What’s new this year at the Fayetteville Roots Festival?
“So much, but not that much,” says Bryan Hembree, one of the organizers of the Fayetteville-based music and culinary arts festival. He explains that while the urban festival focused on roots music and exceptional cuisine made from local sources had a “downtown heart” for a decade, the pandemic canceled the festival in 2020 and forced it to close. hold outdoors in 2021. This year, the festival is back at full speed with an impressive musical lineup, a plethora of celebrity local and national chefs who will be taking over Fayetteville restaurants and serving up bites all over town – as well as workshops at Roots Headquarters, free concerts at Ozark Natural Foods and Maxine’s and other events all within walking distance of downtown Fayetteville.
“I don’t want to be corny, but it’s a return to our ‘roots’ of how the festival was structured before,” says Hembree. “It’s been three calendar years since we’ve done this, and so a lot of people who might come to the festival for the first time [might] go, ‘This is different,’ or whatever. It’s really new, but not new.
Hembree says the Roots HQ team is really excited to welcome music and food covers to new spaces at the Fayetteville Public Library. Many of the free community events will be held at the library, including “Ozarks at Large” concerts with Reggie James Gospel, Dead Horses, Rachel Ammons, Radio Free Honduras, The Brother Brothers and more. There are reserved seats for festival pass holders, and the rest are first-come, first-served. At 641 Deli, there will be a free Taste and Talk series at 9 a.m. on August 26, then a Roots Pop-Up Cafe at 11 a.m. on August 26 and 27 will offer affordable options.
“There’s a nice new teaching kitchen right next to the library,” Hembree says of the Friday and Saturday Taste and Talk workshops. “We have the capacity at the library for our chefs to do all the prep work they need. And so that allows us to center that program there at the library.
A free songwriting workshop is scheduled for August 26 and a free jam session on August 27 will take place at Roots headquarters.
Hembree adds that he’s thrilled this year’s festival is walkable since all events are centered in downtown Fayetteville. “Even if no one comes to the festival, when you go downtown during Roots weekend, it’s like, ‘Wow, there’s something going on. There’s a liveliness and energy downtown’ , enthuses Hembree.
Ticket holders will enjoy headliners Joe Purdy, The Woods Brothers, Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway, Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, Bettye LaVette, Taj Mahal, Melissa Carper and Brady Blade Sr. & The Hallelujah Train. Local talent will include Smokey & the Mirror, Rachel Ammons, Meadow Makers, Dandelion Heart, Dylan Earl and many more.
For tickets and more information about the Fayetteville Roots Festival, visit fayettevilleroots.org.
The wood brothers
The Wood Brothers, one of the headliners of the Fayetteville Roots Festival, define the genre.
“They are dynamic musicians. They do something that is centuries old in music which is a trio – bass, drums and guitar – but they do it so well, it fills the whole sound room,” says Bryan Hembree, founder of the Fayetteville Roots Festival. “I’m inspired when I see a three-piece band really work like they work together.”
The Woods Brothers will take the stage at a Thursday night VIP party on August 25. and bluegrass with guitarist Oliver Wood’s extensive background in blues and gospel, combined with his brother Chris’ training in jazz. Percussionist and multi-instrumentalist Jano Rix is the foundation of the brothers’ sound.
“We never really liked that label,” says Oliver Wood when asked how their sound fit into Americana. He adds that while it was an honor to be nominated in this category alongside Brandi Carlile and John Prine, the label often ignores blues and jazz, which are American in essence.
“When I think of Americana, I think of Ray Charles, for example,” says Wood. “He was known as a great jazz player, and actually influenced the jazz recordings of his day, and played country music, and obviously applied gospel to his soul music. But he was one of those guys that you couldn’t really label because he just played all kinds of different music and made it his own. And I think it depends on the artist. His identity is so much more important than the label.
Likewise, the trio combined their different backgrounds to create their most spontaneous and improvised album yet in 2020 with “Kingdom In My Mind,” which came together as they entered their new studio. Before they knew it, they were recording an album.
“It’s so much fun to capture any kind of art like that, you know, like the innocence of a kid just making art on a page. There’s something special about that. subject. And so just to be able to capture it. That’s why that studio was so wonderful. And still today, we’re just finishing a new record, which we recorded quite differently, but at the same time, we’re still in that cozy space that we really feel comfortable in and free and able to experiment in. It’s a real luxury and a really nice way to capture music,” says Oliver.
