Performers A - Z
Andy Hughes is an award-winning and chart-topping singer-songwriter who has been a staple of the Midwest alternative music scene for more than 20 years. For much of that time, Andy has been the frontman and songwriter for the successful ska/reggae band, TUGG. With TUGG, Andy has toured the U.S. with The Wailers, The Dirty Heads, Passafire, and more. A life-long fan of classic country—Hughes counts Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and John Prine among his influences. Over the last few years, Hughes has released 2 albums. 2017’s “Heartland and Heartache” drew comparisons to classic country singers like Cash and contemporary folk artists like Greg Brown and 2019’s Songs for Sunday with his band, The Mighty Few. Andy has been busy out on the road supporting the albums and playing stages with the likes of The Oak Ridge Boys, Joe Diffie, Horseshoes and Handgrenades, Peter Mulvey, Willie Watson, Mike and the Moon Pie’s, Jeffrey Foucault, The Cactus Blossoms, and more. In 2021, Hughes, alongside longtime friend and fellow songwriter started Broken Wrist Records as an entity to help promote and release independent music and beyond.
Bluff Country Tale Spinners
The Bluff Country Tale Spinners storytelling guild promotes the appreciation of
the art of storytelling and the development of storytelling skills among
its members. Beginner through advanced tellers share stories and receive
feedback from members. Story listeners are welcome and needed. The guild
meets monthly on the second Thursday of each month at King St. Kitchen and
holds the La Crosse Storytelling Festival, Wisconsin’s only storytelling
Visit Bluff Country Tale Spinners at www.LaCrosseStoryFest.com
Performs: 2:00 Great River Fringe Stage
A mainstay Americana Folk troubadour, Camela Widad is a little bit saintly and a little bit rock and roll. Her latest EP titled All This Beauty triggers long-forgotten memories of strong independent female voices from days gone by. With vocals that climb, then dance through subtlety, delivered against a backdrop of organic and stripped back performances. Growing up in the Midwest state of Wisconsin, in the world of country and blues tinged with a hint of rock, the rich underbelly of American culture courses through her veins. Camela has appeared on stage alongside Chuck Prophet, Della May, David Lindley and iconic band America at venues and events such as The Birchmere Music Hall, Club Passim, Live on The Folk Show on WXPN, The Tin Angel, the Berkshire Mountain Music Festival.
12:00 North Side Stage
Cass Magpie is the solo project of Cassie Brady [The Lavender Project, Echo Black River]. Her latest work is founded on raw emotion and a dark past. With a delicate voice and finger picked guitar the new songs explore depression, socio-economic inequality, glorious failures, and acceptance. The Cass Magpie sound is diverse but has one constant. a simple 8 track recorder.
1:30 Great River Fringe stage
D.Janakey’s impassioned folk music & metaphysical hymns are the odd synthesis of irreverent Country & Western and Spiritual music you didn'’t know you needed, and might not even want. Drawing comparisons to Prine, Yusuf Cat Stevens, Daniel Johnston, and Paul Simon, these are songs that ring with light and obscurity, they breathe, and sway, and then float away.
Away from music, Janakey is a seasoned tree pruner, DIY show organizer, lousy gardener, and crummy fisherman but keeps on trying anyway.
D.Janakey has shared the stage with Dave Simmonette of Trampled by turtles, Mason Jennings, Ezra Bell, as well as local favorites, Them Coulee Boys.
1:30 Great River Fringe stage
Entertaining, interactive magic and mentalism. Dan Nelson perform magic and mentalism for a wide range of audiences of all ages and a variety of events and celebrations, perhaps even your next event!
12:30 Great River Festival Stage
Combining skillful acoustic guitar, with lively harmonica and liquid vocals, Don Harvey is an award-winning singer/songwriter from La Crosse, Wisconsin. His “Acoustic Americana” style spans Folk, Rock, Bluegrass, and the Country Blues.
