There are many questions an artist can ask. One is, What must I do to be famous? This question will open up the self to all manner of destructive forces both within and without.
Another question: What must I do to make this sustainable?
This is the question that we find far more fascinating.
Unlike a baseball player, whose playing career is over by the age of 40, a musician or writer has the opportunity to get better over the course of an entire lifetime.
Curating this boutique festival on the piece of unpaved earth we call home is part of our answer to the question, What must we do to make this sustainable?
Gathering other artists who have mentored and inspired us, introducing some of our favorite people to our extended musical family, taking a few creative leaps, leaving plenty of room to be surprised – all in a beautiful green space – this is the stuff of sustainability.
And the good news – it feels like a strange and wonderful celebration, which it no doubt is. And you can feel it all through the music.
And why wouldn’t we celebrate another chance to share the stage with Jay Bellerose, Jennifer Condos and Bradley Meinerding ~ The Band of Sweethearts. It feels so good to blow the seams out of the songs, as our mutual friend Joe Henry likes to say.
We’ll also be offering a more acoustic concert Sunday evening as a trio, to feel how the songs move about when they are a bit more scantily-clad, with ample space between phrases for the birds of Nowhere Farm to chime in.
You might as well join the holy ruckus.
Peace like a river, love like an ocean,
Linford and Karin
Friday, May 26 @ 7pm
Saturday, May 27 @ 8pm
Sunday, May 28 @ 8pm (trio)
If you saw the Birds of Chicago at Nowhere Else Festival 2016, you were astonished at their soulfulness, their voices, the amount of light and heat and sorrow and joy they could generate on a May afternoon. It’s no exaggeration to say that they undoubtedly were the big takeaway of last year’s gathering.
What a find.
We are thrilled that they quickly agreed to return – if memory serves, they were our first “ask” for this year’s festival. And we know they deeply felt the rare community of this gathering, so many people listening with a capital “L”…
And we aren’t going to let them off so easy this year – they are playing full sets both Saturday and Sunday, and participating in a special offering of Mark Heard songs as well, “Treasure of the Broken Land”…
Fasten your soul’s seat belt – or don’t.
We need this.
Saturday, May 27 @ 3:15pm
Sunday, May 28 @ 5pm
Carrie Rodriguez, a singer-songwriter from Austin, Texas, finds beauty in the cross-pollination of diverse traditions. A passionate performer, she effortlessly melds fiery fiddle playing, electrifying vocals and a fresh interpretation of new and classic songs with an “Ameri-Chicana” attitude. Her newest project, the Spanish/English album “Lola,” is both a return to her musical roots and something of a departure where she delivers her own twangy, Texas-bred twist on Mexican Ranchera songs, creating culturally blended music for a culturally blended world.
Inspired by the 1940’s-era recordings of Carrie’s great aunt, Chicana singing sensation Eva Garza, the album is a mixture of new and old songs. It features Spanish songs written by some of Carrie’s favorite Mexican composers, as well as her own Ranchera-inspired original songs written in English, Spanish and “Spanglish.”
Produced by Lee Townsend, the album is supported by an all-star band, The Sacred Hearts, assembled especially for this project. The band features internationally acclaimed composer/guitarist Bill Frisell, Viktor Krauss on bass, Luke Jacobs on pedal steel and guitars, David Pulkingham on nylon string guitar and electric guitar and Brannen Temple on drums and percussion. The crowdfunded project, supported entirely by friends and fans, was released on Feb. 19, 2016 by Carrie’s own label, Luz Records.
Carrie, an Austin native, began playing violin at age five. Her training quickly became the passion and focus of her childhood, and by age 10, she had performed as part of a group at Carnegie Hall. She continued the classical track in her first year at Oberlin Conservatory, then shifted gears to pursue her true love affair with the fiddle—staying true to her Texas roots—at the Berklee College of Music.
Early in her career, a collaboration with singer-songwriter Chip Taylor resulted in four highly acclaimed duet albums. Her subsequent solo albums highlight the diversity of her musical identity, from her debut “Seven Angels on a Bicycle” to 2013’s “Give Me All You Got,” which reached no. 1 on the Americana Music Charts.
“A superb interpretive singer, not only milking melodies for all their pleasure but also revealing new implications in the lyrics." —The Washington Post
Carrie has toured, recorded and co-written songs with legendary artists such as Lucinda Williams, John Prine, Bill Frisell, Rickie Lee Jones, Mary Gauthier, Los Lobos, Alejandro Escovedo and Los Lonely Boys, among others. She has made numerous television and radio appearances, including Austin City Limits, The Tonight Show and A Prairie Home Companion. She has been profiled in many publications, including Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The Times of London, The New Yorker, the Washington Post and many more.
