All posts by Todd Schultz

Labor Day Murray Acoustic Festival

Labor Day Evening, September 4th,  come on down to the Murray Amphitheater  and close out the summer with some great music.  Flint & Steel, a group of amazing young Bluegrass pickers will start things off at 6:00 PM.  The Dusty Boxcars will close the night out with some great acoustic Americana and Blues.  The show is $5.00 at the door.  5300 South 495 East on the south east side of Murray Park.

Pictured:  J.T. Draper and Kerry Strazdins of the Dusty Boxcars

Bluegrass Saturday Night

otter17aBluegrass Sat Night 2017

The 2017 edition of Bluegrass Saturday Night will take place at the Gallivan Center in downtown Salt Lake on August 19th.  The music starts at 5 with an amazing lineup.  The Utah State Instrument Allstars will kick things off featuring many past State Instrument Champions.  Otter Creek, Mike Iverson & Blue Sage,  Six Feet in the Pine, Pixie & The Partygrass Boys will round out the evening.

This event is FREE!!!!!

The Gallivan Center  239 South Main Street

Pictured:  Otter Creek


May Local Concert Series


Pictured above:  The Wild Coyotes

On May 5, 2017 Red Desert Ramblers and The Wild Coyotes close out the IAMA Local Concert series, and what a great season it has been! Strong, appreciative crowds at nearly every event have inspired our performers to play their very best and the pre-concert workshops have brought newer musicians a plethora of tips and new skills to work into their own playing. Join us for the show at South Valley Unitarian on 6876 So, Highland Drive. Festivities begin at 7:30. Admission is 7.00 for members and $12 for non-members.

The Red Desert Ramblers are some of Utah’s most accomplished bluegrass musicians with multiple awards, numerous high profile national gigs and even movie soundtrack credit!   They play bluegrass, classic country and swing music blending harmonies with smoking instrumental breaks.

Sharon Mitchell is the  band Leader/Manager and has played hammered dulcimer since 1989. Sharon ran the  Intermountain Acoustic Music Association (IAMA) Local Concert Series for 16 years.(THANKS, SHARON,  FOR ALL THAT HARD WORK!) She is the “roots and branches” of the band adding both an old time flavor, and a unique progressive twist.

Steve Hewson does lead vocals, and plays guitar and mandolin. Best known as the host of the Rockport Dam Jam, and former manager of Rockport State Park, he hails from Huntington Beach CA proving that country twang can come from the land of sand and surf. He also teaches  guitar, uke, and mandolin at Riffs Music in Park City.

Rick Martinez is a 5-string banjo monster. Rick’s style is 30 years steeped in traditional and progressive bluegrass music. His diverse influences range from Earl Scruggs to Tony Trishka. . His clean, precise and dynamic playing reinforces the authentic sound of the band.

Dave Bates holds the bottom end on upright bass. Dave has been a mainstay in the SLC/Summit county communities for many years. He has been a pilot and a bus driver. When he is not flying he is a farmer in Wanship. His attention is also focused on mentoring teenagers and youth so they become proficient musicians

Richard Schmeling adds solid mandolin chops, harmonies and lightening quick, clean breaks to the band. He’s also an accomplished guitar and piano player. His ballads are amazing, and no one can belt out traditional heart wrenching songs like him. He was raised in the West, and it shows.

Southeast Idaho is sparse, high desert country west of the rocky mountains of the great divide where coyotes roam.  It is a place where musicians of any particular idiom are few and far between.  Traditional bluegrass, old-time, cowboy, and western swing music can be found, but there is no dominant indigenous musical tradition.  The environment fosters an open, diverse community of musicians playing traditional music.  Music festivals here often include all of these styles mixed and mingled.  The Wild Coyotes bring this variety together to make The Coyote sound – stringband music old and new.

The Wild Coyotes are four good friends living in southeast Idaho that come together to play music, melding their diverse musical backgrounds and interests.  The Coyotes create tight harmonies and driving instrumentals as they play old-time fiddle and banjo tunes and songs from old and new sources.  The Coyotes will bring you a program spanning a wide variety of traditional American-roots styles.  Old time, classic and contemporary folk, and cowboy genres are set to classic old-time string band instrumentation with exciting vocal harmonies.

The Wild Coyotes were finalists in the Traditional Band Contest at the 2013 Appalachian String Band Music Festival in Cliff Top, West Virginia.  The Wild Coyotes have recorded three CDs: Across the Great Divide, Tunehead’s Fancy, and thier latest Coyote Tracks.  Joe Dobbs, host of the West Virginia Public Radio Show “Music from the Mountains,” has featured Across the Great Divide on his program.  Joe says, “I really like this CD.  We’ve got a lot of response for it.  People told me they think it’s the best old-time CD they’ve heard.”

The Wild Coyotes began in 2002, when fiddler/mandolinist/singer Vince Crofts decided it was time to start playing with nearby friends singer/guitarist Sallie Sublette and banjoist Rick McCracken.  The Wild Coyotes are Vince Crofts (fiddle, mandolin, and vocals), Rick McCracken (fretless and fretted banjo, vocals), Sallie Sublette (guitar, vocals) and Carrie Bean (bass, vocals).

Pictured below:  The Red Desert Ramblers


2017 Susanne Millsaps Performing Songwriter Contest


Pictured 2016 Susanne Millsaps Performing Singer Songwriter finalist.

