Sunday, April 20, 2008

Final Strawberry Spring lineup and schedule

Strawberry filled out its Spring festival lineup with a last batch of mostly first-timers, but the full schedule looks pretty compelling. One of the newly named is an old Strawberry hand, Laurie Lewis, who will be the opening night closer with her current configuration The Right Hands, including long-time collaborator Tom Rozum, super bassist Todd Philips, and Craig Smith on banjo and Scott Huffman on guitar.

The Friday, Saturday and Sunday closers are, respectively, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Emmylou Harris, and Peter Rowan & The Free Mexican Airforce. The lead-in sets to the closers are also strong, with Carlene Carter, Tim O'Brien and Chuck Prophet in that slot Friday through Sunday.

The other newly announced names are The Trespassers, Tony Furtado, Caroline Herring, Mountain Laurel, Po' Girl, Los Pinguos, and Mike Farris & The Roseland Rhythm Review.

Among artists making Strawberry debuts, attendees might want to pay special attention to: Cadillac Sky, one of the best young contemporary bluegrass outfits; Po' Girl, a Canadian folk trio that has been getting lots of buzz; Caroline Herring, a sweetheart of the Folk Alliance crowd; Carlene Carter, country traditionalist from the great Carter family; and JJ Grey & Mofro, southern-fried electric blues.

Strawberry also features musical subthemes in each lineup. This season, one theme is Latin roots with classically flavored Del Castillo and Argentine transplants to L.A. Los Pinguos. Texas-style Americana is represented by South Austin Jug Band and Belleville Outfit.

Strawberry always showcases emerging northern California bands. The two from that category this festival are The Trespassers, a Yosemite-area string band, and Mountain Laurel, traditional bluegrassers from the Gold Country.

For full lineup details, visit the Strawberry website. Tickets from the festival are fully sold out. The unofficial Strawberry Ticket Exchange is a good place to find resale tickets, as is Craigslist SF Bay Area edition.

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