Sign Language Interpreter a First for Honesdale Roots & Rhythm

More people will be able to enjoy Honesdale’s premier free, non-profit, music and arts event, thanks to the engagement of a sign language interpreter. Kim Hodder, Honesdale, has agreed to take the stage at the Honesdale Roots & Rhythm Music & Arts Festival on Saturday, June 20th, to help expand the festival’s reach to the hearing impaired.


“Roots & Rhythm was founded to bring free music to as many people as possible in our rural part of the country, music many people would not otherwise have an opportunity to enjoy,” says Meica Drake, festival vice-chair, “Kim’s presence will expand our reach and continue to help us fulfill our mission. We’re very pleased to have her on board.”


Hodder, a graduate of Wallenpaupack High School and currently a physical therapist assistant with Wayne Memorial Rehabilitation Services, trained for one year in an Interpreter for the Deaf program at Lackawanna College.  “I’m really excited to be a part of the festival this year!” says Hodder.


Hodder will interpret the opening of the festival on the Main Stage at 1:30pm, which includes a proclamation by Honesdale Mayor Jack Bishop, the National Anthem sung by Honesdale High School students and the kick-off performance by singer-songwriter Chrissi Poland. Hodder will return later in the afternoon, after Professor Louie & the Crowmatix and between performances by Alexis P. Suter and her band and the headliner, The Kentucky Headhunters.  Hodder will also help announce the winners of the Roots Raffle.


For more information about the festival, visit or visit the festival on Facebook.

Volunteers Needed for Roots & Rhythm!

Calling all volunteers!  Join the crew at Honesdale Roots & Rhythm Music & Arts Festival this June 20th and play a part in making this free, non-profit, family friendly festival a success.  Brian Fulp, Festival chair, is looking for volunteers willing to offer any part of the day from 9am until 11pm.


Volunteer opportunities exist to help set up Central Park (remove signs, clean up, etc), sell Roots gear (t-shirts, hats, etc.), collect donations, tear down and work with the Sustainability Team.


“Our Sustainability Team is a source of great pride for us,” says Fulp, “We are working on being a zero waste festival, and we have already received numerous awards for ‘green activity.’ We ask our food vendors to use compostable materials and we sort trash according to strict recycling rules.


“Volunteers on this team don’t actually handle trash themselves,” Fulp adds, “They just help guide festival-goers to use the right bins for compost, recycling and trash.”


To volunteer, contact Fulp at or by phone 570-309-7860.

Alexis P. Suter Band at Roots & Rhythm – “Powerful blues”

The famous blues musician BB King called Alexis P. Suter a “rare talent.”  Levon Helm said, “She is one of those wonderful spirits, she’s got her arms around you; you can feel that.”  Alexis P. Suter and her band will take the stage at the 10th annual Honesdale’s Roots & Rhythm Music & Arts Festival right before the headliner, The Kentucky Headhunters, on June 20th—and festival fans can expect the stage to rock!


“Alexis P. Suter is a powerful presence on stage with an amazing bass/baritone voice,” says Randy Kohrs, music coordinator for this year’s festival, adding, “but don’t just take my word for it. She was one of the nominees this year for the prestigious Koko Taylor award at the Blues Music Awards ceremony. That honor goes to the best traditional blues female artist of the year.”


Kohrs describes the two remaining acts lined up for the main stage this year also “electric.”  They are Professor Louie & the Crowmatix – “a tasty mix of rhythm and blues and rock”) and the Chrissi Poland, a “soulful siren.”


Honesdale Roots & Rhythm is a free, non-profit, family-friendly event with “lots of fun things to see and do and hear,” says Festival Chair Brian Fulp. “Come on down!”


For more information, visit


Photo:  Alexis P. Suter coming to Honesdale Roots & Rhythm June 20th!

“Soulful Siren” Offers Free Workshop for Roots & Rhythm

Chrissi Poland isn’t just joining the lineup of main stage bands for the 10th annual Honesdale Roots & Rhythm Music & Arts Festival. The soulful singer from southern Massachusetts who recently opened a tour for Lady Gaga is also presenting a songwriting workshop at Basin & Main, 564 Main Street, Honesdale, on Saturday, June 20th, the morning of the festival, from 10am -11am.


“Chrissi has graciously agreed to share her thoughts about the songwriting process and how she crafts her music,” said Randy Kohrs, music coordinator for Honesdale Roots & Rhythm. “The workshop will offer participants a chance to dialogue with a singer whose richness and lyrical depth has drawn audiences everywhere. Her voice has been compared to such greats as Aretha Franklin, Carole King and Adele.”


