Festival at Sandpoint announces powerhouse lineup

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SANDPOINT — The Festival at Sandpoint’s 31st annual concert series is a powerhouse lineup of cutting edge artists and classic favorites.

The Festival announced its line-up Wednesday for the summer music festival, which will be held Aug. 1-11, showcasing eight nights of eclectic music under the stars, on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille. The lineup features the Indigo Girls, Cake, Rosanne Cash, John Butler Trio, Steve Miller Band and The Avett Brothers, as well as rising stars The Greencards, Eclectic Approach, Matt Andersen and Vintage Trouble, and local favorites Shook Twins, Devon Wade and Marshall McLean.

• Thursday, Aug. 1 — Opening Night stars double platinum, Grammy Award-winning folk-rock duo, the Indigo Girls. Amy Ray and Emily Saliers met in elementary school and began performing together as high school students in Decatur, Ga., continuing as the Indigo Girls at Emory University in Atlanta.

With seven gold, four platinum and one Double Platinum Records, their greatest hits include “Closer to Fine,” “Hammer and Nail” and “Galileo.” In 1990, they won the Grammy Award for best contemporary folk album, and have been nominated for seven other Grammys. With a tour history spanning 25 years, the Indigo Girls have been active politically and musically championing many causes with benefit concerts. Decades into their career, the Indigo Girls still amaze with their ability to grow and thrive no matter what the state of the music industry is at any given point. Portland-based, Sandpoint-born and bred Shook Twins will open the evening with their full touring band configuration.

All tickets are $36.95. Brew tasting tickets are available for $10 — which includes a commemorative pilsner glass and premium microbrew tastes. Brew tasting starts when gates open at 6 p.m. Concert starts at 7:30 p.m.  • Friday, Aug. 2 — Cake will sweep Festival fans up in their infectious, eclectic celebration of genre bending music. The alternative rock band from Sacramento, Calif., consists of singer John McCrea, trumpeter Vince DiFiore, guitarist Xan McCurdy, bassist Gabe Nelson and drummer Paulo Baldi.

The group has been noted for McCrea’s ironic, sarcastic lyrics and droll, deadpan voice, DiFiore’s trumpet lines, and their wide-ranging musical influences, including country music, mariachi, rock, funk, Iranian folk music and hip hop. McCrea himself cites Hank Williams, Tom Zé, the Golden Gate Quartet and Sly and the Family Stone as particular influences.

Rather than referring to the foodstuff, their name is meant to be “like when something insidiously becomes a part of your life … we mean it more as something that cakes onto your shoe and is just sort of there until you get rid of it,” explains McCrea.

In 1996 “The Distance” became the band’s biggest hit to date and is considered their “ubiquitous” song hitting number 5 on the RPM Alternative 30, and the Modern Rock Tracks top 5. Other hits include “Short Skirt/Long Jacket,” “Never There,” and their inimitable take on disco queen Gloria Gaynor’s hit song “I Will Survive.”

There will not be an opening band for this concert — Cake will play two sets of music with an intermission. This is a dance concert and The Festival venue will be configured differently for this evening to allow for increased dancing/standing area in front of the stage. There will still be adequate sections for blankets, low chairs, high chairs and reserved patron and sponsor seating, as well as seated availability in the grandstands. The dance venue map can be viewed online at FestivalatSandpoint.com.

All tickets are $49.95. Doors open at 6 p.m., concert starts at 7:30 p.m.

• Super Saturday, Aug. 3 — The Festival welcomes country royalty Rosanne Cash. With 11 no. 1 country hit singles, 21 Top 40 country singles and two gold records, Cash is most often classified as a country artist, although her music draws on many genres, including folk, pop, rock and blues. In the 1980s, she had a string of chart-topping singles, the most successful being her 1981 breakthrough hit “Seven Year Ache.”

