For nearly 30 years the internationally-known Brotherhood Singers have thrilled audiences with their old-style a cappella gospel quartet performances. They will be the closing act at this year’s Driftless Music Festival on Saturday, July 13 at Eckhart Park in Viroqua. Admission to the event is free.
The Singers, who specialize in intricate and engaging four-part harmonies, weave together a program of both spiritual and secular music, including patriotic and rhythm and blues songs. The ensemble’s founder, Ric Jennings, indicates the group’s aim is to produce music that is “pleasing to the taste buds of the Soul.” The five-voice quartet (one lead and four harmony vocalists) emerged out of the renowned Ninth Street Baptist Church Men’s Choir of Covington, Kentucky, and modeled itself in the tradition of groups like The Dixie Hummingbirds and The Golden Gate Quartet. The group’s infectious energy has charmed audiences throughout the country and abroad, in churches, secular music venues, music festivals and television spots in the U.S., as well as in Canada, Russia, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland and Spain.
“It’s really hard to find a quartet rooted so deeply in the old-school “jubilee” tradition—so we are very pleased to have landed this premier upbeat group to close this year’s Festival,” indicated DMF organizer Charlie Knower. The Brotherhood Singers will take the Music Festival stage at 8:30 p.m.
Other performers at the event include:
1:00 p.m. The Yellowbellied Sapsuckers, who bring a brand-new take on old-time country—original songs and fiddle tunes inspired by classic hillbilly and old-time fiddling traditions.
2:30 p.m. Honky-Tonk Jump, with classic and classy swingin’ Texas dance hall music in the tradition of Bob Wills, Milton Brown, Ernest Tubb and Spade Cooley, spiced up with a sprinkling of Hank Williams.
4:00 p.m. Orquesta-MAS (Madison All Stars). Thirteen salsa-inspired musicians with roots in Central and South America fill the stage with silky-smooth and irresistibly addictive Latin Rhythms.
6:30 p.m. Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal. “If James Brown and Otis Redding had a love child, it would be Josh Hoyer”—a huge sound that is flashy and bold, but with a wild energy directed by skill and control.
The grounds will open at 12:00 noon for lunch at the Fest’s Food Court, which features wood-fired pizza; Jamaican fare; tacos; burgers, brats, hotdogs and other sandwiches; kettle corn, strawberry shortcake and smoothies, and other dessert offerings, all with an emphasis on local food sources. The Driftless Music Festival, now in its 8th year, is a family-friendly event, and, as always, admission is free. More information about the Fest is available at driftlessmusicfestival.com or by email to driftlessmusicfestival@gmail.