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Music in the Porkies - Day Three

Porcupine Mountain state Park - Sunday was the final day of the Porcupine Mountain Musical Festival.  This year’s national headliners, Grammy award winner Buckwheat Zydeco, Po’ Girl, The Ragbirds, Dangermuffin, and John Doe firmly solidified the Porkies Music-Fest position as the number one music festival in the Midwest.

Together with regional and local favorites the Porcupine Music Festival keeps growing and getting better each year. The event has become nationally recognized as one of the Country’s best festivals. Many spectators at the festival learned of the event while attending other nationally recognized musical festivals. Indeed, even many of the performers were finishing their summer tours here in the Porkies. While the festival may not yet be America’s largest, it is considered one of the best! The beauty of the Porkies adds a great deal charisma to the festival. While several national artists were surprised to find that we have electricity and running water, they more surprised at the beauty of the Porkies and the Big Lake.


Slide Show

Sunday Morning began with local favorite Yvonne Blake (pictured below) on the Peace Hill Stage. Yvonne has a beautiful voice and sings what is described as Christian-Folk music. Listening to Blake first thing in the morning is the perfect way to start any day.


Following Blake was Regional Star Cornbread Harris. Harris is a Twin Cities local music legend, James Samuel Harris, was born on April 23, 1927 in Chicago. In the 1940’s, Cornbread started his own band and established a reputation on the local music scene; in those days, he was known as Huckleberry.



On the singing Hill Stage the day began with one of my Festival favorites, Hymn For Her. This was their second appearance at this year’s Festival. Boys are they good! This Pennsylvania couple gained a lot of followers at the event, that’s for certain.


Following Hymn For Her on the Singing Hill Stage was “Bathtub Mothers”, John Norland (guitar), Pat Wynes (mandolin), and Phil Redman (upright bass). Each member of the Madison, Wisconsin area band brings a love of blues, country, rock, and acoustic music to create a blend that is unique to the Mothers. They have just completed their self-titled debut CD.


Other performers making their first appearance of the year were Krista Door, and John Doe.
Detor pictured above is from Indiana and has a highly acclaimed album, Mudshow ("A Small Miracle..." — Rolling Stone) Krista Detor was established as a gifted player on the world stage. Together with partner and producer, David Weber, she’s since released the follow-up album, Cover Their Eyes ("One of the best albums of the year..." — Revolver) continuing to push the edges of genre while remaining close throughout to the lyrical thread that defines her work. Krista has a fantastic voice and is a great performer. She was a real standout at this year’s Music Festival.



Making their second performance of the weekend was: Dangermuffin, pictured above the truly great group from Charleston, Charlie Parr, the Ragbirds and the super great group Po’ Girl.


John Doe, pictured above, is a founding member of the seminal LA punk rock outfit X and the country spin-off band The Knitters. Doe's solo career began with 1990 album Meet John Doe, and he has since garnered worldwide acclaim. Entertainment Weekly calls his work, "rip-roarin' and warm-hearted," Q deems it "the tightest, finest and most morally acute music of the last 20 years," and The Boston Globe praises its "striking emotional territory..." In 2009 Yep Roc Records released Doe's much anticipated A Year in the Wilderness, the follow-up to 2005's acclaimed Forever Hasn't Happened Yet, of which Rolling Stone said, "John Doe proves again that this punk legend/journeyman actor can still make great music." Last year Doe collaborated with the Canadian band, the Sadies, culminating in the CD ‘Country Club’. If Doe looks familiar, chances are you have seen him in film or television.


A well respected character actor, Doe has taken on numerous roles...the most widely known being the ‘baddie bartender’ in the movie ‘Roadhouse’. He also took the lead role in the 1992 cult film Roadside Prophets alongside Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys.  

Po' Girl, pictured above, was a big crowd favorite. It is another act that holds your attention every minute of their performance.  Po' Girl was the grand finale of this year's show. No wonder, they have that super star quality that everyone came to see.


The Sunday included a performance by the Children. Each year, kids attending the PorkieFest perform on Sunday afternoon. Their performance will be reported on separately as will the performances that took place on the Festival’s third Stage, The Buskin’ Barn, where many professional and amateur performs come to jam.


The Porcupine Music Festival is sponsored by “The Friends of the Porkies” and other private and commercial entities. It also receives funding from Arts Midwest’s Performing Arts Fund, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, General Mills Foundation, and Land O’ Lakes Foundation.

Over 120 people volunteered to make the event the great success that it was.  Find out more at www.porkiesfestival.org

Great weather, great scenery, and great performances all add up to one fantastic event, the Porcupine Mountain Music Festival.



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