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Come to Culturefest

August 25, 2010

Featured Article, Video

Listen. You know who you are, the kind of person who when properly convinced that a road trip is in order undertakes said roadtrip. All the rest of you may stop reading now (except, if you don’t mind, would you please click that arrow in the video above and take a look at the latest music video, “There’s a Light”, for my new musico-theatrical gig, Io and the Ions? Let me know what you think!)

The Ions will be performing an hour set on the main stage just after 5:30 p.m. Saturday on (this is an easy date to remember)  Sept. 11 at Culturefest 2010. Now in its 7th year, this is a wonderful world music and healing arts festival that runs Sept. 9 to 12 atop a mountain in southern West Virginia, one mountain over and about five minutes down the road from Pipestem State Resort at the Appalachian South Folklife Center. I am about to use some more adjectives, but it is only because I am trying to separate the wheat from the chaff here. I mean to say, I am trying to encourage those of you who still take roadtrips to cool music festivals to upend your schedule for September, clear that weekend, gas up the Prius (or Honda or Chevy or Indian motorcycle) and head to the finest small world music festival in, well, the world. Or at least in West Virginia, fer certain. Here’s a musical slideshow I did of Culturefest 2008.

Those us in love with the place call the Folklife Center the Magic Mountain. The main stage sits on the lip of a tippytop mountain that overlooks a receding ocean of the West Virginia hills. If you have not seen the Milky Way of late, you will see it in all its glory in the evening and understand why they call it that — a spill of stars overhead as you look down an alleyway to the very center of our galaxy. In the video above, the scenes of puffy clouds and hills near the end are of the Folklife Center.

A scene from a past Culturefest.

Who’s going to be there? Well, you, if you’re the bold roadtrip type. And:

Az Samad, a Malaysian finger-style guitarist who returns to Culturefest for the third time from his home in San Fransisco. His unique sound is a blend of jazz, latin, pop and new age.
— Seattle-based group Hejira, made up of 2 Conservatory trained musicians from opposing cultures collaborating on energetic world music to lift the spirit.
— Latin ensemble Eduardo Canelón y su Comparsa of Charleston, WV return to Culturefest with their musical blend of styles from Spain, the Caribbean, and South America.
— Musicians Carrie and Michael Kline play West Virginia songs, from the ancient ballads of the Hammons Family in the central highlands, to mining laments and songs of resistance in the coal fields.
— Blacksburg based HopeHop fuses organic hip-hop with jazz undertones with lyrics that promote spreads peace, love and oneness.

Also on the line-up are Option 22 (world folk), The Boatmen (harmony driven folk/funk), SoulGrass Rebellion (roots/reggae/bluegrass), The Spurgie Hankins Band (acoustic/rock/jamband), Kathleen Coffee (folk/singer-songwriter), Big Phat Delicious (jazz/rock/funk), Melissa McKinney & The Borrowed Band (blues/rock), The Captain Lazerblast Band (techno-folk), Briddy Morris (alternative/lyrical), Albert Perrone (healing folk), Chally Erb (movement theatre/comedy), Miss Behavin’ (rock), Io & the Ions (theatrical/art-folk-rock), El Gleno Grande (physical theatre/comedy), Glowing Dragon Puppet Rodeo (alternative media), Liberty High School World Percussion Ensemble, Pseudo Ethnic Salad (world fusion), Samadhi Tribal Fusion Belly Dance, Shakira Al Fanninah and Firelight (folk dance), Wild Earth Hoops (hoop dance) and a Open Mic on Thursday (those wishing to participate should call ahead to reserve a time slot). The event will be MC’d by Keli Semelsberger of Charlotte Comedy Theatre along with Arden Hamrick.

Workshops include instruction in world percussion, belly dance, improv comedy, yoga, meditation, and hacky sack skills. The children’s area will include art & craft activities, open mic, song and dance, story telling and more. The full schedule and program can be found online at culturefestwv.com where you can also check out lodging options. Camping is part of the weekend admission price or you can come for the day or check out an area hotel or B&B.

[End of attempt to convince, urge and cajole you to come.]



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One Response to “Come to Culturefest”

  1. diana nelson jones Says:

    doug, i love the video! i wish i could come to pipestem. i alerted my brother and nephew on the off chance they can get here… i hope you have a marvelous festival… i would like to talk to you about how this thing has grown, maybe for a freelance article for someone. when you get out from under, be in touch. have fun and stay sweet! diana