“She’s the trifecta for me – beautiful singer, soulful songwriter, and kick-ass fiddler.” —author Brené Brown
Carrie lives in Austin with her partner and musical collaborator Luke Jacobs, a multi- instrumentalist/singer-songwriter from Minnesota, and their son, Cruz Calvin Jacobs.
Saturday, May 27 @ 6:30pm
Red Dirt Boys
Red Dirt Boys
When the Red Dirt Boys asked their boss Emmylou Harris if she minded them recording under the moniker she had given them 5 years earlier, she remarked, “Only if I can sing on the record”. There have been many musicians who’ve had the privilege of backing Ms. Harris, but the 4 musicians who make up Red Dirt Boys are the only ones who’ve continued on as their own group.
As one of them has said, “I’m lucky to be a musician; if I can make music with my dearest friends, I’m that much luckier”.
Soulful and southern, their music is pulled from many genres- blues, jazz, country, and hillbilly- a pot of gumbo sure to satisfy the urge to dance, sing, and celebrate life in all its complex simplicity.
All are seasoned sideman and recording musicians.
They have recorded with, toured with, and written songs for an amazing array of stars including Emmylou Harris, Jimmy Buffet, Iris DeMent, Tony Joe White, The Civil Wars, Keb Mo, Taj Mahal, John Scofield, Mary Gauthier, Patty Griffin, Alison Krauss, Tom Jones, and countless others.
Their self-produced debut recording is due in 2017.
Chris Donohue- Harmony vocals and bass
Will Kimbrough- Vocals, Guitars, mandolin, and banjo
Phil Madeira- Vocals, Guitars and keyboards
Bryan Owings- Harmony vocals, drums and percussion
Saturday, May 27 @ 1pm
Carrie Newcomer is a songwriter, recording artist, performer and educator. She has been described as a “soaring songstress” by Billboard and a “prairie mystic” by the Boston Globe. The Austin Statesman described her as having “a voice as rich as Godiva chocolate” and Rolling Stone once said, she “asks all the right questions.”
Recent appearances on PBS Religion & Ethics Newsweekly and National Award Winning Krista Tippett’s On Being, have focused on her use of creative art-form as a spiritual/mindfulness practice, her work in social/ environmental justice, interfaith dialogue, progressive spirituality and as a champion for a new political conversation.
She has toured with Alison Krauss (Europe and the U.S.) Nickel Creek recorded Newcomer’s song “I Should’ve Known Better” on their Grammy- winning album This Side. In the fall of 2009 and 2011, Newcomer was a cultural ambassador to India invited by the American Embassy of India.
In October 2011, she released her interfaith collaborative benefit album Everything is Everywhere with world master of the Indian Sarod, Amjad Ali Khan. In June 2012, Carrie Newcomer traveled to Kenya, Africa performing in schools, hospitals, spiritual communities and AIDS hospitals. In 2013, Carrie visited organizations dedicated to non-violent conflict resolution through the arts and the empowerment of women in the Middle East. Huffington Post Religion Community listed her song “Holy as the Day is Spent” as one of the best spiritual songs of 2012.
She was listed as one of the “50 most influential folk musicians of the past 50 years” by Chicago’s WFMT and Boston’s WBEZ listed her as one of the most influential folk artists of the last 25 years.
Newcomer, a contemplative Quaker, cuts across secular and spiritual boundaries. In recent years, Newcomer has emerged as a prominent voice for progressive spirituality, social and environmental justice. Carrie internationally facilitates workshops and presents keynotes on the topics of songwriting, spirituality & vocation in secular, college/educational and spiritual settings.
Sunday, May 28 @ 6:30pm
The Tillers got their start in August 2007 when they started thumping around with some banjos and guitars and a big wooden bass. Their earliest gigs were for coins and burritos on Cincinnati’s famous Ludlow Street in the district of Clifton. The songs they picked were mostly older than their grandparents. Some came from Woody Guthrie, some were southern blues laments, and many were anonymous relics of Appalachian woods, churches, riverboats, railroads, prairies, and coal mines.
Their look didn’t fit the stereotype. They were clearly recovering punk rockers with roots in Cincinnati’s west side hardcore scene. The punk influence gave their sound a distinctive bite, setting them apart from most other folk acts- a hard-driving percussive strum and stomp that brought new pulse and vinegar to some very old songs. But their musical range soon proved itself as they floated from hard-tackle thumping to tender graceful melody, all the while topped by Oberst and Geil’s clear tenor harmonies.
