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Hickory Ridge Concerts

The Hickory Ridge Concert Series is a once a month acoustic music concert series that I’ve been producing in one form or another non stop since 1989.  We are currently working in partnership with the Dickson Mounds Museum, a branch of the Illinois State Museum that sits on the bluffs of the Illinois River Valley overlooking the Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge.   This has been an excellent partnership and we are in the middle of our 24nd year there (and our 27th year in all).  We feature folk, blues, old time, singer-songwriter and even on rare occasions, bluegrass music in the handicapped accessible 150 seat auditorium of the Dickson Mounds Museum.

PERFORMERS:  I usually book solo and duo professional players from the region and only rarely use larger acts or book nationally touring acts.  Performers who are interested in being considered for performance should download the Generic Performer Letter to learn about the gig.  If you are appropriate to the venue and are interested in being considered, please email me (do not call).  As you would expect, I always have three times as many interested performers as I have performance slots so be prepared to wait a while.

AUDIENCE:  Concerts take place every third Saturday of the month all year long in the comfort of the Dickson Mounds Museum auditorium. We feature the best in roots, folk and acoustic music of all kinds. Showtime is 7:00 pm, admission is $8.00 for adults; $5.00 for kids under 12.

April 15th, David G Smith and Dave Moore


Dave Moore and David G. Smith in an informal “in the round” concert.  Known for their cut to the bone songs about real life experiences, these two writers represent some of the Midwest’s best; creating music that is rich in the roots of the region and as deep as the muddy Mississippi itself.
Dave Moore is one of the best known songwriters to come out of the state of Iowa.  Known for his elegant writing and instrumental prowess on blues guitar, button accordion and harmonica he has become somewhat of a legend.  His songs are as breathtaking as they are stunning with vivid imagery drawn from the depth of his life experiences painting a picture of the quintessential American journey. 
Coming of age in the late ’60s and early ’70s, Dave spent the his formative years traveling the West, working an assortment of jobs (lumberyard worker, fruit picker, plumber’s assistant) – all the time getting deeper into music.  In 1980 Dave returned to Iowa and teamed up with songwriteGreg Brown for the next few years, backing up Brown on recording projects, tours and appearances on A Prairie Home Companion before heading out on his own recording career.
David G Smith was raised in a musical family in the hills of northeastern Iowa’s Mississippi Valley but dropped out of college to follow his love of music.  After years of playing in a range of bands, his passion for songwriting combined with a leap of faith compelled him to move his young family to Nashville. “I didn’t choose writing, it chose me…. I went to learn from the best.”
Smith’s reliance on real life stories to drive his songs drew response from songwriting and other circles. He earned First Place in the 2008 International Song Competition, country category for Made for You and Smith received Robert K Oermann’s DisCovery Award, Music Row/Nashville for his Non-Fiction CD.


Dave Moore, Over My Shoulder

David G. Smith, The Edge

May 20th, Dan Zahn and Kate Moratti, Briar Road   

Briar Road is Dan Zahn on guitar and vocals, Kate Moretti on guitar, ukulele, banjo and vocals and Rusty Winchel on bass and vocals. Their varied repertoire covers traditional and contemporary folk tunes, swing and jazz from the 30s and 40s and original songs by Dan. In addition to their unique instrumental and vocal arrangements,  their spur-of-the moment sense of humor sets them apart from the crowd.

June 17th, Small Potatoes

Twenty-three years ago, Jacquie Manning and Rich Prezioso, the Chicago-area duo known as Small Potatoes, decided to hit the road. “In one year, we quit our jobs, bought a house, bought a car, and became full-time folk singers–not exactly the greatest combination, financially speaking”

From the start, they’ve called themselves eclecto-maniacs and described their music as “Celtic to Cowboy”. They say it has taken them “years of careful indecision” to come up with a mix of music that ranges from country, blues, and swing to Irish, with songwriting that touches on all of those styles and more. Their four recordings, Alive!, Waltz of the Wallflowers, Time Flies and Raw demonstrate that “indecision” can be wonderfully entertaining. They both sing, they both play guitars and an array of other instruments. They even yodel.

July 15th Burr Oak String Band

The Burr Oak String Band offers up a crowd-pleasing mix of lively instrumentals and heart-felt harmonies. Masters of a variety of instruments and styles – old-time, raggy blues, bluegrass, folk – they appeal to a range of musical sensibilities and can perform in a variety of settings, including concerts, festivals and dances. In different combinations the members of Burr Oak played together in several old-time or bluegrass bands before we decided to play together in the spring of 2015._l5a2870

Ann Bova has been performing since age 14. In the 1990s she played bass and sang with guitar virtuoso Slavek Hanzlik. More recently, she was a member of Handsome Molly, a top Canadian bluegrass band. Mark Mathewson’s songs have been recorded by leading bluegrass artists. A winner of the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at Merlefest, he plays guitar and mandolin and sings. Erich Schroeder has been playing clawhammer banjo since 1976, and his arms are tired. Steve Staley, known to thousands of Illinois schoolchildren as the “house fiddler” at Lincoln’s New Salem, has been a fixture of the Springfield-area folk music scene for nearly three decades.

August 19th, TBA


September 16th, Bob Bovee

Since 1971 Bob has traveled the country taking old time music to audiences of all ages at festivals, fairs, concerts, dances, schools, libraries, music camps, radio and TV programs. This is rural music as played in homes, at dances and for earlier entertainments such as minstrel shows and country radio. Along with a repertoire including dance tunes, ballads, cowboy songs, humorous and sentimental numbers, blues and rags, he spices their shows with stories, history and folklore. Bob sings (yodels, too) and plays guitar, harmonica, banjo and autoharp.

October 21  TBA


November 18th, The Lords of Liechtenstein

“They are like the Everly Brothers with attitude!”
The Lords of Liechtenstein is a quirky folk music duo composed of two brothers. Based in New York City, Noah (ukulele/guitar/vocals) and Dan (guitar/banjo/mandola/vocals) have brought their unique blend of folk music to clubs and coffeehouses all over the East Coast of the United States. The Lords have performed on NPR’s acclaimed Mountain Stage radio show, were awarded honorable mention in the 2014 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artist Showcase, and have opened for musical stalwarts like Brett Dennen, Buckwheat Zydeco, Elephant Revival, and Aztec Two-Step. Their newest album, Oh, Hello Sweetie Pie is as diverse as it is long, its fifteen songs exploring topics ranging from wrongful incarceration to the unfair persecution of movie monsters.

December 16th  TBA