Black Potatoe Music Festival
5:30pm - Willy Porter & Carmen Nickerson
A virtuoso guitarist, Porter has more than ten albums to his catalogue including Dog Eared Dream (1994) which yielded the top 10 AAA single, “Angry Words.” He has shared the stage with rock and pop luminaries such as Jeff Beck, Sting, Paul Simon, Tori Amos and Jethro Tull. Nickerson is an accomplished Jazz, R&B, and Rock vocalist from the Midwest who has also contributed her talents to studio and voice-over work in L.A. The pair met following the release of Porter’s 2010 album How to Rob a Bank and, finding their musical sensibilities a quick match, began collaborating soon after. The result has been a rich experience of performing and writing: Nickerson’s vocals feature on the yearning “Iowa Sky” from Porter’s 2013 EP Cheeseburgers and Gasoline and on the song “This Train” from 2015’s Human Kindness. In 2016 the pair were featured music guests on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion, performing on one of Garrison Keillor’s last broadcasts. With more than five years of stage and studio work under their belts, both Porter and Nickerson were excited to fuse their singular talents on a new album of original co-writes: Bonfire to Ash (2016), produced by Grammy winning producer Ben Wisch (Marc Cohn, Jonatha Brooke) and featuring Bassist Zev Katz and Drummer/Producer Ben Wittman.
5:00pm - Michaela McClain
Michaela McClain, winner of the 2013 "Best Indie Act" at the Jersey Acoustic Music Awards, is a critically-acclaimed, folk-soul singer/songwriter with a "warm groove" and "rich mezzo-soprano voice." Growing up in a musical family, and the youngest of six singing sisters, Michaela performed widely in choirs, concerts, and special events throughout her young life and, in 2011, began writing and performing her own music, touring extensively throughout New York and New Jersey with drummer Meredith Foreman, guitarist Raul Abbad, and bassist Brad Schwartzseid. Since the formation of The Michaela McClain Band, Michaela has performed over two hundred live concerts, with her band and in intimate solo engagements.
7:00pm - Ellis Paul
Some artists document their lives through their music. Others chronicle their times. It’s a rare artist who can do both, telling their own story through songs that also encapsulate the essence of people and places who have helped define their era overall. Woody Guthrie comes to mind, and so does Bob Dylan. Bruce Springsteen certainly as well. Yet few others, for whatever genius they may possess, can relate their own history to the history experienced by those who find that common bond, be it in a coming of age, living through the same realities or sharing similar experiences.
Ellis Paul is one of those gifted singer/songwriters. Though some may refer to him as a folksinger, he is more, for lack of a better word, a singular storyteller, a musician whose words reach out from inside and yet also express the feelings, thoughts and sensibilities that most people can relate to in one way or another, regardless of age or upbringing. The exhilaration of the open road. A celebration of heroes. The hope for redemption. Descriptions of those things that are both near and dear. The sharing of love… intimate, passionate and enduring
11:30pm - Spook Handy
Fresh back from his pilgrimage to the birthplace of Woody Guthrie (performing at the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa OK; the Woody Guthrie Festival in Okemah, OK; and the Guthrie Center in Great Barrington, MA), Spook Handy brings the folk style of Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie to our premiere NJ festival. Spook performed alongside Pete Seeger at festivals and concerts more than 50 times from 2003 – 2013 learning many of Pete’s songs and the stories behind them. Now, he is on a three year “Remembering Pete Seeger” World Tour bringing Pete’s message to all 50 U.S states, all 10 Canadian provinces, many other countries, and all 21 New Jersey counties. His latest CD “Pete, Woody and Me, Volume I – Keep the Flame Alive” charted at No. 3 on the International Folk Radio Charts for two months last year.
2:45pm - The Sharar Sisters
Hailing originally from Glen Rock, NJ (also the birthplace of the famous Vivino Brothers), Kathy, Carol, Connie and Linda Sharar are four independently successful musicians who together create sisterly entwining harmonies and instrumental eloquence. Expect to hear the group perform songs by Linda, who holds down the groove on acoustic guitar, and soulful covers of the contemporary songwriters they love. Carol adds that extra special touch with her intuitive fiddle work.
