Humboldt is home to an enormous pool of talented and active musicians with a large portion of that demographic expressing its passion with pluck. Imagine the look arts and features editor Jennifer Fumiko Cahill and I exchanged after one reader complained there wasn't enough bluegrass in our paper. You can't throw a fundraiser without hitting at least one bluegrass, folk, Americana or roots band around these parts. There's an abundance and for good reason. Folk and its subgenres are the music of the people and the land, and if Humboldt is anything it is "of the people and the land." The Humboldt Folklife Festival, happening July 13-20 in beautiful Blue Lake, gives us eight days of the good stuff, celebrating the harmonies and high-lonesome sounds of all things Appalchia, folk, bluegrass, newgrass, indiegrass, Gypsygrass and genres of grass I've not heard of yet. Here's the festival hoe-down:
The fun starts Saturday, July 13 at Mad River Brewing Co. with the Festival Kick-off party featuring live music by The Vanishing Pints, The March & Months and The Detours starting at 2 p.m. (free, donations appreciated). On Sunday, July 14, gather the family for all-day fun during Annie & Mary Day at Perigot Park from noon to 5 p.m. The annual celebration begins with a breakfast at the Mad River Grange at 8 a.m. and parade in town at 11 a.m. At noon, find a full day of music at Perigot Park with music from The Tidepool High Divers, Tyger Byle, That Buckin' String Band, Bayou Swamis and Dead On!, plus barbecue and kids' activities (free).
Monday, July 15 is Movie Night in the Dell'Arte Carlo Theater with an advanced screening of Country Music a film by Ken Burns at 7:30 pm. (free).
Evening musical performances hosted by Dell'Arte fill out the week starting with Songwriter Night on Tuesday, July 16 at the Carlo Theatre at 7:30 p.m. hosted by Patrick Cleary with songwriters Tracy Symons Smith, Michael Dayvid, Georgia Ruth and Andrew Wakefield ($10 non-members, $8 members, $5 kids), Under the Stars Night on Wednesday, July 17 in the Rooney Amphitheatre at 6 p.m. with The Handshakers, Cadillac Ranch and Huckleberry Flint (this popular event is sold out - but it happens every year, so get your tickets early for 2020) and Bluegrass and Beyond on Thursday, July 14 at the Rooney Amphitheatre at 6 p.m. with The Kentucky Warblers, Old Dog and Compost Mountain Boys ($12 non-members, $10 members, $5 kids).
On Friday, July 19, head to Prash Hall in Blue Lake at 7 p.m. for the Barn Dance with Striped Pig Stringband and Lyndsey Battle calling ($10, $5 members, free for children under 12) and wind up with the All Day Free Festival on Saturday, July 20 at Dell'Arte with two stages of music, food trucks, children's crafts and workshops and more (free, donations encouraged).