Stephen Higa and Octavia Crompton

This fiddle and voice duo from Brown, well versed in folk music of many kinds, will play a special set of little-known folk tunes from California: ballads, spirituals, fiddle tunes, and spanish mission hymns.


Pirates of Brown University Founded in the spring of 1999, ARRR!!! is the only student group on campus dedicated to the singin’ of sea shanties in a style we call a capirate.

Winner of Student Band Competition: Joshua Garcia ’11

People used to call him J.R, but now he just goes by Josh. He was born on April 14, 1989, one-hundred and twenty-four years after Abraham Lincoln was shot in Ford’s Theatre, seventy-seven years after the sinking of the Titanic, fifty-four years after “Black Sunday,” the worst dust storm in U.S. history. He was born in Los Angeles, and lived there his whole life. Sometimes he feels like he just walked straight up out of the ground and started living. So here he is. A simple quote by Woody Guthrie that embodies what he’s learned throughout 20 years of life: “Take it easy, but Take It!”

Detroit Rebellion

Detroit Rebellion spins tales about remote corners of the country and the wayward souls that populate it. Come hear moody and compelling story-driven acoustic bluesy folk songs that vividly evoke the dusty and lonesome backroads of America.

Marjorie Thompson

Marjorie Thompson is a fingerstyle guitarist and songwriter, touring performer, guitar instructor and recording artist with Woodstock Records. Her original music reflects the lively artistry of the historic Piedmont style country blues, inflected with folk, and with highly personal and often humorous lyrics.

Lily Mae and Margerie

My name is Lily McCall Costner and I am Lily Mae & Margerie.  My songs find inspiration in folk, independent music, and the blues, as well as the people and places I keep close.  In Providence I’ve found a home and muse, the city’s open arms embracing and inspiring me.  Lily Mae & Margerie is a study in harmony and honesty: my songs speak to the spirits that lend us strength, stand by us regardless, rock us to sleep, or demand that we wake.

Daniel Chase

Daniel Chase writes songs and sings them. He is an observer and a listener above all else, and plays with a deep passion for music every time he sets foot on stage. He is currently up for Singer Songwriter of the Year in both the Providence Phoenix and Motif Magazine Music Polls. “Picture a hotdog bun and reach for the starts.” -Daniel Chase

Ben Pilgrim

Ben Pilgrim spent his teenage years playing in punk and indie bands and generally trying to emulate 50’s rock and roll guitar icons like Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry. A biography of Buddy Holly led him to buy his first Hank Williams record and so started his love affair with folk music and country blues, which he felt had the energy and passion of punk but also something deeper. With only a cheap acoustic guitar and a harmonica, he set to song the stories that had been playing in his head for years. He’s currently finishing his debut full-length album.

Kayla Ringelheim

Kayla Ringelheim, a singer-songwriter piano-player from the Boston area who now calls Providence home, has been playing in the New England folk music circuit for about 8 years. Her music sounds like a mixture of poetry, Regina Spektor, and chai tea.

Two-Time String Band

An assortment of Brown Students dedicated to preserving traditional Appalachian music.

Fishing With Finnegan

Fishing with Finnegan are not in fact a random collective but rather a whole family of musicians. The four siblings (Mike, Ben, Casey, and Emma) Ryan, born and raised in decidedly Irish Northern Rhode Island, have always been inclined towards the arts in general and music in particular. Together, the dynamic quartet plays beautiful, high-energy celtic music.

Sean Kennedy Band

The Sean Kennedy Band is a blend of the old and new schools of folk music. Kennedy’s soulful singing becomes conversational when mixed with his intensely personal and revealing writing. The lyrical guitar work and intricate rythyms however, are not to be overlooked. This band of must see newcomers will have you on your feet.

Pawtucket Mudd

The four young men who formed Pawtucket Mudd were united by their quest for a sound that acknowledged the rich American roots tradition while drawing in the styles that represented their diverse American upbringings. They have dedicated over a year to a trek through the bluegrass mountains, looking back to the history of the great genre while meandering through valleys of contemporary sound. Stopping along the way to pull in a fiddler, they established their Providence-based neograss quintet with influences from Gillian Welch and David Rawlings to the Beach Boys. Folk is a modern attitude, an honorable culture, a destination.


Three small town natives found their way to Providence through very different paths. Upon meeting they felt as if they were all from the same old town. Playing music from their roots that was influenced by the music of their youth, Tallahassee takes its name from a Muskegon Indian word that means “old field,” or “old town.”

Last Good Tooth

Penn met Kevin.  Kev’s bass wood style inspired and enraged Penn.  Arthur existed but only far away and high.  They were in this band that sounded like a japanese pop group mixed with that really lame  band half japanese.  Penn fell on his face and nocked out two teeth and no one new how or why or when exactly.  The teeth still need the porcelain veneers.  Last Good Tooth.  Spoto played in an old time band and was a nerd.  Then he grew a fucking gnarly mustache and got cooler than any of the rest of the band.  His fiddling is the cats pajamas.  Earth, Wind, Fire, ……..Heart? Now they were totally friends and were ready for the brown folk festival.

Swim Down

Swim Down, a newcomer to the Boston contra scene, is a gleeful experiment in genre-bending, high-energy dance music.  Double fiddles Jonathan Cannon and Jonah Sidman draw from their extensive repertoire of Irish, Canadian, jazz, gypsy, and klezmer tunes.  Bassist Kirsten Lamb and guitarist Rowen Caplan join them with accompaniment, duo vocals, and more.  The sum is a toe-tapping, string-slapping good time for dancers and musicians alike.  Everybody Swim Down!

Lucia Watson

Lucia has been contra dancing and calling since the early 90’s, starting in Madison, WI and now in New England. She has a clear teaching style and calls with energy and enthusiasm. She particularly loves the multi-generation mix on the dance floor.

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