SILVER CITY - An eclectic group of musicians will descend on Ontonagon County this weekend, as the Porcupine Mountains Music Festival runs Friday through Sunday.
The annual folk, blues and contemporary festival boasts three stages and more than 20 bands. There will be two main stages as well as a "busking" stage, in which amateurs and professionals alike can play an all-acoustic set for tips.
This year's docket includes bands like The Ragbirds, The Red Sea Pedestrians, Conga Se Menne, Charlie Parr, Alison Scott, D.B. Rielly, Rita Hosking and Cousin Jack, Guy Mendilow Band, Copper Country favorites Seth Bernard and May Erlewine and others. Gates will open at 11:30 a.m. Friday, noon Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday.
Rielly is one of the artists playing multiple sets over the weekend. A unique singer-songwriter playing American roots music, banjo/guitar player Rielly is looking forward to his first Upper Peninsula show.
"I just want to have fun and play some funny songs and some love songs, and just meet people," Rielly said in a phone interview.
Rielly's lyrics are a mix of dark, funny and poignant wrapped into one. Having garnered numerous accolades over the last few years, Rielly merely plays what makes him happy, and it seems to be pleasing audiences and critics alike.
"It's nice to see that other people like it too," Rielly said. "My songs have a little something for everyone, a nice variety."
The singer-songwriter is also looking forward to the festival atmosphere he has seen quite a bit while touring over the summer.
"The thing about festivals, is that people go and they're automatically having a good time," Rielly said. "There less of that entertainment pressure; it's just on you and you can do your thing."
Rielly is performing at 2:45 p.m. Friday at the Singing Hills stage and 7:45 p.m. Saturday at the Singing Hills stage.
Minneapolis, Minn.-native Alison Scott will also be performing at this weekend's festivities. A soulful voice that cuts across genres like pop, rock and hip-hop - as evidenced by a cover of TLC's hit "Waterfalls" on her "Chinese Whispers" album - Scott has opened for artists like Bon Jovi, Chris Isaak and Marc Cohn.
"We call it soul music, but it definitely has hints of pop and rock and even a little hip-hop," Scott said in a phone interview. "It's pretty vintage-based soul music."
Scott will be bringing her whole band, including Kevin Bowe on guitar, who is playing the festival with his own band the Okemah Prophets. Although Scott has been pigeonholed at times as a singer-songwriter, people will not get a boring show at 4;15 p.m. Sunday.
"We put on a pretty rocking show," Scott said. "It's not chill, singer-songwriter music, it's a good time.
"People can definitely expect plenty of music they can dance to," she continued. "We'll get through a lot of genres and play something for everyone."
For more information on the festival and a complete schedule of bands, visit porkiesfestival.org. To sign up for the busking stage, contact Dale Venema at 906-884-6853 or firstname.lastname@example.org.