The Third Annual Toledo Folk Festival, slated for tomorrow night at Mickey Finn's Pub, will give fans a quick look at a broad range of folk music.
"We take a handful of acts, put them together in one night under the same roof, and offer a really concentrated look at the folk scene," said Larry Meyer, festival organizer.
Headlining for the third year in a row will be JT & the Clouds, the Americana roots-rock band founded by former Toledoan Jeremy Lindsay.
Also performing will be Chicago singer-songwriter Rachel Ries; Toledo country-blues band Gregg Aranda and the Black Swamp Ramblers, and Ann Arbor songstress Whit Hill with her band, the Postcards.
Lindsay, a singer, songwriter, and percussionist, was a leader of the Rivermen, one of the popular Toledo bands of the 1990s, before moving to San Francisco and forming the alt-country group Capital Sun Rays with former Rivermen colleague Michelle McGrath.
He has since relocated to Chicago, where in 2002 he formed JT & the Clouds, with younger brother Drew Lindsay on keyboards; former Toledoan Dan Abu-Absi on guitar, accordion, and mandolin; Mike August on drums, and Josh Thurston-Milgrom on upright bass.
"Jeremy is incredibly sensitive to the folk tradition of the traveling troubadour, singing your own music and packing up and moving to the next town and singing it again," said Meyer. "At the same time, these guys grew up in a certain timeframe and had parents who had hip record collections, so they know about Prince, Towns van Zandt, and Johnny Cash, and you can hear the influences in their music."
Ries, hailing from South Dakota, was classically trained in voice, violin, and viola, and taught herself to play guitar and accordion.
She released her first full-length CD, "Shrine," in 2000. Now living in Chicago, she describes her music as "a bit country, a bit lullaby, and maybe, just maybe, a good bit siren song."
Aranda is a veteran Toledo performer who is usually seen playing Grateful Dead and other cover tunes at local watering holes. But he also writes his own music and recently released his first CD, "Outlaw Blue," featuring a supporting cast of many Ohio and Michigan aces including Gregg Leonard, Johnny Reed, Jeff Stewart, Chuck Mauk, and John Justus.
"Gregg supports himself as a working musician and that's a level of achievement that a lot of guys with a guitar never reach," Meyer said. "To do so, he usually plays covers. But this kind of show gives him the opportunity to play his own music, with no apologies."
Hill, a native of New York, had been a dancer and choreographer before moving to Ann Arbor and founding a dance company.
While she played guitar since childhood as a hobby, it wasn't until her husband, blues artist Al Hill, bought her a guitar about 11 years ago that she began to seriously pursue music.
She released her debut disc, "We Are Here," in 2003 and has drawn comparisons to such folk-pop stars as Lucinda Williams and Julie Miller.
Her group, the Post Cards, features husband Al on guitar and keyboards, Tim Marks on bass, and Toledo drummer Tim Gahagan.
The Third Annual Toledo Folk Festival will be held tomorrow night at Mickey Finn's Pub, 602 Lagrange St., starting with Rachel Ries at 8 p.m.; Gregg Aranda and the Black Swamp Ramblers at 8:45 p.m.; Whit Hill and the Postcards at 9:45 p.m., and JT & the Clouds at 10:45 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door. Information: 419-246-3466.
Contact David Yonke at:firstname.lastname@example.org or