Sunday July 16th
6:30pm - Max Hatt/Edda Glass
Max Hatt / Edda Glass have "an incomparable spook” (Nashville Scene) and a "unique sound" (Larry Groce, NPR), comprised of Glass's unmistakable voice, Hatt's epic guitar landscapes, and their award-winning Jazz Americana compositions. Compared to a gamut of singers from Astrud Gilberto to Billie Holliday, Glass's voice is ultimately "one of a kind...in that you cannot confuse her with another artist" (New York Theatre Guide). Hatt's equally distinctive guitar work combines the harmonic innovations of jazz with the melodic resonance of folk, creating music that's "subtly poignant, elegantly funky, and haunting without trying to be" (Nels Cline, Wilco). With a debut album produced by Wilco's Pat Sansone, they've toured across the country from the Sundance Film Festival to NPR Mountain State to NYC’s Lincoln Center.
1:00pm - Joseph Miller
Award winning singer/songwriter, Joseph Alton Miller, released his latest album, Songs of Travel for the Vagabond, in May of 2016. No Depression wrote of the album, "It's infectious, emotionally riveting, and just plain old originality is such a breath of fresh air in 2017. Miller's perfectly choppy chords on his acoustic guitar provide a vehicle with which to tell a story, but the beauty is, he sounds like Joseph Alton Miller, not anyone else. And the man can blow a harp with a fervor!"
12:25pm - Jenny & the Felines
"Jenny And The Felines represent the finest in guitar-driven, female fronted rock and roll. Whether rocking the legendary Stone Pony, or charming the audiences of intimate venues, songwriter/lead guitarist Jenny Cat brings to life the essence of good, pure, rock and roll music while keeping things fun and interesting. "Jenny And The Felines newest album, Don't Judge Me is the perfect soundtrack to a brisk 30 minute walk around my neighborhood," - Bruce Tunkel, songwriter/producer/power walker. "
3:30pm - Kevin Daniel
Complete with lyrics hailing from a real place, Kevin Daniel finds meaning in the lives of his listeners. Influenced by the likes of Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, Langhorne Slim, and The Avett Brothers, Kevin's music brings a touch of alternative country to the cold streets of New York, all while maintaining a broader appeal to eager audiences.
4:00pm - Gregg Cagno
A native of Clinton, NJ now making his home in Philadelphia, PA, Gregg Cagno’s latest CD Worth the Wait is on Black Potatoe Records. Together with Producer Jimmy Heffernan (longtime Nashville dobro & steel guitar man for Joe Diffie & Brad Paisley) Cagno serves up his thoughtful and melodic songs in a Folk/Rock/Americana/Country blend that features his smooth, mellow voice and distinctive open-tuned guitar playing.
Cagno is a two time ASCAP award winner for the folk genre, was a finalist in the Kerrville Folk Festival’s New Folk competition and has a song in the Smithsonian Folkways archives. He's had the opportunity to open for folk/rock stars Pete Seeger, James Taylor, America & Poco and also the honor of playing on The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' Millenium Stage and at 20 Black Potatoe Music Fests.
2:15pm - Brandon Fletcher
Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, soulful singer/songwriter Brendan Fletcher got his start touring bars in New Jersey and New York City. Influenced by the great rock, soul and blues musicians Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Otis Redding, Ray Charles, and Bruce Springsteen, Brendan writes and performs music with an old soul sound. His original music, with songs like “Maria” and “Boston,” draws inspiration from his childhood summers spent on the Jersey Shore, his family, heartbreak, and his journey to find his unique voice. In 2016, Brendan competed on the 11th season of NBC’s hit show The Voice, singing his way to the semi-finals. His powerful performances were praised by Rolling Stone as “soulful, elegant and stirring.” Brendan added new depth and his unique, raspy sound to popular hits; his rendition of Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” hit No. 2 on the iTunes overall chart, and his cover of “Whipping Post” by the Allman Brothers Band hit No. 1 on the iTunes rock chart. Brendan’s pure sound and authentic presence onstage captivates audiences, transcending popular music today with the power of his voice and guitar.
1:30pm - Jann Klose
Jann Klose is an award-winning pop singer-songwriter, who has released five albums and two EPs. Klose was raised in Kenya, South Africa, Germany, and the United States and now resides in New York City. His music has been streamed over 1,000,000 times online and his song ‘Make It Better’ is featured on the Billboard Top 10 charting compilation album ‘Action Moves People United.’ His latest duo album STEREOPTICON (2016), recorded with Grammy® nominated guitarist Gary Lucas and lyricist Dan Beck is now available on the Cosmic Trigger label.