Artists appearing at Mears Park for this year's festival include:


C.J. Chernier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band (8:30 P.M.)

C.J. Chenier, son of the 'King of Zydeco' Clifton Chenier, joined his father's Red-Hot Louisiana Band playing saxophone at the age of 21. After Clifton's death in 1987, C.J. picked up the accordion and took charge of his father's ministry, spreading the word of Zydeco music to the world. Since then, Chenier has mastered the accordion and pushed the genre to new heights with his virtuosity. The Boston Globe has called him "the crown prince of zydeco," and Living Blues magazine hails him as "the best living zydeco singer and accordionist." His musical style ranges from the traditional Zydeco of his father right on up to modern funk with healthy doses of blues, R&B, swamp pop and even country.
As CJ says, "You can't come to my show and stay unhappy all night long. You're going to break a smile and stomp your foot before too long. This is happy music, and it makes you dance."


Randy Sabien's Violin Roots Ensemble (7:00 P.M.)

Jazz violinist Randy Sabien is ìthe real thing," according to premier national Jazz critic Howard Reich. National Public Radio's Jazz Profiles dubbed him as "The past, present, and future of jazz violin," and Down Beat Magazine's annual critic's poll voted him as "Artist Deserving Wider Recognition." In 1977, at age 20, Sabien enrolled at the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston. Just one year later he was the founder and chair of their new jazz string department which he headed for the following 3 years. Randy currently directs the strings department at McNally Smith College of Music in Saint Paul. A jazz violinist who steps outside the boundaries of what many think of as jazz, Sabien forges headlong into the worlds of rock, blues and funk. The resulting sound is swinging, rocking, rhythmic and bluesy with a fiddle that often plays more like a saxophone than a violin.



The High 48s (5:30 P.M.)

The High 48s are making their mark as a bluegrass band that respects the bulegrass form while creating new music within it. Comprised of Rich Casey (bass), Eric Christopher (fiddle and vocals), Chad Johnson (mandolin and vocals), Marty Marrone (guitar and lead vocals) and Anthony Ihrig (banjo), the group plays tunes that are based in southern bluegrass roots while incorporating their own northern traditions. In addition to their latest CD,
"Up North," the active group has also completed a gospel CD in the last year. Their name, "High 48s," comes from railroad slang for boxcars on the fast-moving Hotshot freight train.





Nordic Angst (4:00 P.M.)

Not your typical Scandinavian music, Nordic Angst mixes centuries-old Norse ballads with a modern sensibility for a movement that respects the roots of Scandinavian music styles while building a bridge to contemporary music. To Nordic Angst leader Arna Rennan, this means combining her traditional vocals and accordion playing with the energy and texture of electric guitars and bass. Rennan is from Duluth, MN, but has lived in Norway for 15 years where she studied at the Institute for Folk Culture in Rauland, Telemark. There she learned "Kveding" vocal folk music, as well as playing seljefl¯yte, the overtone flute and langeleik, the Norwegian dulcimer.


Paul Dahlin (2:30 P.M.)

Paul Dahlin is heir to a family music tradition that began in this country when his grandfather immigrated to the United States from Sweden. Dahlin took to the fiddle at an early age, playing in harmony with his grandfather and uncle, and later, he taught the instrument at the American Swedish Institute (ASI) in Minneapolis. He developed his class into the ASI Spelmanslag ("fiddlersí team"), and the group performs at special events. The group performing at the Lowertown Roots Music Festival features hand-picked fiddlers expertly playing a repertoire of traditional Swedish folk and dance music. Dahlin is the recipient of a National Heritage Fellowship Award for his achievements with his fiddle group.




Artists appearing on the Hat Trick Lounge Stage for this year's festival include:




Tim Gadban (2:00 P.M.)

Tim Gadban performs original songs in the style of "NeoBeatnick FolkFunk" ..... Zappa meets Dylan in the back alleys of St Paul.




Jeff Rolfzen (3:00 P.M.)

Jeff Rolfzen is a Singer-songwriter in Minneapolis, MN. His music was born from a love of wordplay coerced in old-time and bluegrass music. Self taught on various instruments his music remains tradition based and yet playfully new.




Citizen Arms (4:00 P.M.)

Citizen Arms' first full-length album "Wars & Meridians" is a reflection of miles travelled and struggles witnessed and had. Based out of Spokane, WA, Citizen Arms is a musical project that attempts to present simple, inspired songs that take in the world around.




Michael Kac (5:00 P.M.)

A native of Ithaca, New York, Michael Kac started out studying classical piano but got his first professional performing experience as a folk singer on the east coast coffeehouse circuit, after which he played with a succession of rock groups, (most notably two years with the cult favorite Mandrake Memorial). He retired from active performing to pursue academic studies, but came out of retirement in 2007 and has made frequent appearances in the Upper Midwest. He is presently on the faculty of University of Minnesota and lives in St. Paul.




Local Rhythm (6:00 P.M.)

Formed in the summer of 2008,Local Rhythm is a Blues Rock Power Trio from Minneapolis, MN. Groove based blues rock with addictive hooks, soulful melodies, and screaming guitar solos inspire comparisons to The Allman Brothers, The Black Keys, Gary Clark Jr, Ben Harper, and Sublime. The band is currently on tour to promote its latest release, "Smoke, Dreams and War Machines."




Pamela Machala (7:00 P.M.)

Singer-songwriter and pianist Pamela Machala creates a delicious kind of piano pop, influenced by a love of jazz and R&B. Her music provides us with a truly soulful, fresh sound that inspires us to question, and tempts us to love deeper. For a soft-spoken person upon first contact, her singing voice bursts forth with a soulful edge inspired by greats like Aretha Franklin & Patti LaBelle, while her classically shaped round sound, and musical writing style - influenced by Joni Mitchell - give her a truly unique flavoring one cannot bear to miss.




Laura Underwood (8:00 P.M.)

Laura Underwood's "TELL THE WORLD I SAID SO" introduces a powerful new voice to jazz and the classic American songbook. Laura Underwood, making her long overdue recording debut, has successfully branded her signature sound onto 15 classics. She infuses the vintage material with such life, joy and sincerity that it is obvious she is an important talent well worth hearing. There are many jazz singers on the scene today, but Ms. Underwood's voice sticks in one's mind due to her mixture of enthusiasm, maturity, and strong musicianship. She sounds unlike anyone else.




Scrapegoat (HEADLINER) (9:00 P.M.)

Scrapegoat lays out a full night of entertainment, performing original untraditional acoustic songs on 12 string, banjo and harmonicas with along with covers of generations of great music like Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Waylon and Willy, Son Volt, Lyle Lovett, Uncle Tupelo, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Devil Makes Three, Trampled by Turtles and more.