Wednesday, May 19, 2010

U. P hosts dozen music festivals

Philadelphia-based blues singer Deb Callahan
will headline the Rockin' the Bay festival in Gladstone
on June 19.


At least a dozen music festivals around the Upper Peninsula will be beckoning fans this summer.

The Aura and Grand Marais events have been held annually for over three decades, while Rockin' the Bay in Gladstone is staging its second festival.

Motongator Joe's has an all-country program while Marquette's Blues Fest will close the season with two days of a variety of blues music.

Here's a summary to help you plan your summer music calendar:

Swamp Rock Bash, Stephenson, June 2-5

The line-up for the 10th Swamp Rock Bash concentrates on tribute bands. Scheduled are Battery (Metallica); Ultimate Ozzy; FreeBird (Lynyrd Skynyrd); Free Fallin (Tom Petty) and; Big Gun (AC/DC). Other acts are also appearing including Jasmine Cain, a favorite performer at major motorcycle rallies. For more information go to

Rockin' the Bay, Gladstone, June 19

The 2nd annual Rockin' the Bay festival will feature blues, rock, Americana, bluegrass and country on two stages. Entertainment will begin at noon with Scotch and Soda from Gladstone. The schedule also includes Grassfire, Travis and the St. Lou's, Bad Dog, Lark Brothers, Jeff Krebs & John D. Beck, Deaf Man Radio and Honky Tonk Twisters. The headliner is the Deb Callahan Band, from Philadelphia, performing original blues material. Sponsored by the Gladstone Yacht Club, proceeds will benefit Gladstone Youth Wrestling. For details, call 428-4924.

Jam Dam Jamboree, Wilson, June 25-27

Opening the program at 5 p. m. Friday will be Monte Lee, followed by Heartland Express and Total Khaos. Saturday's line-up includes Midnight Highway, Grassfire, Borderline, Suns of Memphis and Billy Martin & the Blasters. Last Chance DJ and One Man Band will entertain on Sunday. For more information, go to

Aura Jamboree and Old Time Dance, Aura, July 16-17

The Aura Jamboree is marking its 34th year, the longest running music festival in the U. P. Aura features ethnic Finnish and Russian music, bluegrass, folk, traditional, country and folk rock. Acts perform on the Community Hall stage. Musicians also jam outdoors in tents or under the trees. For details go to


U. P. Hog Wild Music Festival, Kingsford, July 16-17

The headlining act for the 6th annual U. P. Hog Wild Music Festival will be Starship, featuring Mickey Thomas. The group had three chart-topping hits: "We Built This City," "Sara" and "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now." Friday's entertainment will include Johnny Wad. Other acts will be announced when the line-up is finalized. The event is held at Lodal Park. For further information go to

Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival, Marquette, July 16-18

The Dixie Bee-Liners and Bryan Bowers are slated to perform at the 32nd annual Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival at Tourist Park. Also slated are Big Medicine, Hot Club of Cowtown, Fishtank Ensemble, Bayou Grenouille, De Temps Antan, Green Grass Cloggers, Claudia Schmidt and Charlie Parr. For details call (906) 226-8575 or go to

Ty Herndon

Motongator Joe's Country Music Festival, Wallace, July 28- Aug. 1

Country music stars Ty Herndon and David Ball will be the featured national acts at the 14th annual Motongator Joe's County Music Festival. Also scheduled are 20 local and regional acts. Visit the website at

Woodtick Music Festival, Hermansville, July 29- Aug. 1

The 17th annual Woodtick will feature a reunion of Rockslide, according to organizer Brian Whitens. The three-day event will also feature Haze-Southern Gypsy, Billy Shears and Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys as well as more than 20 other acts. Music is presented on both the Main Stage and Front Porch. For more information go to

Grand Marais Music and Arts Festival, Grand Marais, Aug. 13-15

The 29th annual event has been scheduled but the line-up has not yet been announced. Music genres should include bluegrass, blues, classic rock, Americana, rockabilly, jazz rock and acoustic. More details will be released at their website,

Mackinac Island Music Festival, Mackinac Island, Aug. 17-19

The Mackinac Island Music Festival began as a one-day event in 2004 but has grown to three days. This year's events will begin with Jazz & Wine Night with the Alex Graham Quartet on Tuesday. Musician and comedian DC Malone will entertain on Wednesday and a tribute to the rockumentary "Festival Express" will be presented at the Mission Point Theatre on Thursday. Details are available at

Buckwheat Zydeco

Porcupine Mountains Music Festival, Ontonagon, Aug. 27-29

Louisiana musician Buckwheat Zydeco with headline the 6th annual Porcupine Mountains Music Festival. Also slated are That 1 Guy, Po Girl, the Ragbirds, Frontier Ruckus, Krista Detor, Seth Bernard and Daisy May, Hymn for Her, Sam Corbin, Jen Sygit, Charlie Parr, Dave Boutette and Rory & Dale Miller. The event takes place at the Ski Hill and Chalet Area in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. For details call (800) 344-5355 or go to

Candye Kane

Blues Fest, Marquette, Sept. 4-5

Held at Mattson Lower Harbor Park over Labor Day weekend, Blues Fest is in its 7th year. Featured performers on Saturday include Greg Nagy, Chick Willis and Teeny Tucker. The Sunday line-up includes Flat Broke Blues Band, Moreland & Arbuckle, Candye Kane and Jason Ricci & New Blood. Also slated are Fast Eddie's Blues Band and Kraig Kenning. For more information visit the Marquette Area Blues Society website.

So there you have it.

Do a little planning and enjoy a great summer of music around the Upper Peninsula.

See you there.

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