Unplugged View – April MUMFest Showcase

Unplugged View
MUM Fest 2017 Showcases the Month of April
By Aaron Rowan

Modesto’s premiere acoustic fest is back in full swing this month! The sixth annual Modesto Unplugged Music Festival is showcasing a flavorful spread of Americana, bluegrass, Celtic and more, in a series of intimate listening concerts from now through April 30. I’ll share just a few of the 2017 highlights, and you can find a full schedule at www.modestounplugged.com or the Modesto Unplugged FB page.

Friday 3/31 is our opening night featuring Gaelynn Lea, winner of the 2016 NPR Tiny Desk Contest. Gaelynn bewitches scores of fans with her experimental and ambient takes on Irish fiddle music, incorporating her love of traditional tunes, songwriting, poetry and sonic exploration. She’s been playing violin for over twenty years, developing an improvisational style all her own. 7:30 at the Gottschalk Music Center recital hall, 1502 E St., $15.

Saturday 4/1, rising young star A.J. Lee (recently named Best Female Vocalist for the 7th time this year at the Northern California Bluegrass Awards) is back with us. Not content to rest on her bluegrass laurels, A.J. showed she was an excellent Americana songwriter in her own right on her debut album, and continues to expand her range of artistic expression. 7 PM at Café Deva, 1202 J St., $10.

Sunday 4/9, our area’s top Celtic act, Cooking With Turf, headline an afternoon of music at the Gottschalk recital hall. Their multi-instrumental set features mainly Irish and Scottish tunes, but also a repertoire of music from Appalachia, Canada, Galicia and more. 3 PM, $15.

Saturday 4/15, a fun one over at Café Deva: a Modesto Unplugged revue featuring the musical projects of five of our amazing collective members. Cabaret-indie-folk ensemble Alzara & Brother Spellbinder; recent ‘Valley Talent Project’ prize winners Lisette & The Loudmouths; bluegrass & honky-tonk outfit The Poor Valley Band; Jason Winfree & Keith Davis; and experimental folk-pop artist Boscoe’s Brood. 7 PM, $10.

Sunday 4/30, Rita Hosking & Sean Feder close us out in style. A fixture at many of the great folk/bluegrass/Americana festivals along the west coast, Rita’s brand of country-folk has been lauded for story and sense of place, and her performances praised for capturing the audience. 7 PM at Center Stage Conservatory, 948 11th St., $15.

Head over to www.modestounplugged.com to read more about this cool crop of talent, as well as many other acts who’ll be sharing stages with them. MUM’s the word!



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About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.