Songs and Stories #92: Behind the Scenes at The American River Music Festival

Click hear episode #92 (time = 41:57, size = 38.5 mb)

Summer is here, which means that music festival is also here. With that in mind, I thought it would be interesting to do a musical-tangent sort of episode. This time out, we’ll be talking to Matt Semonsen, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and Executive Director of the American River Music Festival, which is celebrating its fourth year this September 17-19 in Lotus, CA.

The festival uses the American River as its centerpiece and offers river rafting and hiking in addition to a full weekend of music (morning workshops, mainstage shows during the day, and evening performances in the three campgrounds that connect to the festival). I’ll talk to Matt about the origins of the festival, the kinds of artists who make a good “festival act”, and who’s on the lineup this year. We’ll also chat specifically about the Friday night “Open Mic Showcase”, which I’m hosting again this year.

More pics from the American River Music Festival

(Tickets are available as single-day or with camping included. More info is here on the festival’s Ticket page.)

Songs and Stories” #92 includes a clip of Slaid Cleaves’ “Green Mountains and Me”, off his latest release “Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away”. Along with folks like Jesse Winchester, Karla Bonoff, Kenny Edwards, and Nina Gerber, Slaid is one of this year’s featured performers. (He plays at Camp Lotus on Friday evening and again on the main festival stage on Saturday afternoon.) This episode also includes “The River Song” off the new CD from MTWallets (Matt Semonson’s band.)

Go to, sign up for a 14-day trial, and receive a free audiobook just for checking it out. (If you cancel the trial, you still keep the book.)

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