Festival Watch: Americana Music Hits Westminster this Summer

Photo: Blues guitarist Gary Clark Jr. performing at Common Ground Baltimore in 2011. Photo: Balto. Sun

Common Ground on the Hill Festival July 12 - 14th Carroll County Farm Museum
This July we will celebrate the nations’ founding on the 4th. One week later Westminster will celebrate Americana music with McDaniel College’s Annual Common Ground on the Hill Americana Music Festival. What is “Americana” music? You ask;

Blues guitarist Gary Clark Jr. performing at Common Ground Baltimore in 2011. Photo: Balto. Sun

It’s a blend of the quintessential American music genres; country, roots rock , folk, bluegrass, R&B, and of course the blues! Its popularity has been growing swiftly since the 90’s and yes you have heard it whether you realize it or not. Bruce Springsteen, Alison Krauss, Bonnie Raitt, Tom Petty, Neil Young and contemporary bands like The Decemberists and Gaslight Anthem are all “Americana.”

This festival will be the most important cultural live music event right in your own backyard as this annual rite of summer – now in its 17th year, brings dozens of national artists from every corner of Americana Roots music.

Common Ground on the Hill, is actually part of a larger educational project created by Walt Michael, a professor at McDaniel College who according to Maria Wong, the project’s Director of Promotions and Development, “envisioned a place where people could learn to respect and empathize with each other’s divergent viewpoints by coming together first the common ground of the traditional arts.” As Americans, from any background, we can relate to each other through the “ecstasy of music”.

In addition to the showcase music festival, Common Ground on the Hill includes a whole series of lectures, mini concerts and classes on campus. The live music events will kickoff with the 42nd Annual Deer Creek Fiddler’s Convention at the Carroll County farm Museum on June 30th. National acts representing every flavor of Americana music will grace the stages at the Farm Museum on the weekend of the 12th including a Common Ground Around the Town event featuring Americana acts at local pubs and restaurants in downtown Westminster.

Stick with us in the weeks leading up to the festival weekend as we feature the artists slated to perform at this year’s Common Ground on the Hill Festival in our Americana Music Fest series.

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