Six picks from this year’s Nelsonville Music Festival


Ben Sollee, a cellist, composer and storyteller is mentioned often by musician friends; he has played with both Abigail Washburn and My Morning Jacket. Sollee has released a number of recordings and travelled wide — including by bicycle. Have a listen to his mix of classical, R & B and catchy tunes.  (Friday, 4:00 PM, Main Stage)

Mandolin Orange, a pair hailing from North Carolina, just released Such Jubilee, the follow up to their critically acclaimed debut, This Side of Jordon, named by NPR as one of the best folk/Americana records of the year.  Discover the their beautifully intertwined and intimate sound.  (Friday, 2:30 PM, Main Stage and 8:45 PM, NoFi Cabin)

Welcome to back to 1967. Ryley Walker would have fit perfectly with the likes of late 60s/70s musicians like Tim Buckley and Nick Drake. With his warm, full folksy chord progressions his tunes seem to hum homage to pastoral scenes of the past. Despite his sweet hippie dispositions, he and his band hold strong leanings towards jazz. With upright bass, drums, keys, and electric guitar, in addition to Ryley and his acoustic guitar, the live band brims with energy and power. He will be joined by Columbus native Ryan Jewell on drums on the porch, for those who caught his March Spacebar set. (Friday, 5:45 PM NoFi Cabin, 9:15 PM Porch Stage)


Sarah Neufield is best known as a member of the Arcade Fire. In 2013 she released her debut solo record, Hero Brother. Her violin playing is organic and a surprise to your ears and eyes — you will look for a looping pedal or another trick, don’t be fooled, she is the real deal. At the festival she will be joined by drummer Jeremy Gara.  The two are working on material for a new record. (Saturday, 2:30 PM, Main Stage)

Who doesn’t love queer train-hoppers playing Americana music? Hurray For The Riff Raff is primarily a vessel for Alynda Segarra’s (vox/banjo/guitar) songwriting, but the touring group is currently composed of 6 extremely talented instrumentalists. Segarra’s sweet and striking alto vocals ring with the power of the NY punk scene she grew up on, but hold true to the band’s southern folksy sound. (Saturday, 5:30 PM, Main Stage)

Cbus is representing in a big way at Nelsonville this year. Bummers will bring their powerhouse surf-punk sound to the stage instead of just bumming it in the Nelsonville crowd this year. Fronted by the king of hippie charisma Jeff Pearl, all the members of Bummers are regular Nelsonville attendees. Live the four-piece is sure to fill the stage with resounding vocals and endless quality shredding. (Saturday, 2:45 PM, Porch Stage)



note:  co-authored by Annalisa Hartlaub