Robert Jones and Matt Watroba perform Music that Matters at 45th Turtle Hill Folk Festival

Robert-Matt_300px.jpgA concert by the Detroit musicians Robert Jones and Matt Watroba covers the gamut of traditional American music – blues and spirituals, field hollers and work songs – and you’ll also hear some original compositions and maybe even some early rock ‘n’ roll, R&B, and country. They consider it all “roots” music, and it’s also music with a message of mutual respect, social change, and diversity.

Jones & Watroba will kick off Golden Link's 45th Annual Turtle Hill Folk Festival on Friday evening, September 9, followed by concerts by folk-rock harmony trio Gathering Time and fiddler, singer, and stepdancer April Verch with her band. On Saturday night, September 10, the bluegrass band Jim Gaudet & The Railroad Boys takes the stage, followed by a double set by singer/songwriter and virtuoso guitarist David Wilcox. Most of the featured performers take the stage again on Sunday, September 11 at 2 pm for the grand finale.

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Multi-talented April Verch returns for Turtle Hill Folk Festival

Verch_CD_Back_crop_300px.jpgFiddler, singer, and stepdancer April Verch knows how relevant an old tune can be. She grew up surrounded by living, breathing roots music in Canada’s Ottawa Valley, listening to her father’s country band and lively music at church and community dances, as well as playing tunes to win fiddle competitions.

Today, Verch’s delicate voice, energetic footwork, and stunning fiddle playing engage contemporary listeners with her fresh and feisty approach to traditional music. April Verch returns to the 45th Annual Turtle Hill Folk Festival with her trio for a concert Friday night, September 9, and workshops on Saturday morning, September 10.

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The ULTIMATE Golden Link Picnic

Saturday, July 16, 3:00 pm–8:00 pm 

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Our gracious hosts Bill Destler and Rebecca Johnson will be retiring from RIT next June, so this is your last chance to enjoy their hospitality at RIT’s Liberty Hill, 2201 Lehigh Station Road, between Pinnacle Road and Pittsford-Henrietta Town Line Road. Food, conversation, swimming, and music are on the schedule. 

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New Voices Showcase deadline is Sunday, June 12

Brothers_Blue.jpgThe deadline is coming up this Sunday, June 12, to submit applications to the 2016 New Voices Emerging Artists Showcase. Designed to introduce Golden Link audiences to emerging local and regional acoustic folk musicians, New Voices is a juried competition, sponsored by Bernunzio Uptown Music.

Winners will be invited to perform a 20-minute set on the main stage at Golden Link’s 45th Turtle Hill Folk Festival, during the day on Saturday, September 10, 2016, from 4–5:30 pm. Applicants may be solo artists or groups.

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David Wilcox comes to Turtle Hill this September

Wilcox_David2015_079_300px.jpgThe line-up for Golden Link's 2016 Turtle Hill Folk Festival – now celebrating 45 years! – is complete. In addition to evening concerts by David Wilcox (pictured), April Verch Band, Gathering Time, Jim Gaudet & the Railroad Boys, and Robert Jones & Matt Watroba, there will be daytime appearances by Bob Zentz (with his Ramblin’ Road Show and Homemade Hootenanny) and Mara Levine. The Festival takes place September 9, 10 & 11, 2016 at the Rotary Sunshine Campus in Rush.

Now 18 records into a career marked by personal revelation and wildly loyal fans, David Wilcox holds audiences rapt with nothing more than a single guitar, thoroughly written songs, and a fearless ability to mine the depths of human emotions, all tempered by a quick and wry wit. His lyrical insight is matched by a smooth baritone voice, virtuosic guitar chops, and creative open tunings. “He combines the best of both pop and modern folk aesthetics,” says the Boston Globe.

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Q & A: Meet Debra Cowan and John Roberts

Roberts-Cowan_web.jpgIt all started with a simple question: “How are you getting to Chicago?” And with that, folk musicians John Roberts and Debra Cowan decided to team up for a series of small concerts before arriving as separately booked artists at an annual festival. The combination of car-pool and mini-tour was successful enough that John and Debra have continued to perform together.

At their concerts, you might hear sea shanties or a broadside ballad, pub tunes or a love song with a feminist twist, a ripping good yarn or a laugh-out-loud funny story. John has been a guest on one of Debra’s albums, and they have now released an album together, Ballads Long & Short.

In advance of their Golden Link concert on Saturday, May 14, I interviewed Debra to find out more about their musical journey.

Q: When did you and John first meet?

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Acoustic roots musician Brooks Williams is a triple threat

Brooks WilliamsBrooks Williams is really the proverbial triple threat: a fiery guitarist, a smooth-as-silk vocalist, and a stunning songwriter. He has been ranked in the Top 100 Acoustic Guitarists, and was nominated best male vocalist by the UK folk roots website Spiral Earth in 2014. He plays a Golden Link concert as part of his spring U.S. tour on Saturday, April 9 at 7:30 pm at the Rochester Christian Reformed Church in Penfield.

Originally from Statesboro, Georgia, Brooks spent many years in New England (which is where I first saw him), before moving to England. His music is hard to categorize. It’s primarily blues and Americana, but there’s a bit of jazz and rockabilly thrown in for good measure. And he writes amazing songs, so he can also be considered a singer-songwriter. As his press bio says, imagine Doc Watson, Willie Nelson, Lonnie Johnson, and Blind Boy Fuller sitting in a bar having a jam, and you’re almost there.

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“New Voices” Concert Series at Bernunzio’s kicks off March 26

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A new collaboration between Golden Link Folk Singing Society and Bernunzio Uptown Music in Rochester’s East End will bring three winners of Golden Link’s 2015 New Voices Emerging Artists Showcase to Bernunzio’s as part of the new “New Voices” concert series.

Kicking things off on Saturday, March 26 at 8 pm will be the songwriting brothers Matt and Nathan Corrigan of Tough Old Bird. They play a potent blend of folk and blues that reflects the rural landscape they come from – a place where the last train just pulled out and the carnival is always on its way to the next town.

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Hometown acoustic music with The Crawdiddies and The Brothers Blue

Crawdiddies_540px.jpgGolden Link’s upcoming March Music Madness concert (Saturday, March 12, 7:30 pm, Rochester Christian Reformed Church, Penfield) is like a mini-festival to help beat the midwinter blues. It’s designed to showcase great local performers and give folks a chance to socialize and make music together.

The evening features the beautiful sounds and irresistible grooves of acoustic “BluesGrass” quartet The Crawdiddies (pictured), as well as the American folk trio The Brothers Blue, who were named audience favorite at Golden Link’s “New Voices” Emerging Artists Showcase in September 2015.

To add to the “madness,” there will be a sing-around/jam session (open to all ages) hosted by Dean Santos starting at 5 pm, followed by a chili supper from 6–7 pm. Jamming will continue through the supper hour. Bring your friends, family, voices, and instruments and join in the fun!

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Acoustic trio Low Lily brings sweet harmonies to Golden Link

LowLilyPromoPiano_540px.jpgNamed for a Northeast woodland flower, the New England acoustic trio Low Lily has put down roots in their exploration of different branches of American folk music, from Celtic and bluegrass to Appalachian, popular music, and their own compositions. Low Lily performs on the Golden Link concert series on Saturday, February 27 at 7:30 pm. “A band definitely on the up. Sweet harmonies ... tight arrangements ... divine.” (Fatea, U.K.).

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