The Walking Roots Band | Southern Grace | Bittersweet Gospel Band | Valerie & Taylor Bess  | Sadie Gustafson Zook & Ethan Setiawan | Good Company | The Clymer Kurtz Band | Lightning Lucas | Tide Spring | Brother Chicory | The Blue Ridge Mountain Dulcimer Players

The Walking Roots Band

The Walking Roots Band

Based in Harrisonburg, VA, the Walking Roots Band travels (usually by car, despite the name) far and wide to share their unique blend of original blue-ish-grass, folk-like, Americana/roots music and reclaimed hymns in new folk arrangements. All the members grew up in Mennonite or Church of the Brethren hymn-singing communities, and audiences reap the benefits of those singing traditions in the band's rich vocal harmonies. The Walking Roots Band has fans of all ages who love the mix of humor, reflection, storytelling, joy, and love on display when they take the stage.

Bittersweet Gospel Band

Bittersweet Gospel Band

The Bittersweet Gospel Band began as an extension of Bittersweet Ministries, at the time a rehabilitation home for men in East Los Angeles. The home, founded by Pastor Gilbert Romero, was a half-way house, a safe place, where men young and old could find stability, self-discipline and healing from their broken lives as gang members, drug users, alcoholics,and the abuse they suffered from the hands of others. Pastor Gilbert came out of this same world when God called him to ministry. In the mid-1990's, the Band began to minister to the main stream of the Church of the Brethren, and to other denominational and non-denominational churches as well, with a focus on reaching out to youth and breaking down walls of cultural division. With the Band's music and Gilbert's preaching, Bittersweet concerts take on a revival atmosphere. Pastor Gilbert is a dynamic speaker and presenter, as well as a smooth vocalist, percussionist, and songwriter. Joining him since 1997 is Pastor Scott Duffey, who plays guitar, sings, and also writes some of the music. Scott and Gilbert are from different worlds, but God has put them together as a model for intercultural ministry.

Southern Grace

Southern Grace

Valerie & Taylor Bess

Valerie & Taylor Bess

If you love country gospel music, just wait until you hear Virginia ’s own one-of-a-kind group Southern Grace.  The southern gospel background of these musicians combined with their love for country music will leave you wanting more.  These four talented local Shenandoah Valley musicians will put a twist into your favorite gospel hymns.

Southern Grace is comprised of four members: Kenny Williams (bass guitar; lead vocals), Larry Kyger (electric and steel guitar), Tim Nicely (keyboards, vocals) and Joe Shifflett (drums).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valerie & Taylor Bess are founding members of the late Port Harbour, a Harrisonburg-based band known for their unique blend of lyrical indie rock. Incredible musicians and vocalists, the couple are a dynamic creative force. In addition to writing and arranging much of the music for Port Harbour's debut album, Wake, the pair also designed the album artwork and produced the project from start to finish. Since Port Harbour's members dispersed and the band went on hiatus, Valerie & Taylor Bess have been exploring new sounds and styles. In addition to being fantastic musicians, Valerie contributed to the design of the Sing Me High Music Festival logo and Taylor engineered and produced the Walking Roots Band's latest album, a Christmas album due out in October/November 2017.

Sadie Gustafzon-Zook

Sadie Gustafzon-Zook

 

Sadie Gustafson-Zook is an accomplished young fiddler, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter who plays in a large variety of styles from folk to swing to irish. She released her first CD, Melange on which she is backed by her parents, accomplished folk musicians Les and Gwen Gustafson-Zook. On Melange, Sadie overlays varied rich instrument tracks with tight harmonies and melodic vocals. In 2011, Sadie won a first-place in the New Song Showcase at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas with her song "Unless I Loved."

Ethan Setiawan

Ethan Setiawan

Ethan Setiawan is an Indiana-born, Boston-based musician and mandolinist thrives on creative collaboration with others. For Setiawan, the passion lies in the synergy that happens when a group of unique individuals come together. While first and foremost an acoustic mandolin player, Setiawan also performs on mandocello and electric mandolin. Deeply invested in making the mandolin a larger part of music that it’s not normally found in, he’s situating funk and jazz on wooden instruments; one such outlet is the Ethan Setiawan Band, a group of musicians from Goshen, IN performing Setiawan’s music as well as “music not meant for the mandolin”. He’s also a member of Boston-based bluegrass groove band OctoPladd. n 2014, Setiawan won the National Mandolin Championship. These days, you can find him dividing his time between Boston, where he attends Berklee College of Music on a full ride scholarship, and his home community of Goshen Indiana. Last summer, Setiawan and Gustafson-Zook toured with a bassist under the name New Branch, and they made a Shenandoah Valley appearance at the Redwing Roots Music Festival.

