October 13th, 14th & 15th
in Benton, Illinois. Hosted by the Way Down Wanderers!
Dear Festival Goer,
We've spent over 3 years writing music, jamming and playing clubs and festivals in the US. Many of us had great experiences when we were younger at music camps that encouraged jam sessions, lasting late into the night. Those experiences got us thinking about hosting our own festival. One that encourages everybody - not just the artists - to pick up an instrument and join in the fun. Together with our good friend and concert promoter, Bill Poss, the concept of the Wander Down Music Festival was born.
With Wander Down, we hope to facilitate a warm, family-friendly, old-time camp-style environment with live music both on the stage and around the campfire. People of all ages and ability levels and folks who have no interest in playing at all will enjoy listening to music both on and off the stage in a fun, entertaining and supportive environment.
Dining hall, banquet-style home-cooked meals reminiscent of old-time childhood summer camp, guided forest hikes, art vendors, a barn dance and even on-stage performances by festival attendees are all experiences we look forward to incorporating into the Wander Down Experience.
We look forward to playing 3 sets over the course of the weekend, teaching workshops and most of all, being front and center for some incredible sets planned by our amazing inaugural year lineup. Stay tuned!
- The Way Down Wanderers
Barn Dance, Band Scramble, Yoga with Live Music,
Workshops for All Ability Levels,
(with guest visits from band members)
Workshops for Kids, Teacher-Led Jam Sessions,
Impromptu Jam Area.
Other perks include:
Chef-Prepared Dining Hall Meals,
Dry Instrument Storage,
and Designated Quiet Camping Area.
THE BAREFOOT MOVEMENT
EDWARD DAVID ANDERSON
THE MIGHTY PINES
THE WAY DOWN WANDERERS
VIOLET & THE UNDERCURRENTS
THE BAREFOOT MOVEMENT
Heartfelt, energetic, and down home. Heralded by CMT Edge as "one of the most promising bands on the bluegrass scene," the music of the Nashville based group The Barefoot Movement is as down to earth as their intention for members of their audience: sit back, relax, take your shoes off, and stay a while. Whether you're seeking emotional ballads or rip-roaring barn-burners, you can expect a collection of music that offers something for everyone.
Chain Station is a 4-piece, high-energy, get ‘em out on the dance floor string band from Denver, Colorado. Their music is well-steeped in Americana roots, with vocal harmonies that are high, lonesome, and tight. Their picking ranges from lightning-fast to mountain mellow. They are a bluegrass band that would satisfy a picky old-timer and delight fans of newgrass, a delicate balance indeed.
"This is not your average ‘man with guitar.’ Chicago Farmer's approach to solo folk music is traditional, but his soul & energy are uncommonly powerful. Arriving with his classic acoustic guitar style is a voice smooth but broken-in that sounds wise beyond its years. He will stomp out a beat in leather boots to drive home a point and throw down a handsome harmonica solo to put a song over the top. The songs are about the places he’s been and the people he’s met." -CBS Chicago
EDWARD DAVID ANDERSON
Anderson is an artist on an existential quest who seeks and searches through song. Writing is in his bones and music in his soul. He's a lifer who's happy when he's learning, creating and performing and restless when he's not. The Chicagoland native, influenced by blues, rock & roll, folk and bluegrass creates a sound uniquely his own. He strums guitar, banjo and cigar box guitars while happily kicking a bass drum and singing songs that evoke an emotional and spiritual connection with listeners in venues large and small.
THE MIGHTY PINES
The Mighty Pines are a fierce roots band making music inspired by the wide rivers and red-brick streets of St. Louis. The music is fresh: bluegrass meets acoustic soul and rock & roll. With their genre bending original songs the band bridges the gap between groove and grass, between country and funk, between blues and folk. The music can at one moment be raucous and at the next hushed, with soaring harmonies keeping it sweet through every song.
Taylor Steele is a songwriter with pipes to match. She has proven to be, as many agree, an “old soul” with an earthy style beyond her years. It is evident in her performances that she is passionate about the words she puts to melody. Still quite young, her songwriting is mature and holds deep feeling. Taylor's blues and folk influences are shown easily through her unique style.
Music entered her life at a very young age. Taylor Steele has been playing acoustic guitar and writing original songs since the cute age of 12. Effingham is newly her home, although she has attended the Village Wine and Gifts Open Mic hosted by Bill Poss for two and a half years.
Her talent has recently been featured at Moccasin Creek Festival 2016 & 2017, as well as opening for Chicago Farmer."
VIOLET AND THE UNDERCURRENTS
With the late 2016 release of the “Nashville Sessions” EP and a subsequent national tour, Violet and the Undercurrents present audiences with a sophisticated, affecting folk rock sound. The Columbia, Missouri-based quartet tells vibrant stories with graceful arcs, anchored by the intrepid songwriting of Violet Vonder Haar and enriched by the creative energy of her musical counterparts. Watch for their forthcoming concept album in 2018, “The Captain.”
THE WAY DOWN WANDERERS (your hosts!)
Equal parts fast-paced and soulful, this 5-piece modern-folk Americana act draws listeners in with energy, originality and soulful generosity, but then, if you're reading this, you probably already knew that. Being together for just 3 short years, the Wanderers have built an enthusiastic and fast-growing following and they're very excited about hosting this event!
WIL MARING AND ROBERT BOWLIN
Award-winning singersongwriter Wil Maring and virtuose guitarist/fiddler Robert Bowlin combine their talents, smoothly blending elements from all roots music genres to create an original acoustic music all their own-- oldtime and bluegrass, jazz and blues, celtic and country, it’s all there. Wil’s clear, airy vocal style and heartfelt lyrics, with her proficiency on upright bass, rhythm and fingerstyle guitar, provide a perfect complement to Bowlin’s instrumental fireworks.
Our Workshop Teachers:
Keith Yoder is a talented instructor and musician with an unconventional approach to music education. Self-taught, he first picked up a guitar in high school and has since added numerous other instruments to the inventory he plays. He has played for 35 years (and counting!) and has taught full-time since 1994. Keith teaches and equips students on guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, resophonic guitar, bass, and drums. An Iowa native, Keith loves time with his family, jamming with friends (old and new), watching documentaries on Netflix, eating the famed White Castle or Krystal burgers, and cheering for his sweet Minnesota Vikings.
Andy Hatfield is a creative musician and teacher from Peoria, IL. He is one of 4 people (and the second from Peoria) to win both the National Flatpicking Guitar Contest and the National Mandolin Contest, held annually in Winfield, KS.
Andy's unique playing style comes from over 20 years of playing and studying bluegrass, jazz, and R & B. Andy is an engaging and active teacher, having taught hundreds of students of all levels to play guitar, mandolin, and banjo. Andy teaches and performs full-time in his native Illinois, and loves to find creative ways to make students sound great.