The Road To Sawdust City Music Festival – Grady Kelneck

Photo Supplied by PR

This August long weekend (August 3-5),  Gravenhurst, ON is the place to be. Of course, I’m speaking of the 2nd annual Sawdust City Music Festival. In an effort to showcase some of the great talent taking part in the festival, we are doing a series of interviews throughout the next few weeks. We started things off with Samantha Martin of Samanta Martin & Delta Sugar, who will headline the Music On The Barge show on August 5, then we had a chat with Nothern Ontario folk duo, cAbiners who will perform on Friday, August 3 at The Oar at 5:30 pm.

Today, it’s all about the Toronto-based folk artist, Grady Kelneck who will be performing a free show on August 4 at The Oar at 5:30 pm.

Is this your first time playing the Sawdust City Music Festival?

Yes, it is. I understand it was a huge success last year, and I’m really honoured to be asked to be part of the story this year. My very good friend, Jamie Sherman is joining me, which I couldn’t be more happy about – words fall short in explaining how much of a joy he is to listen to. And we get to play at The Oar – it’s a beautiful establishment run by Robbie, Alain, and their Team, and the food is consistently phenomenal.

Who are you looking forward to seeing perform from the festival line up?

I feel like one of the best parts of attending a music festival is getting turned on to new artists/bands you had never previously heard of, and this year’s Sawdust City Music Festival is no exception. Every person I speak to about the festival has mentioned different acts they are over the moon about seeing, so the line-up is stacked and well-diversified. I also just saw Danny Michel and Good Lovelies at this year’s Mariposa and they are both so charismatic and engaging, can’t wait to catch them in action again. Bet Smith and The Currie Brothers are always a highlight.

What excites you about being part of a music festival?

Being blown away by live music is always the hope, but I feel like the stories and personal interactions are the special moments. Not only hearing stories from the performers, when they are in their element and just letting loose in beautiful ways but also hearing the stories from the festival goers – for many attendees, this is a culture for them and their passion is a big part of what elevates the overall experience for everyone.

What are some things you think make this specific music festival great?

The Town of Gravenhurst – Krista Storey, Kelly Hamilton, and their entire Team are so supportive of the local arts. I’m so grateful to them, for providing opportunities like this, and for always making the arts a central element of what makes the town tick. Miranda Mulholland, having the vision and drive to create such an event, and the connection of her great-great Grandfather having organized the building of the beautiful Opera House, which is such a beacon of the festival and the area’s art culture – this is a very grassroots celebration and honoring such a history and legacy is a very special component of the festival. Having this kind of foundation, only beautiful things can grow from that.

Are there any other major dates or festivals you would like to mention for upcoming shows?

Beverlie and Charlie Robertson are fantastic musicians in the area and they have built a really great coffee house series at Muskoka Place Gallery. It’s a real treat to play there, and Jamie and I are really looking forward to being part of their future programming.

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