Good Company

Good Company

 

 

 

Since forming in the fall of 2013, Good Company, a six-member a cappella ensemble based in Harrisonburg, has performed regularly in the Shenandoah Valley and beyond. Their debut album, Awake, was released in 2014 and they released a much anticipated Christmas album in December of 2016. With a wide repertoire encompassing everything from early music to contemporary pop arrangements, spirituals to classic 70s rock, and even a few original compositions, Good Company hopes that everybody can find something to enjoy and connect with in the music they share. As part of the inaugural Sing Me High Music Festival last year, Good Company performed to a responsive crowd in the main tent. Audiences will certainly be excited to see them return to the stage in 2017.

The Clymer-Kurtz Band

The Clymer-Kurtz Band

 

 

Lonely wanderlust on I-81, getaway cravings, grace, and the satisfaction of daily life are no strangers in the music of the original rock Clymer Kurtz Band. In live performance and throughout their discography, the group's woven harmonies and nuanced lyrics over emotionally intelligent musicianship beg repeated listening. Before retiring from his WEMC show Mel Lee's Songbag, Lee wrote that the Clymer Kurtz Band's songwriting "has a high level of originality: lyrically, melodically and emotionally. Their vocal harmonies are striking, and their arrangements are fresh." Formed in 2009, the Rockingham County-based act is a culmination of backgrounds spanning country, choral, hard rock, jazz and bluegrass. The band's first release, Statements and Clues, was quickly followed by the full-length Arms Uncrossed; the eight selections on the 2014 crowd-funded Rain command attention as an intricately themed, mature collection.

Lightning Lucas

Lightning Lucas

 

Lightning Lucas has focused for the past two years on a song-a-week project. He sings “Songs of Life and Love, Depth and Lack Thereof.” He now has enough original material to play a three hour set with no repeats.  Check out his set at Sing Me High to hear only the hits.

Songwriting mentor and folk musician extraordinaire John McCutcheon says:  Amidst the flood of new singer-songwriters out there, every once in a great while someone makes me stop and listen. I never miss a chance to hear another Lightning Lucas song. You shouldn’t either.”

In the summer of 2013 Lucas was directly struck by a freak bolt of lightning. He lived to appreciate the stage name.

Tide Spring

Tide Spring

Tide Spring is a harmonious group of music makers from Northern Rockingham County, VA. Band members first learned to know each other when their daughters attended the same school as children. Musical collaborations began early in the spring of 2011 when Dave Nealon (banjo, guitars, harmonica, mandolin), Ramona Shenk, (guitar) and Mike Shenk (mandolin) began to perform together. Later that year, long-time friend Mark Currence joined the band on bass. Tide Spring is named after a unique ebbing and flowing spring a few miles north of Ramona and Mike’s home in Linville, VA.

The band showcases a variety of musical traditions with an emphasis on vocal harmonies. Song selections are drawn from gospel, bluegrass, folk, old time, blues and original compositions. Tide Spring’s music is hard to categorize but Dave’s term “bluesy roots” comes pretty close.

The band’s recording “Seeds” was produced and recorded in Dave’s basement over the spring and summer of 2015 with a minimum of over dubbing and other electronic techniques. All of the tracks were cut with the entire band present in order to maintain the integrity and energy of a live performance. “Seeds” is available at cdbaby.com. or from the band’s Facebook page.

Brother Chicory

Brother Chicory

Brother Chicory is a husband and wife folk-duo out of the Shenandoah Valley.  Like many before them, they are putting life's joy and life's challenges to song; played on the banjo and guitar. They travel extensively and have lived in tents, on farms and in communities, and they live always by faith in the love of the Creator. Their first full-length album, seeds, was recorded and released in 2016. 

 

 

The mountain dulcimer is a distinctive and attractive instrument native to Appalachia, and it has as many different nicknames as the different hills and hollers in which it has been played. If you are unfamiliar with the "harmonium", "music box", "mountain zither," or "hog fiddle", the Blue Ridge Mountain Dulcimer Players will be the perfect introduction for you. Brought together by their love for mountain music and sharing it in an authentically relaxed and inviting style, Blue Ridge Mountain Dulcimer Players will welcome you up onto Aunt Erma's front porch so you can sit a spell, enjoy the summer air, and take in the sweet strains of the mountain dulcimer.