They began picking up weekly gigs around Cincinnati’s bar scene. It didn’t take long before their signature treatment of classic folk songs became the preferred versions of Cincinnati locals. Their audiences swelled, growing into an assortment of grey-haired mechanics, neo-hippies, farmers, punkers, professors, and random strays all stomping, clapping, singing, and belting outbursts of “John Henry!” “Darlin’ Corey!” Ever since, the band has come to each show with the same energy. They are magnetic showmen, mature musicians, and colorful storytellers.
The Tillers have since won over Cincinnati’s bar and festival scene, and launching tours with tireless momentum. They were awarded CityBeat Magazine’s Cincinnati Entertainment Award for best Folk and Americana act in 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014 & 2015. Their relentless gigging has taken them throughout the East coast, the Midwest and West, the Appalachian south and to the UK and Ireland opening for the St.Louis crooner, Pokey LaFarge. In the summer of 2009, veteran NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw featured the Tillers on a documentary about US Route 50. Brokaw showcased the group’s song “There Is A Road (Route 50)” as a testimony to the highway’s role as a connective tissue of the nation.
Musically, the band wears many hats. Their sound has proven to be an appropriate fit with a wide range of musical styles- traditional folk, bluegrass, jazz, punk rock and anything else they might run into. They have shared the stage with a broad swath of national touring acts, ranging from renowned folk legends such as Doc Watson, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Guy Clark, Country Joe McDonald, Jerry Douglas, Iris Dement, Pokey LaFarge and The Carolina Chocolate Drops to rambunctious rock daredevils like the Legendary Shack Shakers.
They continue to plot their travels around the map, electrifying new places and making new friends wherever they go. From place to place, they carry with them more instruments, new songs, and funnier stories. They are Cincinnati’s traveling minstrels. Expect to hear much more from them soon.
Sunday, May 28 @ 2:15pm
Storytelling through song is an American tradition. Acclaimed Cincinnati songsmiths Young Heirlooms take you on a nostalgic journey with their sentimental, heartfelt original tunes. Music and lyrics composed by Kelly Fine and Chris Robinson are based on family history, personal experience and adventures on the run.
Anticipate the timelessness of bygone musical eras and dynamic lyrics. The antique instrumentation comes with a contemporary kick. This six-piece band has the ability to resonate with a wide scope of audiences, giving them a do-not-miss reputation throughout the Midwest.
Sunday, May 28 @ 1pm
A member of Emmylou Harris’ Red Dirt Boys and a Grammy Winning songwriter, Phil Madeira has produced records for and performed with many amazing artists, including Emmylou, Buddy Miller, Mumford & Sons, The Civil Wars,, Willie Nelson, Neil Young, Keb’ Mo’ and more.
His Mercyland: Hymns For The Rest Of Us project debuted in 2012 and yielded a Grammy Winning song for the Civil Wars, “From This Valley”. The project also features a diverse group of artists- John Scofield, Emmylou Harris, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, The North Mississippi Allstars, Cindy Morgan, to name a few.
Volume 2 of Mercyland released in January 2016 and features Emmylou Harris, Sugar & The Hi Lows, The Wood Bros, The Lone Bellow, The McCrary Sisters, and Angel Snow and others singing spiritual songs “for the rest of us”.
2014 brought Phil’s first solo record of this century, pm, a project inspired by his Mercyland success, but far different in content. Introspective and dark, Madeira trawls the river of life and comes up with a very human string of pearls. Loss, the blues, brokenness, and a little hope thrown in…
His two solo projects released in 2016- “Motorcycle” and “Original Sinner” highlight both his Americana and Blues sides and feature cameos from Buddy Miller and Emmylou Harris.
Coming in late 2017, Phil’s latest- “Providence”- is an offering of piano based songs, lyrically set in his home state of Rhode Island.
Phil’s first book, God On The Rocks: Distilling Religion, Savoring Fait, was released in 2013, followed by a new updated version to be released in 2017.
"GOD ON THE ROCKS is a lovely memoir, recounting with honesty and humor how Christianity and the blues impacted one man's journey as a son, a brother, a husband and father, and companion to his fellow travelers. Taking a stand against those who would use religion to further a narrow and vindictive agenda, Phil celebrates God as a compassionate, living presence in his life, and so gives us a testament to the power of faith and family and in the end, of love."―Emmylou Harris
The singer songwriter is also known for his multi-instrumental abilities, having played guitar and keyboards on hundreds of records, including hits by Toby Keith, Garth Brooks, and other mainstream stars, but his real love is roots music, like the Americana songs he’s written for Alison Krauss, The Wood Brothers, and Keb’ Mo’.
