Red House, the St. Paul indie folk label, knows how to put on a summer jam. Among the highlights of Red House's early days was its annual Summerfolk, a label-wide showcase festival in an apple orchard along the St. Croix River. Reincarnated last year as Barnfest in an outdoor amphitheatre just north of Red Wing, the current summer get-together is a little less ambitious (necessarily so, with a greatly expanded label roster), but nonetheless represents a fine cross section of Red House artists. Many of those are of the singer-songwriter ilk, but incidentally stretch that "folk" tag every which way into a broadpalette of roots-conscious music. On the bill this year will be Pieta Brown (pictured), daughter of label co-founder Greg Brown, onetime resident of the actual red house that inspired the name and a fine artist herself; Spider John Koerner, the folk and blues icon who as a member of the renowned trio Koerner, Ray and Glover strongly influenced a generation of musicians; Cliff Eberhardt, who's as eloquent on his guitar as he is with words; Ruth Moody, still one of the Wailin' Jennys who also released a solo album on Red House earlier this year; Storyhill, the folk-pop duo of Chris Cunningham and John Hermanson, whose close harmonies and strong songwriting have spawned comparisons to the Everly Brothers; plus two from down in Austin who tap into the Texas songwriter tradition, Danny Schmidt and Carrie Elkin. The festival will also shine a light on Minnesota songwriters Erik Koskinen and Brianna Lane, who will open the festivities. All ages.
Sat., Aug. 7, 1 p.m., 2010