Hickory Fest to bring over 25 hours of acoustic music to Wellsboro

WELLSBORO — More than 25 hours of acoustic roots and bluegrass music will be performed live during Hickory Fest on Aug. 17, 18 and 19 at the Stony Fork Creek Campground, 658 Stony Fork Creek Road.

Performing for the first time at Hickory Fest will be solo artist Andy Buckner and two bands, Fireside Collective and Songs From The Road Band, all from North Carolina.

Buckner made a name for himself on “the Voice” in 2015. His grainy, soulful vocals embrace his North Carolina roots and share authentic songs inspired by his upbringing. This 24-year-old’s blending of honky-tonk bravado and gritty seclusion, embodies a balance of party anthems and instantly relatable heartache healers.

Songs From The Road Band, a five-man powerhouse, has collectively received top accolades in the bluegrass, Americana and jazz genres. Bass player and songwriter Charles Humphrey is a Grammy recipient from his days with the Steep Canyon Rangers and earned a spot in the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame. Mark Schimick on mandolin has soared to the top of the jamgrass scene. Ryan Cavanaugh on the five string banjo has returned to bluegrass with a bang after touring the world with jazz great Bill Evans. Sam Wharton is an award-winning guitar picker and singer who refined his bluegrass chops in Colorado. James Schlender is the two- time National Fiddle Champion. Their show is full of originals including those on “Road to Nowhere,” their newest CD released on July 23.

Fireside Collective, finalists in the 2015 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Competition in Colorado and winners of the 2016 MerleFest Band Competition in North Carolina, are blazing a name for themselves as a must-see acoustic ensemble. They will perform their original progressive folk and bluegrass music. This five-member band burst onto the music scene in 2014 after the release of their debut album, “Shadows and Dreams.” The CD features original compositions that weave bluegrass, funk, rock and blues influences into a refreshing representation of modern folk music. Their songs center on change and relationships and transition smoothly from danceable bluegrass numbers to passionate folk ballads. Lead vocalist and songwriter Jesse Iaquinto plays mandolin with harmony vocalists Tommy Maher on Dobro, Carson White on bass guitar, Joe Cicero on acoustic guitar and Alex Genova on banjo.

The festival grounds will open at 10 a.m. on Aug. 17 and 18, and at 9 a.m. on Aug. 19.

There will be continuous music on the outdoor stage from 2 p.m. to midnight on Friday; from 10:30 a.m. to midnight on Saturday; and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

The finals of the Sue Cunningham Youth Fiddle Contest will be from 11 a.m. to noon on Aug. 19. Open registration is online through Aug. 16 and at the festival.

A nationally known violinist, Cunningham lived in Wellsboro and Florida and was always supportive of young musicians until her untimely death in 2015. The festival honors her life and legacy with proceeds benefiting the Relay For Life Of Tioga County, the Sue Cunningham Memorial Music Scholarship at the Dreyfoos School of the Arts in Florida and the Sue Cunningham Music Scholarships at the Wellsboro middle and high schools.

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