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6th Annual
Lovegrass Music Festival Presents:

Fireside Collective

A quintet who cheerfully disregard every kind of one-dimensional label that might be attached to their music, Fireside Collective has been on a roll since emerging from the fertile roots music scene of Asheville, North Carolina. In quick order, the progressive bluegrass group released its debut album, won the 2016 Band Contest at MerleFest, earned an International Bluegrass Music Association Momentum Band of the Year nomination and embarked on an ambitious touring schedule that’s earned an enthusiastic reception from traditional bluegrass to wide-ranging, eclectic music festival audiences alike.

​Blending the characteristic interplay of bluegrass instrumentation and harmonies with strong original material and exuberant energy, Fireside Collective has drawn on folk, blues, funk and a wide variety of bluegrass sounds to create a distinctive body of work that’s all their own.

Each member—Joe Cicero (guitar); Alex Genova (banjo); Jesse Iaquinto (mandolin); Tommy Maher (resonator guitar) and Carson White (upright bass)— brings a strong, original voice to his instrument, and the unique contributions of different lead and harmony vocalists complement the variety in the group’s many original songs. “Depending on where you come from and your experience with folk music, you may think we’re very traditional, or on the other hand, consider us a progressive act,” says Iaquinto. “We appreciate both ends of the spectrum and may lie on a different end on any given night.” But whether they’re bringing the classic sound of bluegrass or exploring new musical territory, Fireside Collective delivers a fresh, energetic approach and a blast of enthusiastic creativity that’s electrifying audiences across the country.


Arkansauce is a genre-hopping, four piece string band from northwest Arkansas, bending the rules and blurring the lines between bluegrass, newgrass, folk, americana, country, blues, and funk. With a loyal following growing every day in the Natural State and along their tour routes, the band is proud to be stepping into a hard-driving sound unique to the Arkansas quartet.
The band’s roots go back to 2011 when founding members Ethan Bush, Zac Archuleta, and Stephen Jolly began writing together after becoming acquainted through mutual connections in the close-knit Fayetteville music scene. After a couple of years building a repertoire of original music and releasing their first album (Hambone) as a trio, they were joined by Tom Andersen on the upright bass and Adams Collins on the five-string banjo. The road-tested chops Andersen and Collins brought to the table helped to cultivate the mature, well-rounded sound needed to accommodate their sophomore release “All Day Long.”

An Arkansauce show is riddled with improvisational guitar, banjo, and mandolin leads, paired with powerful harmonies and heart-felt songwriting, all held together by deep foot-stompin' bass grooves. There’s an undeniably intimate connection between the band and their fans that's contagious and leaves everyone in front of, and on the stage wanting more. Arkansauce holds their head high, as they look forward to enjoying everything life and music has in store for them and their fans.

Front Porch

Foot stomping clawhammer banjo, powerful vocal harmonies, and ripping mandolin and fiddle melodies to energetic rhythms.

Front Porch blends contemporary folk songwriting styles with an old time mountain sound rooted in Ozark tradition - creating a unique mix of old and new that will make you hoot and holler.


Whiskey Mash

Walnut Valley Festival 2022 Battle of the Bands Winner Whiskey Mash is high velocity bluegrass ground out of Kansas City, MO.


The new-found ensemble thrives on improvisation and genre-bending around core bluegrass instrumentation: guitar, mandolin, (bumpin’) upright bass and banjo. At a live performance, expect to see them effortlessly step in and out of a mix of Americana, country, traditional, R&B, blues and psychedelic music.


The group draws on their collective musical inspirations and aspirations to put together an energizing unique and fun performance fit to turn any occasion into a once-in-a-lifetime party.


Weda Skirts

Weda Skirts (aka The Skirts), a five-piece original acoustic roots band from Kansas, skillfully craft music that speaks from and to the heart.

The Skirts are a five-piece acoustic roots band hailing from Chase County with members from Lawrence. A vibrant Americana community in Kansas has been the perfect nest for The Skirts' unique style.

With original music by Elexa Dawson at the core of their extensive repertoire, The Skirts skillfully craft music that speaks from and to the heart. Their music plays an emotionally and spiritually nurturing role in the lives of their family of followers.

John Depew

John Depew is an award-winning musician and songwriter with a knack for combining traditional sounds with thoughtful lyrics about philosophy, farming, adventure, and family. Growing up in the Kansas landscape has informed and shaped his musical style and his songwriting content. John is the 2022 Kansas Mandolin Champion, and a 2021 winner of Walnut Valley Festival’s NewSong Showcase.

John is a multi-instrumentalist with a background in bluegrass and old-time American music. Depew features mandolin, claw-hammer banjo, bouzouki, and acoustic guitar and is influenced by ‘gypsy jazz,’ swing, and a variety of folk styles.

Since he was too small to properly hold a mandolin, music has been a large part of John’s life. His dad played in a bluegrass band, and John would spend time on the porch with him, trying to play along. Mandolin was John’s first instrument, and remains a core part of his repertoire. John has picked up several more instruments since, always enjoying the new challenge and new ideas that a new instrument brings. His music invites listeners to think seriously about topics from food production to mental health to parenthood, while embracing the beauty and wonder in both the natural world and the interior one. Traveling and spending time with his family is important to John, and serves as inspiration for songs. His song, ‘Pitamakin Pass’ is a great example of these topics coming together. 

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