Sunday, May 28 @ 3:45pm
A native of McAlester, Oklahoma, Parham's music draws on the rich songwriting traditions of his home state. "Perhaps it's something in the [Oklahoma] water -- the same iron-heavy tap drink that Woody Guthrie sipped on as a young man -- that leads to an inherited sense of melody," said The Bluegrass Situation. "Whatever it is, Levi Parham has it.”
With influences from the worlds of blues, folk, soul, rock and country music, it's Parham's "soulful, gritty and tender voice” (The Boot) that brings it all together into a sound that CMT described as "enticing" with "a melancholy feel."
In June 2016, Parham released an album titled These American Blues that reached #25 on the AMA charts and was #1 for 2016 in the EuroAmericana Charts. No Depression called it "a must have in any music aficionado’s collection" while Elmore Magazine called it "a remarkable feat of musicianship". The album marked Parham’s third release, following up on his 2013 debut 'An Okie Opera' and his 2014 EP 'Avalon Drive.
Saturday, May 27 @ 2:15pm
Born to missionary parents in Barbados, Matt Haeck looked to follow in their footsteps by pursuing a master’s in theology and becoming a pastor. However, while studying at seminary in San Diego, he finally admitted to himself that this was not his path. His personal dream was—and always had been—to be a musician and songwriter.
Scrappy, with a genuine, lyrical voice, Matt Haeck sings truths hard-earned from struggles he has experienced first hand. In a voice and a style faintly reminiscent of his musical hero, Hank Williams Sr., Matt writes and sings about struggles in a way that is both transcendent and grounded. No Depression calls Matt’s Late Bloomer ”an extraordinary album… one of the most articulate outings in recent memory…”
Describing Matt’s live performances, Saving Country Music says, “Few can bring Matt’s level of enthusiasm while still holding on to their authenticity. This is not a show; this is a man possessed by music.” The publication also chose Haeck as one of the top 5 takeaways from the Americana Music Festival in 2016, while AXS touted him as one of the five rising stars of the event.
The songs themselves evoke raw truth through personal confessions and imaginative characters. With a silky Southern drawl, he sings about depression, divorce, battling demons and vices.
Matt Haeck is a natural at translating introspection into universal feelings. Songs like “Tennessee” find him struggling with the power of geography to ripen or kill intimacy while “Couldn’t Say Yes (Till I Learned To Say No)” shows him letting go of control to heal himself for the life and love he desires.
Saturday, May 27 @ 4:30pm
Barry Moser has taught us much over the years. We have had the privilege of sharing much laughter, quite a few tears, very cold martinis and a treasured friendship of many years with this gifted Renaissance man. Barry taught us not to call or think of ourselves as “artists” but rather to refer to the actual work that we do: songwriter, writer, musician, performer. Other people can decide if it’s art – and in many cases that is something that is decided long after we are gone. Keep the focus on the work.
That notion helped set us free.
Barry Moser has illustrated over 300 books. His distinctive engravings have been collected by most major museums around the world. He is a painter, engraver, illustrator, teacher, essayist, memoirist, father, grandfather and dog lover. He has received awards for his work too numerous to mention.
Barry will be reading from his prolific writings at the festival, and offering a drawing workshop. Here is a chance to absorb a lifetime of wisdom from one of America’s great living artists.
Reading – Saturday, May 27 @ 11am
Drawing workshop – Sunday, May 28 @ 10am
Michael Wilson will be on the farm with his camera Memorial Day Weekend offering his work. Michael will also lead a photo ramble through nearby Wilmington, Ohio. Follow along with one of the great photographers of our generation and make pictures of your own.
Photo Ramble (Wilmington, OH) - Sunday, May 28, from 9 - 11 am (Meet at The General Denver Hotel)
It was a significant priority to add a film component to Nowhere Else Festival.
So when Karin (surprisingly) read in an interview that the Over the Rhine song “All My Favorite People” had been useful to director Scott Derrickson in shaping the character of Dr. Strange (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) in his most recent feature film, she immediately reached out to see if he would join us at this year’s festival. Imagine our surprise when he said, Yes, of course.
But maybe these are the kind of connections that happen when you jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down.
We’ll be starting a new tradition this year. Each Saturday night moving forward at Nowhere Else Festival, we will invite a film director to screen one of their films in the big top on the farm. We’ll crank it up on the sound system, beneath the stars, in the inky black air. Grab a chair in the big tent, or spread a blanket under the stars. If Wendell Berry owned a drive-in theater…
So yes, after the music winds down on Saturday night, director Scott Derrickson will screen his latest feature film, Dr. Strange for our very own midnight movie. (At our age, the midnight movie starts at 10pm.) There will be a conversation on Sunday with Scott regarding his life in film, with an opportunity for some Q&A.
