North Adams, Massachusetts - Hurray for the Riff Raff, Haas Kowert Tice, The Deedle Deedle Dees, and bands with local ties including The Novel Ideas, Salvation Alley String Band, Ramblin Jug Stompers, and The Flying Garbanzos play this year's FreshGrass festival, MASS MoCA's annual bluegrass and roots event held on September 19 - 21 on stages throughout the museum's historic campus. These performers add to an already powerful lineup that includes Emmylou Harris, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Railroad Earth, Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Sam Bush, The Infamous Stringdusters, David Grisman Sextet, The Gibson Brothers, Alison Brown, Valerie June, Aoife O'Donovan, Rodney Crowell, Sam Amidon, Liam Ó Maonlaí, Michael Cleveland, Claire Lynch, Darol Anger, and Martha Redbone Roots Project.
Hurray for the Riff Raff, led by vocalist and banjo player Alynda Lee Segarra, has brought new life to old-time traditions. Pitchfork describes Segarra as one of the most compelling stylists in the bluegrass and roots genre. Her band sings about hard-hitting topics, as well as rollicking good times, all with a blues and gothic-Americana sound.
Haas Kowert Tice embodies the heart and soul of FreshGrass: talented young artists collaborating to create a unique style. The trio of Brittany Haas, Paul Kowert, and Jordan Tice always gives audiences something new thanks to their adventurous improvisation and interesting musical turns featuring fiddle, upright bass, and guitar.
Family-friendly band The Deedle Deedle Dees entertains kids and families with interactive performances that put a fun spin on some of the biggest personalities in history and science, such as Henry Hudson and Marie Curie. Kids 6 and under get free admission to FreshGrass. Be sure to bring them to see The Deedle Deedle Dees on their way in and out of the FreshKids tent.
Boston-based group The Novel Ideas features Dalton native James Parkington. This country folk quintet blends pastoral, harmonic, and plaintive Americana for a sound that's right at home at FreshGrass.
The Salvation Alley String Band puts the "western" back in "western Massachusetts." Hailing from the Pioneer Valley, the Salvation Alley String Band is all about creating catchy original music inspired by a variety of country styles such as honky-tonk, bluegrass, western swing, and a bit of rock-and-roll.
The Ramblin Jug Stompers, from Albany, are FreshGrass veterans and have been a hit at venues across the country. This all-star quartet combines traditional American string band music while giving a nod to the "jug" bands of the '60s, and they're known for their energetic showmanship including "Stomper-ized" versions of old-school classics.
North Adams' own The Flying Garbanzos is a four-piece contra dance band whose cross-cultural sound takes cues from Irish, French-Canadian, and Appalachian traditions. Described by fans as "irresistibly warm and tuneful," the Flying Garbanzos are popular performers at festivals throughout New England.
Along with this year's extensive lineup, the festival features plenty of pop-up performances by 15 bands contending for the FreshGrass Award, festival favorites, and guests on our pop-up stage.
Three days of concerts and pop-up performances in the museum's indoor galleries, stages, and outdoor concert courtyards; music clinics organized by instrument; and insider presentations by players in the bluegrass music trade, as well as a bounty of Berkshire fresh food and spirits, are planned for the weekend festival. The contest, workshops, and camping will all be expanding this year, as will luthier demonstrations and children's programming. Admission to MASS MoCA's galleries-where festival-goers will find concerts set amidst dramatically scaled exhibitions of contemporary art such as Darren Waterston's Uncertain Beauty-is included in the price of festival admission.
Festival passes are available for $87 for adults, $77 for students, $43 for kids 7-16, and are free for children 6 and under, making FreshGrass one of the best values on the festival circuit. Early-bird tickets are available until mid-June before increasing to full price. Museum members receive a 10% discount on full-price tickets. Single-day tickets may be offered closer to the event. FreshGrass details will be updated on the festival website, FreshGrass.com, and on Facebook at FreshGrass Festival. FreshGrass tickets are general admission, and the festival will be held rain or shine.
MASS MoCA is one of the world's liveliest (and largest!) centers for making and enjoying the best new art of our time, across all media: music, art, dance, theater, film, and video. Hundreds of works of visual and performing art have been created on its 19th-century factory campus during fabrication and rehearsal residencies in North Adams, making MASS MoCA among the most productive sites in the country for the creation and presentation of new art. More platform than box, MASS MoCA strives to bring to its audiences art and shared learning experiences that are fresh, engaging, and transformative. MASS MoCA is the home of Solid Sound, Wilco's music and arts festival; the FreshGrass festival of bluegrass and roots music; and the Bang on a Can Festival of contemporary music.
From June 21 through September 1, 2014, MASS MoCA's galleries are open 10am to 6pm every day, Sundays through Wednesdays, with extended evening hours to 7pm on Thursdays through Saturdays, when performing arts events are often featured. In non-summer months, MASS MoCA's galleries are open 11am to 5pm every day except Tuesdays. The Hall Art Foundation's Anselm Kiefer exhibition is open seasonally, spring - fall. As of June 21, 2014, gallery admission is $18 for adults, $16 for veterans and seniors, $12 for students, $6 for children 6 to 16, and free for children 5 and under. Members are admitted free year-round. For additional information, call 413.662.2111 x1 or visit massmoca.org.