BELLOWS FALLS >> It's time to mark the dates on the calendar for the seventeenth annual Roots on the River Music Festival, to be held Friday, June 3, through Sunday, June 5. Headliners Dave Alvin, Mary Gauthier, and The Steel Wheels, will highlight the three-day Americana musical fiesta.
The schedule has been expanded to add more hours and artists to both Friday and Sunday, as well as a Sunday morning gospel hour.
"This year's lineup has a particularly wide range of national and local artists," Ray Massucco, of Vermont Festivals, the event promoter said. "Our Friday headliner, Dave Alvin, routinely fills far larger venues than Roots on the River, but he has a special affinity for Bellows Falls, having performed at Roots and Boccelli's in its heyday."
Gauthier's return is always eagerly anticipated.
"Mary Gauthier, a Roots veteran since 2000, now routinely holds forth at Nashville's Grand 'Ol Opry and her music has been featured on the television series, "Nashville," Massucco said. "Her soulful voice soars in the historic meeting house.
"Virginia's The Steel Wheels are also Roots veterans, having performed to packed crowds under the Big Tent in 2012 and 2013, and last March, they played to a sold out house at the Bellows Falls Opera House," Massucco said. "We expect them to fill the tent again on Saturday night this year. They will make a second, much anticipated, appearance, at the newly instituted Sunday Morning Full Gospel Hour at the Meeting House."
Much of Southern Vermont's premiere music festival will take place as usual under the Big Tent at the Rodeway Inn on Friday and Saturday, augmented with the traditional Friday Farmer's Market and other events, including a popular open mic, sprinkled throughout town during the weekend.
Sunday's show at the Rockingham Meeting House will include the new Full Gospel Hour Show in the morning with three artists returning from Saturday for second appearances: The Steel Wheels, Joe Crookston and Lula Wiles. The traditional closing concert in the 1787 Meeting House will feature Mary Gauthier and newcomer Bobby Dove.
Pleasant Valley Brewing is now presenting a Thursday night show, and will continue to feature the closing sets of the weekend on Sunday.
Other artists scheduled for the festival include Friday performances by newcomer Izzy Serebrov, 17-year veteran Roger Marin, Brock Zeman, and Blair Hogan, The Ballroom Thieves with the Maine Youth Rock Orchestra, and Della Mae.
Saturday will feature also locals The Milkhouse Heaters, along with Lula Wiles, Lara Herscovitch, Spuyten Duyvil, Joe Crookston, The Young Novelists, and The Defibulators.
As a new feature, the festival will offer a hospitality tent to patrons and high-end Roots ticketholders on Friday evening.
For more information, and to purchase tickets, please go to www.rootsontheriver.com, or call 802-460-3333.
The festival is smoke-free and family-friendly, with a special staffed youth tent on the Saturday of the festival. There is a limited number of Deluxe passes for guaranteed seats under the big tent, so plan to come early or bring a small lawn chair or blanket. Vendors will be on-site to provide food and beverages.