The 18th annual Delmarva Folk Festival includes kids' activities, an entire day of live music and the naming of a new Folk Hero on Friday night.

Folk music fans are pretty eclectic. It’s definitely not all mellow guitar strumming, which will be apparent at the 18th Annual Delmarva Folk Festival this Saturday, Oct. 3, at Fields’ Farm, Clayton.

The Delaware Friends of Folk have been solicited by hundreds of groups for a spot at the event, spokesperson Jim McGiffin said. The listening committee has waded through all of that and tried to bring a variety to the festival, from old favorites to Delaware newbies.

“Every year there are new folks and there are still all the other folks around, so there’s just a huge wealth of talent out there,” he said. “It’s like when you got to the ice cream store, how do you choose? It’s all great.”

Something old, something new
One of the returning favorites is duo Andy & Denise, who have played the Friends of Folk stage numerous times. Andy Fox also will offer a guitar technique workshop free of charge to attendees.

“We love them and they’re great folks and they’re great musicians,” McGiffin said. “They put on a really great show.”

Other groups returning to the festival are Sandcreek, Celtic Harvest and Andrew Knight. Sandwiched in between those groups are a slew of diverse musicians who will make their festival debuts.

Chris English, a local Delta-style bluesman, will make his first appearance, as will award-winning singer/songwriter Antje Duvekot. Singer/songwriter/poet/guitarist Andrew Knight will bring his unique mix to the main stage, as will Tripping Lily, a new and traditional bluegrass group that lends a hint of sophistication to its music, McGiffin said.

Then there’s the Two Man Gentlemen Band. They specialize in a little of everything retro, from jazz and vintage rhythm and blues to old-time country and Tin Pan Alley. Oh yes, and they love kazoos.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had an act that will invoke vaudeville,” McGiffin said of the young duo.
Joining the fray Saturday will be the newly minted Folk Hero, who will be named Friday night.

Potential heroes vie for title, prizes
All the finalists competing for Friday night’s title qualified at one of two local coffeehouses by earning audience votes. This year’s finale looks to be a tough one, according to McGiffin.

“The competition was really stiff,” he said. “We probably could have put 10 acts on the final Folk Hero stage.”

Instead there are six groups and/or single performers vying for the Saturday afternoon spot on the main stage, prizes and the title.

Contestants include Keith Brodin, Kyle Offidani, Roots from Seeds, Jonathan Adam Duerr and Trini and Eric Hoover. Some set themselves apart with their style and sound (Trini, Duerr), some were more traditional (Brodin) and some were noticed for their musical chops (Roots from Seeds, Hoover, Offidani).

Audience votes help determine the winner, so fans should turn out to support their favorite.
Both the Friday and Saturday events are low-key, fun affairs with a high level of talent, McGiffin said.

“It’s a very friendly experience. It’s very informal, to the point where you want to bring your own chair. But everybody there is into the music and into just having a peaceful, good time.”
That’s not to say there isn’t any dancing, bonfires or late-night fun. It just means it’s not overwhelming in its size or scope.

“It’s very Delaware in that it’s small and it’s accessible and it’s easy to enjoy,” McGiffin said.

If You Go
WHAT 2009 Delmarva Folk Hero finals
WHEN 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2
WHERE Fields’ Farm, 352 Downs Chapel Road, Clayton
ADMISSION $5, free for children 12 and younger when accompanied by an adult
MORE INFO Visit or call 877-335-3655 (DEL-FOLK)

If You Go
WHAT 18th Annual Delmarva Folk Festival
WHEN Noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3
WHERE Fields’ Farm, 352 Downs Chapel Road, Clayton
ADMISSION $15 for members, $20 for non-members in advance; $25 day of the festival; half price for ages 13 to 18; free for children 12 and younger when accompanied by an adult
MORE INFO Visit or call 877-335-3655 (DEL-FOLK)

Friday, Oct. 2
7 to 7:20 p.m.: Keith Brodin
7:25 to 7:45 p.m.: Kyle Offidani
7:50 to 8:10 p.m.: Roots from Seeds
8:15 to 8:35 p.m.: Jonathan Adam Duerr
8:40 to 9 p.m.: Trini
9:05 to 9:25 p.m.: Eric Hoover
9:30 to 10 p.m.: Mike Roots, 2008 Delmarva Folk Hero
10 p.m.: announcement of winner

Saturday, Oct. 3
Noon: Folk Hero contest winner; kids tent opens with face painting, tie-dying, arts and crafts
1 p.m.: Sandcreek
2 p.m.: Celtic Harvest
3 p.m.: Chris English
4 p.m.: Two Man Gentlemen Band on the Kids’ Stage; guitar workshop with Andy Fox
5 p.m.: Tripping Lily
6 p.m.: Antje Duvekot
7 p.m.: Two Man Gentlemen Band
8 p.m.: Andrew Knight
9 p.m.: Andy & Denise