Inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream" speech, the Folk Fest planners will provide a 4' x 8' wall where children will have an opportunity to share in writings or drawings their hopes and dreams for their community and their world.
On Sunday, August 19, from 4:00 to 6:30 pm ET, in the intimate 70-seat theatre of St. Benedict's Brew Works in Ferdinand, a nearly packed theatre enjoyed some of southern Indiana's best singer-songwriters who shared their original works.
The fourth-annual Ferdinand Folk Festival Singer-Songwriter Showcase was also a benefit concert to help keep the festival free. Admission was $10 for adults, $5 for those under 18.
In a juried competition, these are the performers (alphabetical order) selected for the showcase and for opening the festival at 11:00 am ET on September 15:
Douglas Haines, Winona Lake, IN
An award-winning Americana singer-songwriter, Douglas Haines blends acoustic guitar melodies with a poet’s gift for capturing a story in lyric form, entertaining audiences for more than 30 years. Music is an expression of his deepest thoughts and feelings as he blends his lyrics with intricate fingerstyle picking. Douglas released his first solo album, I Can’t Change, in 2017. "Music is my love and passion," states Douglas. "I write creative lyrics that communicate to my listeners in hopes that they draw them into personal reflection."
Kriss Luckett and Greg Ziesemer, Madison, IN
Kriss Luckett and Greg Ziesemer are music partners and life partners, with many years of stage and songwriting experience. With their roots in Indianapolis, they have 3 CDs out with more soon to come. Visit www.gregandkriss for more info. "We write what we know," Kriss states, "love, life, family, and the world around us. We are inspired by the stories and hearts of the people we meet, the books we read, and the yarns we spin. Some are real, some are dreams, and some are totally made-up."
Jacob McDaniel, New Salisbury, IN
Jacob McDaniel acquired a love of vintage folk and blues music at a young age. He began guitar lessons at age 11, after inheriting a 1980 Guild G37 acoustic guitar from his deceased uncle. Jacob’s new album, An Untitled Life, features the inherited guitar. "I have been inspired by the genuine beauty and authenticity of the music of Bob Dylan, Cat Stephens, and The Allman Brothers Band," he states. "I draw inspiration from the world around me, turning snippets of rhymes, random thoughts, and song titles into full compositions."
Clayton N. Schroeder, Bloomington, IN
"Returning for his second Singer-Songwriter Showcase, Clayton is a husband and father of two. A storyteller at heart, his songs come from his life, his jobs, his friends, and the people with whom he crosses paths whether in real life or in dreams. "I love stories," he states. "I love sharing them. I love hearing them. I love creating them. I find inspiration all around me. Songs are like half-buried treasures on a beach. Sometimes all it takes is just brushing off a little sand.""
The Strings of Indian Creek (Christopher Bell, Arianna Cox, Brandon Bambusch), Milltown and Orleans, IN
The Strings of Indian Creek are a progressive, Americana folk rock blending multiple genres of music, including bluegrass and country, to create a fun and rowdy musical experience. "We are excited that we got picked to play at the Showcase and the Folk Fest. We can't wait," states band member Chris Bell.
David Wayne, Huntingburg, IN
David resides with his wife Nina of 34 years and is the father of two and grandfather of two. Also known as The Singing Bugman, this Nashville recording artist, singer and published songwriter is a three-time winner of the WBDC country Showdown and the owner of The Huntingburg Opry Hall located above the new Market Street Soup and Salad in Huntingburg. He has opened for Vern Gosden, Ronnie Robbins, John Barty, and Lauren Alaina. "My inspiration and motivation comes from my childhood," he states, "when my father put on an old Merle Haggard record. I was hooked forever. My songs come from my heart and life experiences."
Anna Wrasse, Bloomington, IN
Fifteen-year-old Anna Wrasse has been writing and performing original songs for four years. Earlier this year Anna was recognized as “One to Watch” by Nashville Songwriters Association International. She is honored to perform for her third year in the Ferdinand Folk Festival Singer-Songwriter Showcase. "My songwriting has grown from my love of both writing and music," she states. "I am passionate about the way music is able to connect everyone and bring people together. I hope to tell stories of my personal experiences in a relatable way that is meaningful to others."
To further honor their achievement, the performers will be featured at 11:00 am ET on Saturday, September 15, on the NextEra Energy Main Stage in Ferdinand's 18th Street Park, to kick off the ninth annual Ferdinand Folk Festival. They will also have the option of performing a short set on the Kyana Woodstock Market Stage during the afternoon of the festival. The artists may sell cds and merch at both events.
The ninth-annual Ferdinand Folk Festival is a free, family and environmentally friendly festival featuring internationally, nationally, and regionally touring singer-songwriters on the main stage, dozens of artisan, food, and environmental/wellness booths, aerial dancers, giant renewable energy puppets, live animals for children to pet, many fun, educational music and nature programs for children, an animal parade for kids, eight entertaining and informative Tent Talks, a jam circle for all ages, workshops for all ages, and much more. Patrons may learn more about the event on Facebook and at www.ferdinandfolkfestival.com.
Co-presenting sponsors of the festival are Best Home Furnishings and Masterbrand Cabinets. The Main Stage sponsor is NextEra Energy Resources. The Market Stage is sponsored by Kyana Woodstock, and the Folk Jam Circle and Hospitality Tent are supported by Moore Music & Guitars.
Last year’s patrons might remember the donkey Pancho Joe, the sheep Esther, and the skunk Skunky Brewster? These beloved furry friends, along with Shepard, a miniature steer, cared for by Lil Rexing’s, will be returning to the festival. Research shows that the mutual benefits of children holding and petting animals are dramatic. The contact often has a calming effect upon children and teaches them to love and respect the animals; the animals also get joy and comfort from being petted and loved. Parents are encouraged to accompany their children and to ensure kind handling of the animals.
Shepard is a 9-month old Angus/Hereford miniature steer. He won Grand Champion Steer in the Pike County 4-H Fair. Esther is a Southdown sheep. She is 6 years old and loves everyone and loves to eat all day. She has lived on the farm since she was about 6 months old. Pancho Joe is a miniature donkey also 6 years old. He loves to hee-haw and warn when people come onto the farm. He also loves to chase chickens and get his ears rubbed. Skunky Brewster is a 3-year old skunk. He has been descented, so he cannot spray. He weighs 10 lbs. and loves his veggies, dog food and bugs.
Lil' Rexing's Pony Express is small family-owned farm run by the Rexings (mom, dad, and two children) on ten acres on the far west side of Evansville, Indiana. On the farm live a small community of animals that children can visit, pet, and ride. The farm--open year-round--provides a loving environment for the animals. Appointments are required. The family provides off-farm parties and on-farm parties including pony rides, petting opportunities, and a playground. Lil' Rexing's generally book parties eight to ten weeks in advance. For more information, call Jamie Rexing at 812-985-3175 and leave a message.