Posted by chicagomedia.org on August 05, 2009 at 10:11:55:
5400 N. St. Louis Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625-4623
Tel: (773) 279-2000
For Immediate Release
Attn: Music/Folk & Roots, Arts & Entertainment Editors
4th ANNUAL WFMT MIDNIGHT SPECIAL FOLK FESTIVAL
SLATED FOR SEPTEMBER 20
Four-Hour Concert and Live Broadcast
to Be Staged on North Shore
Lineup to Include Special Guest Kathy Mattea,
John McCutcheon, Michael Smith, Claudia Schmidt,
Randall Williams, Haines & Leighton, and the Austin Lounge Lizards
Editors: Hi-resolution artist photos are available. E-mail email@example.com
CHICAGO, August 4, 2009 — Grammy Award-winning folk, roots, and country music singer Kathy Mattea will be the special guest at the fourth annual WFMT Midnight Special Folk
Festival on Sunday, September 20, 2009, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., in Skokie, Ill.
98.7WFMT has announced a lineup of seven artists of national and international stature for its four-hour extravaganza to be presented on a single stage at the North Shore
Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Boulevard.
Rich Warren, producer and host of WFMT’s the “The Midnight Special” program, assembled the festival’s talent roster, which includes Mattea, John McCutcheon, Michael Smith,
Claudia Schmidt, Randall Williams, Haines & Leighton, and the Austin Lounge Lizards.
“Our goal was to choose a musically diverse group of artists who are incredibly good at connecting with individual listeners,” Warren says. “All these people have mastered
the craft of entertainment.”
Warren describes the festival as “a lively celebration of songs with substance, songs that are touching and topical, sublime and satirical.”
A Chicago Tribune article noted that Mattea, who has earned two Grammy Awards and enjoyed great success on the country music charts in the late 1980s and early 90s, “was
always more literate folkie than mainstream country queen.” Her 2008 CD, "Coal" (Captain Potato Records), a heartfelt album of mining and mountain songs, is the West
Virginia-born singer’s tribute to her Appalachian coal mining heritage. "Coal" was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Traditional Folk category. A CD review in American
Songwriter said, “Mattea sings like a woman with a true understanding of the words” (http://www.mattea.com).
McCutcheon, an acclaimed singer-songwriter, has received praise from folk icon Pete Seeger, to whom he has been compared for his musicianship, stage presence, and commitment
to social and economic justice (http://folkmusic.com/homepage).
An icon of the 70s Chicago folk scene, Smith has written songs recorded by Steve Goodman and other luminaries. Folkwax magazine calls him an artist who “has repeatedly
proved that he is adept at focusing on the ordinary and conjuring the exquisite and extraordinary” (http://www.artistsofnote.com/michael/index.html).
Schmidt is a versatile singer-songwriter whose discography embraces fourteen albums of mostly original songs. The San Francisco Chronicle’s Derk Richardson called her
“contemporary folk music's front-line ambassador of wonder.” A reviewer for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange found “a sense of adventure and integrity in every song she
does. Schmidt’s voice has a strength and soul of its own” (http://claudiaschmidt.homestead.com).
Williams, a 30-something performer who trained as a classical singer at a European conservatory, is an audience favorite at folk festivals around the country. Sing Out!
magazine says, “Randall Williams explodes onto the scene like a bolt of lightning. … Combine that voice with highly articulate guitar work and superlative songs for a most
powerful presence” (http://www.whereisrandall.com).
The humorous and engaging Canadian duo of Mark Haines and Tom Leighton perform original and traditional songs influenced by their Celtic and North American folk roots. When
these high-energy multi-instrumentalists play multiple instruments at the same time, they sound more like a quartet or even, as the Toronto Sun observed, “a symphony
The Austin Lounge Lizards, a rollicking quintet of satirical folk, bluegrass, and country gadflies, recently released a single inspired by government bailouts. The song’s
hard-luck narrator asks, “How do I get to be too big to fail?” (A music video is viewable at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnE5zvosplc.) The group’s Website is
Tickets are $25 for balcony seats, $55 for main floor seats, and $125 premium main-floor seats with admission to a backstage VIP reception. Tickets are available by phone at
(847) 673-6300 and online at www.northshorecenter.org. Free on-site parking is available behind the theater. Public transportation: El: Yellow to Skokie, then bus: 97 Skokie
The all-ages festival will also air live over WFMT 98.7 FM, with a simultaneous live Webcast at www.wfmt.com.
The festival takes its name from “The Midnight Special,” the station’s eclectic, long-running Saturday night program of contemporary and traditional folk music, comedy, show
tunes, and more.
The WFMT Midnight Special Folk Festival is underwritten by the Maxine Yefsky Family Trust.
The performance schedule for the 2009 WFMT Midnight Special Folk Festival is as follows (all times are approximate):
3:00– 3:02 p.m.: Introduction by Rich Warren of 98.7WFMT
3:02–3:27 p.m.: Randall Williams
3:29–3:54 p.m.: Claudia Schmidt
3:56–4:21 p.m.: Michael Smith
4:25 –4:55 p.m.: The Austin Lounge Lizards
4:55 –5:15 p.m. Intermission
5:15–5:20 p.m.: Song (“Kisses Sweeter Than Wine”) dedicated to longtime WFMT listener and folk music supporter Art Yefsky, whose family trust underwrites the festival.
Artist to be announced.
5:20–5:45 p.m.: Haines & Leighton
5:47–6:20 p.m.: Kathy Mattea
6:20¬–6:54 p.m.: John McCutcheon
6:54–7 p.m.: Grand Finale with all festival artists
# # # #
Press information contact for the
WFMT Midnight Special Folk Festival:
Nathan J. Silverman Co. PR
1830 Sherman Ave., Suite 401
Evanston, IL 60201-3774
Tel: (847) 328-4292
Fax: (847) 328-4317
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