James Moors and Kort McCumber grew up in different places and listening to different kinds of music – classical, rock, bluegrass, you name it. But when they 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. 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.”
Ellis is an engaging and wholehearted writer, singer and performer who is full of light and spirit. She is at once funny 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.
Tom Prasada-Rao is a songwriters songwriter. Tom’s 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 (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."
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.
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.
Christopher Smith is an award winning songwriter who has been charming audiences in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 30 years. His acoustic based music is grounded in folk roots and his voice is sweet and engaging. But, frankly, it is his deeply engaging lyrics and master-craft songwriting skills that distinguish him from his peers. 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 young and old alike.
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.
Bring the whole family, as the children's stage will be active throughout the daytime hours on Saturday. The "Kids House of Joy" includes a Drum Circle, Instrument Zoo, Learn to play the Ukulele, Singing & Dancing, Kids Songwriting, Ensembles/Make A Band and Musical Games.
Workshops, Open Stage, Late Night Jams
In addition to the artists on the main stage, there will be a songwriting event - it is not a "contest" - but you will get a chance to share your song with everyone, open stage time slots and many music-related workshops, plus plenty of free time for hanging out in the campground with friends and listening to music
After the main stage shows end, most of the artists will also hang around and jam in the campground - so expect late-nights filled with singing, jamming, and pickin' around the (propane) campfires. Experienced festival-folkies's know that the unplanned and unrehearsed campground activities are the heart and soul of any festival - and it is these interactions that bring people back to the festivals they love year after year.
Casey Jones Music Fest is a community oriented, musical extravaganza. Even if you have never played for an audience or stood on a stage - this is a safe place to make music or listen to your friends play in a welcoming environment. For those new to performing music, beginner workshops provide an introduction to songwriting and musical collaboration, encouraging you to unleash your creativity in a welcoming environment. Advanced classes are available for the seasoned songwriter and musician to help hone your craft and encourage you to collaborate with others on developing new songs.
Set up your tent, grab your guitar or ukelele and come hang out with us. If you know what a House Concert is - think of it as a long 3-day House Concert with all your friends and some soon-to-be-friends that you just haven't met yet.
We look forward to seeing you at the Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort in Manitou Springs, CO in September of 2018!