She won the Grammy Award for best female country vocal performance in 1985 for “I Don’t Know Why You Don’t Want Me” and has received nine other Grammy nominations. Her critically acclaimed album King’s Record Shop (1987) spawned four No. 1 hits including a cover version of her father’s “Tennessee Flat Top Box,” “The Way We Make a Broken Heart,” “If You Change Your Mind,” and “Runaway Train.” Her duet with then husband, Rodney Crowell, “It’s Such a Small World,” also went to the top of the country charts.

In 2009 Cash released her popular and critically album, The List, based on a list of 100 greatest country and American songs that her father, country icon Johnny Cash, gave her when she was 18. Named Album of the Year by the Americana Music Association, the album features vocal duets with Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Jeff Tweedy, and Rufus Wainwright.

Special guests The Greencards are a progressive country bluegrass band with roots in Australia and England. They took their adopted home of Austin, Texas, by storm and proceeded to impress wider audiences and fellow artists with invitations to tour from Robert Earl Keen, Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson. Considered as part of the “newgrass” musical school, The Greencards draw from a wide variety of musical influences, ranging from George Straight, Ricky Skaggs, Dylan and the Beatles to the Celtic tone of Irish traditional music, gypsy themes, and Latin sounds. Their song “Mucky the Duck” from their Viridian album was nominated for a 2008 Grammy Award. Sandpoint’s own Devon Wade will warm up the crowd.

All tickets are $49.95. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. and the music starts at 6 p.m.

• Sunday, Aug. 4 — It’s a day of musical fun for the young and young at heart, as the Festival presents its Family Concert, “An Invitation to the Dance” featuring the Spokane Youth Orchestra and Sandpoint’s Studio 1 dancers. The program includes a feature performance of Sleeping Beauty and other favorite musical ballet selections. Favorite pre-concert activities include the instrument petting zoo, where kids can try out various instruments with guidance from high school musical mentors; an animal petting zoo, pony rides, clowns, face painting, games galore and the popular Parents’ Corner, where moms and dads can take a break from the chaos for a complimentary mini-massage.

All tickets are only $6 and activities begin when the gates open at 4:30 PM.

n Thursday, Aug. 8 — Catch the Australian adult alternative rock sensation John Butler Trio. One of the hottest musical exports from down under, guitarist John Butler started out as a busker in Fremantle, Western Australian, and eventually formed the popular trio which now includes Nicky Bomba on drums and percussion, and Byron Luiters on bass.

It’s hard to avoid hits like “Better Than,” “Used to Get High,” “Funky Tonight,” “Ocean,” and “Good Excuse,” playing on Triple A radio stations across the country. Multi-platinum, award winning artists in their native Australia, American music fans are starting to notice what all the fuss is about. Expect warm, rootsy beach jam music with touches of blues, reggae and rap all peacefully coexisting.

Fans say that watching opener Eclectic Approach you get the same feeling as when you walk into a really great party; people are groovin’ and letting the good times roll. “We want people to have a great time and walk away feeling better about life.” It’s a great philosophy for a band to have, and has proven effective as their name spreads like wildfire across the Northwest and beyond. Rum Punch specials in colorful glasses will be featured in The Festival Bar.

All tickets are $44.95. Gates open at 6 p.m., the concert starts at 7:30 p.m.

• Friday, Aug. 9 — The iconic Steve Miller Band is surely one of the greatest bands ever to grace The Festival at Sandpoint stage. With Steve Miller on guitar and lead vocals, the band, which formed in San Francisco in 1967, is known for a string of hit singles that are staples of classic rock. From the Platinum No. 1 hit singles “The Joker,” “Abracadabra,” and “Rock’nMe,” to subsequent hits “Take the Money and Run,” “Fly Like An Eagle,” “Jet Airliner” and “Jungle Love,” it’s no wonder the band has a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame.

But Miller’s music hasn’t always been strictly commercial and his obvious respect for his forefathers lends credibility to his work. As a child, Miller got his first guitar lessons from Les Paul and by the age of 21 was gigging around the San Francisco blues scene. SMB still sells out open-air arenas across the country and we feel lucky to have this legendary band visit us in Sandpoint.

