AcousticView – MUM Fest Is Here!

Acoustic View By Aaron Rowan

April is All Acoustic

MUMfest returns to downtown this weekend. For the past two years, this has been the most intense burst of acoustic music in Modesto, showcasing folk, roots, Americana, country and similar sounds from around the nation (and this year, the globe.) Five showcases will be held at various venues around downtown.

Friday night 4/4 at Café Deva, our opening show features sweet folkgrass ladies The Daughters Rea from the Sierra Nevada mountains, fresh off a national tour. Post-synth sax rockers The Hot Dark will be coming down the hill from Murphys, and San Joaquin valley songwriters Nathan Ignacio, Rachel Rivero and Mondo Mariscal will each share their own mix of folk, blues and country-rock. 6 PM, $10 cover.

Saturday afternoon 4/5 at Queen Bean Coffee, local songstress Patty Hughes and a few of her friends share the stage with visitors coming in from all directions: blues/Americana group D Henry Fenton & The Elizabethans from L.A., bay area songwriter Doug Adamz, mountain dulcimer composer Steve Eulberg from Colorado, and indie folk trio Snow Apple, all the way from Amsterdam. 1 PM, $5.

Saturday night at Center Stage Conservatory (downstairs in the City Center building at 948 11th St.), our centerpiece event showcases SF jug band 5 Cent Coffee, who have just released a fantastically fun new record ‘The Lost Parade’; Santa Cruz folk/world music trio Silver Mendez; and three phenomenal local outfits – country boys The Dustbowl Children, roots & rockabilly gang Darlin’ Clementine, and Modesto’s premier country-rock singer/songwriter Patty Castillo Davis. 7 PM, $15 at the door.

Sunday 4/6 in the late morning/early afternoon, we have a laidback lineup at Peer Recovery Art Project, on the corner of J and 13th. Bay Area string sensations Dirty Cello, the crown jewel of last year’s Fest, will be back with us in duo form, with virtuoso cellist Rebecca Roudman (my vote for most mad-skilled musician in California) and guitarist Jason Eckl. These string players can be found wowing crowds worldwide, and you’ve not truly lived if you’ve not experienced their live set. Also on the roster are Merced-area bluegrassers The Poor Valley Band, roots/Americana duo Hushed & Guilty from up north, old-time country/gospel duet Sparrow Grove, and indie-pop/rock band Boscoe’s Brood. $10 for this segment of the festival, running from 11 AM to 3 PM.

On Sunday night, there’s an epic closing show back at Center Stage. Nashville recording artist Ray Tarantino, ukulele songwriter Katie Hell, country duo Cottonwood Creek, and Americana slingers The McCoy Tyler Band will all rock the house. And to close out this year’s festivities, we have assembled a special supergroup dubbed Valley Forged, which features members of Alida & The Geronimos, The Dustbowl Children and Patty Castillo Davis Music. Also that night, we reveal the results of our first annual songwriting contest. Lots of area songwriters took part in this. Our very own Francesca Bavaro (winner of the 2011 ‘Valley’s Got Talent’ contest) is among the top five finalists, each of whom will perform their entry live. Make sure to come by and support her! Closing show starts at 5 PM; cover is $15.

As an added bonus, a vast array of visual artists will display their creativity throughout the weekend, including local favorites such as Jen Coffey, Heaven Lindsey-Burtch, Monica Gunderson, Kristan Roberson and a whole lot more. Also, there will be some ‘tweener’ spots in between the featured bands – short 8-10 minutes slots where you could perform a song or two, or perhaps read a couple pieces of poetry. If you attend any of our showcases and may be interested in sharing a piece or two, look for our signup sheet; perhaps there will be an opening.

Gold passes are still available, good for the entire fest: 25 featured bands plus all the quick guest performers – over 20 hours of live music goodness. All this for only $40 (individual showcase prices add up to $55.) Email or call me at or 209-543-5306 and get yours!



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