Saturday, May 27 @ 10pm
Sunday, May 28 @ noon
John Baskin is the author of some dozen books, most notably New Burlington: The Life and Death of an American Village, which was recently performed as a play at the Chautauqua Theater Company in upstate New York. He has written for publications ranging from The New York Times and the Yale Review to Mother Jones magazine, and is co-founder of Orange Frazer Press in Wilmington, Ohio, where he has been writer, editor, and designer. His latest book, The Superfluous Man: An Improbable Story of the Good War, awaits publication.
Note from Linford: When Karin and I started the barn raising project at Nowhere Else, we were thrilled to discover that we had a real writer living right up the road. John Baskin’s modern classic, New Burlington: The Life and Death of an American Village and his collection of essays, In Praise Of Practical Fertilizer, have become two of my all-time favorites. Both books have traveled overseas with us, and are well-worn and ear-marked. The prose found within those covers is among the best I have found.
John will be leading a nonfiction writing workshop at the festival. Not to be missed.
Saturday, May 27 @ 10am
Whether you simply love art, or desperately need to make art – come join artist Jon Detweiler for a real-time demonstration and interactive discussion about the making of a successful landscape painting. This session is open to both spectators and painters. Bring a favorite beverage and a comfy lawn chair; or bring your art supplies and make a painting with Jon. Maybe you’ve never painted with oil bars but would like to try? If so, please refer to the supply list below. Maybe you would prefer to work in a different medium? No problem, bring your favorite painting supplies and join the creativity. This session runs from 10 AM to 12:30 PM on Saturday, so think “fast and furious” versus “museum-grade masterpiece.”
Oil Bar Painting Supply List
Paper towels / trash bag
Old shirt and/or painter’s apron
Charcoal pencil / paper
Several canvas boards (8 X 10, 9 X 12, or 11 X 14 inch) Just learning? Think small.
From BLICK Art Supplies: http://www.dickblick.com/
Item # 00409-1019 Sampler Set of 3 Primary Colors (mini’s) $10 (on sale)
Item # 00409-3049 Sampler Set of 3 Toning Colors (mini’s) $10 (on sale)
(Jon will have a variety of colors for you to try as well)
Optional but helpful:
Portable painting easel (If you have one, please bring it!)
Shallow box to carry your wet painting home
Oil Bar Painting Demo with Instruction – Saturday, May 27 @ 10am
More on the artist:
While growing up in the rural Midwest, Jon Detweiler learned to love the beauty and mystery of nature. As a young man, Jon moved to the Big Sky state of Montana where he thrived for nearly 20 years in that primal land of mountains and wide-open spaces. In 1994, Jon earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Montana’s School of Journalism. After spending time in Asia and Latin America, Jon’s work as a photojournalist took him and his wife Donna to Seattle, Washington, and the Pacific Northwest.
Fifteen years and several jobs later, Jon finally turned to face the hounds of creativity. The dream to train as an artist took Jon and his family to Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he graduated in 2012 from the University of St. Francis’ School of Creative Arts with a Master’s Degree in Studio Art.
After graduating from USF, Jon and his family spent two years in Europe, where Jon helped to start and teach classes for both children and adults at The Art Factory in Kandern, Germany. While in Europe, Jon participated in multiple exhibits at The Art Factory, before organizing a month-long group exhibit at a local German gallery in April 2014.
Jon has now returned to Fort Wayne and the USF School of Creative Arts, where he works as their studio technician in ceramics, sculpture and theatrical set design.
“Whatever my place in life, I stay close to Nature. I savor the seasons and life-forces at work around me. My love for the natural world has empowered me to see fine art in very ordinary scenes. As a Seer of the Ordinary, I create original translations of very familiar settings – places so common to others, they become invisible.
To gain inspiration and find direction, I reference the works of landscape masters like Vincent van Gogh, John F. Carlson, Arthur Wesley Dow, and the Canadian Group of Seven. As a painter, I bring a modern interpretation to the colors and designs of the landscape. Using oil bars (oil paint in stick form), I build up surface-textures to enhance the design and visual impact of my paintings. The sculpted effect of the oil bars offers the viewer a strong design with a heavily textured surface.
By translating with paint the beauty of the land, I invite others to reconnect emotionally with the place they call home. “
Jon will be offering an oil bar demonstration and plein air painting workshop at this year’s festival.
Other Nowhere Else Festival contributors include Melanie Ciccone (fabric), Jon Branstrator (sustainable farming), Todd Hudson (culinary arts), Chuck Pfahler (espresso), Nick Purdy (craft beer), Darrin Ballman (wine) and many more…