Big Canadian bluesman Matt Andersen returns to Sandpoint after gaining many new fans with his recent powerful performance at the Panida Theater.

All tickets are $59.95. Doors open at 6 p.m.; the concert starts at 7:3 p.m. • Saturday, Aug. 10 — It’s another Super Saturday spectacular starring Grammy-nominated alt country super stars The Avett Brothers. Currently one of the hottest tickets and impossible to pigeon hole, The Avett Brothers combine bluegrass, country, punk, pop melodies, folk, rock and roll, honky tonk, and ragtime to produce a sound described by the San Francisco Chronicle as having the “heavy sadness of Townes Van Zandt, the light pop concision of Buddy Holly, the tuneful jangle of the Beatles, the raw energy of the Ramones.”  

The band features brothers Scott Avett (banjo) and Seth Avett (guitar), and Bob Crawford (Bass), with touring musicians Joe Kwon on cello and Mike Marsh on drums. Although they have played music together since childhood, the brothers Scott and Seth Avett truly began their partnership in the late 1990s with the merger of Seth’s high school rock band, Margo, and Scott’s college group, Nemo.

The Avett Brothers were featured on PBS’ Austin City Limits, named “the Artist to Watch of 2009” by Rolling Stone magazine and appeared on the 53rd Grammy Awards in 2011, playing “Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise” before joining Mumford and Sons and Bob Dylan for a performance of “Maggie’s Farm.”  In 2007 they won the Americana Music Association’s Duo/Group of the Year and New/Emerging Artist of the Year awards and have had major hits with “I and Love and You,” and “Live and Die.” The Carpenter (2012) was nominated for a Grammy Award this year for Best Americana Album. Funky, fun, rockin’ Vintage Trouble has wowed the music scene and the late night circuit recently with standout performances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with David Letterman.

All tickets are $59.95. Gates will open at 4:30 p.m. and the music starts at 6 p.m. with regional favorite singer songwriter Marshall McLean.

• Sunday, Aug. 11 — The Festival season culminates with the Grand Finale Concert: “Festival Fan Fare” featuring the Spokane Symphony Orchestra and two special guest soloists: pianist Francisco Renno and violinist Jason Moody, who is originally from Sandpoint, and the 1998 winner of the Coldwater Creek/Festival at Sandpoint Music Scholarship.

The program is based on fan favorites from the Festival’s first seasons, selected by maestro Gary Sheldon. The concert features Berlioz’s Roman Carnival Overture, Ravel’s Pavane pour une infante defunte, Tchaikowsky’s Piano Concerto No.2, Bruch’s Violin Concerto No.1(last movement),and Beethoven’s Symphony No.7. A fireworks finale with encore, made possible by Avista Utilities, will close The Festival at Sandpoint’s 31st season in spectacular fashion.

This concert also serves as part of The Festival’s Fifth Grade Music Outreach Program, an educational mission that takes place in all Bonner County and Boundary County elementary schools this month. Each fifth-grader receives complimentary tickets for themselves and two family members to attend a symphonic Festival concert. The recipient of the Festival’s Coldwater Creek Music Scholarship will perform before the concert, and the winning bidder of the original 2013 poster artwork by Maria Larson will be announced. Gates open early at 4:30 p.m. for the annual “Taste of the Stars” wine tasting featuring premier wineries of the Northwest and an art auction presented by Timberstand Gallery. The wine tasting is complimentary for all concert goers over the age of 21 years. Concert starts at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $36.95 for adults, $10.95 for youth 0-18 years.

Individual tickets to all shows go on sale at 9 a.m.today in The Festival at Sandpoint office, 525 Pine St.reet in Sandpoint. Tickets are available for purchase online at the Festival’s secure website:  www.FestivalAtSandpoint.com. Phone orders may be placed by calling the Festival office locally (208) 265-4554 or toll-free (888) 265-4554. Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover cards, personal checks and cash are accepted. Tickets are also sold at all TicketsWest locations, or by calling 1-800-325-SEAT.

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