Bringing Back Fan Favorites

 

June 26 ● Wylie & The Wild West

Photo Credit: 11th & Grant with Eric Funk & Tim Stiller

The Festival begins on June 26th with “music baptized with a hardy dose of trail dust and horse hair” as defined by Wylie and The Wild West. Wylie Gustafson is a native Montanan singer/songwriter with 20 albums and 4 decades of performing, writing, and recording under his belt.

Over the last 30 years, Wylie and his band, The Wild West, have performed their refreshing blend of cowboy, western swing, old school country, and yodeling music worldwide. Stateside, they have performed at such prestigious venues as the National Folk Festival, MerleFest, the Bumbershoot Festival, The Stagecoach Festival, A Prairie Home Companion, The Conan O’Brien Show and the Grand Ole Opry (with over 50 guest appearances). Worldwide, their universal appeal has taken them to China, Russia, Australia, Europe, South America, and Japan.

Wylie’s dynamic stage presence keeps getting him invited back to venues year-after-year. As a seasoned singer/songwriter, Wylie has etched his presence onto the American music scene and is the originator of the High Plains Yodeling style which evokes the loneliness of his northern Montana home.

When asked to define his music, Wylie says, “We are a good-time cowboy band that hates to be boring!” The band members, guitarist Clayton Parsons, drummer Tim Lashley, and violinist, John Sporman, are all virtuoso players with winning personalities. 

Learn more about Wylie & The Wild West here.

 


 

July 10 ● Montana Chamber Music Society

The Montana Chamber Music Society (MCMS) takes the stage on July 10th. Comprised of world-class musicians with a long list of accolades and awards including Grammys, Grand Prix du Disques, and Gramophone Awards, MCMS returns again this summer for its 27th performance with the Festival.

This year’s performance will include returning members and maybe even perhaps a new addition from their stable of 12 highly accomplished musicians. We’ll update this page when we have a final list of the musicians from MCMS who will perform at the Festival.

In the meantime, you can learn more about the musicians and the Montana Chamber Music Society on their website.

 

 

 


 

July 24 ● The Queen City Swing Band

We continue our fan-favorite picks from previous years on July 24th with Helena’s Queen City Swing Band. Formerly known as the Speakeasy Dance Band, this ten-piece band has been performing across Montana for more than 25 years. Beginning with the “Big Band” sound of Stan Kenton, Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, the Dorsey Brothers, and Duke Ellington the Queen City Swing Band has expanded selections to include music up to present day.

As the piano, percussion, saxophones, trumpets, bass and trombone play melody, harmony and rhythm, you will want to tap your toes, nod your head, and make room for a dance floor in the Chapel. That’s what happened the first time they performed at the Festival. We had concert attendees literally dancing in the aisles! You definitely don’t want to miss this fun.

While the group doesn’t have a formal website, if you’re on Facebook you can find them here.

 


 

August 7 ● Phil Aaberg

Photo Credit: Thomas Lee

On August 7th, Grammy and Emmy nominated, Montana-native keyboardist and composer, Phil Aaberg, will once again share his compositions that evoke the spaciousness and beauty of the Western landscape. After earning a Leonard Bernstein Scholarship and Harvard National Scholarship at Harvard College, Phil graduated with a Bachelor in Arts degree in music. It was then time for him to head west again to explore the San Francisco blues scene. In San Francisco he joined the Elvin Bishop Group, with whom he toured and recorded several albums.

Phil’s wide range of abilities has garnered him guest appearances on over 200 albums and concert tours with artists as varied as Peter Gabriel, John Hiatt, Kenny Rogers, and the Doobie Brothers.

Upon signing with Windham Hill in 1985, Phil leveraged his eclectic background to produce a series of solo albums that show off his rigorous keyboard technique, diverse influences, and colorful compositional style. In 2000, he began his own record label with his wife Patty — Sweetgrass Music — through which he has since endeavored to produce music that “connects a global audience to the landscapes of the West.” Throughout his career, Phil has produced music that consistently translates Montana’s farms, ranches, and native cultures into musical concepts and has forged a unique keyboard style that paints an audible portrait of his home state.

Discover more about this amazing Montana musician on his website.

 


 

August 21 ● Kendrick & Mondie

Marly Kendrick and Brett Mondie were introduced by a mutual friend late in the summer of 2019 and hit if off immediately. Since then, the duo has been keeping very busy playing all kinds of events and venues in Helena and the surrounding area. Kendrick & Mondie have a distinctive and engaging style of country/folk music that highlights their uncanny ability to harmonize with precision.

With her background in opera, musical theater, and church music, Marly Kendrick has a unique ability to sing just about anything. She taught herself piano and guitar late in life and adds both to the stage along with her vocals. Her musical background explains her prowess as she comes from a family of vocalists. Her father and two sisters were all blessed with the ability to sing anything. There aren’t many songs that intimidate Marly. She’s put in her 10,000 hours to master her craft, driven by her passion to use her music to inspire others.

Brett Mondie’s supernatural ability to accomplish whatever he sets his mind to has shaped his natural talent. His strong work ethic and rich musical history have blended with his southern roots to create the self-made guitar playing, vocal master we’ll hear at the Festival. His guitar skills draw audiences in with creative and technical riffs. Brett is also a gifted lyricist who leans on his life experiences to write music that is relatable as well as enjoyable. His accomplishments include a recorded album and 2 EPs with the band Fortune In The Sun, an album (and Live version) in LA with his band Brett Mondie & The Barbaros, a solo EP with Grammy-winning Producer, Jimmy Hoyson, and most recently a new single, Damn Good Woman, in 2021.

We’ve got to get these two a website! Until then, you can find more about them and their music on Facebook here.

 


 

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