The Woody Guthrie Cafe
North Gym, room 100

Both days from noon until 3pm we have an open mic. Sign up sheet near the stage. Come and enjoy yourself on stage in front of a captive lunchtime audience!

After 3pm we feature national and local favorites and up and coming new performers.

This room also contains some of our vendors.

  Saturday, June 16th Sunday, June 17th
noon -3pm Open Mic Open Mic
3:00 Caravan
Eclectic Berkeley-based quartet serves up friendly mix of gypsy/ raga/ Latin/ Dead influenced originals
J Byrd Hosch Trio
This classic country songster from Crosby, Texas is ever bit as sweet as sweet potato pie. Whether singing songs that pine for her cowgirl sweetheart or telling of the simple pleasures of daily life, J Byrd’s winning stage presence and gorgeous voice are sure to win your heart.
3:30 Mamadou and Vanessa
Award-winning duo mix the sound of the Wassoulou region of Mali with contemporary American folk. Mamadou is a master of a number of African stringed instruments and sings in a soft soulful voice. Vanessa adds sweet harmonies and steady Latin-influenced percussion.
Kyra Brown and the boys play energetic country bluegrass originals. Featuring mandolin, accordion and lively vocals.
4:00 Moh Alileche Ensemble
Moh sings passionate traditional songs of protest in his native Amazigh (Berber) language, accompanied on the 10-stringed mandol. Spell-binding and hypnotic. Hearing Moh with his full 6 piece ensemble live (including banjo, flute, violin, and percussion) is the best way to experience the driving intensity of this music. His voice is rich and dynamic; his mandol playing is fluid and intense. As the pace quickens, band members accent the songs with the characteristic high keening cries of celebration. Sure to be one of the festival highlights. Hear Moh on NPR.
The Faux Hawaiians
A South Bay based Quartet that plays Vintage Hawaiian Hapa Haole music, Hot Jazz, and Blues of the 1920s and 1930s. Hot sounds from the Jazz Age for your afternoon enjoyment!
4:30 Ben Sildelinger of The Shiftless Rounders
Phill Saylor Wisor and Ben Sildelinger are a bango/slide-guitar duo reared in the wilds of Maine, now residing in Washington state. Somewhere along the they got exposed to the haunting music of The Old, Weird America (as Greil Marcus likes to call it). With tight old time harmonies and inspired musicianship, these fellas explore and deepen the traditional folk sound. Their covers of the old classics sound like out-takes from the O Brother Where Art Thou sessions. Their self-penned songs head in a more Towns Van Zandt, Bob Dylan direction. The result is distinctive and pleasing enough that one easily imagine this pair serving as inspiration for an even younger generation of folk troubadours down the road.
Craig Ventresco
Craig has been wowing guitar aficionados and music lovers across the country nearly 20 years with his incomparable ragtime and blues finger-picking style . Robert Crumb once picked him as one of the 4 best street players he’d ever seen. Featured on the Crumb and Ghost World soundtracks.
5:00 The Sick and Indigent Song Club of Dublin
So this young Dublin songwriter named Gary FitzPatrick meets up with a young Scottish singer named Angie McGlaughlin and they quite by chance get tapped to lead the open mic at the Ha’Penny Bridge Inn. You see, the normal host had flaked. Within a few weeks, they and a few like-minded friends started packing the place on a weekly basis with fans coming to hear their rich and inspired take on old-time music. They play blues, country, folk, sea shanties, gospel, burlesque and bluegrass with a vigor and passion that is infectious. “By broadening their sound with a range of instruments including ukulele, mandolin, harmonicas, dobro and washboard, The Sick and Indigent Song Club create the easy ambience of old time recordings while performing a mixture of original, traditional and covers with rousing six piece harmonies.” They bring a little piece of the burgeoning Dublin old time music scene to our festival for a rare SF appearance.
The Porchsteps
3 dewy-eyed youngsters from Oakland who play folksy originals about romance and heartbreak. Yes, children. Folk music is becoming cool and sexy all over again. Who’d a thunk it?
5:30 Bhi Bhiman
He is just a guy with a guitar when it comes right down to it. And there are a million of them lately. I call them The Songwriter Army. Yet somehow just a few of seconds into one of his songs, it is apparent that Bhi is not one of your run-of-the-mill songsters. His voice is urgent and distinctive. It’s true, as his press kit says, you can hear some Dylan and Bob Marley at times. But I am reminded of more of Nina Simone, especially in his flair for the dramatic and in his exceptional vocal range. And they also share a barely contained outrage, especially when dealing with social injustice and other global concerns. His songs deftly mix observations of daily life, pop culture, and broader political matters. He also has a playwright’s affection for words and clever turns of phrases. Best of all, he wraps it all up in a disarming sense of humor.
Jenny Kerr
She’s blessed with a mighty pleasing voice and a strong stage presence. A pleasing, eclectic collection of Americana originals. Just back from their annual barnstorming tour of Europe, where they are the toast of Antwerp and other sophisticated localities!
6:00 Big Bones
Big Bones has been a fixture of the Bay Area blues scene for nearly 20 years. He is renown for his funky, soulful harmonica and distinctive gravel-voiced semi-rap vocals. He's also played an important role in San Francisco blues history through his work with the Blues in Schools program and his work with local music legends, Paul Pena (Genghis Blues), Charlie Musslewhite, and Marvin Seals. You’ll want to clap your hands and dance to the beat with Big Bones rolls into the Cafe.
Buxter Hootn
I can’t quite put my finger on these guys. But I’ll tell you what I know. They are Chicago-transplants that now call SF their home. There are a whole mob of ‘em playing fiddles, harmonicas, stand-up basses, acoustic guitars and bongos and whatnot. They look like a scruffy grunge rock band and they play with rock intensity, but what they play is most decidedly folk. There is a bit of Garcia and Dylan I guess, but they don’t quite sound like anybody I can recognize. Their songs start out in a placid, unassuming gentle groove that builds wave upon wave. Before you know it, they are all hunched over and digging in deep with a disarming intensity that almost overwhelms the tiny stages they play on. Catch them in a small venue while you still can.
6:30 The Effects of Cable Television
LA-based Americana/folk group from Long Beach with harmonica/ lap-steel nice vocals mix of trad and modern.
Michael Gaither Band
A down home troubadour from Watsonville who sings good-natured songs about cars, traveling on foot, mules, and other conveyances.


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