Winterfolk Fest showcases male-female duos



Local music fans will be seeing double when Yellow Cab Tavern in Dayton hosts Winterfolk Fest 2022 on Saturday, Jan. 15. This year’s bill showcases all male-female duos featuring the Katawicks, Biscuits & Gravy, David & Heather, Charlie & Amanda and the Nautical Theme.

Of the acts, the Katawicks and the Nautical Theme are first and foremost ongoing two-piece indie folk groups. While the others are legit duos that perform frequently, they are also side projects. Biscuits & Gravy is Winterfolk organizer Harold Hensley of bluegrass group the Repeating Arms and Cassandra Barker of Cherry Lee & the Hot Rod Hounds. Husband-and-wife duo David & Heather is David Payne and Heather Redman of the Americana acts the New Old-Fashioned and Neo American Pioneers, respectively. Charlie & Amanda Jackson, another married duo, is also an Americana act.

Hensley recently answered some questions about the annual event.

Unlike previous years, this is an all-local lineup. Is that because of coronavirus concerns?

Yeah, I usually have some out-of-towners because I like to keep a few of the acts fresh and change it every year. I was kind of worried about booking and having to put out guarantees to pay people from out-of-town if nobody shows up. I didn’t want to be stuck with thousands of dollars coming out of my own pocket.

How did the all-duo format come about?

The main thing was not to have too many mouths to feed but to make it a really nice event, too. It’s something I thought about doing before the pandemic happened. I wanted to go back to a rootsier thing where it’s more about the songs than having big flashy full bands. I wanted to return to what the roots of folk really is to me, you know, the songwriting, the lyrics. I tried to choose some lyric-heavy stuff and it just worked out to be duets.

The performers are overwhelmingly rootsy but each one has its own style. Were you concerned about it being strictly male-female acts?

“No, I thought having all male-female duets was pretty neat. As soon as I started thinking about it and put out the feelers, I was like, ‘Man, this is going to work out. This is going to be a really eclectic show. It’ll be a little bit of something for everyone.’ When you put ‘folk’ in the name of your event, a lot of people think it’s going to be a sleepy, storyteller show or whatever. I think there will be some pretty magic moments at this year’s event.”

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What: Winterfolk Fest with the Katawicks, Biscuits & Gravy, David & Heather, Charlie & Amanda and the Nautical Theme

Where: Yellow Cab Tavern, 700 E. Fourth St., Dayton

When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 15

Cost: $10 in advance, $15 day of show

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