September 30, 2017

Main Street, Nashua


Presented by The River Casino and Sports Bar, this event features acts performing folk, bluegrass, americana, rhythm & blues, and more!

The event will be held across multiple venues including a closed Main Street in Downtown Nashua, NH. This festival event will also feature food trucks, live art, interactive demonstrations, local artisanal vendors and more TBA!

This is the last of two downtown music festivals designed to offer a wide variety of experiences over the course of 2017. The festival preceding the New England Roots Festival is Nu Muse Festival on 5/6.

Great American Downtown is still accepting applications for performance artists, and vendors for the arts and artisans market. You will find street performer/musician applications here, and arts/artisan vendor applications here. We will not accept applications from multilevel marketing vendors. Please direct all applications to Ben Ruddock, Arts Coordinator. Please direct all sponsorship requests, with event presence opportunities available, to Paul Shea, Executive Director.

The New England Roots Lineup:



Take a Look


  • Jacob Jolliff is one of the country’s premier contemporary mandolinists. Before joining Yonder Mountain String Band, Jolliff was an integral member of beloved New England roots band, Joy Kills Sorrow. He started touring with JKS when he was studying on a full scholarship at The Berklee College of Music. The band logged three records, hundreds of shows, and thousands of miles of worldwide touring. Jolliff’s new solo project, The Jacob Jolliff Band, is a next generation bluegrass supergroup. The ensemble features some of the most virtuosic and innovative young pickers in the country. The band features his long-time partner-in-crime, Alex Hargreaves, on fiddle. Considered one of best improvising violinists in the world, Hargreaves is the winner of The Grand Masters Fiddle Championship and The National Oldtime Fiddlers’ Contest. He is also a member of the Turtle Island String Quartet. Bringing his ground-breaking and fiery guitar style to the group is one of Jolliff’s Berklee friends, Stash Wyslouch. A former member of The Deadly Gentleman, he is the current leader of The Stash! Band. He also tours with Molsky’s Mountain Drifters. To complete the outfit, Jacob tapped bassist Jeff Picker, who he met in NYC in 2014. The jazz bass prodigy from Portland, OR also has substantial grounding in the bluegrass tradition, making him the perfect anchor for the rhythm section. Picker currently tours with Americana phenom, Sarah Jarosz.

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The sounds of The Appleseed Collective are as diverse as the personalities that create them. Violinist/Mandolinist Brandon Worder-Smith grew up steeped in a rich rural Bluegrass and Irish fiddle culture. Driven to explore beyond the boundaries of tradition, he set off on foot to hitchhike around America searching for his musical kin. After a year and a half of wandering he stumbled across Guitarist Andrew Brown back in Ann Arbor MI, where the band now hangs their collective hats when not on the road. Downtown Andrew Brown, fast-talking vintage garb peddler and son of a Motown session musician had just returned from New Orleans with a piece of that dixieland sound. He gifted long-time friend and funk/rock drummer Vince Russo with a washboard, whose penchant for ripping percussion solos and untamed showmanship were only further enhanced, and the first incarnation of the band was born. Later the boys would join forces with bassist Eric O’Daly, whose passion for Indian Classical music and introspective yet fiery Irish nature would complete the Genre-Bending sound of The Appleseed Collective.

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Full of energy and surprise, wit and subtlety, Twisted Pine has quickly become one of the most acclaimed young string bands in the Northeast. Audiences across the US and UK have been drawn to their forthright songwriting, lush harmonies, musical daring, and “charismatic appeal,” to quote Grammy-winner Alison Brown. In its early days, Twisted Pine hewed pretty close to its bluegrass origins, but over time the quartet has developed a unique, infectious style without limits. Moving beyond the standard verse-chorus-solo structure of traditional string bands, Twisted Pine is a multilayered ensemble that brings the enveloping sound and pop hooks of indie music to an acoustic instrumental setting.

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It was only a matter of time for a project like ‘Say Darling’ to come together…a band of old friends and road warriors – a super group of sorts – from the New England Roots Rock and Americana scene.

Grammy Nominated singer and songwriter Celia Woodsmith – of the acclaimed bluegrass band ‘Della Mae’ – and crtically lauded guitarist Chris Hersch of the Alt. Country Rock band ‘Girls Guns & Glory’ – took the opportunity to form the band they always wanted when both tenures with these international touring acts came to a close.

Country, R&B and Blues may be the backbone of the band, but make no mistake, ‘Say Darling’ rocks out. Powered by Woodsmith’s straight-from-the-depths vocalizing and Hersch’s finger-flying fretwork (and fortified by vintage Hammond organ tones and rhythm-ready drums) this gutsy ensemble embraces its roots yet keeps its feet firmly in the here-and-now.

Blending distinctive original songs with classic tunes that pay homage to a shared musical heritage, ‘Say Darling’ evokes the funky drive of Little Feat, the moving vocals of Bonnie Raitt and the instrumental prowess of the Tedeschi-Trucks Band while maintaining a firm identity of its own.

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o “There aren’t many unknown artists who get to record their debut albums partially at Muscle Shoals’ Fame Studios with legends such as keyboardist Spooner Oldham, guitarist Greg Leisz and fiddler Sara Watkins sitting in. But, there aren’t many new singers as impressive as Julie Rhodes either.” – American Songwriter. On the cusp of a meteoric rise in the songwriter community, Julie Rhodes is a powerhouse vocalist with authentic soul, grounded both in the songwriting traditions of yesterday’s Americana and today’s very present social and political issues.

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No Depression calls Bill Scorzari “a force. His songwriting is stellar, his picking above par and his voice fits his songs perfectly.” Bill Scorzari is a New York-based singer-songwriter, often likened to Sam Baker, Tom Waits, Bruce Springsteen and John Prine. March 10, 2017 marked the release of Through These Waves, his second full-length record, produced by Jonah Tolchin (Yep Roc) and engineered, mixed, and mastered at the Bomb Shelter in Nashville, TN.

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