Jay Ungar & Molly Mason, Erin McKeown, the Lonesome Sisters, Mike + Ruthy and Grian MacGregor complete with her cast of 75 puppets will be some of the songwriters, composers, musicians who will play at the first-ever Woodstock Songwriter Festival, presented by Mike + Ruthy at Vivo Fine Art (105A Mill Hill Road, Woodstock, NY) on Labor Day Weekend – Friday, September 2, Saturday, September 3 and Sunday, September 4, 2011.  The three days will include evening concerts, performances for family audiences, hands-on workshops for children, art, food and dancing.
 “The Woodstock Songwriter Festival celebrates our rich community of composers, performers and audiences who get excited by a beautiful melody and a good lyric,” says Ruthy Ungar.??“Our friends at Vivo Fine Art have created a beautiful new space dedicated to championing the work of vibrant artists and we thought it was the perfect environment to launch the festival. We hope the event will grow each year to include more venues and performers of all generations and styles,” says Mike Merenda.
 Vivo Fine Art (vivofineart.com) is an art gallery located in a pre-Civil War barn formerly belonging to Woodstock’s Riseley family. Gallerists Marco Ferrero (owner) and Jenn Glickman (curator) named the gallery “Vivo,” meaning, “I live.”
 A schedule of evening concerts and festival events for families follows.  Tickets will be first come first serve at the door.
 Woodstock Songwriter Festival evening concerts
 Friday, September 2 at 8:00 pm ($10) – Jeremy Bernstein and Spirit Family Reunion ??Born and raised in Woodstock, local favorite Jeremy Bernstein is a musician, artist and carpenter, who sings honest tales of friendship, love and loss.  His powerful songs and voice fronted the band Stoney Clove Lane for many years. Bernstein’s solo record, Love Eat Sleep, recorded with a roving cast of characters from all over the great state of New York, “may be one of the great unheralded albums of late 2010,” according to Roll Magazine.  loveeatsleep.com
Based out of Brooklyn, Spirit Family Reunion is steeped in the tradition of Woody Guthrie, dusty boots, and worn acoustic instruments.  The band doesn’t discriminate from any sort of ‘traditional’ music: iconic folk’s lyricism rubs up against the zydeco rhythms and the Gospel hallelujah rides a top a claw-hammer banjo line.  Spirit Family Reunion is looking forward to returning to the Catskills after performing at Mountain Jam this past June. myspace.com/spiritfamilyreunionusa
 Saturday night, September 3rd at 8:00 pm ($15) – Mike + Ruthy and Erin McKeown
Mike + Ruthy have been harmonizing for over a decade. Their show is a witty and fun mix of enchanting Americana music ranging from beautifully harmonized original compositions to surprising selections from contemporary and traditional American folk. Complete with fiddle, banjo, guitar, ukulele and their hallmark harmony singing, a Mike + Ruthy concert is overstuffed with soulful songs and stories and a timeless sound that is spellbinding and pure. mikeandruthy.com
Writer, multi-instrumentalist, and performer Erin McKeown’s show ranges from elegant pop ballads, balls-out rock, sweet electronics and sassy swing.  McKeown has created eight full length albums, including her latest Hundreds of Lions on Righteous Babe Records, three EPs, an upcoming concert film, and a groundbreaking internet concert series.  She’s even written a song via text message with her friend Rachel Maddow. The Sunday Times wrote of McKeown, "In several distinctive ways – voice, dynamic subtlety, and sheer songwriting ability – Erin McKeown is in a class of her own."  erinmckeown.com
 Sunday night, September 4th at 8:00 pm ($15) – the Lonesome Sisters and Jay Ungar & Molly Mason
 Woodstock’s own Sarah Hawker and Debra Clifford are the Lonesome Sisters.  Their concert offers traditional Americana with hard-hitting high old time country and mountain harmonies.  With the duo’s shimmering vocals, heartfelt lyrics and stunning instrumentation, tragedy and heartache have never been more captivating.  lonesomesisters.com
 Jay Ungar and Molly Mason play fiddle-driven American music.  Their exceptional musicianship in a vast number of styles, including cajun, celtic, country and swing, have made them one of the most celebrated duos in American acoustic music.  The duo’s performance of Jay’s haunting original composition "Ashokan Farewell" became the musical hallmark of Ken Burns' The Civil War on PBS. jayandmolly.com.
 Woodstock Songwriter Festival Events for Families
 Saturday, September 3rd at 1:00 pm – Children’s Songwriting Workshop (please email ruthyuke@gmail.com to pre-register your child ages 7-12, $15 workshop fee includes the child’s admission to the 3:00 pm concert) – Ruthy Ungar and Uncle Rock aka Robert Burke Warren will collaborate with children in a songwriting workshop.  The song that the young artists create will be showcased by the kids as Uncle Rock's opening act at 3:00 pm.
 Saturday, September 3rd at 3:00 pm ($8 adults, $5 kids) – Uncle Rock concert for audiences of all ages
 Hailed as “a star among the young,” by the New York Times, Uncle Rock has been dazzling audiences of all ages through his inspiring music which seamlessly bridges the gap between adult and children’s music.  “No kid ever comes to the gigs alone,” he quips.  With songs including "I love my disco nap!" and "It's the sugar talking . . . not me!" Uncle Rock has enjoyed three highly-acclaimed CDs, the new release of his DVD and is hands-down the area’s top writer of rockin' kid-friendly hooks.  unclerock.com
 Sunday, September 4th at 3:00 pm ($8 adults, $5 kids) – Grian MacGregor aka The Ivy Vine Players concert and puppet-making workshop for kids.
 Grian MacGregor offers a one-woman show with a cast of 75 hand-made puppets created from recycled old clothes.  Her charming puppet characters are loaded with personality and her songs and stories are timeless. MacGregor finds inspiration for her puppetry from her life experiences, and in turn her cast of characters has taken her to places as diverse as the Toy Theater Festival in New York, the Festival of Romance in New Zealand, the playgrounds of Ecuador and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.  Immediately following the concert, MacGregor will empower children to transform their favorite old fabrics into puppets.  In one hour, cast-off clothing and sundry details will emerge as unique characters: an armor-clad knight, or a pencil-toting author, or a dragonfly.  grianmacgregor.com.
 For more information about the Woodstock Songwriter Festival please visit woodstocksongwriterfestival.com.