Second Annual Lowertown Guitar Festival Saturday, August 9: Free, family-friendly and fun!


In my next life I’m going to play guitar. In this life I’m hoping to at least enjoy some amazing guitar playing at the Lowertown Guitar Festival on August 9. It’s a daytime gig. It’s free and fun for kids (who like music) and includes access to beer, food trucks and the relaxing atmosphere of Lowertown. If you’re a teen and you play guitar there’s an opportunity to show what you know with a Teen Guitar Competition.

The event starts with a focus on the teen guitarists with jams, competitions and clinics. The event is hosted by McNally Smith College of Music; a fun opportuntiy for teen musicians or musician-wanna-bes to check out the opportunities at the school.

The afternoon is full of music for everyone. I went last year for a few hours; I was impressed with the range of music styles and genres. This year’s lineup is just as diverse with local and national musicians. I’m looking forward to local musicians Molly Maher with Gabriela Sweet (at 8:00 pm) Maher, who plays the Disbelievers in the Twin Cities not often enough, is one of the Real Phonic Radio team, a mostly monthly (summer off) music event at the James J Hill Library and one of the planners for the guitar fest. Sweet plays a more world beat sound. I’m looking forward to hearing how country and world collide.

Another local musician playing is Jeremy Ylvisaker (at 5:00 pm) on the acoustic stage. Ylvisaker plays with a number of bands with many different sounds from Brother Ali (Hip Hop) to Alpha Consumer (retro New Wave).

I’m also looking to some of the national performers I haven’t seen. The Main Stage features six-string greats such as five-time GRAMMY nominee and jazz/blues legend Robben Ford (8:30 pm), Fender clinician/bluesman Greg Koch (7 pm), Jim Campilongo (5:30 pm), rockabilly/country player Rosie Flores (4:00) and National Fingerstyle Guitar Champion Phil Heywood (2:30 pm).

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