Marsden Americana & Bluegrass Day

Saturday 22nd June 2024, 1pm to 10.30pm approx

We’re putting the final touches to our one-day mini fest, taking place at Marsden Mechanics in Marsden near Huddersfield, and featuring performances from some of the finest roots music artists from both sides of the Atlantic. We’re going to have singing and step dance workshops too, and it’s going to be an absolutely fantastic day of live music! Check out the artist info below and book your tickets here: Marsden Americana & Bluegrass Day ticket link

More about our sensational performance line-up: 

Jake Blount Trio (USA)

We are very excited to welcome Jake Blount as our headline artist! Jake is a rising star on the American roots music scene, an award winning banjoist, talented fiddle player and singer and an authority on the early folk music of Black Americans. Jake will be performing with his trio which also features double bass ace Nelson Williams and gifted multi-instrumentalist Gus Tritsch (electric guitar, banjo uke, fiddle). 

“An uncommon talent.” – The Guardian

Jake was featured on NPR’s renowned Tiny Desk concert series in 2023, was nominated for Artist of the Year 2023 at Folk Alliance’s International Folk Music Awards, and won the Steve Martin Banjo Prize back in 2020. He has received huge acclaim for both his album releases to date, especially 2022’s The New Faith, released as part of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings’ prestigious African-American Legacy Series. The album sees Jake incorporating electric guitar and percussion seamlessly alongside the older tones of banjo and fiddle. Featuring innovative new arrangements of traditional songs, including Black spirituals and Blues, The New Faith received glowing reviews from Rolling Stone, The Guardian, The Telegraph and many more. Jake has performed and collaborated with numerous musical luminaries including Tatiana Hargreaves, Kaia Kater, Rhiannon Giddens and the Kronos Quartet. We previously hosted Jake’s band for Meltham and Sheffield gigs in 2022, and they were simply outstanding. This is American roots music of the highest possible calibre! We are thrilled to present the Jake Blount Trio as our headline artist.

Book tickets here:  Marsden Americana & Bluegrass Day ticket link

Golden Shoals (USA)

We are delighted to announce USA duo Golden Shoals as part of our line-up. They blend old time Appalachian traditions with fine original songwriting and excellent musicianship on acoustic guitar, fiddle and banjo.  They are fabulously entertaining, combining influences from bluegrass, folk, Americana, Cajun, old time country music and more!

“Rousing old-time-style music that’s fueled by acerbic modern-day wit.” No Depression magazine

Since forming their duo in Boston back in 2013, Amy Alvey and Mark Kilianski have taken their blend of footstomping traditional tunes and memorable original songs around the world, touring extensively across the USA, Canada, Australia, Germany and the UK. Formerly known as Hoot & Holler (changing their name in 2020 to avoid confusion with a similarly named band) they got a storming reception from our local audiences in both Meltham and Sheffield back in 2019. Golden Shoals have released several albums and an EP to date, and have a fun and lively stage presence to complement their impressive musicianship and glorious vocal harmonies. We’re really looking forward to welcoming Mark and Amy back to Yorkshire and to see them perform at our one day festival.  

Book tickets here:  Marsden Americana & Bluegrass Day ticket link

Jaywalkers (UK)

Jaywalkers are one of the most talented, entertaining bands on the UK’s acoustic roots scene, creating music that’s innovative and exhilarating but still deeply rooted in tradition. The trio draws on influences including folk, bluegrass, jazz and country music, and over the years they’ve cemented their place as one of the most entertaining bands around.


“Jaywalkers’ musicianship is both deft and impeccable but never soulless, while the players’ togetherness and interplay is mesmerising.” – Folk Radio UK
Since reaching the finals of the BBC Young Folk Awards back in 2008, Jaywalkers have toured regularly across the UK and Europe, honing their craft and releasing four superb albums and one EP to date. Mandolin maestro Mike Giverin is also the chief songwriter, and an absolute virtuoso on his instrument. In Jay Bradberry the band has a truly sensational lead singer and fiddle player, and double bassist Lucille Williams is one of the best around, breaking out impressive slap bass alongside rock solid timing, taste and tone. Jaywalkers are among my very favourite UK bands, and they’ve performed for our local series before, back in 2016 and 2018. They also played for a couple of our livestreamed specials during the pandemic, and we really wanted to have them back in person as part of this event.

Cara Luft (Canada)

Another exciting artist announcement incoming! Hailing from Canada, Cara Luft is well known for her work with The Small Glories and The Wailin’ Jennys as well as her solo career. A talented guitarist and banjoist and a powerful singer, the JUNO award winner is also a gifted songwriter. Cara has a well-deserved reputation as one of Canadian folk music’s finest live performers, with an engaging, down-home style that comes wrapped in a warm and delicious sense of humour.

A co-founder of popular folk trio The Wailin’ Jennys, after leaving that band in 2004 Cara toured widely as a solo performer, releasing several solo albums and wowing audiences across North America and Europe. In 2012 she started performing with fellow Canadian singer-songwriter JD Edwards, forming The Small Glories, which has become a much loved fixture on the Americana and folk circuit over the last decade (including a sensational Sheffield gig we hosted back in 2018). The Small Glories released two albums and toured regularly around the world, winning Folk Alliance International’s 2020 Folk Artist of the Year Award. Born into a folk singing family, Cara has been steeped in folk and traditional music almost from birth – but like all the finest artists, she has always shown a desire to fearlessly stretch style and genre boundaries. The Small Glories’ decision to take a hiatus in 2024 has provided Cara with another opportunity for new adventures and collaborations, and we are delighted that she will be bringing her musical and personal magic to our mini fest. 

Book your tickets here: Marsden Americana & Bluegrass Day ticket link

Workshops – we’re delighted to offer two participatory workshops as part of the day (all included in your ticket price)

Step dance with Sara Marshall Rose

Sara Marshall Rose is accomplished in a wide range of dance styles including Appalachian clogging and English Morris dancing. She has danced with Appalachian dance side Restless Soles for many years, and also performs regularly with the band Buffalo Gals as one of their accompanying dancers. She also led a body percussion school workshop for us last year, alongside Simon Robinson. Sara is an excellent, experienced tutor and highly qualified dance movement psychotherapist as well as a sensational dancer – we’re so pleased to have her join our line-up! The step dance workshop will be in the Main Hall and we plan to start the programme with this, around 1.30pm.

Singing with Cara Luft

Cara Luft is an award-winning Canadian singer, songwriter and musician, as detailed above. As well as performing, Cara will lead a harmony singing workshop later in the afternoon. Cara is an incredibly skilled singer and arranger of vocal harmonies and an experienced workshop leader. Cara describes the class thus: “Come experience the fun and unique qualities of singing with others in harmony and learn how to capture the essence of a song with your voice. We will explore listening techniques, how to recognize chordal relationships, how harmony fits into a melodic landscape, how to sing better lines while picking up some vocal techniques and exercises along the way. Join us for a fun and empowering experience! Everything is taught by ear and learned as a group.” We’ve provisionally scheduled the singing workshop for 5.15pm in the Library (downstairs at Marsden Mechanics) during the tea-time break in performances.


Book your tickets now! Marsden Americana & Bluegrass Day ticket link


We would like to acknowledge the valuable Project Grants funding support from Arts Council England which has helped to fund our entire 2023-24 local live music series, including concerts, community outreach workshops and this upcoming one day festival. We also want to thank our sponsors for their contributions: our generous series sponsor Dark Woods Coffee, and our event co-sponsors, Eagle Music Shop and the British Bluegrass Music Association. We’ll be sharing more information about them very soon!