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Sat Jan 4th 2014: The Cantrells - making their LRFC debut, National Public Radio favorites Al and Emily Cantrell bring their acoustic folk, blue grass and old-time music to LRFC featuring soaring vocals, guitar, mandolin and fiddle. Selected by Robert Redford to provide old-time music for his hit movie A River Runs Through It, the Cantrells are equally at home with detours into Celtic, Western Swing and traditional American tunes.

Sat Feb 1st 2014: Dylan Sneed - Texas singer-songwriter Dylan Sneed is slowly but surely gaining well deserved recognition. In early January 2006, adorned in poor-fitting, borrowed business casual, he slumped in a cubicle of a cold office building in downtown Dallas, TX. Over his short but painful tenure in the machine of corporate America, he learned many lessons, but one prevailed above the rest: this was not where he was supposed to spend the rest of his life. After escaping his corporate confines he began booking national tours the grassroots way: making friends and fans one at a time across the country, with a focus on Texas, the southeast, and the east coast. Hundreds of gigs and tens of thousands of miles later, Dylan has become a full-fledged road warrior. The press has described him as an "A-list tunesmith" (Dallas Observer) and "a sober Townes Van Zandt" (SC Free Times).

"Sneed is a terrific songwriter who knows how to turn a phrase and plays a mean acoustic guitar." - No Depression

"Sneed represents the best side of true Americana: music of passion and skill that can move an audience with a whisper or a roar." - Dallas Observer

In September 2011 he hopped a plane to the Netherlands for his first European tour. The trip was a success, including a show at the famous Paradiso in Amsterdam, one of Europe's most prestigious music venues. Sneed is currently making plans for a return tour in the spring of 2013. The Dallas Observer described Sneed's music as "the best side of true Americana: music of passion and skill that can move an audience with a whisper or a roar.” Kevin Oliver of the SC Free Times said "Sneed’s songs give a contemporary spin to the Lone Star country and folk of Guy Clark, Steve Earle and others, coming out more like the acerbically literate North Carolina songwriters Jonathan Byrd or Malcolm Holcombe."

March 2014: NTIF Dallas

Sat Apr 5th 2014: Lee Murdock - Broadly acknowledged as “the premier interpreter of songs and tales about the Great Lakes,” Lee Murdock has uncovered a boundless body of music and stories in his home region. There is an amazing timelessness to this music. Great Lakes songs are made of hard work, hard living, ships that go down and ships that come in. The music is grounded in the work song tradition, from the rugged days of lumberjacks and wooden sailing schooners, Murdock comes alongside with original ballads of contemporary commerce and revelry in the grand folk style. Noted as a fluent instrumentalist on the six and twelve-string guitars, Lee Murdock’s musical influences span fifteen generations, from 17th century Irish harp music, to Scott Joplin guitar rags, and embracing the blues, freshwater shanties, original songs and ballads. Bringing a deeper understanding of the folk process, Lee’s repertoire combines historical research with contemporary insights. Making folk music for the modern era, Lee Murdock’s work is an anthem to the people who live, work, learn and play along the freshwater highways of North America, and beyond.

Sat May 3rd 2014: Dennis Stroughmatt et l'Esprit Creole - Fingers and bow flying Dennis Stroughmatt takes listeners on a musical odyssey not so different from his own musical journeys into Upper Louisiana Creole Culture. Taught to play fiddle by local Creole fiddlers Roy Boyer and Charlie Pashia in the tradition of their fathers, Dennis gradually became an adopted son of the French Midwest Creoles living along the Mississippi River near St Louis. A vibrant blend of Celtic, Canadian and Old Time sounds, this music bridges the gap between contemporary Canadian and Louisiana Cajun styles. Preserved by families in the Ozark foothills, the music remains largely intact and true to the traditions that have been passed down for over three centuries. A medley of music, language, stories, and culture secreted away in the Missouri Ozarks now has a voice in the tapestry of this world. With the blessing of the Creole people of the Midwest, Dennis Stroughmatt et l’Esprit Creole are its passionate ambassadors, expanding interest and excitement in a region that has been, in may ways, ignored by the history books. What many have considered to be long lost is alive and kicking. It’ll make your soul jump, your head spin, and your heart glad to know that it is still here. As they say in the hills, “On est toujours icitte: We are still here!”

WED May 7th 2014: Brian McNeill - This year Brian McNeill celebrates the 43rd year of a career that has established him as one of the most acclaimed forces in Scottish music. Brian has been described as ‘Scotland’s most meaningful contemporary songwriter’ (The Scotsman); add to that his work and influence as performer, composer, producer, teacher, musical director, band leader, novelist and interpreter of Scotland’s past, present and future and you have a man who has never stood still. He has performed around the globe,both as a soloist and with some of the era’s most influential bands, including Battlefield Band, which he founded in 1969, and Clan Alba.  

Sat Jun 7th 2014 Ben Bedford - Ben Bedford delivers intriguing sketches of America, its individuals, their victories and their struggles. Poignant, but never sentimental, Bedford’s portrait-like songs capture the vitality of his characters and draw the listener deep into the narratives. With three albums to his credit, Bedford’s songs tackle scenarios including homelessness, the plight of a Confederate soldier’s wife during the American Civil War, the aerial triumphs of Amelia Earhart, the life of Jack London, the murder of Emmett Till in 1955, John the Baptist, the poet Vachel Lindsay and even the 1973 standoff between members of The American Indian Movement and federal agents on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Often drawing upon history, Bedford’s songs have a strong sense of time and place. The songs are rich in sensory detail which allows the listener to hear, see and feel each narrative.

