Meet the performers of Bookstock: A free, all-day musical event on October 1

What do Tom Irwin, Wil Maring, Michael Johnathon, The Tall Trees and Harpeth Rising have in common? Glad you asked … all are participants of Bookstock: A Backyard Roots Music Festival, hosted by the Jacksonville Public Library.

Okay, maybe the name is a bit cheesy, but the performers are not. According to Chris Ashmore, library director, “Each of these acts has critical acclaim.” The performing groups are locally, nationally and in some cases, internationally acclaimed. The day will begin with programs by Tom Irwin followed by Wil Maring. Audiences are sure to thrill to the incredible skills of these singer-songwriters.

After Maring’s program, Michael Johnathon will take the stage. Johnathon, a folksinger, songwriter, concert performer and author also happens to be the creator and host of “WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour” – a worldwide broadcast with over a million listeners weekly. With his show airing on over 500 public radio stations, and in over 173 nations, Johnathon has been said to have the “inventiveness of Bob Dylan, the melodic voice of John Denver … (and) the showmanship of Garrison Keillor,” according to Bob Spear, publisher of the Heartland Review.

But that’s not all … hailing from the Midwest, The Tall Trees is an acclaimed folk music group, comprised of Tim Grimm and Ben Bedford – two highly acclaimed Midwestern songwriters – and accompanied by Diederik van Wassenaer on fiddle and Connor Grimm on bass. In July 2010, Bedford was named one of the “50 most significant folk singer-songwriters of the past 50 years” by Rich Warren of WFMT-Chicago.

The day will culminate in a program by Harpeth Rising – a trio that specializes in an intriguing genre – a stunning combination of folk and chamber music. A classically trained, three-member group, Harpeth Rising presents original music, which they claim, is as “intricately arranged as a string quartet.” They call themselves “unapologetic genre-benders” as they fearlessly fuse “folk, newgrass, rock and classical into something organically unique.” Their instrumentation is cello, violin and … banjo. We can try to call them “chamberfolk” – but in reality, their sound is hard to categorize. It’s just that good.

Free and open to the public, Bookstock will be on Saturday, October 1, 2016, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. (Gates open at 9:30 a.m.) in the south green space at the Jacksonville Public Library. Throughout the day, guests can come and go as they please. On the grounds, there will be concessions, CD sales and other merchandise available for sale. In addition, guests can bring their own drinks and coolers, as well as lawn chairs or blankets.

For questions, contact contact Chris Ashmore, at 217-243-5435 or

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