A Wide Range of Great Performers on Solar-Powered Stages
Afro-Caribbean — Ambient Instrumental — Americana Roots Rock — Celtic — Contemporary Folk — Environmental Education Songs — Global-Groove — Grammy-Nominated Reggae — Call & Response — Jazz Folk — Latin Funk — Salt-water Country — Snarling Energetic Guitar — Stories with a Twang …and the return of the SolarFest Singer-Songwriter Showcase
Etana Singer, songwriter, and humanitarian Etana is a powerhouse vocalist and 2 X Grammy Award nominee. It a been a decade since her debut as a reggae artist, she is now a recognized and respected entertainer in her native Jamaica and is also well known worldwide. Born Shauna McKenzie, the young talent migrated to the United States for the opportunity. Briefly, it pursued a pop music career before rediscovering her roots as an adult and adopting the moniker Etana, “The Strong One” in Swahili.
The return home spurred the evolution of her sound and is evident in her body of work expressed as the fusion of folk, soul, jazz, and reggae. Etana taps into the likes of Marcia Griffiths, Etta James, and Miriam Makeba for harnessing a deeply emotional sound, and she is the modern embodiment of their influence.
In 2018 Etana released her first Independent album produced by her company, Freemind Music titled. “Reggae Forever.” The album soared to #1 on the reggae billboard charts as she headlines a tour through the United States. Etana became the 1st female to receive back-to-back number 1 albums on the Billboard Reggae Charts. A few months later, Reggae forever was nominated for the 61st Annual Grammy Awards in the Best Reggae Album category. The nomination by The Recording Academy marked the first time in over twenty years that a woman was nominated in the category. In 2019, she released the eight-track EP Dimensions, then a full-length album Gemini released in 2020. Her latest album Pamoja (2021), earned Etana her 2nd Grammy Nomination. The album features Vybz Kartel, Damian Marley, and Stonebwoy.
Dar Williams A perennial favorite, she has supported and been with us from the very early days. Dar has been reaching audiences of all ages with her songs, stories and wry humor for more than 25 years. She has performed with legendary folk artists and is now a luminary herself; she has recorded 20 CDs, is an author and teacher at Wesleyan University.
“Good and bad things happen, and it’s not necessarily a reward or indictment. I’ve just got to meet it.” Williams observes. “Like, I’m bringing my whole life to this moment; it will surprise me, challenge me, show me where I was wrong, even make a fool out of me, but my job is to show up and not take adversity personally. Real happiness doesn’t have to feel like Snoopy dancing with Woodstock; it can just be knowing you have the resilience to meet whatever comes to you. I will call that a good life.”
Lara Herscovitch Winner of SolarFest’s 2011 Singer-Songwriter showcase. A singer-songwriter-poet-performer gem performing with her terrific band the Highway Philosophers, Lara was described in The Boston Globe as “a luminous voice and a buoyant stage presence… big-hearted lyrics embrace the sum of life… Herscovitch’s music blows on the embers of a lagging spirit…” Sound Waves Magazine calls her music “expertly written prose… songwriting at its best… good for your ears AND your soul.” Acoustic Live in NYC adds about the former State Troubadour of CT, “She possesses not only a huge reservoir of musical talent and a voice with a bell-like clarity, but a keen sense of global concern and a fierce intellect…It might seem too good to be true, but true it is.”
HuDost “Electric-Folk, Americana, Global-Groove ensemble, HuDost, performs with refined wildness and has a new album that reached #4 in the Canadian National Folk/Roots/Blues Chart for March, 2022 and #9 in the US Folk Radio Charts for January, 2022.
They have been fortunate to have incredible performance opportunities throughout the years and have toured internationally since 2006 collaborating with wild, astonishing, and respected artists, musicians, dancers, and activists. HuDost are committed advocates/activists for the nonprofit organization ONE.
Maple Run Band is a four piece Americana roots rock band from Vermont. Their signature sound is driven by the harmonies of multi-instrumentalist Trevor Crist and drummer Nicole Valcour, and the sometimes earnest, sometimes tongue and cheek lyricism of their original songs.
The band borrows from a melting pot of musical genres rock, country, folk, bluegrass, and more, to create a roots driven sound defined by poetic lyrics and tight musical arrangements. Their second album, “Used To Be The Next Thing” was released in late 2022 to critical acclaim, and spent several months on the RMR Americana charts, the AMA Americana charts, and the Alt-Country charts.
Ray Vega Band A native of the South Bronx, Ray Vega is a veteran of the bands of Tito Puente, Ray Barretto, Mongo Santamaria, Mario Bauza, Luis “Perico” Ortiz, Hector LaVoe, Johnny Pacheco, Larry Harlow, Pete “El Conde” Rodriguez and Louie Ramirez to name a few. The Ray Vega Latin Jazz Quinteto is Vega’s Vermont based ensemble which presents original compositions by Vega which combine elements of Jazz, Latin and Funk elements.
“(Ray Vega’s) creating a very, very valuable bridge from the classroom to the bandstand…That’s the magic that Ray brings. He transcends academia and makes it real” -Todd Coolman
House of Hamill Whether they’re ripping through a set of original jigs and reels, adding lush three-part harmonies into traditional folk ballads, or cracking up an audience with stories from the road, House of Hamill puts on a show that captivates audiences.
