Performers

This year the event will take place on August 7 & 8, 2015 and again will feature 3 stages. A Main Stage located at the intersection of Main Street and College Ave (in front of the Cellar), an Acoustic Stage located on Main Street (near Kent Square) and a Community Stage.

Here are this year's performers. Check the Event Schedule page for details.

Dom Flemons Trio

Dom Flemons

Dom Flemons is the "American Songster," pulling from traditions of old-time folk music to create new sounds. Having performed music professionally since 2005, he has played live for over one million people just within the past three years. As part of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, which he co-founded with Rhiannon Giddens and Justin Robinson, he has played at a variety of festivals spanning from the Newport Folk Festival to Bonnaroo, in addition to renowned venues such as the Grand Ole Opry.

Laney Jones & The Spirits

"this is beautiful...She's on to something original, that as an artist she’s on to something new...You got it going on and I can’t wait to see what you’re gonna do next!"
- Alison Krauss, speaking about Laney on PBS’s Great Performances

"...a thing that brims with as much sweet innocence as it does rich craft."
-Orlando Weekly

Laney Jones & The Spirits

Raised on an exotic animal farm in rural Mount Dora, FL, Laney Jones sings tales of love and adventure with a voice that has been described as "a mix of lemon, molasses, gin and gunpowder" (WPRK), mellifluous and smooth but brimming with passion. Her live performance highlights her multi-instrumental prowess on banjo, ukulele, tenor guitar and harmonica backed by her band the Spirits. Since releasing her first studio album Golden Road in 2013, she has traveled far from the orange groves and marshes of her home, graduating from Berklee College of Music and playing festival stages at Grey Fox, Shakori Hills, String Break, Lancaster Roots and Blues and numerous others.

This past January, Jones was featured on the PBS series, Great Performances. The 90-minute documentary offers an overview of the Kennedy Center’s American Voices weekend-long festival and features Laney as an emerging artist alongside musical great Alison Krauss. Additional accolades for the band include invites to SXSW, Sundance, a formal IBMA showcase and a Southern Musician Sponsorship from Belk Department Stores which earned her performances with Lady Antebellum, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban. Laney Jones and the Spirits are set to release their next album in fall 2015.

Scythian

Scythian

Named after Ukrainian nomads, Scythian (sith-ee-yin) plays immigrant rock with thunderous energy, technical prowess, and storytelling songwriting, beckoning crowds into a barn-dance rock concert experience. Celebrating 10 years of getting people dancing all night, Scythian released their new album, Jump at the Sun, this summer, with new songs debuting at album release shows across the country. Ed Helms's The Bluegrass Situation has chimed in with praise, calling "Paint This Town" a 'shine-fueled, fiddle-flying hoedown' and "Built These Walls" a 'blue-collar ballad we can all get behind.' Nashville's Music City Roots says Scythian is 'what happens when rock star charisma meets Celtic dervish fiddling.' Scythian's "Immigrant Road Show" consists of Alexander Fedoryka, Josef Crosby, Danylo Fedoryka, Ben-David Warner, and Tim Hepburn and Larissa Fedoryka.

Scythian will travel to Ireland October 4-11 for a fan tour of the Emerald Isle, bringing 90 of their fans with them.

"For the past 20 years we've relied on hip hop to get people on the dance floor, when in reality they just haven't discovered [Scythian] yet."—Arroe Collins, iHeartRadio

"Scythian's enthusiasm is contagious, and shows seem to end with everyone dancing, jumping around or hoisting glasses." —Washington Post

Love Canon

Love Canon

From the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Charlottesville's LOVE CANON resides in full bloom. Led by guitarist Jesse Harper and banjo wiz Adam Larrabee, the virtuoso group of string musicians become one on stage—-the super 80's bluegrass hits machine, LOVE CANON; with, Darrell Muller on bass, Andy Thacker on mandolin & Jay Starling on resonator guitar.

