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Redding Roots Revival Music Festival in Downtown Redding

08/21/2019 11:00AM ● By Jon Lewis

Musical Mashup

September 2019
By Jon Lewis

THE THREE Js helping to spearhead next month’s first Redding Roots Revival music festival – Janelle Pierson, Jonathan Foster and Janis Logan – have each experienced how music can transform a community.

Pierson and Logan have seen the magic firsthand at the Sisters Folk Festival, when music lovers from around the world pack the small downtown of Sisters, Ore., and walk from venue to venue to hear some of the biggest names in Americana, folk, bluegrass, Celtic and blues.

 Pierson, who owns Bridgehouse Bed and Breakfast in downtown Redding, has frequently teamed up with Logan, the former co-owner of Vintage Public House, to house artists that Logan booked at her restaurant. Soon, both women were on a first-name basis with performers, managers and booking agents.

Foster, a singer-songwriter just back from a national tour in support of his latest recording, founded a record label, Miracle Mile Records, specifically to give independent North State artists a voice and to create more opportunities for performances.

The idea of forging those interests, experiences and connections into “a sustainable festival focused on downtown” began percolating in January 2018, Foster says. By the following January, the fledgling committee
secured its nonprofit status under the umbrella of Folk Alliance International, an organization focused on preserving and presenting folk music.

Foster says the festival is the result of a cross-pollination or comingling of the efforts put forth by the Oaksong Society (a nonprofit that produced an annual concert series for 20 years before calling it quits this summer), the relationships Logan and Pierson have established with touring artists and the work by Craig Boyer, a musician whose weekly show on community radio station KKRN (88.5 FM) often focuses on local artists.

The Redding Roots Revival Committee’s mission: promote downtown Redding through a weekend of live music by regional and national acts and launching an annual festival that helps pump energy into the recently designated Redding Cultural District.

The result: A two-day festival with continuous entertainment by 18 confirmed acts (with more to be added) on two main outdoor stages that are within easy walking distance of each other. Both will offer food and beverage options and festivalgoers will be encouraged to explore other downtown venues that will be hosting local acts.

California Street Labs, on the site of the former Redding police station, and The Park, the food truck hub that recently opened in Library Park behind the Lorenz Hotel, were selected as the principal venues for the festival.

The McConnell Foundation and Dignity Health have signed on as the main sponsors, so performances at California Street Labs will be on the McConnell Stage and bands playing in The Park will be on the Dignity Health stage.
Music starts at 5 pm Friday, Oct. 18, on the McConnell Stage and culminates with the headliner Achilles Wheel, a rootsy jam band out of Nevada City.

The music goes full-bore on Saturday at both venues starting at noon. Live music at The Park will wrap up at 8 pm, allowing time for fans to switch to California Street Labs for Painted Mandolin, Saturday’s headliner. Painted Mandolin is anchored by multi-instrumentalist Joe Craven, a veritable institution at North State music festivals.

Acts already confirmed for the Redding Roots Revival include Weaverville’s Buckhorn Mountain Stompers, Jelly Bread, David Jacobs-Strain, Sarah Aili, Ashley Flynn & the Riveters, the Sky Colony, Sugarkane & Co., Liz Longley, Jamie Kent, Szlachetka, Jessica Malone, Clear Cut and One Sol. 

More artists are expected to be added to the roster, Pierson says, and all acts are family friendly. Live music will be available at some downtown restaurants, including Vintage Public House, so if festivalgoers want to step out for a meal, they’ll still be entertained.

“Hopefully we can grow this year by year,” Foster says. •

Tickets: Adult two-day pass, $35; children ages 11 to 17, $10; 
children 10 and younger, free •