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mennofolk:::::a celebration of contemporary Mennonite faith and culture through acoustic music and song

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Jeff Raught
Jeff Raught

Jeff has been meandering his way through life with songs and stories for many years. Finding the humor in unexpected places and delivering it in a way that only Jeff can. Connecting the dots, or maybe helping to erase them. It is a delightful blend of music that has flavors of blues, gospel and hints of The American Songbook.

For a new twist on some old yarn....

Read more here.

Various ensembles over thirty-ish years.
Various ensembles over thirty-ish years.

I play bass guitar (currently a five string "MTD").

I've played in churches (I'm part of a folk group in a Catholic church at present), pubs - nasty and nice, concerts, coffee houses and assorted other environments.

I've played in duos, full bands (three, four, five piece) and other configurations. I've had the good fortune to be part of a number of recording sessions as well.

I play by ear and use chord charts frequently. I am learning to "read" but am at a beginner level in that regard.

There are very few types of music that I don't like. I've played rock, country, gospel, reggae, folk and even some classical at a semi-serious to pretty serious level.

I'm a sucker for a great melody, a cool riff or a worthwhile lyric. If all three elements converge in a song great; I will, however, settle for one or two of them. :-)

Read more here.

All Bluegrass

IMPORTANT: Performers listed here may appear at various Mennofolk festivals across the country. Please check the individual festival pages for listings of who will be performing at each location.

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Annie James Project

Andrea (Annie), Jamie (James), Henry and Jonathan make up Annie James Project. They are based in the region of Waterloo, and play music from various genres: rock, folk, celtic, fiddle, bluegrass, blues, celtic rock, church and worship. They love to blend their voices in rich harmonies, and to use as many instruments per concert as possible, just to confuse the sound guy. Their joy is to play and sing tunes that are known and loved, as well as less known tunes they think will be loved; music from the secular as well as church tradition.

Benjamin Ezra

Dear Music Fans,

I play alot of the music I have written at concerts. Most people stand around watching and claping. If you like music I think we could be good friends, because that means we would have alot in common. I've been playing and writting music all my life. So if you have any questions about my life, music or want to play some frisbee come to the show. See you there.

Benjamin Ezra

Bill Beck

Been playing for a long time. Mandolin, Guitar. Bluegrass, Country folk, Jazz. Christian. Haven't traveled much in the last 10-15 years. Used to all the time. 3 states. Wife and 4 kids 3 in college, 1 in 8th grade. Not much extra money.

Play at Church with a small group. Piano, bass, drums, 2 vocalists

Probably wouldn't want to travel more than 100 miles. You never know. Everyone I play with is age 40+ Not much hair anymore. Ride Harley, like to travel. Enjoy all kinds of music. Enjoy filling in for musicians. Enjoy people. Enjoy diversity.

Blue Mountain Sunrise

Blue Mountain Sunrise has been playing to the enjoyment of Bluegrass and Bluegrass Gospel fans in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and beyond for over 30 years. From corporate and private parties, family reunions, festivals and church services along with the occasional live radio and TV appearances, we have played them all. We enjoy every opportunity to bring joy and entertainment to our fans whose appreciation and encouragement make it all worthwhile! Our current line-up includes two brothers who provide harmonious vocals. Roy Kiser (known to many as Danny) keeps time on the upright bass. (1939 Kay) Jeff Kiser holds his own with great licks and background work on the 5-string banjo (1980 Gold Star Archtop). Darrell Weaver, the only original member band member, rips on the resophonic guitar (Beard). Brent Burkholder works the guitar (Limited Edition Martin) with good rhythm and leads. Logan Martin, the newest band member, plays a Harwood mandolin with passion and poise. Band members have played in various Bluegrass and Gospel groups over the years and are seasoned veterans of the Bluegrass scene. If interested in bookings or more info, please contact Roy "Danny" Kiser, Jr. (540)290-3663 or send him an email at kiserpad@gmail.com.

Burnt Possum: Dan Easley, Jeremy Frey, Chad Gusler

The Burnt Possum Poets is a trio of wordsmiths based in Harrisonburg, Virginia. They explore the minute differences between romance, nature, the divine and taxicabs. A musician first and foremost, Dan Easley composes and records songs and sound-scapes. In love with the world and everything in it, Jeremy Frey generates poems and creative nonfiction. Chad Gusler delivers short stories and sermons, often mixing both genres to expose and surpass the embedded boundaries of prose and the pulpit. Their work can be found at Burnt Possum and at Towndowner Records.

Cantore (which is the Latin word for "Singers") is a group of 10 men who love making music together. Music of almost any kind is fair game, as long as we think it sounds good, is fun to sing, and is acappella. The group began six years ago with four voices, and two years later added four more. Within the last year it expanded to 10, but decided not to grow any further. They sing music of many styles, including classical, sacred, German chorales, Russian Orthodox, bluegrass gospel, spirituals, folk songs, and barbershop. Most of them are members of Park View Mennonite Church, and they do many of their performances in church settings. The majority of their repertoire is religious music, but they also enjoy singing good secular folk songs and a few barbershop numbers.
Cold Springs Road

Cold Springs Road evokes another time and place, mystic and haunted moments in the American past. From the porches and churches of Appalachia to the sea chantys on the wharves of old-time Boston, their plaintive and poignant convergence of Americana musical styles heals the sick at heart and welcomes the prodigal.

Cottonwood Jam String Band

Playing American Roots, Appalachian, Folk, Contra / Square Dance, Old Time Music.

Fiddle, Banjo, Guitar, Mandolin, Harmonica.

Drop the Dawg

“Drop the Dawg” is a trio of musicians who mix acoustic newgrass, pop, jazz and gospel. Jim Shenk on guitar, dobro, pedal steel and vocals. Duane Gundy on mandolin, guitar, bass and vocals. Mike Hoover on bass, keyboards, flute and vocals. We encourage you to enjoy our music the way we do, without pretense or pressure to perform the prevailing pessimism! “Dawg On”!!!

Five Times Harder

For the Harder family, making music together may be “five times harder,” but it’s also five times more fun. Tom on guitar and Lois on vocals are joined by their three talented daughters Hillary on violin and mandolin, Madeline on cello and electric bass, and Anna on the violin. The family’s repertoire is an entertaining mixture of secular and sacred, humorous and poignant, driving bluegrass gospel and lyrical folk ballads, with a taste of classical and jazz.

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