TROY — The Troy-Hayner Cultural will get to the root of American music with an upcoming event — complete with pie.
On Sept. 23, the Rhythm and Roots Festival will bring seven bands on two stages at the center, located at 301 W. Main St. Each band will explore a genre of music, including bluegrass, rock, gospel, blues, country, folk and Americana.
According to Terrilynn Meece, program coordinator at the Hayner, this will be the second time for a Rhythm and Roots Festival, the first one held in 2015.
Meece said the Rhythm and Roots Festival is a committee-driven event, which Meece admits she wasn’t sure they could pull off the first time.
“I really thought that would never work. But I talked to everyone I knew about the idea and everyone thought it was a really fresh way to look at it,” Meece said. “We decided right away that we would explore the genres as they are today and look for musicians that have evolved along with the genres.
“Music is a living thing and grows with each generation. Bluegrass has been around since the 1940s, but it is still relevant and still evolving and stimulating young musicians.”
Two stages will be graced with local and regional groups throughout the day, Meece said.
“We wanted to find a cohesive group of folks that would sound well together in our lineup, but that would also offer interesting points of contrast between each other,” Meece said. “We wanted to support our great regional artists and our own regional music, but also to bring artists in from other areas to feed us and let us hear their perspective and see and hear what sounds they are evolving in their region.”
On the front stage at 11 a.m., local favorites Rum River Blend will open the festival with a bluegrass offering featuring septuagenarian Carl Phillis on fiddle, and Linda Tatarian on banjo.
Noon will bring Dayton’s New Old-Fashioned exploring the roots of rock. This group has intimate harmonies, punchy guitars, and lyrics firmly rooted in the Midwest lifestyle.
“New Old-Fashioned Band is from Dayton; they talk about wanting to speak the voice of Midwest music,” Meece said. “If we are going to explore the roots of American music, then isn’t it our own roots that sometimes sound the sweetest? One of my favorite songs they do is called ‘Ohio.’”
Bringing gospel at 1 p.m. will be Nikki D and the Sisters of Thunder. Guitar World magazine called Nikki D the “Jimi Hendrix of sacred steel,” according to Meece.
“Nikki D is from a very small town on the border of Ohio and Michigan,” Meece said. “She has a very fresh perspective on gospel and ‘sacred steel’ music to us here in Troy.”
Terry Harmonica Bean will be playing the blues at 2 p.m. Bean brings a bit of himself to his music, evolving his own unique sound to add to the great blues harmonica players of our time.
“Terry Bean comes from a small town in the Mississippi Delta and has been playing the blues all over the world, we are so excited to bring him here and share the Delta blues with the festival,” Meece said.
At 3 p.m., participants will celebrate country music with a relatively new band called the Great Northern String Band. This band features Brian Spirk on mandolin, John Lardinois on violin, Khrys Blank, Erich Reith, Rich Reuter and Josh Johnson, making this band a powerful sound with solid musicianship.
“For me, the Great Northern String Band really has a great Midwest sound. I can hear their respect for the history of the music they do and at the same time hear their own hands in it, right here,” Meece said. “By understanding the roots of American music, they also help to move the music forward and help it grow and stay relevant.”
Next will be The Typical Johnsons at 4 p.m. Winner of three Ohio Music Awards, this band of four has a very polished but earthy folk vibe with strong rock influences.
“The Typical Johnsons from Minster just won three Ohio Music Awards for ‘Lo-Fi,’ ‘How I Died Today,” and “The Sailor & the Siren. Their next album will be Rust Belt Renaissance. If that doesn’t sound like Ohio, I don’t know what does,” Meece said.
The festival’s headliner is Buffalo Wabs and the Price Hill Hustle, who will take the stage at 5:30 p.m. The Hustle is an Americana group with a stand-up bass, guitar, mandolin and sometimes even a washboard. This group has hard-driving rhythms and rich, deep vocal harmonies.
“Cincinnati is a creative mecca in Ohio and that is where the Buffalo Wabs and the Price Hill Hustle are from,” she said.
Artisan music vendors joining the festival include downtown Troy merchant Pachamama Market with handcrafted world instruments. Visitors can find Trojan City Music store in the Study promoting several artisan crafters of musical instruments including cigar box guitars by Adam Petitjean and Mike Clay and handcrafted gourd instruments by the Clevenger family. Paul Nelson will return with his handcrafted woodland flutes. Vinyl albums will be for sale from the collections of Around About Books and Tim Kozul.
Local artisan Mitch Barhorst created a cigar box guitar with a pickup for amplification to raffle for the festival. You can see this work of art and purchase raffle tickets for $10 each at Trojan City Music until the day of the festival. The $10 tickets will be sold at the festival until 4:30 p.m. and the winner will be announced at 5 p.m. All proceeds will benefit the Family Abuse Shelter of Miami County.
“We have some amazing local artists and are very proud to support them. That is really the mission of the Hayner, to support local cultural events,” Meece said. “It is collaborations like this that make the Rhythm and Roots Festival so special. This is one event that we are particularly hoping will make Troy a destination and to connect with the larger community.”
On the second floor of the center, visitors also will be able to explore the history of American music with Tim Kozul’s vintage vinyl exhibit. More than 100 albums from seven genres of American roots music are represented. Kozul created a companion book to enlighten the exhibit. The companion book can be purchased at the front desk for $5. Join Kozul for a free guided tour at 5 p.m. the day of the festival.
And don’t miss the pie party in the Art Studio, where pie will be sold for $2 a slice.
“Our pie chefs will be competing for your vote for best pie of the festival,” Meece said.
Lunch and dinner also will be right out front with Smokin Bee-bee-Q, Cajun Specialties and TJs Nice Cream.
In case of rain, the festival will be moved into the three-story Hayner mansion. Parking will be available in various lots nearby.
“This festival is a exploration of the roots of American music,” said Meece, who invites the public out to enjoy the day. “It is also a celebration of the idea that music is alive and continues to grow and evolve with each generation.”
Reach Melody Vallieu at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (937) 552-2131.
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