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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 Gospel

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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Alan Armstrong

I've been playing for 20 years. I'm an amateur, but I play quite a bit and I like to make excellent music. Most important for me is to have fun with the rest of the musicians.

Ben Brown

Music was an important facet of Ben Brown's childhood on a rural Midwestern farm. It had always been a vital part of his Cherokee, Irish and African American heritage; his mother commonly expressed her thoughts and feelings through song. His parents' appreciation for the music of the big bands, jazz, country-western and the music of so many other cultures exposed him to a great variety of musical styles and interpretations. His first exposure to the harp was Harpo Marx playing boogie-woogie and jazz.

Years later, in a harp world dominated by orchestral pedal harps and classical music, Ben singlehandedly reintroduced and helped repopularize a singular variety of folk harp which had been obsolete for close to 100 years with only three or four original European examples still in existence. He has proven this harp to be uniquely suited to the jazz, blues and improvisational music of his youth.

Twenty years after Ben Brown's reintroduction of the cross strung into the American folk harp world, the instrument boasts several hundred players and growing.

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.
chuckee & the Crawdaddies

this blues, r&b, soul band includes 4 well-seasoned musicians from england, kitchener-waterloo, and punkydoodles corners, which lies between tavistock & new hamburg, Ontario.

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.

Harmonies Workshop

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