The finals of the 2017 Susanne Millsaps Performing Singer Songwriter Showcase will take place on Saturday June 24th, at The Utah Arts Festival Big Mouth Stage.  Many thanks to all of the very talented Songwriters who entered this years Susanne Millsaps Performing Singer Songwriter Showcase. The finalist for this years competition in alphabetical order: Bob Cantonwine, Jane Fallon, Jen Hajj, Dave McCormick, Bill McGinnis, Molly McGinnis, Rex Seabury, Alicia Stockman, Kray Van Kirk, Eric Wagner.



April Local Concert Series


“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” – Margaret Atwood, Bluebeard’s Egg

Long before the first shoots appear, the roots beneath the surface grow deeper to tap the strength of the earth. The same can be said of our April 7, 2017 Local Concert performers, The Three Son’s and the J.T. Draper Trio. The roots of these bands are deep and wide, drawing from the rich dirt of Americana music traditions.
The show will be held at 7:30pm at the South Valley Unitarian Church on 6876 So Highland Drive. The evening will begin at 6pm with a workshop. (TBA!)

Admission is 7.00 for members and $12 for non-members.

JT Draper Trio
J.T. Draper has performed constantly around the Salt Lake Valley atvarious clubs, restaurants, and other venues in various musical configurations. He is known for his intricate guitar playing, soulful harmonica, and baritone voice. Fans often think of him as a blues musician, but in reality, his influences are much more varied. It’s true that the bedrock of his style reaches back to prewar acoustic blues of Robert Johnson, Son House, Skip James, Blind Willie McTell and others, but careful listeners will hear a history the previous century’s music in his songs. The influences of Dylan, Townes Van Zandt and Leonard Cohen are especially present, along with traditional country, Memphis soul, and—of course—rock and roll.
Joining him for this year’s local concert series are Steve Stewart on mandolin, Brady Anderson on bass, and Phil Triolo on woodwinds. Each of these players brings their own contribution and influence to this musical gumbo such as jazz, world music, and newgrass. Their loose and spontaneous work includes classic tunes and Draper’s originals and leaves plenty of room for improvisation and experimentation that captivates and surprises audiences.
The Three Sons
“The Three Sons” is a family bluegrass band based out of Logan, Utah. They were formed in 2014, and recently released their first album, “Take Me Back” The individual members have studied many different styles of music, from jazz and blues to rock, and you can hear it in their original music, as well as their choice of covers. The band is made up of Karl Gibbons on Dobro, mandolin, and banjitar. A talented musician, Karl switches between the three instruments seamlessly, and is one of the lead vocalists in the group. Kelin has played banjo for 13 years. He toured across the U.S., and has played for many popular bluegrassacts. He is the other lead vocalist for the band. Kory Gibbons drives the guitar. Kory started out on percussion, and later picked up the guitar. He provides the driving rhythm, and some searing leads. He also joins in on backup harmonies. Wally Gibbons on bass, Is the father of The Three Sons! He has played in many different bluegrass groups in Logan, and provides the bass vocal harmony.
  • Kid Friendly


We will also be hosting our popular Acoustic fun class just before the concert at 6 PM.   The class is FREE!  This month the fabulous Tara Shupe will be conducting a Mandolin Workshop.

January Local Concert Series


Pictured at top Mindy Dillard and above Elizabeth Hareza


The Local Concert Series swings into 2017 with our yearly Songwriters in the Round showcase.  Mindy Dillard, Elizabeth Hareza, Scott Rogers & Alicia Stockman will be performing some original songs from their repertoire.  This is certainly a highlight of the concert season.

Friday January 6th.  7:30 PM at The South Valley Unitarian Universalist Society.  6876 South Highland Drive.  IAMA members are $7.00 , non-members $12.00.  Coolers welcome!

A special FREE Acoustic 101 workshop will take place at 6:00 pm just before the concert.  Peter and Mary Danzig will be talking about song writing collaboration.  Check this class out from some accomplished professionals.


2017 Utah State Instrument Championships

Pictured:  Matthew Seabury,  2014  fingerstyle guitar champion.

The 2017 Utah State Instrument Championships will take place on June 3 & 4 in conjunction with the Ogden Music Festival at Ft. Buenaventura State Park in downtown Ogden.

Registration is now available at

Saturday June 3    8:00 AM Flat Pick Guitar Championships  Novice & Open Divisions.

Mandolin Championships  Novice & Open Division.  Directly following the Flat Pick Guitar Championships.

Fingerstyle Guitar  Open Division Directly following the Mandolin Championships.

Sunday  June 4   8:00 AM

Banjo  Novice & Open Division

Bluegrass Fiddle  Novice & Open Division  Directly following the Banjo Championships.

For questions please contact event coordinator Mary Danzig  at [email protected]


December Local Concert Series

Come celebrate the holidays IAMA style with a great concert on Friday night December 2nd.  Bronwen Beecher, “The Fiddle Preacher”, will be performing songs off of her new much acclaimed CD  The Nathan Spenser Revue will be spinning some great classic Americana tunes along with some fun originals.  7:30 show at the South Valley Unitarian Universalist Society, located at 6876 South Highland Drive in Cottonwood Heights.  $7.00 for IAMA members and $12.00 for non members.  Coolers welcome.