FLORENCE — Warm up your winter with some hot bluegrass, traditional folk, cool Americana, and swinging gospel sounds. Eleven high-caliber groups will deliver the goods Jan. 25-27 in Florence during the 17th annual Florence Winter Music Festival.
The 2019 festival headliner is John McEuen, founding member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, presenting his "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" tour with The String Wizards.
The weekend starts with a twang as the up-and-coming North Country Bluegrass Band (7 p.m.) and the amazing Chris Jones & The Night Drivers, (8:30 p.m.) take the stage on Bluegrass Friday. North Country, a premier traditional bluegrass band from the Northwest, is touring the US and Canada to rave reviews. Jones is a quadruple threat as a singer, songwriter, guitarist, and broadcaster on SiriusXM’s Bluegrass Junction.
Saturday is Americana Day. The afternoon session begins with the foot-stomping, crowd-pleasing music of Katie Jane Lubiens with Adam Easley (11:30 a.m.) followed by True North (12:45 p.m.), Eli West (2 p.m.), and Cabin Fever NW (3:15 p.m.). Saturday evening features headliners Chris Kokesh and LJ Booth (7 p.m.) opening for John McEuen and The String Wizards.
Sunday’s heart- and soul-warming Gospel Gathering features Laura Merz’s Community Gospel Choir, Marty Adams’ Rolling River Quartet, and Andiel Brown leading the award-winning University of Oregon Gospel Choir.
Great food and drink, the Florence Regional Arts Alliance Winter Arts Festival, and the annual Ladies of Elks Pie Sale return as festival favorites. Nighttime jam sessions at the ICM Restaurant, 1498 Bay Street in Historic Old Town (icmrestaurant.com) kick off at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights. Informal jams are known to break out anywhere someone might choose to start one around town.
The 450-seat, state-of-the-art Florence Events Center, 715 Quince St., will be the hub of all the activity. Excellent seats are still available for each show. Tickets are available at the Events Center Box Office or online at EventCenter.org. A three-day pass is $95, a two-day pass is $80. Tickets for Friday Night Bluegrass are $28, Saturday afternoon general admission Americana, $19, Saturday night headliners $40, and Sunday’s Gospel Gathering, $16. Doors open one hour before show time.
The Florence Winter Music Festival is produced by the 501 (c) (3) nonprofit Friends of the Florence Events Center, a volunteer organization that helps fund capital improvements and performance grants at the venue.