A dynamic entertainer, Don engages an audience with his observations and wit while delivering insightful lyrics and spirited melodies Don has been described as having an “upbeat vibe”, “a soulful delivery”, and a “clean sound”
Don loves to perform up and down the Mississippi River and has been a touring musician in the Midwest for many years. He won the KVAMA/Larryfest Songwriting Contest in 2008. With help from some very talented musicians, including fiddle sensation Randy Sabien, Don recently finished his 5th CD of original tunes.
12:00 North Side Stage
Echo Black River
Echo Black River is Josh Rabie, Ty Don, Eric Gerke, and Cassie Brady. The 4-piece band based in La Crosse, Wisconsin plays original music about addiction, fatherhood, and psychedelic visions of ungrandeur. Drawing inspiration from early bluegrass to 1960s R&B soul records and many things in between.
Eddie Allen is a Trempealeau legend who has been described as an exceptionally smart, sometimes cynical, but always entertaining songwriter. His days of being a river rat with John Hartford are still strong in his writing and love for the area.
Like Hartford, his musical style is firmly rooted in the folk tradition of the midwestern United States, and many of his songs describe the trials and tribulations of the lives of people on the river. His first album, The Treampeleau Hotel, is heavily river-themed, focusing on the culture of people who worked on the Mississippi River. The title track refers to the historic Trempeleau Hotel which still thrives on the shore of the Mississippi.
Allen has had a long relationship with the Great River Folk Fest, making many memorable appearances over the years.
3:00 Great River Fringe Stage
By day, Fran is a hospice music therapist for Mayo Clinic. As a weekend warrior, Fran writes songs for herself and for those lucky enough to listen. Fran’s music and voice have been compared to Joni Mitchell and Stevie Nicks, and she has had the opportunity to open for such songwriters as Ellis Delaney, Shanna in a dress, and John Smith. With heartfelt lyrics, the reflection of folk, and a bit of sassy blues mixed in, Fran’s music is sure to leave you smiling and pondering life.
3:00 Great River Fringe Stage
Hmong Youth Dancers
La Crosse area’s very own youth Hmong Dancers will perform traditional dances during our festival.
2:00 Band Schell
Spirit lifting, soul searching songs from the Driftless, The Iowans are a pair of first cousins whose distinct sister-like voices come together to make an achingly perfect vocal sound. Transplanted from the fertile soil of Northeastern Iowa, now hailing from the musical vortex of Viroqua, Wisconsin, Katie and Christina weave together beautifully crafted musical arrangements and soul baring song-writing along with whimsical, nostalgic sounds with their clawhammer banjo, guitar and organic vocal harmonies. These kindred, connected spirits bring their original songs, memorable melodies and a few good stories that only a pair of first cousins can conjure up. They will have you feeling like you are part of the family in no time.
4:00 band Shell
J.E. Sunde (Jonathan Edward Sunde) is a songwriter and composer based out of Minneapolis, MN. Jon studied western classical music with a vocal emphasis at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. Starting in college, Jon spent ten years making beautifully unusual music with The Daredevil Christopher Wright. He has since released three solo records with his most recent record, “9 Songs About Love,” released in November of 2020. With a love of songwriters and performers like Leonard Cohen, Nina Simone, and Paul Simon, Jon writes densely poetic songs with a bent toward the philosophical. Also, his voice sounds like some sort of weird angel.
5:00 North Side Stage
Joseph Huber hails from the state of Wisconsin and seems to bring forth the varied voices of whatever it may be that lies dormant within either the fertile soil or the callous concrete of that world. It has been said, “You don’t just like Joseph Huber’s music. You feel it’s something that the rest of the world needs to hear, and how criminal it is that it isn’t spreading far and wide.” Whether it’s irresistible, fiddle-drive, dancing tunes or honest, heart-wrenching “songwriter” songs, Huber’s songs and shows span the spectrum of ‘Roots’ music while preferring not to stay withing the boundaries of any strict classification.
