Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in San Francisco has announced an exciting new lineup for their Golden Gate Park concert series.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass has announced its latest lineup of performers for the 22nd annual music festival in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, and it may be the most exciting announcement yet.

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rhiannon Giddens, a founding member of the country-blues band Carolina Chocolate Drops, which won a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album in 2011, is among the newcomers. She will be performing with jazz composer and previous collaborator Francesco Turrisi, with whom she recorded their most recent album, “There is No Other,” in Ireland in 2019.

Waxahatchee (Katie Crutchfield), a popular indie singer-songwriter, will also be on the bill. Her fifth and most recent album, “Saint Cloud,” was released in early 2020 and marked a significant departure from the lo-fi, bedroom-recorded melodies of her early work on 2012’s “American Weekend.” It has a more folk feel to it as she returns to her country music roots from her childhood in Birmingham, Alabama. (Crutchfield told Rolling Stone that Hardly Strictly regular Emmylou Harris was a major influence on the album.)

Jay Som (Melina Duterte), a Bay Area-born dream pop artist, will undoubtedly be another highly anticipated act. Her debut album, “Everybody Works,” released in 2017, features ponderous guitar riffs that blend seamlessly with murmured and conversational lyrics about failing relationships, the rat race of pursuing a career in music, and self-reflection on Muni. “Doomin’ Sun,” her latest collaboration with Palehound (Ellen Kempner), has a ’90s-influenced tinge that allows her longtime inspiration from artists like Yo La Tengo and Mazzy Star to shine in an unexpected way.

Amythyst Kiah, a Tennessee-based vocalist, guitarist, and banjo player, soul singer Danielle Ponder, Fruit Bats-adjacent folk band Bonny Light Horseman, and Northern California acoustic artist Ismay will also perform. Aoife O’Donovan, an Irish American Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, Rainbow Girls, an Americana-influenced Bay Area trio, and prolific banjo player Béla Fleck will round out the lineup.

The lineup for the festival’s Out of the Park series, which takes place at various venues throughout the Bay Area and benefits local nonprofit Music in Schools Today, was announced on Wednesday morning.

Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons will perform at the Fillmore, and Sarah Shook & the Disarmers of North Carolina will perform at the Little Saint in Healdsburg. Antibalas, an Afrobeat-influenced Brooklyn band, will perform at Mill Valley’s Sweetwater Music Hall.

The psychedelic soul 10-piece Moonalice will accompany a screening of the critically acclaimed documentary “Summer of Soul” at the Chapel, while Chicago-based country band the Waco Brothers and Bob Schneider will perform at a Hazel Dickens documentary screening at Sweetwater Music Hall.

Although admission fees and show times have yet to be announced, $1 from each Out of the Park ticket sold will benefit Music in Schools Today’s music lessons. Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, as always, is free and open to the public, and the next – and final – round of musicians will be announced on September 6. The complete lineup can be found here.