Bradley, The Aubrey Ghent Band, The Marshall Ford Swing Band, and Mary Jane Lamond with Wendy MacIsaac. More performers will be announced later this spring.
Knox is 20 years old, a native of Granada, Miss. He hails from a musical family deeply entrenched in the blues tradition. He learned to play guitar from his grandmother whose family were sharecroppers and whose great-great-grandparents were slaves.
Four times now, Bradley has been awarded the Vocalist of the Year title from the International Bluegrass Music Association, and Bangor audiences will see why when she brings her rich voice and east Kentucky sensibilities to the 2012 folk festival.
Ghent is a third-generation lap steel guitarist. He has won national acclaim for his unique gospel style and skillful techniques. This summer, Ghent and his band will bring this tradition to festival audiences throughout the weekend, including the traditional Sunday Gospel Show at the Railroad Stage.
With groups such as The Marshall Ford Swing Band showing the way, Western swing is undergoing a renaissance. Western swing blends early century pop with jazz, blues and southwestern folk traditions.
The music traditions of Maritime Canada are featured at each American Folk Festival, and this year those traditions will be showcased by singer Lamond and fiddler/dancer MacIsaac. With more than two decades of international performing experience, these artists are looking forward to returning to the festival’s stages.
These artists are just the first of the lineup of artists who will perform at the American Folk Festival on the Bangor Waterfront on August 24, 25 and 26.
The American Folk Festival celebrates the roots, richness and variety of American culture through music, dance, traditional crafts, storytelling and food. The festival is supported entirely by public donations.