The August music festival in southern Kent County has assembled perhaps its most impressive lineup to date, with a host of regional stars joining Cracker for the three-day affair.
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Held Aug. 8-10 on Shagbark Farm outside Caledonia, the ever-expanding festival will also boast sets by Desmond Jones, Joe Hertler (solo), Don Julin, Hyryder, Lady Ace Boogie, Mungion, Sophistafunk and the return of Motor City Josh, who was a popular headliner in years past when Cowpie was billed as a blues festival.
So far, the three days of “peace, love and music” hosted by Farmer John Crissman on the working cattle ranch boasts more than two dozen mostly regional acts, with a few more bookings to come.
“We are very proud of this lineup and we are so excited to have the opportunity to host a mix of well-established artists like Cracker, Don Julin and Cowpie favorite Motor City Josh, as well as a cornucopia of rising stars,” said Travis Compton, who books the festival. “One of our goals is to be a showplace for some of West Michigan’s most talented acts, but also to add in some national and regional bands that you can only see locally at Cowpie. We have added bands from all over the Midwest and as far as Connecticut.”
Grand Rapids blues legend Jimmie Stagger also is once again in the lineup, having played every festival since it began 17 years ago.
Also on the bill for Cowpie 2019: The Legal Immigrants, Jesse Ray & The Carolina Catfish, Melophobix, Biomassive, The Bootstrap Boys, Winnow, The Turnips, Olivia Mainville, Slim Gypsy Baggage, Megan Dooley, Galactic Sherpas, Goose, Jaik Willis, Bad Dagger, Clusterpluck, Covert Operations, Trifocal, Tracks a Trillion and Zoo Wave.
A ‘HIDDEN JEWEL’ THAT GROWS AND EVOLVES EVERY YEAR
“It feels like the lineups at Cowpie get better every year,” said John Nowak, drummer for Grand Rapids’ Desmond Jones, which will play three sets at the festival for the second year in a row.
“They have worked so hard to cultivate a community and environment that welcomes talented bands and artists from Michigan and beyond, and the depth and variety of the lineup speaks for itself. West Michigan is full of incredible bands and it makes me happy to see a festival like Cowpie investing in them and giving them an opportunity to make music.”
And playing three sets, he said, allows Desmond Jones “to dive deeper” into its catalog. “The trust and faith that (festival booker) Travis Compton and Farmer John have put into our band means the world to us,” he said. “We’re ready to rock the farm and spread the love.”
Early-bird tickets, $100, are now on sale and available online here. Ticket prices rise to $120 on June 1.
Compton called the festival a “hidden jewel” in West Michigan’s music scene and one that’s grown and evolved over the years. This year’s theme reflects the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, with each performer asked to play a song that was performed at that legendary festival.
Cowpie will feature Quadraphonic sound on its Frontier Stage in 2019 and for the first time will feature “CowProm,” encouraging attendees to dress in their ” ’80s best and step through our Way Back Machine for a pasture prom.”
National headliner Cracker – led by singer-guitarist David Lowery and guitarist Johnny Hickman – made a major splash with its 1993 album, “Kerosene Hat,” (spawning the singles “Low” and “Euro-Trash Girl”) melding alt-rock, Southern rock, country, punk and psychedelia into its approach.
In 2014, the band released its ninth studio album, “Berkeley to Bakersfield,” which earned high praise from critics, with AllMusic.com calling it “one of Cracker’s most ambitious and satisfying sets in quite some time.”
Revisit Local Spins’ coverage of Cowpie Music Festival 2018:
VIDEO: Cracker, “Euro-Trash Girl” (Live)
VIDEO: Cowpie Music Festival 2018
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