Folk festival opens 16th year
Oct 25, 2018 | 412 views | 0 0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Folk Fest opener
Shawn Colvin
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The Moab Folk Festival will celebrate 16 years of music Nov. 2-4 beginning with the Moab Folk Camp the week prior. Run by award-winning singer-songwriter Cosy Sheridan, the camp will take place Oct. 28-Nov. 2, and offer five days of hands-on workshops in a variety of courses ranging from songwriting and singing to beginning guitar, intermediate guitar, clawhammer banjo, harmony singing, ukulele, school of rock for folkies, stagecraft and outdoor art.

The Moab Folk Festival Local’s Showcase will kick off the festival properly on Thursday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. in Star Hall. According to a press release from event organizers, six local performers will perform on the main stage as a warm-up for the three-day event. Twelve performances will take place Friday, Nov. 2 through Sunday Nov. 4 on three stages.

This year the event will host one of the true greats on the folk scene: Shawn Colvin. Colvin, a gifted singer, songwriter and guitarist, and a multiple GRAMMY award winner, will grace the outdoor stage on Saturday, Nov. 3 at the Moab ball field. Returning as the 2017 People’s Choice Artist will be Penny & Sparrow. This acoustic duo has wowed crowds with their heartfelt harmonies, event organizers say.

GRAMMY Award-winner Kathy Mattea will headline the event’s indoor shows. Mattea uses her unmistakable voice to explore music’s most basic human essence through melodies and narratives. Singer, songwriter, and storyteller Ellis Paul will also headline the indoor venues and bring unique chronicles of his life and current times. Sloan Wainwright will return to the festival to share her contralto voice, infectious spirit and soulful hybrid style.

Talented multi-instrumentalist Hubby Jenkins of the Carolina Chocolate Drops and Rhiannon Giddens band, will be showcasing his knowledge of old-time American music. Poetic songwriter Sam Baker will perform his pared-down numbers infused with the themes of compassion, trust and doubt. Homeschooled virtuoso Mean Mary, a seasoned performer known for her lightning-fast fingers, will be opening on Saturday. GRAMMY award winning showman Mike Farris will be treating listeners to a high-energy show featuring cuts from his new album Silver and Stone. Les Poules a Colin from Montreal, Quebec will open the show on Sunday and perform in French and English and include Quebecoise foot percussion.

Liz Vice will bring her love of storytelling and her gospel, soul and R&B-infused voice from Portland, Oregon. Amy Helm, founding member of Olabelle and Levon Helm’s daughter, will close out the festival on Sunday, showcasing her expressive voice and songwriting skills that draw upon a well of American musical traditions.

In addition to the 12 performances spanning three days and two nights, the Moab Folk Festival will offer free public workshops on Saturday and Sunday mornings of the event and host evening jam sessions. Organizers say the event “will wear its homegrown identity with pride as it welcomes folks from across the country to enjoy music and create spontaneous community in the heart of red rock country.”

For more information, visit or 435-259-3198. Tickets range from $40 to $130, not including discounts for kids, locals and lodging packages. People who are interested in volunteering for the event should contact For more information about the camp, visit or call 803-731-3240.

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