He says they can’t wait to get back to Fayetteville for the Roots Festival.
“It always feels very good there,” he says. “It always feels like the perfect vibe and number of people and the combination of artists, music and food. And I’m really looking forward to it when I see it on the program.
Fayetteville Roots Party
WHEN — August 25-27
WHERE — Anywhere in downtown Fayetteville
COST – $25 to $399 with many free performances
Info — fayettevilleroots.org
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
The Roots Pop-Up Cafe at 641 Deli of the Fayetteville Public Library will feature dishes from chefs Edgar Rico (Austin, TX), Esaul Ramos (San Antonio, TX), Merlin Verrier (Denver), Sue Zemanick (New Orleans) , Jessica Keahey (Bentonville), Darwin Beyer (Fayetteville), Kurt Plankenhorn (Siloam Springs), Justus Moll (Northwest Arkansas), Jed Archer Smith (Fayetteville), Jordan Wright (Johnson), Luke Wetzel (Bentonville) and Matt Feyerabend (Siloam Springs). The pop-up café will be from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Other restaurant takeovers will take place at Arsaga’s Mill District and Atlas Restaurant. For more Fayetteville Roots culinary events, see fayettevilleroots.org/festival-culinary.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
Fayetteville Roots Party
The Wood Brothers, Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway and Joe Purdy with Smokey & the Mirror and the Honey Dewdrops at the Fayetteville Public Library.
Late night music with Fireside Collective at Roots HQ.
Reggie James Gospel, Tray Wellington, Samantha Crain, Dead Horses at the Fayetteville Public Library.
J Wagner and Meadow Makers, Listen Here State at Roots HQ.
Taj Mahal, Bettye LaVette, Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, Fayetteville Roots Mainstage.
Late Night with Sad Daddy at Roots HQ, Maggie Rose with Leyton Robinson at George’s Majestic Lounge, Dylan Earl at Maxine’s.
Bonus – Free Crooked Crow Songwriting Workshop with J Wagner from 10 a.m. to noon at Roots HQ.
Rachel Ammons, Radio Free Honduras, The Honey Dewdrops, Brother Brothers at Fayetteville Public Library.
Shannon Wurst and Otis Malone’s sons at Roots HQ.
North Mississippi Allstars, Brady Blade Sr. & The Hallelujah Train and Melissa Carper at Fayetteville Roots Mainstage.
Late Night with Missy Raines and Allegheny at Roots HQ, Arlo McKinley with Logan Halsted at George’s Majestic Lounge, Bonnie Montgomery at Maxine’s.
Roots HQ Jam workshop, 10 a.m. to noon. Free.
Bonus: A Tribute to Dolly Parton with The Phlegms, McCormick Carlson & Bill Smylie (Monk is King), Dana Idlet, Dylan Earl, Bonnie Montgomery, Opal Agafia, Cindy Woolf, Tara Norton, Dick Darden, Eryn Brothers and who knows who d ‘other starts at noon on August 28
For exact times of all Fayetteville Roots Festival events and free community programming, visit fayettevilleroots2022.sched.com.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
Late night shows
• Fireside Collective, 11 p.m. Aug. 25 at Roots HQ, 1 E. Mountain St.
• Maggie Rose with Leyton Robinson, 9:30 p.m. Aug. 26 ($22 and up) at George’s Majestic Lounge, 519 W. Dickson St.
• Dylan Earl, 10 p.m. Aug. 26, Maxine’s Taproom, 1 N. Block Ave.
• Sad Daddy, 11 p.m. August 26, Roots HQ.
• Arlo McKinley and Logan Halsted, 9 p.m. August 27 ($22 and up), George’s Majestic Lounge.
• Bonnie Montgomery, 10 p.m. August 27, Maxine’s Taproom.
BONUS – Porch Session with Dandelion Heart from noon to 2 p.m. August 27 at Ozark Natural Foods, 380 N. College Ave., Fayetteville. Free food and entertainment. Chefs Heather Artripe, Dani Kvern and Justus Ryan Moll will prepare three adult food and drink pairings for the event. This is the kick-off for the other Front Porch sessions to come. See onf.coop for upcoming shows.