They present a “cohesive and effervescent acoustic sound,” one with its “own personalized signature…with strong flavors of Celtic, folk and folk-rock.” – Steve Pfarrer, Daily Hampshire Gazette
Pamela Means Singer-songwriter and jazz musician, is “one of the fiercest guitar players and politically-rooted musicians in the industry today,” (Curve Magazine) with her “insanely brilliant” (Press Herald, Portland ME) and “stark, defiant songs.” (New York Times)
Cam Gilmour Trio Cam Gilmour (he/him) is an artist based in Vermont that uses parallel mediums to elevate and express singular concepts. That currently means a collaboration between music, images, and words inspired by the pursuit of intonation with nature. His upcoming project, entitled “Of Air”, is a photo book / musical album that aims to convey the feeling of being transported to another world.
Louise Mosrie Coombe grew up in McEwen, TN on a cattle farm – riding horses and writing poetry. She began writing songs after college while working in TV/radio in Knoxville. Louise had a major creative breakthrough in 2007 when she and famed Americana producer and writer, Ray Kennedy (Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams) wrote the song, “Doubling Back” for a documentary film broadcast on PBS stations nationwide. Winning top songwriting awards at Kerrville Folk Festival, Wildflower! Festival, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, SolarFest and Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, her first album debuted at #1 on the Folk DJ chart in 2010 and #11 for the year. “Louise Mosrie may well be the brightest young folk-oriented artist to emerge from Nashville in many a year.” -Rich Warren, WFMT-FM, The Midnight Special, Chicago.
Gammy Moses Awarded the Environmental Educator of the Year 2022 by Connecticut Outdoor and Environmental Association, he uses drumming, movement and songs to teach youth about the environment and other science-related topics. Performances include workshops for Yale New Haven Health, and Connecticut Center for Nonviolence, while interactive drum circle performances included the World Stage at the Peabody Museum for Dr. Martin Luther King Celebrations, International Festival of Arts and Ideas and Gather New Haven Festival. “In a back-and-forth with the audience, he switched between deep, meditative drumming, Caribbean folk songs and his own spoken word poetry.” – The Arts Paper Lucy Gellman
Website / Music: https://meltingpotrhythm.org/
Tom Pearo Ambient guitarist and mystic, Tom creates uniquely beautiful music that takes the listener on an inner journey. Heartfelt melodies created to connect and inspire the audience. Live shows feature impressive looping techniques combined with a deep respect for space to create incredibly intimate, dreamlike atmospheres. “For ambient music fans, this is mandatory listening.” – Seven Days
Moose Jr. “This show with Moose Junior was one we’ll never forget. Between the fabulous music, the bubble machine, the hula hooper and the sing-alongs, the club was bumpin’! Two things stand out: Moose Crossing really knows how to get kids engaged, and they create a setlist that is exciting for the whole family. Highly recommended!” – Sarah Craig, Executive Director at Caffe Lena
Featuring Special Guests: The Falcon Ridge Festival “Most Wanted” Preview Tour
Phil Henry is a singer-songwriter who exudes the skill of a craftsman and the authenticity of an artist. He builds detailed worlds and characters who speak through Phil’s words, with “vivid lyrical imagery that captures the imagination.” (Seven Days, VT) The upbeat acoustic rhythm and melodic sensibility and lush instrumental treatment is no carbon-copy of popular or folk radio songs, but is instead an expression of Phil’s individuality and craft. His most recent album, Chasing Echoes, debuted at #2 on the Folk Alliance International’s Folk Radio Chart for Top Albums October 2020.
Grace Morrison has spent most of her musical career seeking refuge from the spotlight. Whether it was singing backup for rock icons like Eddie Money and Joey Molland (of the band Badfinger), or trying to blend in with various bandmates, being the center of attention has never been comfortable for her. Fast forward to 2023, and just like for most of us, a lot of time was spent deciding what she really wanted after being told what she couldn’t do, in her case, play music for people. Her new album “Maybe Modern” became available in April 2023 is full of memorable songs that will stick with you for many listens.
Erin Ash Sullivan is a Massachusetts-based folk singer-songwriter who loves a good storytelling song. In 2021, her debut solo album, We Can Hear Each Other, reached #10 on the FAI DJ Chart. In 2022, she was the recipient of the Mark Erelli Judge’s Choice Award in the New England Songwriting Competition, and a Songwriter Serenade Semifinalist. WFUV’s John Platt describes Erin as having “a special talent that reminds me of early Dar Williams” and Victor Infante of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette describes her music as “delicate and evocative” with songs full of “nuance and emotional resonance.”
Sam Robbins A Nashville based musician often described as an “old soul singer songwriter” whose music evokes classic singer songwriters like James Taylor and Jackson Browne. Sam adds a modern, upbeat edge to the storyteller troubadour persona. An avid performer, he has gained recognition from extensive touring and as one of the six 2021 winners of the Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk competition, Sam released his second album “Bigger Than in Between” to critical acclaim in August 2022.