2018 RiverRoots Festival Lineup
Lucinda Williams, Paul Thorn,
The Secret Sisters to play Madison, Ind.
Ray Wylie Hubbard also scheduled
to join acts at June fest
June 8-9 at Madison Bicentennial Park
(Stage times not yet available)
Lucinda Williams, Paul Thorn, The Secret Sisters, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Charlie Parr, Joseph Huber, Lilly Hiatt, The Local Honeys, Brett Ratliff, Qiet, Soda Gardocki, Cari Ray, Bendigo Fletcher, Willow Tree Carolers, The Chestnuts, Whiskey Bent Valley Boys, Erik Brunner.
• Tickets: www.RiverRoots.org
(March 2018) – When the RiverRoots Music and Folk Art Festival comes to Madison, Ind., in June, it will feature Grammy Award-winning artist Lucinda Williams. But the event will also feature a strong lineup of performers who could easily be the main headline act.
“The top three are Lucinda Williams, Paul Thorn and The Secret Sisters,” said RiverRoots Coordinator Dan Williams. “Ray Wylie Hubbard is a close fourth.”
The festival has moved from its usual mid-May dates to June 8-9 this year in hopes that better weather will prevail and to better accommodate students and families traveling with children.
The event is building a reputation for having a powerful lineup of performers after featuring Ricky Skaggs and Sam Bush last year.
“Lucinda Williams is as big as they come,” Williams continued. “To have her in Madison, Indiana, will be a treat. Nobody should miss her.”
Dan Williams has high respect for the entire lineup, and has difficulty selecting a favorite act.
“Paul Thorn is always a great show,” Williams added. “His energy will get the weekend off to a great start. And The Secret Sisters have been on a journey for several years. Their songwriting reflects that journey. The passion can be heard in every song.”
Williams will close the event on Saturday night. She is a multiple Grammy Award winner, including Grammy Award for Best Country Song in 1994 and Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album in 1999.
Lucinda Williams is considered a gifted songwriter with a strong and distinctive voice who became a roots music icon with her fearlessly personal body of work.
Williams is currently working on a memoir, and those memories show in her music.
“I have a lot to say and a big story to tell,” Williams said. “I want everyone to know what’s behind the songs and to know more about me than what people previously thought they knew. It’s time to tell my truth.”
Williams first became known to a national audience with her self-titled album in 1988. She was 35. Since then, she has amassed three Grammys, including one in 1998 for best contemporary folk album – “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road” – considered to be among her best work. She has been nominated for 15 Grammys in total. In 2001, Time Magazine named her America’s Best Songwriter.
Thorn is a southern rock, country, Americana and blues singer-songwriter whose style is a mix of blues, country and rock music. Thorn was born in Wisconsin but raised in Tupelo, Miss., after a family move when he was an infant.
The son of a preacher, Thorn spent much of his childhood in church, participating in multiple weekly services with his father as well as at neighboring African American congregations, where he became entranced with the music whose infectious spirit is captured on the new album, “Don’t Let the Devil Ride.”
“This is the culmination of my whole life in music – coming back to my gospel roots,” said Thorn. “My message on this record is ‘let’s get together.’ I want to help lighten your load and make you smile.”
The Secret Sisters are an Americana singing and songwriting duo consisting of vocalists Laura Rogers and Lydia Slagle. The duo’s music has been compared to artists like The Everly Brothers. The sisters hail from Muscle Shoals, Ala.
With a love for music coming from both sides of their family, they grew up with a zeal for country music and sang songs with their family by country music artists such as Don Williams. The girls first learned to harmonize through singing a cappella at their hometown church.
Paul Thorn (above) and The Secret Sisters (below) are among the bands scheduled to perform at this year’s RiverRoots.
Tucked away near the eastern entrance of the festival is an extra stage known mostly to local musicians who come to the festival intent on playing their own music. The Jam Tent is a popular gathering place for those bringing their instruments and voices to the festival.
“We strive to bring a nice mix of music to Madison every year,” Dan Williams added. “This year reflects a good mix of fan favorites and a good down-home feeling.”
The tent is open to musicians of all levels and all styles of music. As a bonus, each year some of the main stage musicians are scheduled for workshops or to just come and join the jams. Main stage performers at the Jam Tent are not known until a few days before the festival.
The RiverRoots Festival lineup also includes some hometown favorites, such as guitarist and singer Erik Brunner, who will open the festival on Friday night. Also featured will be local folk favorites, The Chestnuts.
The Chestnuts are a Madison, Ind., based trio consisting of father-daughter team Paul Kelly and Jill Kelly Koren and Tony Schroeder. The trio has been playing folk covers and original songs around the region for more than a dozen years.
Schroeder came up with the name, The Chestnuts, because it seems the songs they like to play are old stories worth repeating.
“These songs reflect our observations about life and the times we are in,” said Schroeder. “Writing gives us a creative outlet to express our hopes and concerns – the sweet and bitter tastes that life’s menu serves us.”
The Chestnuts are energized by singing harmonies and finding new ways to make their observations public during their precious time on this Earth. They hope their music connects with kindred spirits and festival goers.
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