Stellar musical lineup on tap for Colorscape

NORWICH – Colorscape is pleased to announce the musical lineup for the 17th Annual Colorscape Chenango Arts Festival in downtown Norwich, Sept. 10 and 11. As always, the festival and music is free and open to the public. The schedule is as follows

Saturday, Sept. 10

10 a.m. L.J. Gates

11 a.m. Opening Ceremonies

11:30 a.m Driftwood

12:30 p.m. The Dust Poets

2 p.m. Ellis Paul

3:30 p.m. Caravan of Thieves

5 p.m. McPeake

Sunday, Sept. 11

11 a.m. Gospel Show with Kim and Reggie Harris

12:30 p.m. The Guy Mendilow Band

2 p.m. Sara Milonovich & Daisycutter

3:30 p.m. 9-11 Tribute with Runa

3:45 p.m. Runa

5 p.m. The Horseshoe Lounge Playboys

LJ Gates

L.J. Gates plays without pretension as his newest CD, Workin’ Slobs, reveals. He sings what he knows and plays what he feels, and in his 30 years of performing and writing, that’s a lot. This Oxford native has shared stages and audiences with the likes of Savoy Brown and others, but LJ is most at home when he growls his own vocals and wrangles guitar notes that are alternately slippery and percussive. Welcome back to this local favorite.


It’s shanty-rock, they say, which isn’t exactly definable – and there’s the point. This Binghamton-based band draws zealous fans by playing original Americana that easily sidesteps into indie folk and postnewgrass. Driftwood is song-central so their contemporary tall tales, mature songwriting and cracking guitar, mandolin, banjo, bass and fiddle don’t blur into sameness. Listen for close harmonies and lyrics with equal parts sweetness and “what?”

The Dust Poets

For ten years this Canadian five-piece acoustic folk band has staked a claim on that musical turf called smart yet quirky. Their sticking power is cemented by an alt-country, bluegrass and altogether genre-bending sound supported by some of the most gorgeous harmony vocals and original songwriting we know. Add the instrumentation of guitars, keys, brass, bass, clarinet, percussion and guitar, and you’ll witness something we’ll let you describe. Murray, Karla, Sean, Gord and Corey are here with a new record, World at Large.

Ellis Paul

After 14 Boston Music Awards, millions of touring miles, a movie soundtrack presence and sixteen recordings, including the recent The Day After Everything Changed which NPR named one of Folk Alley’s Best Folk Albums of

2010, it’s clear Paul is a legacy singer/songwriter. We’ll be hearing his songs for decades because they mirror the real, beautifully. Delivered with an arcing tenor and nimble guitar work, his music captures lyrical targets with a poet’s eye. We’re not surprised Paul’s newest CD is generating the highest critical acclaim of his already lauded career.

Caravan of Thieves

These Gypsy Swinging Serenading Firebreathing Circus Freaks don’t just tour, they roam. They don’t just sing lyrics, they present the magical and fantastic. They don’t just play instruments, they cavort and sizzle. Guitars and far-reaching vocals by Fuzz and Carrie Sangiovanni, aggressive double bass by Brian Anderson and virtuoso violin by Ben Dean deliver a killer set (pun intended – you’ll see). This Connecticut-based band doesn’t do musical theatre but they definitely do theatrical music. Don’t just listen, watch.


For generations the McPeake family of Belfast has been a distinctive name and compelling force in Irish music. Their teaching, performing and writing, including the iconic ballad Wild Mountain Thyme by Francis McPeake I, confirm why they’re credited as helping move traditional Irish music from the kitchen to the world stage. Now Francis McPeake IV presents a band fusing original Celtic compositions with contemporary rhythms and sensibilities to make the new sound of Irish folk music. Welcome back, Francis, Mairead, Sean and Peter.

Kim and Reggie Harris/Gospel Show

This traditional duo and audience favorite from Philadelphia pulls from a strong folk and gospel background to share both music and storytelling with a purpose. Their established contribution to our knowledge base about the Underground Railroad and the modern civil rights movement is reflected in their eight CDs on two labels. “Kim and Reggie inspire a sense of joy and exhilaration that lifts the soul… makes you want to sing and celebrate your neighbor.” Philadelphia Daily News Inspiration and healing move through their performances, always.

The Guy Mendilow Band

Voted Boston’s Best World Music Act in the 2011 Boston Music Best Music Poll, this band is now touring with their newest production, Songs of Imagined Migrations: the Guy Mendilow Band’s Ladino Project. The Ladino culture arose from Sephardi Jews who were expelled from Spain and widely resettled, where their music absorbed sounds from their new homes. Rich instrumentation, luminous vocals and respect for these old songs’ origins meld into something new. Listen for La Reina Xerifa Mora, a sonic story that haunts.

Sara Milonovich and Daisycutter

Sara was a farm girl from upstate New York who released her first recording when twelve years old, but she’s since grown to collaborate with dozens of world-class performers in the U.S. and Europe, was twice a Grammy-nominated semifinalist, and continues to make new music that’s “acoustic and electric, agnostic and eclectic.” We think her fiddle speaks several languages, actually. Daisycutter includes the producing and performing luminary Greg Anderson, plus New Yorkers Andy Goessling, Natalia Zuckerman, Leo Traversa and Ben Wittman.

9-11 Tribute with Runa

Colorscape falls always on the weekend after Labor Day, which means the festival sits squarely within the last golden days of summer, on the cusp of autumn, and in the middle of our national recollection of a tragedy the world will never forget. Even while we celebrate the transformative and nourishing gifts of art, music, food, poetry and good company, we pause to remember. We are grateful to the band Runa for presenting this tribute and memorial.


The lilting, crystalline, soulful voice of Shannon Lambert-Ryan stands front and center, but the auric layers come from Dubliner Fionn de Barra on guitar and Canadian Cheryl Prashker on percussion. It’s a weaving of sound and story from Ireland, Scotland, the Shetland Islands, Canada and the U.S., and it’s so effectively done that awards are trickling in for this new ensemble. “There is truly a mystical quality to their playing.” Irish Philadelphia We’re delighted to present Runa’s Colorscape debut.

Horseshoe Lounge Playboys

This is “footstomping, harmonizing hillbilly roots music,” or “old-timey, bluegrassy, acoustic honky tonkin’ backwoods Americana.” What this actually means is that strings are wound tight and smokin’. Randy, Will, Darin and Ben ricochet with blistering guitar, mandolin, fiddle, upright and electric bass and vocals, with mostly original and traditional material. And that’s why they tour so much – it’s just that much fun (ask their fans who hoof it to find them). Hear them too in the independent feature film, Mineville.

Acoustic Jam

Musicians of central New York, why not add your instrumental magic to the music of Colorscape? There is a place for you and your acoustic instrument at the Open Jam to be held in the East Park Gazebo. Hosted by local singer-songwriter Dannielle Spindler Swart in round-robin format, all are welcome to share a song or a tune. The jam will take place both Saturday and Sunday between NBT Main Stage sets at times announced on-site.

Times are approximate and subject to change without notice. Musical entertainment is arranged by Night Eagle Productions, NBT Bank, and grants from the Follett Foundation, Greater Norwich Foundation in memory of Eugene and Mildred Cole, Herbert H. & Mariea L. Brown Charitable Trust, and a Decentralization Grant.

Located on the greens of East and West Parks in the city of Norwich, Colorscape features over 90 juried artists and crafters selling their wares in an interactive atmosphere that includes artist demonstrations, literary and arts activities for all ages, student art exhibits, a competitive poetry slam and the finest in creative food.

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