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40 years of folk: Kerrville Folk Festival celebrates a Hill Country music milestone

Since its founding in 1972, the Kerrville Folk Festival has grown into an internationally recognized event for the songwriting industry. Founded by Rod Kennedy, it’s the longest continuously running festival of its kind.

For its 40th anniversary, the music kicked off on Thursday, May 24 and will continue all the way through Sunday, June 10. There will be 18 days of music at the Quiet Valley Ranch, which serves as a peaceful meeting ground for songwriters, musicians and music lovers from around the world.

Despite the name, Kerrville Folk Festival offers more than just traditional folk sounds: bluegrass, Americana, country, acoustic rock and jazz all have a place here. The common thread is a focus on songwriting, one that has drawn such performers as Lyle Lovett, Lucinda Williams and Arlo Guthrie to its stages.

Kerrville Folk Festival offers a broad look at the even broader genre of folk music, giving festival-goers a chance to see established players, but also be the first to check out new songwriters on the horizon. And with nearly three weeks of music, there’s a lot to choose from.

The New Folk competition wraps up this weekend, but here are some highlights for the remainder of the 40th Anniversary of Kerrville Folk Festival.

Tuesday, May 29 – Thursday, May 31: Songwriter’s School

The 33rd annual Songwriters School is a three-day intensive for novice and advanced songwriters hosted by the Texas Folk Music Foundation. Directed by Belmont University’s Rick Beresford, the school focuses on all forms of songwriting, with small and large group instruction and break-out sessions.

Thursday, May 31: New Folk in the Round

The Threadgill Theater will welcome the 2011 Grassy Hill Kerrville New Folk winners, including: Cassie Peterson, Megan Burtt, AJ Roach, Grace Pettis and David Moss.

Sunday, June 3: Terri Hendrix, Warren Hood and the Goods, Ruthie Foster

This is an Austin lineup not to be missed, from Warren Hood’s electrifying fiddle to Ruthie Foster’s smooth, bluesy set.

Thursday, June 7: House of Songs

A project launched by Austin-based singer-songwriter, Troy Campbell, House of Songs makes a stop in Kerrville to showcase Austin and Danish musicians. On the bill: Dave Gunning, Matt The Electrician, Ida Wenøe and Heather Green.

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More information about the Kerrville Folk Festival and tickets to the event are available here.

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