6:00 Band Shell
When Laura was little, her dad told her that if she picked a career that she truly loved then she would never have to work a day of her life. This probably wasn’t what he had in mind.
It started innocently enough—learning to juggle for a middle school play in her small Iowa hometown. Her first performances were at street festivals in that hometown, wowing audiences with fire manipulation. Several years later, Laura has made a career out of her passion for entertaining.
In 2008 Laura won 1st place at the World Juggling Federation, placing her among the best jugglers in the world. Then, on the 5th season of America’s Got Talent, Laura performed inside of her human-sized hamster ball—a prop so impressive it caused Howie Mandel to exclaim, “I love you! You are my soul mate.”
Never settling for average, Laura has invented innovative props and brought new life to old favorites. She has performed all over the world, and currently resides in Des Moines, Iowa with her wonderful husband Ryan and adorable daughter Lucy.
12:00 Great River Fringe Stage
3:00 Great River Fringe Stage
4:30 Great river Fringe Stage
The Lowest Pair
Kendl Winter and Palmer T. Lee are two kindred spirits who first met on the banks of the Mississippi while touring the Midwest festival circuit. Born and raised in Arkansas, Winter found herself drawn to the evergreens and damp air of the Pacific Northwest, as well as the boundless music scene of Olympia, Washington. She released three solo records on Olympia-based indie label, K Records, and performed in ramblin' folk bands and anarchic punk bands before serendipitously meeting Palmer T. Lee in 2013. Lee had built his first banjo when he was 19 from pieces he inherited and began cutting his teeth fronting Minneapolis string bands before convincing Winter that they should form a banjo duo. Now, as The Lowest Pair, they have recorded and released five albums together, relentlessly toured North America, and ventured to the UK twice, playing over 500 live shows over the past five years.
As a songwriting team, the duo tends to see artistic sparks all around them—in poems, people, ideas, experiences.
4:00 Band Shell (Kendl Winter)
7:00 Band Shell
Patina is a Celtic inspired violin, whistle, flute, bass, bodhrán, and guitar band that plays mixed Celtic, folk and original music.
Patina plays out around the Rochester/Winona/La Crosse area at many different venues; at the Irish fests, restaurants, wineries, pubs, hotels and of course for weddings, parties and anniversaries! They LOVE to bring their lively music to anyone who enjoys the fun sounds of Celtic, folk, originals and easy listening with some covers thrown in for a change of pace.
Patina is a fun band to listen to and watch perform. They all enjoy playing their music so much that you can catch the delight and the happiness that brings them together. Kara Mae is an award winning fiddler who plays the violin & sings, Connie plays the double bass, flute, Celtic whistles & sings, Sue Lee plays the guitar & sings and Greg plays the bodhrán, Irish flute, accordion, guitar and Celtic whistles to round out the band. Together they play a nice mix of Celtic based music that will work in nearly all venues.
Roe Family Singers
Bonfire Music Group recording artists the Roe Family Singers are a Good-Time, Old-Time Hillbilly band from the tiny community of Kirkwood Hollow, MN. Led by wife & husband Kim Roe (Best Female Vocalist, City Pages/Village Voice) and Quillan Roe, the band marries old-time sounds from barn-dances, fiddle pulls, and county fairs with the rock & roll passion of youth.
The Roe Family Singers mix original music and contemporary takes on old-time, traditional, and gospel tunes into one roiling & rollicking river of fresh yet familiar American music. Every performance raises a ruckus.
8:00 Band Shell
Siena Christie is a country-folk singer-songwriter. Her crystal-clear voice and keenly empathic lyrics have drawn comparisons to Alison Krauss, Jewel, and Shawn Colvin, as well as critical acclaim both locally and nationally. Most recently, she was selected as a New Folk Finalist in the 2022 Kerrville Folk Festival Grassy Hill songwriting competition. Siena lives with her partner and cat on unceded Chinookan land in Vancouver, Washington.
Learn more at sienachristie.com
2:30 North side Stage