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2011 Porcupine Mountain Music Festival Day 1


The seventh annual Porcupine Mountain Music Festival began Friday at Michigan’s Beautiful Porcupine Mountain State Park. Here at the festival you enjoy the great sounds of the Midwest’s premier musical event surrounded by nature and beauty of the Porkies, the Crown Jewel of Michigan’s State Park System.

The festival began mid-day Friday, when unfortunately many people were working. Unfortunate in that those who missed the opening missed Sista Otis, the "Original Good Time Girl," who was the opening act at this year’s Porcupine Mountain Music Festival missed. Her upbeat performance was the perfect way to begin what was to be a perfect day, in every way.

During the nine hours that followed Otis’s great performance, ten equally great singers, musicians and songwriters, would provide another not to be forgotten day of musical entertainment.

At any time of the day if you had to leave the festival, you would go away knowing that you had just enjoyed the best of the best.

Sista Otis

Sista Otis, the "Original Good Time Girl," was the opening act at the 2011 Porcupine Mountain Music Festival. The festival began mid-day Friday, when unfortunately many people were working. Unfortunate in that those who missed Sista Otis, missed one terrific performance.

ista Otis - Sista Otis the “Original Good Time Girl,” is in the building, up on the stage and out on the wire, spreading the Gospel Of Rock ’N Roll 24/7. A song writer’s song writer and a performer-extraordinaire. The grit of her sound comes from her blue collar Motown roots, Detroit Rock ’N Roll, the Memphis’ sounds on Sun Records which lead her to the sounds of the south. She followed in the foot steps of her literary and musical heroes hitting the road with nothing but a back pack, a few bucks, and a six string. She began crisscrossing and couch surfing her way from coast to coast singin’ for her supper on the sidewalks of America financing her tuition for The School Of Rock ’N Roll Hard Knocks playing street music. She had to learn how to put on a show that would make people want to stop out on the side walk and put money in her hat. That then dominoed into open mics, then into gigs and now Sista Otis is a national touring artist with international recognition. This is the makings of the artist we know today with the stage presence of a Rock ’n Roll Tina Turner meets the American songwriter. Song structures crafted on the concrete, pulling from American roots music, referencing classic sounds and tones making them modern pop classics.



Rory Miller & Dale C. Miller
Rory Miller & Dale C. Miller - Florida-based Rory Miller plays an original high energy acoustic guitar style. Her voice is powerful and emotive, her lyrics surreal and evocative. Her songs are guaranteed to yank you from your daydreams and find out who is making that beautiful exciting sound. Ontonagon-based Dale C. Miller is a prolific songwriter who plays the guitar as if it were part of him. His songs range from the wacky to the personal, populated by quirky characters and images from daily life. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see this far-flung musical family united on stage.



Red Sea Pedestrians

The Red Sea Pedestrians - The Red Sea Pedestrians are a one-of-a-kind, full-blown, instrument-swapping fusion between tradition and the here-and-now. We’re talkin’ high-energy world-beat grooves, hypnotic laments from the earth, songs of celebration and wonder, all filtered through the band’s original vision. The band is a melting pot of six distinct singer/songwriters and multi-instrumentalists, exploring a warped and beautiful blend of Klezmer, Greek, Gypsy, Celtic, Jazz and American Roots.



D. B. Reilly

D.B. Rielly - Singer/songwriter, banjo/guitar player D.B. Rielly conjures up the various textures of the American landscape. It's American Roots Music.

“Rootsy, frequently very funny, witty and cynical, literate and often extremely dark, yet highly enjoyable, Rielly is definitely someone to watch out for..” — Country Music People magazine.




Roma Di Luna

Roma di Luna - Roma di Luna’s debut was on the street corners of Minneapolis in 2005, playing for pocket change and vegetables. Alexei and Channy Moon Casselle had a guitar, a violin and some bells for Channy’s ankles. They played fiddle songs, Appalachian ballads & Lead Belly’s favorites. Since their bare beginnings, Roma di Luna has toured throughout America and France, written up in Rolling Stone for top selling record at the Electric Fetus (Rolling Stone, October, 2010), made 4 highly-successful,self-released records and awarded best folk group and best female vocalist of the year by the City Pages (4/20/2011). The busking duo on the corner has turned into a full band with captivating performances and passionate music-making that is uniquely Roma di Luna. All art comes from influences that continue to live in the artist but hopefully evolve into a unique interpretation of the origin. This is the story of Roma di Luna; rooted down in traditional black & white American music while exploring electric & ambient aesthetics and the possibilities of the new American song.




Finnish-American musicians Sara Pajunen and Jonathan Rundman of the folk duo KAIVAMA grew up in Northwoods cultures of long winters, lakeside saunas, rugged terrain, and solitude. Alternately ancient and modern Finnish influences reveal themselves in KAIVAMA’s sound: danceable rhythms, joyous melodies, icy whispers, sleek construction, primal drones, and poppy hooks all interplay as Pajunen and Rundman explore the music of their ancestors. Word of the young Minneapolis-based neo-traditionalists reverberated throughout Finnish communities in America and the band began receiving invitations to perform nationwide. The duo had tapped into an unforeseen demand for fresh, energetic music rooted in the Finnish-American experience. KAIVAMA was born out of necessity when the duo accepted a short-notice plea from a talent booker at a Finnish festival in South Dakota. Barely acquainted at the band’s launch, KAIVAMA made up for this lack of personal history with a wealth of musicianship. Sara Pajunen’s skills as a violinist have earned her degrees from the University of Minnesota and the Helsinki Conservatory in Finland. Multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Rundman has toured the US and Europe as a troubadour songwriter, collecting raves from publications such as Paste, Billboard, and The New York Times. The band’s name reflects this spirit of excavation. “Kaivama” is a Finnish word stemming from kaivaa: to delve or dig.