Poland will be part of a star-studded lineup on Saturday, June 20th in Honesdale’s Central Park. She takes the stage about 1:30pm and will be followed by the R&B, Woodstock-based group Professor Louie & the Crowmatix; blues sensation Alexis P. Suter and her band; and finally, the headliners, The Kentucky Headhunters.


“This is the festival’s 10th year of bringing free music to Central Park, and it’s going to be spectacular,” says Brian Fulp, chair of the Festival. “We have many new activities in the works. You don’t want to miss it.”


Honesdale Roots & Rhythm Music & Arts Festival is a non-profit, family-friendly, all day event that includes laser tag, “Tunes & Tales” storytelling and crafts, food vendors,  Artist’s Row and a beer garden offered by the Honesdale Rotary.  Local bands kick off the festival at 1:30pm on Main Street. For more information visit honesdaleroots&


Photo: Chrissi Poland to offer songwriter workshop for Honesdale Roots & Rhythm

Roots & Rhythm Welcomes Professor Louie & the Crowmatix

The third of four main stage performers has been lined up for this year’s Honesdale Roots & Rhythm Music & Arts Festival on June 20th—and they’re Grammy Award nominees. Professor Louie & The Crowmatix formed their own band in 2001 after prepping songs for the Rock’n’ Roll Hall of Fame group, The Band.


“We are really pleased to have this group join us,” says Randy Kohrs, music coordinator for Roots & Rhythm. “Their album Whispering Pines was a Grammy nominee in 2010, and they’re the only band to have a live concert recording released by the New York State Museum. It’s  called Spirit of Woodstock, which is where they’re from. And they truly reflect that vibrant music scene.


“Everyone in the band—five guys and one female– has a broad range of musical experience—and talent. Come hear them on stage at Roots & Rhythm!”


Honesdale Roots & Rhythm marks 10 years this June. The free, non-profit, family-friendly event begins with local bands along Main Street at 10:30. Singer/songwriter Chrissi Poland takes the main stage around 1:30 in Central Park, followed by Professor Louie & the Crowmatix, then the Alexis P. Suter Band and the headliner, The Kentucky Headhunters. For more information, visit


Photo: Professor Louie & The Crowmatix will be at Honesdale Roots & Rhythm June 20th.

Music from the Mountains to the Coal Mines at Tunes & Tales

Dave Matsinko, a well-known folk musician from Pennsylvania, will perform at this year’s Tunes & Tales, a family-friendly feature event at the 10th annual Honesdale Roots & Rhythm Music & Arts Festival on Saturday, June 20th.  Tunes & Tales takes place from 12noon – 5pm  in the courtyard of the Central United Methodist Church, just around the corner from the main stage at 10th and Church Streets.


“Dave is very versatile,” says Lisa Macchia-Ohliger, who is coordinating the event and is the Children’s Program Coordinator for the Wayne County Historical Society Museum. “He sings and plays guitar, old-time banjo, mandolin and a mountain dulcimer to bring the spirit of America’s musical past into the present, offering music from the mountains to the coal mines.


“And for Tunes & Tales, Dave will also be teaching young people how to play folk instruments,” adds Macchia-Ohliger. “In another life, he was a teacher in the Lehighton School District. We are really excited to have him in this year’s program.”


In addition to Dave Matsinko, who will be performing throughout the day, Tunes & Tales will present Standingbear, a native American who will offer tales of his history and heritage.


“It’s all about ‘living history,’” says Macchia-Ohliger. “We’ll also have a Delaware & Hudson canal boat that people can see and touch, a hands-on homestead from the 1800s and a working replica of the Stourbridge Lion steam locomotive—the very same one that put Honesdale in the  history books.”

Roots & Rhythm is a free non-profit music and arts event for all ages. The headliner this year is The Kentucky Headhunters, preceded by the blues/gospel singer Alexis P. Suter and her band, Professor Louie & the Crowmatix (called a “tasty mix of rhythm and blues and rock”) and the soulful  singer/songwriter Chrissi Poland.  The fun starts with local bands performing on Main Street in the morning and continues with the main stage bands in Honesdale’s Central Park around 1:30pm.


“You can truly make a day of this free event!” exclaims Brian Fulp, Festival chair. “Come to town mid-morning, have breakfast, then walk the streets of Honesdale shopping and listening to an array of awesome music and then shift to the park after lunch. Every age group will love it!”
Photo: Dave Matsinko will be at this year’s Tunes & Tales at Honesdale’s Roots & Rhythm Music & Arts Festival.