top of page

2023 Musicians

Curtis Eller

"Banjo player and songwriter, Curtis Eller, started his show business career as a juggler and acrobat, but has since turned to the banjo because that's where the money is. His band, The American Circus, has developed a devoted international following based on spellbinding stage performances that combine a dreamlike view of American history with silent film style comedy, and explosive rock & roll energy. The iconoclastic troubadour relentlessly tours the stages of America, Europe, and Australia, where his legendary solo shows once earned him the title, “New York’s angriest yodeling banjo player”.

Social Media and Website:






Rick Fowler Acoustic Band

Steeped in the wealth of experience and known for lyrical maturity that still packs an attitude, musician Rick Fowler brings an original yet familiar appeal to fans of ‘60s and ‘70s rock. The Athens-based blues rock Rick Fowler Acoustic Band is composed of Rick Fowler (vocals/guitar), Michael Doke (guitar/slide guitar/vocals), Greg Veale (bass/vocals) and Deane Quinter (drums). Together the group presents a raw version of blues rock polished by each member’s know-how of their instrument. Its stories remain accessible and representative of the band’s collective knowledge and impressive individual histories.


Danielle Howle

True connection can only come about through pure, honest expression. It comes from knowing how to find a truth within, and having the courage to unabashedly share it. As an artist-poet, Danielle Howle is a natural storyteller through song. She makes the biggest impact by sharing simple truths. Her music comes from a place of self-awareness, and is on a perpetual journey of self-discovery. She balances powerful style with conversational lyrics, sharing her honest experience of life. Known for captivating audiences with her stunning vocal ability, contagious energy, and incredible songwriting skills, Danielle’s music ranges from country-swamp-blues to jazz to Americana with clear jazz, country, southern rock, indie, and folk influences.


Hibbs Family Band

Hibbs Family Band is composed of a family of four residing in Watkinsville & Athens, GA. Henry and Judy Hibbs have decades of experience performing in local groups, and their boys, Rob and Garrett, have played in numerous rock bands, touring the southeastern United States. The quartet was drawn to the idea of creating a sound they longed for since the siblings were young when the family would play music together in their living room. Hibbs Family Band seamlessly weaves narratives of both past and present family members into their songwriting, embracing rich folk and bluegrass melodies. Drawing from a wealth of artistic heritage, the family incorporates their grandmother and great aunt's artwork to encapsulate the themes of their two full-length albums.


Rebecca Ballard & Sunshine Band

Rebecca Sunshine Band plays fun, interactive music that will get everyone singing and dancing! Join us for awesome jam for kids of all ages; get ready to sing and play along with old favorites and new-to-you tunes, too! We have instruments for everyone to play.

Villain Family

Villain Family is where outlaw country meets 90's R&B. A uniquely southern blend of influences provides the sound that lead vocalist, Rachel Wright's soaring melodies and beautiful harmonies take off from. Heartfelt, humorous and catchy Villain Family will have you singing and dancing till the morning comes!


Influenced by the tight harmonies of groups like the Everly Brothers and the Cox Family, The Skipperdees (twin sisters Catherine and Emily Backus) make self-described "sad songs by happy people." Their heart-rending folk music is informed by their upbringing in the foothills of the Appalachians and a love of the great American songbook. Catherine and Emily now live in Roanoke, VA and Atlanta, GA respectively, but are thrilled to reunite for this year's North Georgia Folk Festival!



Gracie Huffman is a singer/songwriter based in Athens, GA. She is passionate about the art of songwriting and the importance of expression through music, currently through writing songs and performing under lighthearted. An integral part of the independent music scene in Athens, she has sung on many different projects, including collaborations with Elijah Johnston, Reeves, Logan Pilcher, Blake Kole, American Delhi, Jacob Mallow, Legit Smitty, Brendan Abernathy, and more. Currently, she performs with lighthearted, Elijah Johnston and CannonandtheBoxes.


Paul Edelman

Almost born on the airplane from Columbus, OH to Philly, Paul Edelman has cultivated a passionate, loyal following with original, arresting and reverent music. Edgy and misty, from a holler to a whisper, Edelman’s songs and performances have been making folks feel that they’ve truly discovered something special, and he’s earned universal respect from peers as well. Paul has worked with some of the industries greatest names, he has recorded with Jimmy Johnson (founder Muscle Shoals Studio), Nashville Session Staple drummer, Martin Parker (Ricky Scaggs, Allison Krauss, Patti Loveless) And Keyboardist Steve Fordham ( Mavis Staples)



Danny ‘Mudcat’ Dudeck is an internationally known gospel and bluesman continuing the traditions of the early blues pioneers while adding his own Mudcat edge, resulting in one of Atlanta’s greatest treasures. The self-taught musician honed his craft busking on street corners and ferries from New York to New Orleans and has gone on to tour Europe and play with greats like Dickey Betts, Taj Mahal and Derek Trucks. But perhaps his greatest influence as an Atlanta institution is his role as an ambassador for bridging the contemporary blues scene with the legacy of its forebears.

Welfare Liners

The Welfare Liners came together from the eclectic Athens, GA music scene in 2010 and combined contemporary and traditional influences to create a brand of bluegrass that has earned praise from young and old. After releasing a self-titled, six-song EP on Ghostmeat Records in 2011, the band found themselves sharing the stage with the likes of The Del McCoury Band and Dawes. Slowly, original compositions began to make there way into sets previously dominated by standards from Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs and The Stanley Brothers. These original songs borrowed heavily from the tradition of brother harmony mastered by Jim & Jesse and The Louvin Brothers. 

David Bridges

David is the resident volunteer coordinator for the Folk Fest!  He mixes his custom blend of finger style and flat picking guitar, drawing inspiration from old and new.  Original tunes as well as ones we all know.  Playing to preserve the music that started everything so that it lives forever.

Cortez Garza

Cortez is a singer-songwriter based in Athens who had been a major part of the North Georgia Folk Festival planning committee for many years.  He will play a set of original music to open the Fire Circle Stage and will act as MC for the afternoon of music.

Villian Family.png
Welfare Liners 1.png
bottom of page