Hoots and Hellmouth
Hoots and Hellmouth - Philadelphia-based Hoots & Hellmouth blaze a trail forward in the name of progressive revival. Blending the twisted roots of American music in a fierce and fiery alchemy, this ragtag bunch seeks a revival of spirit. Soulful three-part harmonies co-mingle with acoustic guitars, a mandolin, an upright bass and foot stomps building a synergy that bursts from both stage and speaker with aural aplomb. "It's about bleeding, sweating, crying, rejoicing," the band’s Sean Hoots says of their work. "It’s alive!" The band also hopes to further unite their passion for music with an aim toward radical localism. Hoots & Hellmouth see every show as an opportunity to help strengthen a sense of local community among their audiences. Each stop along the trail garners new converts for the band as word continues to spread of their undeniably compelling performances. In the words of Hoots, "this music is at once a celebration and a mourning – championing the human potential to feel deeply and come together as a unified whole, while bemoaning the fact that much in modern life seems to work against just that. We strive to provide catharsis for damaged 21st Century humans and their environs...this is new music for old souls."



Canon Ball

Canon Ball - Central Wisconsin based band Canon Ball, (formerly known as Dangergrass), has been described as is a multi-talented genre-crossing variety show. They play original good-timey gypsy music, roots rock, bluegrass, sea songs & shanties, children’s music, Broadway-style musicals, and have even written jingles for non-profits and businesses.

A highly versatile and dynamic group, each show brings new surprises from onstage theatrics, big sound, or psychedelic jams to a simple string band quintet. Their Seafaring Set, as they sometimes perform it, has at times even included a puppet show choreographed to the music!



Ask the Ragbirds how to describe their hard-to-define Folk Rock and World fusion and theyll tell you its infectious global groove. Led by fiery front-woman Erin Zindle (called “Highly Impressive” by USA TODAY), they put on a show that is designed to engage the audience on many levels - to get people thinking, listening and dancing. The musical roots of The Ragbirds sound are complex - with Gypsy, Middle-Eastern, Americana, Rock, and Latin influences, all stirred with a Celtic fiddlers bow. In live performances the band incorporates variations on traditional African drum pieces, each member trading their instrument for a hand drum. The songs carry a positive message that appeals to listeners of all ages. For all the intensity of their live show, this is a band that is not afraid to show their softer side with acoustic tunes that are anything but typical folk. Described as Astounding International Eclecticism! by Reveal Arts Magazine, The Ragbirds have become one of the most popular touring bands in their home state of Michigan, and can also be seen performing all over the Mid-West and beyond, growing a loyal fan base in regions throughout the country. The Ragbirds have played between 120-150 shows per year for the past few years, and have no intention of slowing down. In 2009 they went abroad to tour Japan and perform on the main stage at the Green Room Festival in Yokohama. The Ragbirds have been featured at some of the Mid-Wests largest music festivals, including Rothbury, 10,000 Lakes, Summercamp, Hookahville, and more.



Ray Bonnevile

Ray Bonneville - Ray Bonneville is a roaming blues poet, inspired by the road and the many other places he has called home—New Orleans, Colorado, Arkansas, Alaska, Boston, Seattle, Paris, France, Montreal and Austin Texas. Born in Canada and raised in the United States, Bonneville has lived all over. No place, however, has been more influential than New Orleans. Honing his craft for the last 30 years, Bonneville’s gritty storytelling and deep-grooving blues style has won him much critical attention. In 1999, Ray won the prestigious Juno Award (Canadian Grammy) for his third album Gust of Wind. His fourth release, Rough Luck, was also nominated for the coveted award. With his 2004 Red House debut Roll It Down, Ray made himself a name in blues and roots music circles, garnering rave reviews from DownBeat and No Depression. He has toured all over the world, sharing the bill with such blues legends as B.B. King, Muddy Waters, J.J. Cale and Robert Cray and in 2007 wowed the music industry with his bring-down-the-house performances at the South By Southwest and Folk Alliance conference. A world-class guitarist, harmonica player and hard-hitting songwriter, it is no wonder that Ray has received rave reviews from blues, jazz and roots critics alike and can count among his fans such artists as Chris Smither and Ray Wylie Hubbard.



Rita Hosking and Cousin Jack

Rita Hosking and Cousin Jack - Kitchen tables, springs, loss, miners, mountains, culture clash, trailers, stray dogs, loggers, hope, forest fires—Rita Hosking’s country-folk music is this and more, and always fierce and lovely. Rita’s songs have been lauded for story and sense of place, and her performances praised for capturing the audience. A descendant of Cornish miners who sang in the mines, Rita grew up with deep regard for folk music and the power of the voice.

Rita was named winner of Best Country Album (Vox Pop) in the 2010 Independent Music Awards. Come Sunrise, a collection of 11 original songs and Rita's third album, was released in June of 2009. Recorded in Austin, Texas with producer and guitarist Rich Brotherton (Robert Earl Keen, Caroline Herring,) Come Sunrise launched Rita onto the international Americana scene. Rita’s band, Cousin Jack, features Sean Feder on banjo, dobro, bass and guitar, Andy Lentz on fiddle, and Bill Dakin on bass and guitar.




Biographical Information Obtained from Porcupinemusicfestival.org