WELLSBORO - Bringing top-shelf bluegrass and acoustic music to the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon since 2001, this year's ninth annual Hickory Fest will be held from 11 a.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Sunday at Stony Fork Creek Campground.
The three-day event will feature more than 25 different acts and 30 hours of live music.
A bit country, bluegrass and rock 'n' roll, singer-songwriter Shannon Whitworth is scheduled to perform at 4 p.m. Friday.
Shannon Whitworth, above, will perform at Hickory Fest, which will be held from 11 a.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Sunday at Stony Fork Creek Campground.
In recent years, her sultry voice - combined with her adept songwriting - has gained national attention for the rising star.
Whitworth was a key member of the bluegrass group The Biscuit Burners before she left the band in 2007 and began making a name for herself by performing up and down the East Coast. Whitworth's successful debut solo album, "No Expectations," created a big impact on the world of roots music, paving the way for her highly anticipated sophomore album, "Water Bound," which was released Aug. 17.
About her latest venture, Whitworth said it's a delicate balance of folk, blues, pop, bluegrass and country without leaning too far in any one direction.
She said the new release contains a lot of firsts. For one, it was the first time she worked with a producer, who co-wrote a few of the songs.
"It was a totally different approach than my first album," she said. "I had the opportunity to work with a bunch of amazing musicians."
The 32-year-old also said the new CD is more "hard-hitting" than her first and features more electric guitar.
According to Whitworth, the theme of the album is highly relatable and addresses the trials and joys that accompany making a life with somebody work.
At the same time, she delivers a message of hope and optimism. Overall, she said the whole process was a fun and creative experience. Additional motivation for the songs on the album come from personal experiences and conversations with friends.
Whitworth, who has been likened to Billie Holiday, Neko Case and a "harder" Patsy Cline, lists her musical influences as Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Paul Simon. The band that accompanies her consists of Chris Burt on bass; Matt Smith on pedal steel guitar; Ryan Oslance on drums and John Stickley on electric guitar.
In regard to her past experiences at Hickory Fest, she said the venue is spectacular and full of beautiful people that organize the event.
Throughout the three-day event, an assortment of original arts and crafts will be displayed and a wide variety of food will be available. A large-screen projection also will be put up Friday and Saturday night in order to showcase the live acts onstage.
Three-day festival tickets are $70; a three-day festival-camping pass is $90. Single-day tickets are $40 for Friday; $45 on Saturday and $15 on Sunday.
Children younger than 12 are admitted for free, but must buy a weekend camping pass for $15 if camping.
In addition to tent sites, cabins also are available to rent at the campground. Amenities for campers include a refurbished bathhouse with hot showers, a playground, a pool, lake fishing and a trout stream, pedal boat rental, horseshoes and volleyball.
Tickets may be bought at the gate or by calling the Hickory Fest hotline at 439-4079. Tickets also are available at the following locations in Wellsboro: Garrison's Men's Shop, 89 Main St.; Wellsboro Chamber of Commerce, 114 Main St.; Stony Fork Creek Campground, 658 Stony Fork Creek Road or at 10 West Espresso, 10 West St., Mansfield.
For additional information, such as band schedules, visit www.hickoryfest.com.
For more information about Stony Fork Creek Campground call 724-3096 or visit www.stonyforkcamp.com.