festival-2016

Arms and Voices

Connecticut

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New Haven-based Arms & Voices is the brand new band anchored by Steve Rodgers (vocals & guitar) and Jessy Griz (vocals and keys) supported by Seth Adam (bass/guitar) and Adam Christoferson (drums/percussion) as well as occasional guest members. Their songs are a melodic, lyrical exploration into the human spirit and condition, interwoven with rich harmonies. The members of the band each have a rich history in the Connecticut music scene, most notably Steve Rodgers who was the leader of the longstanding underground band Mighty Purple that toured nationally for 15 years and released nine full-length albums. He is the founder / director and music curator for The Space and The Outer Space in Hamden, two community-based music venues recognized nationally as destination tour stops for bands of all levels and genres.

— Steve Winters

O’hAnleigh

Vermont

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Vermont’s O’hAnleigh draws on their ancestral roots and diverse musical talent to entertain audiences with the lively and haunting rhythms of Irish America. Since 2000, their dynamic multi-instrumental performances feature rich, fluid harmonies and an enormous playlist of classic ballads, rousing pub tunes, and original songs and tunes that have garnered noteworthy praise from fans and music critics the world over. Tom Hanley, Becca Hanley, Doug Riley and Cindy Hill bring the traditions of Irish immigrant culture, history, literature and music to life. O’hAnleigh’s premier album, Of Irish Crossings Told, was released on St. Patrick’s Day 2006, and their second album, Farewell Roscommon, was released two years later and contains a growing list of original pieces, that Tom and Cindy compose.

— Steve Winters

Amy Soucy

New York

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Amy Soucy is gifted with a versatile, powerful and fluid voice and her original compositions express the longings of the human heart through voice and song. Based in Beacon, N.Y. after residing for 20 years in New York City, Amy has performed, recorded, harmonized and written with a variety of artists whose music stretches across many genres. She brings an equally varied musical background to her artistry, including singing in choral groups, musical theatre and even opera. Her debut album “This River” was released last fall and features music that ranges from harmony–laden bluegrass to a cover of rocker Neil Young’s classic “Comes a Time.”

— Steve Winters

 

Mike Vial

Michigan

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Mike Vial is a singer-songwriter from Ann Arbor, Michigan. He drinks too much coffee, plays Heritage and Taylor guitars, teaches guitar lessons, and tries to take his dog for two walks every day between a busy gig schedule, and his baby’s nap schedule. Mike’s music has been marked by two existential crises, the first being his experience auditioning at Michigan music programs, but not being accepted. “That failure made me a better person,” he reflects. “I was forced to examine my identity and how music would still be a part of my life.” This disappointment led to a change of direction, one that developed his writing voice and poise in front of an audience. After college, Mike performed music part-time for eight years while teaching high school English, but in 2011 faced his second crisis: He left his teaching to focus on music. Throughout 2012-2013, he toured a large part of the U.S. and Canada. He has released a digital album entitled “Mike Vial’s Entire Music Collection” that features all his singles and his three EP releases.

— Steve Winters

 

Ira Wolf

Tennesee

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An independent new-folk singer/songwriter, Ira Wolf uses her Americana melodies and honest lyrics to connect on an intimate and vulnerable level with her audience, and is inspired by each new experience her adventurous life has given her. After briefly studying in her home state at the University of Montana and Berklee College of Music in Boston, Ira left school in 2012 in pursuit of something bigger. She traveled for a year, exploring Europe and Australia, writing, recording, and learning about the world and herself. In the summer of 2013, Ira’s journey led her to make a home in Nashville, where she lived in her car for a month until she landed a part-time job as a nanny. After settling in, Ira spent much of her time collaborating with some of Nashville’s top writers and musicians, and set out on her very first tour just two years ago. Following that tour, she worked tirelessly to create and release her debut album, “Fickle Heart,” in September 2014 and began touring full-time. Although she continues to make Nashville her home-base, Ira maintains a life on the road. She is currently touring to promote her sophomore project, “Honest,” released in March.

— Steve Winters

 

Trina Hamlin

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Trina Hamlin will be appearing as Susan Werner’s special guest.

Regarded as one of the best harmonica players on the folk circuit, Trina presents a driving, sensuous rhythm in her performance, reawakening audiences to the art of the instrument. Trina also seamlessly moves to guitar and piano as well as adding vocals.

— Steve Winters