Smile Politely

Celebrate the 7th annual C-U Folk & Roots Festival

Looking for something to do this weekend in Urbana? Why not go check out the C-U Folk and Roots Festival, because this year will be a good one.

When I started looking into the festival, I honestly didn’t really know what to expect. I thought initially, this is going to be mostly country music, or something of the sort. However, the event is so much more than that. Sure, there are some world renown bands coming to the event — but that is just the icing on the cake. This event gives us, the laymen of the music scene, the people who want to perform, but maybe don’t have the top notch skills needed to make it in the music world, the chance to jam out with both our friends and other people who go to the shows. 

Throughout the festival, there are plenty of opportunities to watch and enjoy the live music that is offered up, but there are plenty of other activities involved as well (dancing, sing-a-longs, and more). On top of that, the event also offers people the chance to both improve and learn new dance moves on Saturday at the Urbana Landmark Hotel Ballroom. But hey, if the singing and the dancing didn’t attract your attention — the music likely will.

The musical genres for this event range from blues and jazz to folk and country. Below, I have include some links with a brief history of some the bands that will be performing, and you should check out the whole schedule at the Folk and Roots Festival’s webpage where you can find out more about these events, as well the times that the bands will be performing. So, take a moment listen to the music and come out on either Thursday, Friday or Saturday for some great music and events.

Woody Pines is an old time American band based out of Nashville, Tennessee. The band got started by performing on the streets in Nashville, and this swinging twang sound can be heard from all of their songs. Their music makes just want to jump up and dance around. This band is back to perform by popular demand. Woody Pines will be playing at the Rose Bowl on Friday night from 7:45-8:45 p.m. and 12:15-1:15 a.m.

Cedric Watson is a four time Grammy nominated fiddler, singer, accordionist and songwriter. He is originally from a small town in Texas, but he moved to Louisiana at the age of 21 where he immersed himself in the culture. He has a large variety of music some in English and some in French. The instrumentals in his songs are amazing. He will be playing at the Landmark Hotel Ballroom from 7-8:15 p.m. on Friday, November 6th.

John Gorka is a singer/songwriter from New Jersey. This world renown singer has been performing since the late 1970s. The song that I have linked to is off of his first album, and it mixes both melancholy and humor. Usually, I wouldn’t say that these emotions belong together, but his voice just takes you away. Gorka will be performing from 8:15-9:30 p.m. at the Iron Post on Saturday, November 7th.

David Francey is a Canadian born singer/songwriter and he is known as “one of Canada’s most revered folk poets and singers.” The song I have included is “Rain”, it is not as upbeat as the other songs that I have linked to, but this song really stood out to me when I first heard. It made me want to share it. Francey will be performing at the Landmark Hotel Library from 6-7:15 p.m. on Saturday, November 7th.

The people that are putting on the C-U Folk and Roots have done an amazing job with the lineup. It features world renown artists as well as local talent. Not only do you have the chance to listen to some great tunes, you can also dance your feet off, or jam out. To me, this just seems like one of those cool events that will go under most people’s radar. So go and check out the bands and the event.

Check out the C-U Folk & Roots Festival website for all the information about the festival, and see some photos from last year’s event by Sam Logan here.

Related Articles