Sisters Folk Festival is thrilled to announce the 2019 Winter Concert Series. This year’s series will feature dynamic artists, bringing both traditional and innovative Americana music to Sisters this winter. The dates of the 3-show series are Feb. 2, March 6, and March 18. Tickets will be on sale December 18 for a three-show series pass and/or individual concerts.
On Saturday, February 2, Shook Twins & John Craigie will return to Sisters in a co-bill bringing two outstanding talents together for one night. The critically acclaimed Idaho-born and Portland-based indie outfit have performed at Sisters Folk Festival, but not for many years, and the size of the band, their songwriting, and performance have grown tremendously. The Shook Twins draw on the inherent power of the group’s namesake duo – identical twin sisters Katelyn (vocals, guitar) and Laurie (banjo, vocals). In early 2017, the pair holed up alone in a room with just two voices and two instruments and cut the seven-song EP “2” collection live to tape. The process represents something of a full-circle moment for the Shook Twins. The group emerged in 2008 with their independent debut “You Can Have The Rest,” followed by “Window” and 2014’s “What We Do.” The full band, including Niko Slice (electric guitar, mandolin, vocals), Barra Brown (drums, vocals, drum pad), and Josh Simon (bass, vocals, electric guitar, synth) and have graced the stages of High Sierra, Bumbershoot, Floydfest, Oregon Country Fair, Fayetteville Roots Festival, Northwest String Summit and many more in addition to performing at Red Rocks alongside Gregory Alan Isakov and Ani DiFranco. Their artful amalgam of folk heart, indie spirit, and alternative energy has effectively captivated fans internationally.
John Craigie is renowned for his eloquent Americana style, engaging live shows, and off-the-cuff clever observations. Craigie carries on the legacy of classic singer-songwriters while blazing a trail of his own. His fifth full-length album, “No Rain, No Rose” boasted two collaborations with Gregory Alan Isakov, namely “Highway Blood” and “I Am California.” Both quickly cracked one million Spotify streams and counting as his knack for a captivating narrative and rustic aural palettes powered the 13-track offering together. As No Rain, No Rose landed, he caught the attention of none other than Jack Johnson. Soon after, Craigie found himself onstage for 12 shows during Johnson’s 2017 summer tour including performances at The Greek Theatre in Berkeley, CA; Les Schwab Amphitheatre; In Bend, OR; and The Gorge in Washington. When Craigie plays, it’s one of those special shows that can make you laugh and cry in the same song. It’s a musical journey that can’t be denied.
Each artist will perform full sets … and perhaps a couple tunes together.
On Wednesday, March 6, Darlingside will perform with special guest, North Carolina folk-rock outfit River Whyless opening. Darlingside was the encore performer at the Sisters Folk Festival in 2015, and has returned multiple times as fan favorites, providing the opportunity to watch this impressive group develop over time. The band’s newest album, “Extralife,” intensifies the journey begun on its critically acclaimed 2015 album, “Birds Say.” Darlingside’s quartet includes bassist Dave Senft, guitarist/banjoist Don Mitchell, violinist/mandolinist Auyon Mukharji, and cellist/guitarist Harris Paseltiner, who combine to make multiple voices and instruments sound like one urgent mission, calling out to listen carefully. Darlingside continues to push the boundaries of genre-expanding music with stirring harmonies, thought-provoking lyrics and beautifully creative live shows.
River Whyless has discovered their evolution is a subtler albeit monumentally important one. Deep in the throes of writing and recording their bold new album, “Kindness, A Rebel,” the four musicians reached a necessary and collective understanding. Namely: this band is their lifeblood, their family and their love. To that end, the members of River Whyless, each songwriters in their own right, collectively put aside their respective egos, coalesced around each other’s creative vision, and fully embraced the beauty of their enduring partnership.
On Monday, March 18 the Scottish super-group Ímar will perform their modern take on traditional Scottish music. There are many reasons to be excited about Glasgow-based five-piece Ímar – not least a line-up featuring current and former members of Mànran, RURA, Talisk, Barrule, Cara, Mabon and The Lowground. All five members – including fiddler Tomás Callister and bouzouki ace Adam Rhodes (Barrule/Mabon), both from the Isle of Man, plus Glasgow native Mohsen Amini (Talisk) on concertina – originally met as teenagers through Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, the Irish traditional music network that tutors budding players throughout the British Isles, and stages the annual schedule of Fleadh competitions. It was via the latter that Ímar’s paths first crossed, as its future members began to amass what’s now a heavyweight collective haul of top prizes – nine All-Ireland and eight All-Britain titles between them – while Murphy is also a double winner of the prestigious Oireachtas contest. Mohsen Amini won the 2015 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award with Talisk, as well as a Danny Kyle Open Stage Award at the Celtic Connections festival, and is also 2017’s BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year and 2018’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Musician of the Year.
These foundations underpin many of Ímar’s distinctive qualities, in both instrumentation and material, while also highlighting the cyclical evolution of Scotland’s wider folk scene. Go back a couple of decades, and Irish repertoire still predominated at many Scottish sessions and gigs, whereas today Ímar’s sound stands out boldly from the crowd. Sisters Folk Festival is excited to bring this authentic Scottish act to Sisters.
For more information on the 2019 Sisters Folk Festival Winter Concert Series please visit sistersfolkfestival.org/WCS2019. Tickets can only be purchased online or at the door. Advance purchase of series passes are $55 for adults, $40 for youth 18 and under (all tickets will be $5 more at the door). Tickets are also available for individual shows. All shows are at the Sisters High School auditorium, and start at 7 p.m.