When James Moors and Kort McCumber met ten years ago they knew they’d found something golden. Since then, they’ve been cultivating their wide-ranging musical influences in songs that delve into love and life through haunting lyrics, soaring harmonies, and dazzling instrumental proficiency. They tour the states and Europe every year performing over 150 + shows to appreciative audiences. They just finished recording their album - "Acrobats" and will be showcasing tunes from this great recording. As Grammy award-winning producer Lloyd Maines puts it, “These guys should be playing every major festival in the country. They bring it all to the stage and deliver it in a big way.” Well - Lloyd should be please - cause we got them as our headline act on Friday night for the first annual Casey Jones Music Fest!
Kort and James will be leading a workshop before their main stage set on Friday afternoon to share insights on their songwriting process - with an emphasis on the benefits and best practices when writing songs with a partner. They will also touch on how they workout arrangements and determine instrumentation. This workshop is open to all attendees of the festival. They will also be hanging out to listen and jam with us in the Song circles are likely to spring up in the campground after their set ends on Friday evening.
Ellis writes songs from the heart - and she has a mighty big heart. Her music is filled with joy and love and humor - just like her incredible performances. She is an engaging and wholehearted writer, singer and - dare I say it - comedian - especially when she is not trying to be funny! She is at once child-like and wise, thoughtful and uninhibited, and her captivating voice is matched by her uplifting lyrics. If you looked up the definition of open-hearted in the dictionary, you just might find her photo there. Ellis’ performances are transformational; she leaves her audiences better than she finds them, with softened edges and opened hearts.
Ellis will be leading a workshop on Saturday afternoon - sharing her insights and techniques of her songwriting processes. She will discuss the many strategies she uses to generate and develop song ideas, and will help you prime your brain to support creativity and guide you on how to write songs that are undefended and powerful. Bring a notebook and writing instrument as their will be writing exercises in this interactive workshop. Open to all festival attendees!
Matt knows how to win an audience over with his country/americana/bluesy tunes. He is a six-time Omaha Entertainment and Arts Award winner for Best Country/Americana and Best Blues. The caliber of artist that singer/songwriter Matt Cox has become in the studio and on stage is being widely recognized by a steady growing fanbase.
“Matt Cox is one of the area’s most respected songwriters and performers. He has cultivated a loyal fan-base of both music fans and musicians. His comforting voice, honest lyrics, subtle drawl and guitar-driven songs pull the listener in,” Marq Manner, Omaha Dispatch.
Tom Prasada-Rao is music is melodic, ambitious, and reverent. He was born in Ethiopia of Indian parents and raised in Washington DC. His music is other-worldly, but accessible to mainstream folk aficionados. The tonal variations he gets out of his many hand-made instruments (some by Tom himself) are complex. As David Wilcox said "Tom Prasada-Rao is a rare and brilliant performer. His fine voice and thrilling guitar work hold you spellbound while he heals your heart." Tom is a past Kerville New Folk winner and a talented teacher who helps songwriters of all levels unleash their inner songwriter.
Tom will lead a workshop for new or beginning songwriters at the festival - and guarantees that even if you have never written a song before you will complete one by the end of his session. He will also participate in our "recording your first demo" workshop - for musicians and beginning songwriters who want to learn the basics of recording a simple demo song.
Christopher Smith is an award winning songwriter who has been playing music in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 30 years. His musicianship always serves the song, and his voice is sweet and engaging. His sound mixes both classic singer/songwriter and Americana (think Cat Stevens meets Steve Earle). He credits his day job (the world’s greatest kindergarten teacher) for helping to maintain his playful, creative energy. Blending humor and heart, Christopher’s songs tell interesting stories that enrich and entertain.
One of the stereotypes perpetuated about singer songwriters is that they often take themselves a tad too seriously. How do you spell relief? H-U-M-O-R. Chris will lead a workshop that explores the practice and pitfalls of writing and performing humorous songs - of which he has written many. Come for the info, stay for the fun. Workshop open to all festival attendees
These guys have been rocking the front range of Colorado from the Springs to Denver for over 15 years. With an endless repertoire of classic rock tunes from icons like Tom Petty, Rolling Stones, The Kinks and Grand Funk Railroad - these guys know how to rock. As a special treat for the Casey Jones Music Fest attendees, the band has re-worked their show to put together a string of songs you know and love - unplugged. Yep - the boys are playing acoustic versions of their hard-rockin tunes- but we are pretty sure you'll want to get up off your feet and dance - even if lead guitarist Bob Nendza is shredding his mind-wrenching leads on an acoustic guitar.
Jeremy Erick Facknitz has been entertaining audiences with his lovingly crafted music and high-energy performances since 1997. Jeremy has toured solo all over the world, sharing through song the intimate stories "his life, his loves and his journey home" have so creatively bestowed upon him. Today, Jeremy continues to tour the United States, Canada and the U.K., performing primarily at house concerts and listening rooms in promotion of his new retrospective album, "People and Places".
At 16, Will's first EP "I'm Right Here" was met with wonderful reviews and several songs are featured on his new full length album "All Figured Out". Will's beautiful voice and candid lyrics offer a rich pallet of emotional sensibilities and musical journeys to build on, and his listeners really like what they hear. Will Pfrang's company; Hit or Miss Productions, LLC is a driving force in his life as is his organization Healing Musicians. Pfrang uses his musical talents as therapy for Alzheimer's and dementia patients. He works extensively with patients with intellectual disabilities, creating patient relationships through the use of various musical techniques.