Think Rocky IV, Kenny Loggins, Cyndi Lauper, Toto, ZZ Top, Aha and Dire Straits played with banjo, bass, mandolin, dobro, fiddle and high lonesome vocals. It'll make you laugh, it'll make you dance, it'll "blind you with science!"

"Love Canon doesn't cover the music of the '80s as much as kidnap it and take it on a bluegrass-tinged joyride. It's a general rule of American culture that it takes 20-40 years for a decade to shed its stale stench and get its groove back. There's no shortage of clever musical re-enactors giving the first generation of MTV an ironic makeover: a fool's errand, given that the music already was soaked in postmodern irony. By contrast, Love Canon refreshes and extends the originals with affectionate humor and effortless virtuosity. The players — including Old School Freight Train's Jesse Harper and Darrell Muller, Virginia Commonwealth University guitar and banjo master Adam Larrabee, and Mandolin Virtuoso Andy Thacker — add layers of depth to the still-appealing pop hooks. They romp on throwaway classics such as ZZ Top's "Legs" and "She Blinded Me With Science." On their excellent version of "The Boys of Summer," the folk instrumentation adds a traditional context to the time-capsule lyrics. After blazing through other up-tempo material, they shift to a slow burn on the closing "Girls Just Want to Have Fun." It's an unlikely choice for an all-male band, but they strip the song down to its bittersweet, feminist heart." — Peter McElhinney – Style Weekly

Gabe Morales

Gabriel Morales was born in Roanoke, VA. At a very young age he started to appreciate a wide range of music genres. At the age of ten he started to play the guitar and showed a special affinity for Rock and Blues guitar playing -- which he did with great maturity and expression -"like a grown man" (Michael League of Snarky Puppy). The late Michael "Iron Man" Burks (1957-2012) once referred to Gabe as "Guitar Gabe."

Gabe Morales

Gabe Morales is a guitarist, musician, song-writer and performer. His songwriting is about life -- a personal insight while living in the midst of the everyday life experience. His sound is continuously evolving; he is constantly studying the work of great musicians of all genres. His music includes elements of blues, jazz, classic rock and influences from Latin American folk music. In addition, his music is energetic, and at the same time invites listeners to reflect on daily challenges, feats, and defeats. When performing the blues, Gabe brings the blues legends of past and present to the stage and stands on their shoulders as he tells their stories and bends the strings of his red SG.

In 2011 he got involved with The Music Lab at Jefferson Center in Roanoke, Virginia, where he has had the opportunity to meet, perform, and record with numerous local, national, and intern​ational musicians and bands, among them: Pat Metheny, Blues legend Robert Cray, Snarky Puppy, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Rodney Jones, Victor Wooten, Little John Roberts (George Benson, Janet Jackson), Ben Williams and the Sound Effect, Robert "Sput" Searight, Lucy Woodward, Quinn Sullivan, The Jamie McLean Band, Banda Magda, Darrel Scott, Matt Schofield, James Pace, Chad Eby, Ocie Davis, The Fat Daddy Band, Hoppie Vaughan, Carlos Aranguren, Cameron McLaughlin, The Floorboards, and Jonathan Scales Fourchestra.

In 2013, Gabe was a featured guest on the internationally touring band Snarky Puppy's live CD/DVD recording at the Jefferson Center: Snarky Puppy Family Dinner Vol. 1. He, along with Snarky Puppy, accompanied the twelve-year-old vocalist Jayna Brown. The same album was awarded a 2014 Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance for Snarky Puppy and Lalah Hathaway.

Gabe Morales has opened for the Robert Cray Band, The Wooten Brothers (with Jayna Brown), and Tommy Castro and The Pain Killers. In June of 2014, Gabe released his debut album, "Gabe Morales and Friends," which was funded by the Blue Ridge Blues Society. The album features Gabe with the Jamie McLean Band, the Fat Daddy Band, Talk is Cheap, Carlos Aranguren, and Cameron McLaughlin.

Laureen Blakemore

Tel: 540-951-0454

events@downtownblacksburg.com