“Ben Bedford has proven himself to be a truly inspired and talented storyteller…” according to Arthur Wood (Maverick). With the release of his third album, What We Lost, Bedford establishes himself as a songwriter in the tradition of musical icons ranging from Bill Morrissey to Woody Guthrie, casting individual people in the theater of the American landscape. A true son of the heartland, Bedford dips into the deep inkwell of classic American literature and writes with the ‘old soul’ quality of his literary idols, such as John Steinbeck and Toni Morrison. In the past five years since the release of his first album, Bedford has played his songs for audiences all over the United States hitting notable venues such as The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, Folkstage in Chicago, and the Fayetteville Roots Festival in Fayetteville, Arkansas. His music has received extensive airplay on folk and roots radio in the U.S., as well as in Europe, taking him overseas on several occasions for concert dates on the continent and in the United Kingdom. Notable dates there include Izzy Young’s famed Folklore Centrum in Stockholm, Sweden, Toogenblik in Brussells, Belgium, and The Twickenham Folk Club in London, England. All three of Bedford’s albums have charted highly on the Euro Americana charts and the Folk-DJ charts with What We Lost also charting highly on the Roots Music Report charts. In addition, Bedford’s music has been played on National Public Radio’s Car Talk and was featured in The Sounding Board, the official newsletter of the renowned C.F. Martin Guitar Company. In addition to independent terrestrial stations, Bedford’s music has received extensive airplay from syndicated programs such as “River City Folk” (syndicated by WFMT), “The Midnight Special” (syndicated by WFMT), BBC-Scotland, and the SIRIUS XM station “The Village”, all helping to gain Bedford a wider geographical audience. In July of 2010, Bedford was named one of the “50 most significant Folk singer-songwriters of the past 50 years” by Rich Warren of WFMT-Chicago. The list, which included artists such as Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, Judy Collins and John Prine subsequently appeared on the blog of journalist Eric Zorn on the Chicago Tribune website. Referring to his style as “American Portrait Songwriting”, Bedford will spend 2012 and 2013 touring in support of his third album.

Sat Sep 27th 2014: Claude Bourbon - French born singer/guitarist and purveyor of what he calls "medieval and Spanish blues" making a very welcomed return visit to LRFC and bringing his trusty Gibson J-45 and Gallic charm to produce a rich and heady acoustic fusion of classical, jazz, ethereal Eastern influences, Spanish and Latin elements and Western folk music.

Sat Oct 4th 2014: Sarah McQuaid - making her second LRFC appearance we are very pleased to bring back the honey-voiced  singer, songwriter and queen of DADGAD guitar whose last appearance was fully unplugged when a passing thunderstorm blew up a nearby transformer - but couldn't impede her performance which was electric! Sarah's first 2 albums were re-released in the US in Feb 2010 on Waterbug Records as a double CD set and promptly went to the No. 1 on both the album and artist Folk-DJ chart. Her latest release,  March 2012's The Plum And The Rose on Waterbug Records, charted at No. 3 and was No. 6 on the Roots Music Report Folk Top 50.

Sat Nov 1st 2014: Sparky & Rhonda Rucker - making their third LRFC appearance... Over forty years of performing, Sparky and Rhonda have performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival as well as NPR's On Point, Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage, and Morning Edition. Their recording, Treasures & Tears, was nominated for a W.C. Handy Award, and their music is also included on the Grammy-nominated anthology, Singing Through the Hard Times. Internationally recognized as a leading folklorist, musician, historian, storyteller, and author Sparky accompanies himself with fingerstyle picking and bottleneck blues guitar, banjo, and spoons. Rhonda is a musician, children's author, storyteller, and songwriter, her blues-style harmonica, piano, old-time banjo, and bones add musical versatility to their performances which include a variety of old-time blues, slave songs, Appalachian music, spirituals, ballads, work songs, Civil War music, railroad songs, and a few of their own original compositions. Her latest novel SWING LOW, SWEET HARRIET has earned her a Crystal Kite Award Finalist nomination!

"A pageturner with a gripping story line, smooth narrative, beckoning character development and plenty of suspense".
 ~ Peter Michael, Underground Railroad Free Press

"Sparky Rucker is unique! He'll make you glad to be alive and struggling."
~Pete Seeger.

Sat Dec 6th 2014: Brooks Williams - yet another club favorite making a long over due return visit... with a mighty catalog over the course of 22 albums since his debut North from Statesboro in 1990, he is the ultimate triple threat - the voice, the technique and the material - combining sparkling original songs and compositions leavened with choice traditional blues ... 
"Pan-American Roots 'n' Blues, doused in Moonshine alt-Billy and delicious Dixie" (Net Rhythms)

"Male Vocal Nominee!" (Spiral Earth Awards 2014)

"How soulful a solo guitarist can be when he has talent, taste and astonishing technique." (Blues Review)