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Utah Travel Headlines

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Moab Folk Festival Runs Nov 4-6

Folk music, and people who appreciate it, will float around Moab this weekend, as the Moab Folk Festival comes to town. Some big name performers will participate.

The festival website has complete details and schedule information. The festival provided the news release below.


A nine-year tradition and fall destination for hundreds of music fans returns Nov. 4-6, 2011, to the unique setting of Moab, in scenic southeastern Utah.

The attraction? The Moab Folk Festival, three days of music, art, education and workshops set in the heart of some of the world’s most spectacular scenery.

The many performances showcase top artists in intimate, up-close venues that engage audiences in a way not to be found in larger auditoriums and arenas.

“We offer stadium-quality artists in a setting akin to house-concert performances,” says Melissa Schmaedick, the festival’s founder and director. “Big-show talent in a private-show venue.”

The scenic setting--with both Arches and Canyonlands national parks nearby—coupled with an array of folk art, music workshops and jam sessions, makes for a unique informality between the performers and their audiences.

“It’s not unusual to be sitting near someone at one of the performances and suddenly realizing that person was performing onstage the night before,” Schmaedick says.

Top artists? This year, the festival welcomes singer-songwriters Karla Bonoff and Michael Martin Murphey as its star attractions.

Bonoff made her reputation as a songwriter for such artists as Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt and Wynonna Judd. She broke out as a performer with the release of her first album in 1977. Six more albums have followed in the ensuing years, with a two-CD live set released in 2007. At Moab, Bonoff will be appearing with guitarist/producer Nina Gerber, an accomplished session musician who has played with dozens of artists both in the studio and in concert. Gerber can be heard on Bonoff’s 2007 live album.

Murphey’s career spans four decades and has landed him in the Western Music Hall of Fame. As a performer, he has had 30 songs on the country charts in his career, including four at No. 1, starting with “Wildfire” in 1975. As a songwriter, he has penned hits for such artists as John Denver, Kenny Rogers, Lyle Lovett and Bobbie Gentry.

The playlist doesn’t stop there. Festival director Melissa Schmaedick and the Moab Folk Festival Board have assembled a lineup that also includes:
  • Cheryl Wheeler
  • Ferron
  • Steve Forbert
  • Peter Mulvey
  • Karen Savoca with Pete Heitzman
  • Red Rock Rondo
  • Kate MacLeod
  • Antje Duvekot
  • Boris McCutcheon and the Salt Licks
  • Alicia McGovern
  • Waiting on Trial
“We feel that, while signing the latest and greatest ‘up and comer’ can be good and is usually really fun, there is a reverence among dedicated folk music enthusiasts to honor and cherish the performers who have been instrumental in the renaissance and revolution of folk music that started in the 60's and continued through the 70s and early 80s,” says Schmaedick.

Since its debut in 2003 the Moab Folk Festival has embraced a definition of “folk” music that reaches beyond traditional boundaries. The festival's eclectic mix has attracted Bluegrass, indie folk-rock, folk-fringe punk, celtic-folk and modern acoustic artists with past performances by Bruce Cockburn, Eileen Ivers, Tony Furtado, Tish Hinojosa, Laura Love, David Olney, Tim O'Brien, Chris Smither , Eliza Gilkyson, James Keeleghan, Loudon Wainwright III, Patty Larkin and Christine Lavin have given the festival a reputation as one of the country's best showcases.

The Moab Folk Festival has had a community spirit from the beginning. Its education programs are aimed at all ages and it’s not unusual to see performers taking part in music workshops, free community concerts and jam sessions free to the public.
This year’s workshop performers include:
  • Hal Cannon
  • Penny Nichols
  • Phillip Bimstein
  • Alisa Fineman
The festival’s host city was designated the first EPA Green Power Community in the nation, and the festival is a "100% renewable energy" festival, using wind energy supplied by Rocky Mountain Power’s Blue Sky Program to offset all the fuel emissions used to bring the musicians here, as well as to supply power for the festival venues.

For ticket and general festival information call the Moab Folk Festival office at 435-259-3198, email us at, or visit online at


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