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May 28, 2010 (Girdwood, Alaska) – Alyeska Resort continues its quest in enticing top national musical acts to Southcentral Alaska. The resort’s latest efforts have resulted in a stellar line-up for the inaugural all-day concert event, the Fiddlehead Folk Festival. The festival is scheduled for Saturday, June 19, 2010, just in time for the upcoming Summer Solstice. The gates for the festival will open at noon, and music will start at 1:00 p.m. The headliner band is the Great American Taxi, one of the best country-, rock-, and Bluegrass - influenced jam bands in the land, masterfully blending acoustic and electric instruments into music they call “Americana Without Borders.” The line-up also includes an up-and-coming Bluegrass trio called The Greencards, as well as many local performers.
Great American Taxi (www.greatamericantaxi.com) offers a swinging concoction of swampy blues, progressive Bluegrass, funky New Orleans strut, Southern boogie, honky tonk country, gospel, and good ol’ fashioned rock ’n’ roll. Great American Taxi was born when singer, guitarist, and mandolin player Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon joined keyboard player and singer Chad Staehly for a superstar jam to benefit the Rainforest Action Group in 2005. The band is made up of Herman, Staehly, Jim Lewin on electric guitar and vocals, Edwin Hurwitz on bass, and drummer Chris Sheldon. They hit the Fiddlehead main stage at 10:00 p.m.
“We put together a dream band of the best local musicians for a one-off gig,” Herman recalls. “It worked so well we had to do it again, and again, and again.”
Great American Taxi has been equated with roots rockers like the New Riders of the Purple Sage, Grateful Dead, Wilco, Uncle Tupelo, The Byrds, and Little Feat. They’ve made their reputation as an exciting live band, willing to invite the audience on stage for impromptu jams and sing-alongs. “When strangers join in to sing and play, you don’t know what’s going to happen,” Herman grins. “It keeps you on your toes musically and brings out feelings of camaraderie and community.”
The Greencards (www.thegreencards.com) have created a name for themselves in Bluegrass circles in the last few years. They have been on the rise, honored with Americana Music Award’s “Emerging Artist of the Year” in 2006 and last year, earning Grammy nominations for “Best Country Instrumental Performance” for "Mucky The Duck," a track from Viridian in 2008, and another in 2010 for "The Crystal Merchant" from Fascination. They also have toured with Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson.
"The Greencards, while also technically breathtaking and acoustically driven, inspire comparison primarily because they have consistently moved towards a sound of their own," Country Universe (April '09). The Greencards call Nashville home base, and consist of singer/bassist Carol Young and multiple string-instrument master Kym Warner both from Australia, and recent addition, Tyler Andal, a talented 21 year old fiddle player from White House, TN.
As for the showcase of Alaska acts, the top bill is Melissa Mitchell (www.homegrownak.com), a lifelong Alaskan, mother and committed social activist. Her remarkable voice and compelling life story embody the spirit and struggles of people everywhere. As a songwriter, Melissa has focused on honesty, connection and community. Mitchell has performed with artists such as Michael Franti & Spearhead, Mason Jennings, the Indigo Girls and Greg Brown. She recently opened for Jewel in Anchorage.
Wellstrung, hailing from Anchorage and representing some of the state’s top Bluegrass musicians, also takes center stage. The band features Joe Page, Todd Grebe, and their many talented musician friends. Known for their fast-paced style and original instrumentals, Wellstrung is also accompanied by the high and lonesome vocal trios that makes Bluegrass so unique and contagious.
The festival will start with four local area bands each with a unique spin on folk music. Raised on Bluegrass music, the members of Seekbob have been playing together in one form or another since elementary school.The C-Note Stringband plays hard-driving old-timey folk music. Their fast-paced fiddle and claw hammer banjo sounds evoke a time in the hills of old Appalachia, where drinking tea on the porch was the primary past-time. A group of teenagers, the band Asteroids play what they call “swing jazzgrass,” featuring talent on saxophone and fiddle, playing original songs. Crooked Road plays with heart in a traditional style of Irish folk music. The band consists of Denise Martin (concertina), Jim Kerr (guitar), Ben Saylor (flute & mandolin), and John Walsh (banjo & mandolin).
1:00 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. – Seekbob
2:00 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. – The C-Note Stringband
3:00 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. – The Asteroids
4:00pm - 4:45pm – Crooked Road
5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. - Wellstrung
6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. - Melissa Mitchell
8:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. - The Greencards
10:00 p.m. - 11:30 p.m. - Great American Taxi
Tickets for the festival are $30 for adults in advance, and $35 day of show. Discounted tickets are available for seniors, students, and military and are priced at $25 in advance and $30 day of show. Children ages 12 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased in advance at www.alyeskresort.com, by calling 907-754-2275 or visiting the Alyeska Tram Ticket Office.
The festival is family-friendly, low-back chairs, picnic blankets and dancing shoes are welcome. There will be a variety of arts and crafts and food vendors, and the resort will open the Daylodge Cafeteria for service and operate outdoor beer gardens. Please, outside alcohol, pets and firearms are not permitted at the festival.
Lodging at The Hotel Alyeska is available for the night of the festival. Please call reservations at 907-754-2111 or 800-880-3880 to book or for more information, visit the Alyeska Resort website at www.alyeskaresort.com.