Shawano Folk Music Festival releasing anthology

Release party planned for Aug. 1

The release party for the Shawano Folk Music Festival’s CD anthology “40 Years, 40 Artists, 40 Songs” will be held at Glas, the Green Coffeehouse at 511 N. Main St. in Shawano, from 5-7 p.m. on Aug. 1.

The CD Release Party will celebrate the CD, as well as 40 years of music under the trees. Snacks and beverages will be served, and the CD set will be available for purchase. Several of the musicians featured on the CDs will provide live entertainment.

The Shawano Folk Music Festival has been held in Shawano’s Mielke Park since 1979. To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the festival has produced a two-CD boxed set of festival music. The limited edition CDs feature artists chosen from more than 450 musicians who’ve appeared at the festival.

They include local and regional musicians as well as Grammy winners and artists with national and international name recognition.

Over the years, the Shawano Folk Music Festival has earned a national reputation for a wildly eclectic mix of musical styles. That mix is reflected on the CDs. Songs, which came mostly from the artists’ pre-recorded music, include traditional and contemporary folk, blues, jazz, classical and swing, with a sprinkling of rhythm and blues and world music.

Several songs were re-recorded by the artists for this collection, and one was written just for the CD.

“This is a seamless blend of some of the very best musicians playing some of their very best songs in tribute to this sweet, sweet music festival in Northern Wisconsin,” said Matt Watroba, one of the musicians featured on the CD. “This CD is a joyful reminder of why we all loved folk music — and folk festivals — in the first place.”

Bill Camplin, singer, songwriter and co-owner of Café Carpe in Fort Atkinson, said, “I am impressed beyond simple appreciation … for a single gathering to have contained such a diverse sample of the space age troubadours says something very important about the cultural input the Shawano festival has brought to the Northern Wisconsin arts.”

The anthology was produced by Randy Bruce, Dori Jerger and Joel Kroenke on behalf of the Shawano Folk Music Festival Committee. The CDs were mastered by Hans Christian at Studio 330 in Sturgeon Bay and duplicated by Chris Langkamp at Sooper Dooper in Madison.

All proceeds from the sale of this CD will help the Shawano Folk Music Festival.

“40 Years, 40 Artists, 40 Songs” will be available for purchase at the release party, at several local retail locations and at the Shawano Folk Music Festival on Aug. 10-12. It can also be ordered by calling 920-680-4662.