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American Folk Music Fest - Performers

List of Performers in Alphabetical Order.




Dawson’s Gang is Southern California’s premiere Country/Rock cover band unlike your typical classic country band. Dawson’s Gang performs 100% top 40 current country music; all your favorites you hear on the radio and some soon-to-be favorites you don’t hear on the radio. Traditionalists need not worry, Dawson’s Gang always has classics in their back pocket, too. Dawson’s Gang performs up to five high energy sets a night. Dawson’s Gang is guaranteed to rock the house with a southern-rock-meets-modern-country style music.



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Cantor Mike Stein is a world renowned performer, composer and recording artist. A Grammy Award winner (cELLAbration) and nominee (Dreamosaurus), his songs have been recorded by the late Patsy Monatana and have been in movies such as "The Little Traitor." He has recorded fiddle for artists such as Mary Chapin Carpenter and Tom Paxton. His songs have been published by Warner Chappell (We Are With You) and have played on thousands of radio stations world wide. Today he is the cantor at Temple Aliyah in Woodland Hills, California. He is the father of three sons who are accomplished musicians on their own. Together with his wife, Kelley, they perform nationally with their group, the Rolling Steins.




One of Southern California's best new acoustic bands, plays a blend of traditional and contempory bluegrass, new folk and original music. With decades of experience between them, the band's five musicians can often be found at venues throughout the Greater Los Angeles area. Keeping Fire plays public and private events, festivals, parties, and commercial projects, and can easily tailor music to your event.




Modal Tease String Band has been playing old tunes for new times since 2009. We grew out of the Los Angeles old time music scene, where folks meet regularly to jam and share tunes "around the campfire." Our penchant for modal tunes brought us together, and our fascination with obscure, crooked fiddle and banjo tunes sealed the deal. While rooted in and respectful of old time traditions, we're flexible, adventurous, and versatile. If it feels old, is foot-tappingly addictive, musically interesting, or begs for tight vocal harmonies, odds are we want to perform it. And so our motto is Music From Appalachia and Beyond.

This performance is comprised of Belinda Thom (fiddle), Cliff Latimer (guitar), Lawrence Ullman (standup bass) & James Flaherty (clawhammer banjo). Modal Tease has won awards at the Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Competition and the Goleta Old-Time Fiddlers Convention. In 2011, they released their first CD, Aggravatin’ Beauty.




The Pratie Boys derive their music from traditional Irish songs and dance tunes but the fun does not stop there. They love to throw in songs of their own writing, songs and tunes of our American heritage. Their instrumentation is varied as well, from guitar and mandolins, to banjos and whistles. Combined they have well over a century of experience. Bring your dancing shoes and be ready for a jolly good time. The Pratie Boys consist of Steve O’Loughlin (lead vocals, tin whistle, irish flute, autoharp, harmonica, button accordion). Steve Shapiro (tenor and 5-string banjoes, mandolin and octave mandolin, fiddle) Doug Whitney (rhythm guitar, mandolin and vocals)



photo by warren garfield


Woody Guthrie took the tradition of the troubadour and added his signature to the songs by making them topical. He sang about the masses of Okies seeking the promised land in California; his songs criticized McCarthy and the Red Scare; and his repertoire told stories about hard work and the hardscrabble life of the poor. His influence is immense. All the folk singers who graced the Greenwich Village coffee shops - Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, and Tom Rush - owe it all to him. As a matter of fact, songs that address social issues or are topical in any way, no matter what the style, can trace some of their inspiration back to Guthrie. Ross Altman, known as a singer/songfighter, embodies this tradition.




The four women who call themselves Sugar In The Gourd have diverse backgrounds. Individually, they've played rock, blues, bluegrass, old-time, folk, country and swing music, and they've written many of their own songs over the years. As a band, they've combined their songwriting talents and the result is a richly diverse blend that give this band a unique sound. You'll hear guitar, mandolin, fiddle, bass, banjo and beautiful vocal trios as they jump from one musical genre to another. Whether they're singing an old Bessie Smith blues, an original bluegrass tune or an old-time Appalachian acappella ballad, it's all Americana... new and old at the same time, and irresistable.



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